Harry Potter star Emma Watson starts feminist book club on Twitter

Emma Waston has announced she is starting a feminist book group on Twitter, called Our Shared Shelf.
Emma Waston has announced she is starting a feminist book group on Twitter, called Our Shared Shelf.PHOTO: REUTERS

Harry Potter actor, United Nations ambassador and feminism campaigner Emma Waston has announced she is starting a feminist book group on Twitter, called Our Shared Shelf.

According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, Watson, who is a goodwill ambassador for UN Women and figurehead of the gender equality campaign HeforShe, tweeted on Jan 6 that she wanted to start the book club, with her request for suggested names for the group sparking a flurry of responses.

After suggestions including "Wats Up Fems", "Watson Your Shelf" and "Hermione's Army", Watson announced today that she "absolutely loved" Twitter user @emilyfabb's suggestion: "Our Shared Shelf" and foreshadowed further information about the book club was still to come.

Twitter's response has been enthusiastic. Alongside punters, retired American footballer Abby Wambach, actor Sophia Bush and singer Kate Voegele have all tweeted they would take part in the club, with Watson agreeing to ask Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and singer Taylor Swift to join in.

The first book may have been chosen. When Wambach asked for nominations, Watson elected American feminist Gloria Steinem's latest memoir, My Life on the Road, a collection of the author's reflections on her life and activism that the Guardian called "illuminating".

Watson made headlines when she launched the UN's HeForShe campaign in 2014, asking men to help women tackle sexism and for increased awareness of the negative impact masculine stereotypes had on men. "Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong," she said, in her speech to UN delegates.

Watson is not alone in her aspirations to start an online celebrity book club: actor Gwyneth Paltrow runs a cookbook club on her lifestyle website Goop , while fellow actor Reese Witherspoon - who has a history of producing film adaptations of her favourite books, including Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl and Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild - runs a book club on Instagram, on the hashtag #RWBookclub .

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his biweekly book club in January last year, focusing on books that have "an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies". His first choice, The End of Power by Moisés Naím, rocketed up the Amazon bestsellers list , outstripping 18 months of sales in days after the announcement.