In The Club

In The Club – October 3

Happy Booktober, Rioters! Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met and well-read. Let’s gather our pumpkin-flavored everything and talk creepy books, first-gen stories, bookshelf shame, and more.

Read on, my pretties!

This newsletter is sponsored by Amy B. Scher, author of This Is How I Save My Life (Simon & Schuster).

a very colorful illustration of an elephant wearing a patterned blanket over its back, bangles on its feet, and holding a flower in its trunkSometimes, you only find everything when you are willing to try anything … The true story of a fiery young woman’s heartwarming and hilarious journey that takes her from near-death in California to a trip around the world in search of a cure for late-stage Lyme disease. Along the way, she discovers a world of cultural mayhem, radical medical treatment, an unexpected romance, and, most importantly, a piece of her life she never even knew she was missing. Praised by Vikas Swarup, New York Times bestselling author of Slumdog Millionaire as “an inspiring story that will change the way you look at life.”

Get Your Creep On – Halloween doth approacheth! There’s no time like the present to dive into this list of the best horror books from 2018

  • Book Club Bonus: Get your creepy-crawly swerve on with a horror-themed book club! You could stick to the usual read-then-meet format, or maybe pick a collection of short stories to read aloud at book club. Create a whole vibe here: throw on a creepy soundtrack, read by candlelight, read at a cemetery… I mean I would sooner kick you than risk running into la llorona at a graveyard, but I know some of you are into it. 

Latinx in Space! – Ok, so not just in space, though that would be awesome too. I’m talking all manner of speculative fiction by Latinx writers, i.e. those on this collaborative list/spreadsheet situation by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

  • Book Club Bonus: Do a reading checkup with your book group. I’ve done this myself and was surprised to find that though my book club read diversely on the whole, we weren’t reading as many works by authors of colors in specific genres (like SFF, for example). If you find similar gaps, address them! Need some suggestions? See aforementioned list.
  • Related: You read about Moreno-Garcia’s list in last week’s Book Riot’s Swords & Spaceships newsletter yes? If you didn’t, you know what to do (psssst: click that link). 

Shared Shelf Shame – I’ve got them, you’ve got them: books on our shelves that we’re supposed to have read but somehow… just… haven’t. Popular reads, classic reads, of-the-moment reads… so many reads! One brave Rioter shared the most embarrassing unread books on her shelf. See? You’re not alone. 

  • Book Club Bonus: While I’ve totally given up on the idea of ever conquering my TBR (amirite?), there are certain books that I do insist on making time for at some point. Book club is a great space for getting that done! Select a title that no one has read but that everyone’s been meaning to. Then break it down: did it live up to the hype? Was it as important as you expected?

American Like America – If you haven’t already picked up American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, get on that right now. Then check out this interview with America Ferrera, who edited and contributed to this collection of stories from first generation Americans. The list of contributors is like woah: Issa Rae, Uzo Aduba, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Diane Guerrero, Padma Lakshmi and so, so many others but word count is a thing so I’ll stop.

  • Book Club Bonus: Any collection this diverse is bound to make book club discussion juicy and interesting. How are their narratives different? How are they the same? Do you code switch? Why or why not? Soooo much good stuff.

Witches be Shrillin’ – While I’m all about that bruja life, this bit isn’t actually technically about witches. It’s about Lindy West’s new book news! The brave, bad-ass, best-selling author of Shrill will release her second book in 2019. The title? The Witches Are Coming. SOLD. 

  • Book Club Bonus: I’m usually a part of ladies-only book clubs. I need that safe space and you probs don’t need me to tell you why. But this last week (@%$#!) got me thinking long and hard about toxic masculinity. I wonder what a feminist book club of women and woke dudes would look like. I’ve found that even my most progressive ally friends have blind spots when it comes to feminism; I’d be interested – and yeah, a little bit terrified – to start an open, honest, and careful discussion around books on the subject.

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

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.