In The Club

A Zombie Threat Might Not Be Imminent, but…

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.

Hola, friends! I am wrapping this newsletter on the patio of a hotel in Miami en route to Cuba, trying really hard to see the layer of dew on my skin as a “natural glow” and not just the sheen of sweat that 80% humidity will give a person. Same difference, I guess?? I’m working on about three hours sleep and I’m not sure how I’m standing, but with a little cafe con leche, a good book, and plenty of sea, sand & sunshine in my future, I’m one happy girl.

Before I shut this laptop for a week, let’s talk survival skills, craft nights, some bookish getting-to-know-you things and more. To the club!

This newsletter is sponsored by Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison, now in paperback from Algonquin Books.

a man in overalls standing on a ladder, trimming a giant green hedgeNow in paperback, acclaimed author Jonathan Evison’s Lawn Boy introduces us to recently fired landscaper Mike Muñoz as he tries and tries again to find the prosperity that is his American birthright. Mike battles with class and cultural discrimination, as well as his own self-confidence, as he learns to stand up for his future. “In Lawn Boy, at once a vibrant coming-of-age novel and a sharp social commentary on class, Evison offers a painfully honest portrait of one young man’s struggle to overcome the hand he’s been dealt in life and reach for his dreams. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss, with an ending you won’t forget.” ─Kristin Hannah

Question for the Club

Don’t forget: you have until Monday, April 22nd to send your responses to the current QFTC. Remember to send your replies to!

In case you forgot the question:

Book Club Craft Corner

Trader Joe’s already gets a substantial portion of my paycheck; where else can I get well-priced cheese, non-boring salads, and a pretty tasty canned rosé?!? Well they’ve apparently given us all yet another reason to hand over our monies: bookish greetings cards!

Book Club Bonus: This Trader Joe’s post has me thinking it might be fun to do a book club + craft night. Gather round for book chat, have a bit and a sip, then bust out the paints and colored pencils to make bookish greeting cards of your own. If greeting cards aren’t your bag, you could also make bookmarks. Go with the crafting flow and have a little something to take home after book club.

We Didn’t Start the Fire…Those Book Club Kids Did

Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Illinois has this book club thing figured out. To get students hype for reading Kat Falls’ Inhuman, librarian Lisa Walsh has her students learning survival skills that might come in handy if they found themselves in a dystopian zombiepocalypse like the one in the book. They’re out here learning everything from how to tell a poisonous plant from one with healing properties to how to start a fire. How cool is that??

Book Club Bonus: Let’s learn from these brilliant librarians and teens and have our own Survivor: Book Club Edition! I for one am sorely lacking in a lot of those basic survival skills and could stand to learn them. A zombie threat might not be imminent, but a girl could go camping one day, you know?! You don’t have to go with apocalypse survival skills though; apply the same idea to whatever theme you select. Learn to bake, learn to cook, learn to change a tire or the oil in a car… use your book pick as inspiration and see where it takes you.

Playing Favorites

I know I’m a bookseller, but I have to confess: I feel like a babbling mess whenever I go to pitch a book that doesn’t fit neatly in one category! In the latest episode of Recommended, Elizabeth McCracken and our very own Rincey Abraham each recommend a favorite read that’s a little hard to categorize. They are thankfully both much smoother at it than your girl.  

Book Club Bonus: Speaking of favorites and reading recs, I love getting to know a person by reading a book that they recommend. While I think most of us try to find selections that no one in book group has read before, but how about deliberately going back to our faves?  Take turns reading your club members’ most beloved reads and see what fun (or maybe dark & twisty, who knows!) things you find out about each other. Mea culpa in advance if you find out your book buddies are some weirdos. Whoops….

Suggestion Section

Thanks for hanging with me today! Shoot me an email at with your burning book club questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the Audiobooks newsletter, get it on the Read Harder podcast, and watch me booktube every Friday too.

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.