Welcome back to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met and well-read. Let’s dive in.
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Need more go-to book club questions? Here are some options!
I’ve come to love celebrity memoirs, possibly because so many interesting celebrities are writing them. If you’ve also been bitten by the bug — or just want a good starting point, here are some coming out this fall to have on your radar.
Book group bonus: Pair with a viewing of interviews or a performance by the celeb in question! How well does their page-presence match with their screen presence?
What is the difference between hardboiled and noir? Megan Abbott has some opinions!
Book group bonus: There are a lot of fascinating bits in this interview; no matter which book of Abbott’s you might pick to read, it’s a great addition.
Controversy strikes! The woman who helped create the Richard and Judy Book Club has called them out on their new relationship with WH Smith.
Book group bonus: There are layers and layers of paid promotion in publishing. How much does it matter to the readers in your group whether a recommendation is “supported” by dollars from the publisher?
Read like Francine Prose: She picked five classics as personal favorites, ones you may or not be surprised by.
Book group bonus: Her newest book, What to Read and Why, is a book club discussion starter and potential guide in and of itself.
More poetry! Ever since I signed up for the Pome Tinyletter, I’ve found it a much more accessible medium. Here are some Native American poets to add to your group’s TBR the next time you’re ready to tackle some poetry.
Book group bonus: Here’s where I pitch you Bojan Luis, whose work I adore.
Looking for #ownvoices reads? We’ve got a list of transgender fiction by transgender authors!
Book group bonus: Here’s an exercise for your meeting. Go over the last however-many group-selected reads. How many of them are about a specific community and written by someone from that community? For example, Celeste Ng is Asian-American and writes about an Asian-American family in Everything I Never Told You; Friend (With Benefits) Zone by Laura Brown has deaf/hard of hearing protagonists and is by a HoH author. Use your results as an opportunity to think about who and what you might read next!
Related: This piece by Jordy Rosenberg is a thoughtful and interesting discussion of what it means for a work of fiction to be trans lit.
Listen while you work (or do the dishes, or whatever): Here’s a round-up of great sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks for your listening and discussing pleasure!
Book group bonus: This would be a fun opportunity to compare an author-read audiobook (e.g. Half-Resurrection Blues) with a narrator-read audio (e.g. The Goblin Emperor).
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,