Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.
Como estan, friends? How’s the club life treating you these days? I’m out here trying to perfect a hair routine for my city’s indecisive weather and reading more books at one time than is probably wise. I am pretty stoked to be reading Leni Zumas’ Red Clocks for the book club at my indie. I’m thinking that convo is going to be fire! Tell me: what are you all reading in your clubs these days?
In the meantime, let’s chat about letters to tragedy, period business, and using Patreon to patronize your faves. And don’t forget to visit Book Riot’s Amazon storefront. We’ve put together a selection of our favorite books and bookish stuff for summer!
Ready? To the club!!
This newsletter is sponsored by The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke, new in paperback from Tyndale House Publishers.
For fans of World War II fiction comes a story about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s war yet redeemed through the fate of one little girl. The German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 shatters the life of each citizen. Sophie, a British bride, is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe. Rosa faces a terrifying reality: to save her daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war is the medallion she cuts in half and places around her daughter’s neck.
Question for the Club
June’s club query is:
Hit me with your answers all month!
Bustle and the Book Club – Bustle asked three club connoisseurs – USA Today Books Editor Barbara Vandenburgh, Girls’ Night In CEO & Founder Alisha Ramos, and Belletrist Book Club co-founder Karah Preiss – for their advice on book club format and selections. I love all of their responses, including the general idea that the best book club chat is the one where not everyone likes the book. Food for thought!
A middle school book club at St. Catherine’s School in Milwaukee read books on tragedy and then wrote letters to tragedy based on their life experiences. Read their letters here and prepare thyself for tears.
Book Club Bonus: I recently heard a keynote speech by author Reyna Grande (The Distance Between Us) wherein she spoke of the trauma she suffered as a child immigrant, and of the depression that followed from living under a constant fear of deportation and family separation. She found escape through storytelling at a young age and now uses her stories to spread awareness on the issues that immigrants face today. Cases of child depression and PTSD appear to be increasing; I don’t have to tell you why.
I thought of immigrant children and so many others when reading about the book club at St. Catherine’s: when tragedy strikes, do we do enough to take care of our young? I’d be interested to know how many educators lead book clubs where young children get to read, learn about, and discuss the effects of school shootings, deportations, poverty, etc. If you know of such safe spaces, tell me about them! And if you see an opportunity to do so, create one.
Read These. Period.
I got my period when I was a smooth nine years old and I did *not* see it coming. An injury to my jaw did some stuff to my pituitary gland and puberty came out of left field, like, “Heeeey girl! Ready to rock?” Armed only with my Catholic school “family life” lesson and a welcome kit from Lucky magazine, I felt pretty dang lost on all that came next. I wish I’d had these books on periods at my disposal.
Book Club Bonus: You know I’m an advocate for better, more frequent discussions on sexual health and these period books have my synapses firing. Start a book club for teens new to the Period Posse, or one for parents and teens. Start one for people going through menopause, or anyone wanting to learn more about menstruation in general and the movement to normalize free bleeding. This could be a one-time or ongoing book club depending on everyone’s needs. I just love the idea of sharing knowledge and experience to make what are often difficult experiences less trying.
PAY-tree-on, PAT-tree-on, Puh-TREE-on… Whatever!
The ladies of When in Romance are so good at teaching me a thing or two while gifting me a hearty laugh, and this latest episode was no exception! Jess may not be able to say Patreon, but she and Trisha did turn me on to how easy and affordable it is to support creatives on the platform.
Book Club Bonus: I recently decided that I wanted to try and provide financial support to creatives whose work I love; the trouble was, I didn’t think I could actually afford to do so. Trisha and Jess showed me that it’s very much within my means to give to creators on Patreon, where many donation tiers start at just a $1/month. That I can do!
Consider pooling your resources as a book club and donating to a creative or cause of your choice (and that has an account)! Does your club love romance? Give to The Ripped Bodice! Love Latinx lit of all kinds? Give to an author like Silvia Moreno Garcia like I did today. A few dollars from your book club may not seem like a lot to you, but they could go a long way in helping people and their projects persist.
In movie news, Book Club 2 Is Happening and yes I will be watching. I love me some Diane Keaton and am here for lady friendships. Also, BAAHAHAAH the subheading of this piece is, “And will eternal zaddy Andy Garcia return to the fold?” THIS IS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION.
You know I’m all about doing a little good with book club. Lots of love to this Santa Barbara book club for launching a Little Free Laundromat Library for kids.
Thanks for hanging with me today! Shoot me an email at email@example.com 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.