In The Club

The Best Book Club Books of the Year, Part I

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

I’m back from my trip! I must say that I liked Boston more than I thought I would. I didn’t get to go to afternoon tea like I (really) wanted because of timing, but I did get to visit the public library the tea room was located in (it was huge and beautiful!). Turns out, the Boston’s Central Public library is the oldest urban public library and the largest public research library, both of which are noted in its grandeur. And, since I didn’t get to be bougie and do tea there, my friend found a tea place that lets you sample teas that were thrown overboard during the Boston Tea Party (lol).

Today I’ve got books that are some of the best of the year for discussing in your book clubs, but before we get into that, it’s time for Read Harder 2023! This is the ninth year Book Riot has done this challenge and if you’d like to participate, click here to sign up to receive a newsletter that has sends tailored to each of the 24 prompts.

Now for the club!

Nibbles and Sips

hot chocolate bombs

Hot Chocolate Bombs by Mashed

After taking a night time holiday lights tour in Boston, we were gifted gold-dusted hot chocolate bombs. It was some of the best hot chocolate I’ve had, and I’m hoping I can find a recipe to replicate it. Mashed promises that this recipe only takes 20 minutes, so I’m hoping it’s a match.

Best Book Club Books, Part I

cover of Memphis by Tara Stringfellow, featuring illustrations of four Black women sitting amongst grass and flowers

Memphis by Tara Stringfellow

When Joan was 10, her mother moved her and her younger sister away from her violent father. They went back to her grandmother’s house in Memphis, a house that was built by Joan’s grandfather who was lynched shortly after becoming a detective in Memphis. There’s a history of violence surrounding Joan’s family, which is explored in this multi-generational novel. The narrative shifts back and forth through 70 years to show the trials of Joan’s matrilineal family, and how she tries to express this generational trauma through art.

book cover the song of the cell

The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee

This book starts in the 1600s with a discovery made by Robert Hooke and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. What they saw when they looked in their microscopes would go on to be called “cells,” the idea of which would change the field of science forever. By looking at living organisms as being comprised of tiny, self-contained cells, we’ve been able to understand human bodies and come up with advanced treatments. Pulitzer Prize-winning Mukherjee writes of complex science terms clearly and in an engaging way as he details this turning point in biology.

nightcrawling cover

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

Kiara and her brother Marcus have dropped out of high school and their family has been torn a part by tragedy, so she works to take care of them and the nine-year-old boy next door who was abandoned by his parents. When she discovers the dark world of night crawling as a way to make money, she jumps at what seems to her like a good opportunity. But with it comes involvement in a huge scandal involving the Oakland Police Department.

Sea of Tranquility cover

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

In 1912, an exiled 18-year-old enters the Canadian wilderness and hears a violin being played. A couple hundred years later, an author goes on tour to promote a book that has a strange passage about a man playing a violin as a forest rises around him. Then there’s the detective who is sent to investigate something strange happening in the North American wilderness involving an exiled earl driven to madness and a writer away from home…Metaphysics, time travel, and a particular set of violin notes all converge in this imaginative novel.

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Suggestion Section

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What are some books you wish you could read again for the first time?

I hope this newsletter found you well, and as always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_. You can also catch me talking more mess in the new In Reading Color newsletter as well as chattin’ with my new co-host Tirzah Price on the Hey YA podcast.

Until next week,