Reading is a solitary activity but oftentimes comes with a social urge afterward — wanting to discuss it. Whether it be the plot twist, understanding the author, or diving deeper into the story itself, words on a page frequently turn into conversation starters. That’s where book clubs come in, with a few perks: someone else recommends the book, you have an entire month (most times) to read it, and there’s a group of individuals eager to talk about it.
The World Economic Forum started its very own book club in 2018. On the last day of each month the private Facebook group, which simply takes the click of a button to join, welcomes the chosen author of the month to submit a video response to members’ questions. Past reads have included “The Future We Choose,” “The Education of an Idealist,” and “Incidental Inventions.” It’s a great group geared for those who are interested in real-life topics across myriad subjects. Find it on Facebook @worldeconomicforumbookclub and Instagram @wefbookclub.
Athletes love reading too. Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, began the Andrew Luck Book Club to build a new kind of team. Each month, Luck recommends two books, one for younger readers (“Rookies”) and another for seasoned page turners (“Veterans”). He communicates timelines and reminders to fans through social media, where readers are encouraged to share their thoughts. And each month concludes with a podcast interview with the selected author, when available. April picks are “The Little Prince” and “The Overstory.” Visit www.wandrewluckbookclub.com.
Hello, sunshine. America’s girl-next-door, Reese Witherspoon has a very popular Instagram following (1.5 million followers and counting) for her monthly literary picks. Across her social channels, Witherspoon encourages meaningful, joyful conversations. Right now, the actor, mother, and bookworm is partnering with the Binc Foundation to raise funds for independent booksellers. Read along this April with “Untamed.” See more online at www.whello-sunshine.com. Follow @reesesbookclub to listen as the authors themselves share inspiring words. Plus, there’s a ton of giveaways.
There’s a place where BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic), LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex), disabled, and working-class communities unite with their stories, the Dialogue Book Lounge. The newly launched series will go live on IGTV at 8 PM GMT every Thursday in conversation with an author. Visit on Instagram @DialogueBooks to see the upcoming reading list.
Belletrist was founded by famed actress and literati, Emma Roberts, along with her friend, Karah Preiss. Since social distancing, their Instagram (@belletrist) has been posting Virtual Book Tours (talks) with different authors. It’s a great way to dive deeper into certain novels, which are listed primarily on their social media.
Book Babes (www.wbookbabeseventhub.splashthat.com) is hosting virtual Zoom meetings to discuss their recommended book selections. Book discussions, regular hangouts, or simply making a list of what you should read next. Sign up for emails either on their website or at @bookbabes_.
A group of design consultants out in San Francisco hopped on the opportunity to create the Quarantine Book Club — kudos to finding a silver lining. The group allows, for a fee of $5, isolated guests to join authors on a Zoom chat for open discussion daily, sometimes twice a day. It seems they plan each a week in advance, so if you’re a quick page turner, this one’s for you. Head to www.wquarantinebookclub.com to see the updated lineup.
Looking for something a little more niche? Goodreads, an online source for all reading material, has numerous groups to join (approximately 47,700 pages). All you have to do is type in a word search and they’ll pop up. Narrow it down by group size and latest activity for the one just right for you. Explore them all at www.goodreads.com.