In The Club

In The Club Sep 13

Welcome back to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met and well-read. Let’s dive in.

This newsletter is sponsored by Penguin Random House Audio.

Try Audiobooks logoListen to your book club’s next pick. Visit for suggested listens and for a free audiobook download of The Knockoff!

With fall ramping up, it’s back to juggling busy school and work schedules with social engagements like date nights, yoga with friends, and book club. Luckily, you can listen to your book club’s next pick so you can stay on top of it all.

Get recommended by awesome authors: we just launched our newest podcast, Recommended, in which interesting people talk about books that matter to them. The first episode has authors Samantha Irby and Robin Sloan pitching two all-time favorites, both of which would make excellent book club picks! Go find out what they are in Episode 1.

Get medieval on your reading list: we’ve got 100 Must-Reads of medieval historical fiction for you! Not going to lie to you, Sharon Kay Penman’s novels about the English monarchy got me through several college history courses, and The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth was one of the weirdest and also most satisfying reading experiences I had last year.

Tis the season to get sporty, and I love this piece about tennis reads not by David Foster Wallace. But honestly, almost any list that has both Abraham Verghese and Claudia Rankine on it is bound to get my thumbs-up.

For when you need your reading to be louder: here’s a list of 17 read-alouds for grown-ups! Whether or not you read them out loud in your group, there’s great discussion material here.

What if you need some quiet? I love this piece on the benefits of Silent Reading Groups, particularly this line: “Here was an opportunity to be social but to also reconnect with my reading life.”

Poetry is often a struggle for groups, so here’s a great list for you! Diversify your options with 10 contemporary poets of color.

Do you have Tulip Fever fever? We have a reading list for that.

Spotlight: Nisi Shawl’s Crash Course in Black SF

Among the last few books I’ve read and been unable to stop talking about were Mama Day by Gloria Naylor and Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson — both recommended by Nisi Shawl in various places on the Internet. And then I remembered that back in 2015, she put together a whole list of black science fiction writers for Black History month. Whether you start at the beginning and work your way on or pick at random, that list and the resulting blog series are well worth your group’s consideration.

A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction
The Expanded Course at
– Here’s an interview with Shawl we did in advance of Book Riot Live
– Shawl’s own book Everfair is a great addition to this canon, and it was reviewed on NPR, LARB, and The Washington Post among many others.

And that’s a wrap: Happy discussing! If you’re interested in more science fiction and fantasy talk, you can catch me and my co-host Sharifah on the SFF Yeah! podcast. For many many more book recommendations (including the occasional book club question!) you can find me on the Get Booked podcast with the inimitable Amanda.

Your fellow booknerd,

More Resources: 
– Our Book Group In A Box guide
– List your group on the Book Group Resources page