In The Club

Books for Your Book Club When Your Book Club Loves The Golden Girls

Hola, libro lovers! Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met and well-read. I’ve got so much good stuff to talk about today: Latinx poets, golden girls, Anthony Bourdain… *these are a few of my favorite things….

Let’s get it.

Sponsored by Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Based on interviews with women who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, this poignant novel tells the timely story of one girl’s harrowing fight for survival.

A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that one girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. But her dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram in the middle of the night. She is taken with other girls and women into the forest and forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs.

Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life and future are hers to fight for.

Have you completed our Fall Reader Survey yet? It takes all of five minutes and helps us learn a little more about fabulous readers like you. Plus you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card to the Book Riot store! Get it crackin’.

Latinx Word Magicians – Remember last week when I promised to spread some Latinx love in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month? Well boom shaka laka, here it is! One of our Rioters put together this incredible list of Latinx poets weaving some serious word brujeria. I’m obsessed with Analicia Sotelo “Ariadne Discusses Theseus in Relation to the Minotaur” from Virgin. It’s a retelling of the Ariadne/Theseus/Minotaur myth in which Ariadne sort of works out that this Theseus dude may be a bit of a doucheus. No, reader: I don’t know how I have any friends.

  • Book Club Bonus: Today in Vanessa’s Confession Corner, I’ll admit I spent a lot of my young reading life feeling like I didn’t “get” poetry. As an adult, I’ve stopped trying to force a specific connection with the “important” works and have adopted an “I like what I like” approach instead. Do the same with your book club; if Emily Dickinson and Lord Byron aren’t speaking to you, switch things up with a more current collection. Find a contemporary poet whose work is of the moment or rooted in contemporary issues.
  • Related: This list of 100 must-read Latin American titles

The Anatomy of a School Shooting – You’ll probably give me some side-eye for recommending YA books about school shootings for your shiny happy book club. I get it – they’re not exactly warm & fuzzy stories. They are however essential reading about a moment in history that requires careful examination, reading that may help instill empathy in young readers.

  • Book Club Bonus: A few years ago, I tore (and cried) through David Cullen’s Columbine. It was a surreal and disturbing experience to both relive and newly discover the nitty gritty details of the first major school shooting in my memory. Challenge yourself to push through books on the topic, whether fiction or non-fiction, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Have a deep and meaningful conversation at book club and/or with the young reader in your life about the shootings, about gun control, about your many, many feelings. Do it for empathy, for knowledge, for hope that these deadly shootings will someday be a much, much less frequent occurrence.

Don’t Write Off the Golden Girls – Fun fact: The Golden Girls is my favorite show ever. It showed me that my life won’t suddenly cease to have meaning when I’m applying for my AARP card and auditioning for the Shady Pines talent show. If you’re still reading this and haven’t yet written me off, well… thank you for being a friend. Now check out this list of books with strong female characters over 50, because women of all ages deserve to be and feel seen.

  • Book Club Bonus: Whether you’re reading one of these suggested reads or another of your choice, pay attention to the way the women are treated in the book. How does sexism or ageism factor in? Are they depicted as whole and capable or as tragically past their prime? Examine the work with a critical eye; it is after all one thing to include underrepresented characters and another thing entirely to do it well.

The Tony (Bourdain) Awards – I miss him. You miss him. We all miss him. Anthony Bourdain has been gone three months now and his loss still stings. It’s therefore bittersweet to learn that Uncle Tony was just awarded six posthumous Emmys for Parts Unknown. Even in death, his excellence reigns supreme.

  • Book Club Bonus: If you haven’t already, now is a great time to discover or re-read one of Bourdain’s books, like the classic Kitchen Confidential. Do like my friends and I are doing and make recipes from Bourdain’s Appetites on the night of your book chat; read, eat, and drink in Uncle Tony’s name and discuss the components of his legacy.

Persist! Round Tres – Last but certainly not least: we’re baaaaack! Our feminist book club, Persist, is back for a third round and you should totally join. Make our book club your book club. We can all club together.

Thanks for hanging with me today! If you want to be friendly on the innanets, you can find me on el Twitter or the gram @buenosdiazsd. Shoot me an email at if you have any feedback or just to say hola.

Stay bad & bookish, my friends!