June 26, 2022

11 Online Book Clubs You Can Join Right Now

1. The Girlfriends Book Club

The Girlfriend is AARP’s newsletter and website for women 40 and older. It also offers a Facebook-only private book club with over 6,000 members. Each month, the club focuses on a different book that was chosen via a Facebook poll, and authors participate in a Facebook live chat on the third Tuesday of each month (there are also frequent giveaways). The club recently read The Book of Desires by Sue Monk Kidd In five years by Rebecca Serle and great summer by Jennifer Weiner.

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2. NYPL + WNYC Virtual Book Club

The New York Public Library and WNYC have partnered to host a virtual book club during the COVID pandemic, and the online community is still going strong. This month’s headline is The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. People can borrow the book for free through the library’s e-reading app, SimplyE, then tune in at the end of each month for live chat and questions- answers with host Allison Stewart and author Whitehead. Oh, and if you missed any past events, you can stream them here too.

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3. Now Read This

Now Read This is a partnership between The New York Times and PBS NewsHour. Each month readers can discuss a work of fiction or non-fiction that helps us make sense of the world today. This month’s timely pick is poet Claudia Rankine Citizen: An American Songa collection of essays, images and poetry that examine how individual and collective expressions of racism add up and play out in our contemporary society.

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4. Oprah’s Book Club

Oprah’s first book club was launched in 1996, and her picks have since risen to the top of bestseller lists. On her book club website, you’ll find videos of Oprah introducing the book of the month (the latest is by James McBride Deacon King Kong) and sit down with the author for in-depth interviews. You can also join the conversation on Goodreads, where Oprah’s book club has over 48,000 members.

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5. Our shared shelf

Originally founded by actress Emma Watson, Our Shared Shelf is a community of over 230,000 feminist bookworms on Goodreads. Although Watson is no longer involved, the group is stronger than ever and continues to focus on titles that explore feminism around the world. This month’s headline is Betraying Big Brother: Feminist Awakening in China by Leta Hong Fincher, while next month is So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo.

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6. Los Angeles Time Reading Club

Each month, this newspaper-run book club shares selections of fiction and non-fiction, publishes stories exploring topics that focus on stories and storytellers relevant to Southern California and the West. Then they organize a community event with the authors. why we swim by Bonnie Tsui is the club’s current selection, and previous books include Compton Cowboys by Walter Thompson-Hernández and The glass hotel by Emily St. John Mandel.

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7. Reese’s Book Club

Reese Witherspoon is an actress, mother, and businesswoman, but she’s also a dedicated bibliophile. From Executive Producer Gillian Flynn’s missing girl film adaptation to bring us the brilliantly daring Madeline Martha Mackenzie of Liane Moriarty’s novel big little lies, it’s clear that Witherspoon recognizes a good book when she sees one. The avid reader loves a good page-turner so much that she’s created an online book club — #RWBookClub — that lets fans follow her current must-reads virtually. As Reese says, “Elevating women’s stories is at the heart of Reese’s book club. I love how this community champions the women’s narrative and we’re just getting started. Unity and understanding through the prism of storytelling is how we will continue these meaningful conversations.

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8. Poppy loves book club

According to its mission statement, “Poppy Loves Book Club is a celebration of women that grows and improves every day…It’s your gang. It’s your brotherhood. And it’s incredibly wonderful. Poppy Loves Book Club sees women around the world reading the same book at the same time, then meeting online with the author to discuss it. Members come from all over the world including New Zealand, South Africa, Indonesia, Iraq, Australia, USA, Bali, Malta and more. With the option of joining an existing book club or starting your own, the fact is that no matter where you are or who you are with, we can all find common ground through reading.

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9. Girls night out at the book club

OK, so this one is a bit different, in that it’s an annual subscription. Founded in 2017, Girls’ Night In has grown from a weekly email newsletter to a media brand and community that brings readers together online and IRL. The community focuses on topics such as mental health, building friendships, relaxing, and occasionally recommending loungewear. When you become a member of Girls’ Night In’s Lounge ($130/year or $12/month), you unlock access to its book club meetings, Slack chats, exclusive author interviews and more. This month’s book club pick, for the record, is Brit Bennett’s excellent sophomore novel, The evanescent half.

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10. Benefits of being a book addict

Another Goodreads book club, Perks of Being a Book Addict offers two monthly readings each month, one of which is based on a theme voted on by its nearly 25,000 members. The community also includes reading challenges, promotional threads for authors, giveaways and more. Interestingly, while most of the clubs on this list focus on brand new titles, Perks of Being a Book Addict encourages its members to read older books as well. The current selections are those of George Orwell farm animal and that of David Mitchell cloud atlas.

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11. Silent Book Club

Calling all introverts: Just because you’d rather not skip the majority of book club discussions doesn’t mean you don’t yearn for a community of like-minded readers. Enter Silent Book Clubs, which began in 2012 with a couple of friends reading in friendly silence in a San Francisco bar. Today, there are more than 240 active chapters around the world in cities of all sizes, and new chapters are started by volunteers every week. When you go to an in-person meetup, you’re encouraged to bring a book, order a drink, and settle in for an hour or two of quiet reading with other avid readers. In the wake of the pandemic, events have moved online, but the goal remains the same: to be part of a community without having to participate or discuss every little detail.

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