Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.
Many times, I love for my book club picks to be meaty, subject-wise, so I can get into good discussion with the group. But I also like just chilling, reading something light, going to hang out, talk mess, and drink wine. Cozy fantasies are a great way to achieve this book club vibe. They also seem to be having a moment right now, and honestly, they should. Reality can be exhausting!
Before we get fantastically cozy, make sure to check out Book Riot’s newest newsletter, The Deep Dive. It’s full of informed takes, useful advice, and more from experts in the world of books and reading. Subscribe and choose your membership level today at bookriot.substack.com
Nibbles and Sips
Churros with chocolate by @chocolate_cacao
Y’all, if you roll up to the book club with fresh, warm chocolate-covered churros, I’m pretty sure you’ve made friends for life. This video shows how to get them, and I’m kind of surprised how easy they are. Although, I think I may want a caramel sauce instead of a chocolate covering, but you do you.
Fantasies to Snuggle Up With
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Witches are few and far between in the UK, which is why Mika Moon and her group of witches meet only so often — safety is priority, and too many witches in one place tends to draw attention. Even though Mika is used to the loneliness, a big part of her rejects it, and she posts videos on a YouTube-like site where she shares magic tips, pretending to be a witch. But someone sees her for what she really is, and invites her to a house out in the middle of nowhere to tutor three young witches into their magic. Somehow, she agrees, and finds with the inhabitants of the house — especially a grumpy librarian — a family like none she’s ever experienced. But the transition from being a loner orphan witch to a loved one isn’t easy, and she’ll have to make some changes to adjust.
Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne
Reyna and Kianthe have a vision I think probably many of us do: to open a cozy, quiet bookstore/café. But Reyna is one of the queen’s guards, and Kianthe’s magical ability means she has responsibility. But after Reyna gets taken hostage, she decides she’s done working for someone she can’t stand (I mean, that’ll do it), and Kianthe also peaces out on her duties, and honestly, I love that for them. Together, they open their dream store in a town full of dragons. But haters abound! The queen feels some type of way, and things aren’t quite as easy going as they’d hoped. Except, for the reader, they are. The little trouble that happens still keeps it cute and cozy.
Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka, translated by Melissa Tanaka
Listen, when the book club just needs to take a load off, like maybe after having read a book with a heavy topic, this is a great palette cleanser. You follow Makoto Kowata, a young witch who moves to her cousin’s to finish her witch training. The cute black cat on the cover plus the description will have the real ones reminded of KiKi’s Delivery Service, which is very fair. There may be less magic in this first volume than in Kiki’s, though, as Makoto’s story is very slice-of-life, and follows her around as she does things like trying to start a garden. There’s also some light comedy thrown in.
Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin
Lucinda Caraway is living the charmed life in Freya Grove, a cozy seaside town full of magic and whimsy. But even though she enjoys the town— as well as her high school teaching job and reading tea leaves hobby — she wants to shake things up a bit. One night, these feelings of wanting more turn into a spell, and she is magically compelled to do things she doesn’t usually, like running a 10k and singing publicly. She’s also compelled to help her old crush Alex, a world-traveler who needs help taking a jinx off his house. With Lucinda having hexed herself, and all the time they’re spending together, Alex may have company for his next trip. *eyebrow wiggle*
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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 email@example.com 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 time,