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 Epic Reads and Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim.
With the heartbreaking honesty of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and the smart snark of When Dimple Met Rishi, this remarkable road-trip story is about questioning where you come from—and choosing the family that chooses you back.
The summer after her freshman year of college, Mariam is looking forward to hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible Ghazala and religious-but-closeted Umar.
But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what could be better than a spontaneous road trip down to New Orleans?
If you’ve been running a book group for a while, you likely already know these tips — but a reminder never hurts, and maybe your group is new!
Want to read romance but don’t want to carry around a cover with abs? Trisha has some recs for you!
Book group bonus: The covers of romances are definitely among the top reasons I personally don’t love to read physical copies in public — the looks you get on trains are something else. (Ebooks for the win!) Take a poll: for the readers in your group who resist romance, are covers part of the issue?
Go big or go home with this list of daring literary ladies!
Book group bonus: Follow up discussion of one of those titles with each member’s personal character kryptonite. What’s an instant-sell for your group?
Not all of us have destination vacations planned; for those of us sticking closer to home, here’s a reading list.
Book group bonus: As you’ll see, that list is very community-focused. Has your group ever done a community activity? If not, plan to attend one — or create one yourselves!
Page and screen alert! Here are books to pair nicely with your Killing Eve binge-watch.
Book group bonus: If this isn’t an opportunity to share your favorite “Single White Female” story (personal or otherwise!), I don’t know what is.
More Southern reads! Here’s a list of Southern writers that the curator believes you probably haven’t read.
Book group bonus: This is where I give an extra pitch for Long Division by Kiese Laymon; it’s a novel within a novel, written in a unique style, that’s begging for a group discussion.
Mystery is getting more inclusive, and here are the writers making it happen.
Book group bonus: Does your group track its reading stats? This might be a good opportunity to take a look at your track record and think about areas you could diversify more, including but certainly not limited to mystery.
Last call for the $500 gift card giveaway! It ends tomorrow, 6/21, so make sure you enter for your chance to win a gift card to the bookstore of your choice.
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,