October 6, 2022

All reserved | My love for book clubs

Credit: Courtesy


This edition of All Booked was originally emailed to subscribers on August 2, 2022. To get our literary newsletter delivered to your inbox, sign up at Independent.com/newsletters.


Hello, book lovers!

August has always been a fun month for me. When I was a kid, I spent my August months trying to soak up every last bit of summer while compressing three months of summer reading into a few weeks. It’s funny to think back to that time, because I really didn’t like reading in the summer. I didn’t like being told what to read, especially not on vacation. Yet once I grew up and didn’t need to read anymore, I kind of missed the structure of having my next book already picked out for me, and I really missed class discussions. . I think that’s why I love book clubs so much.

Book clubs can be great in that they’re kind of like “must read” but without the pressure of having to write an essay on it. They also allow you to talk about the book with others. There have been so many times I’ve finished a book and I keep recommending it in hopes that someone else will pick it up and I can talk about it. But book clubs can also be dangerous creatures. You need to make sure book club works for you! There have been many times over the years where I join a book club only to find that our reading preferences don’t match, the book club meets weekly, or no one actually reads the book. – gasp!

We have gained many new readers here in our All reserved community, and wanted to take a moment to shout out the Indy Book Club. In case you haven’t heard, the Indy Book Club is a monthly book club run by the Santa Barbara Independent and the Santa Barbara Public Library. Each month, we choose a book to read as a group, then at the end of the month, we meet to discuss. It’s very laid back and fun! Plus, we’re actually talking about the book! Molly Wetta from the Santa Barbara Public Library joins me to moderate our discussions, which take place the last Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. on Zoom. We usually spend the first 30 minutes talking about the book of the month, then the last half of the discussion giving and taking book recommendations.

In August, we read Alyssa Cole’s When No One Is Watching, a thriller centered on gentrification in Brooklyn. Our discussion will take place on Wednesday, August 31 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. You can subscribe to the discussion here. If you like reading and you like talking about books, we would love for you to join us!

Below, I highlight some of my favorite past picks from the Indy Book Club, so you can get an idea of ​​what we’ve read in the past. You can check out all the books we have scheduled for 2022 here. Also, you can get more information about the book club here.

I’m a big proponent of going into a book knowing as little as possible. I try not to read synopses or reviews too much because most of them overshare. My pitches below are short and sweet just for that reason.


Impactful non-fiction

She said: Breaking down the sexual harassment story that helped spark a movementby Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey was our book of the month for March 2020. This book tells the process and story of two New York Times journalists uncovering and investigating Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. This book will soon be a movie, which will be released in November 2022. It’s a difficult read, but also fascinating.

Indy Book Club Pick: March 2020


well-being sci-fi

If you’re looking for a great time in space and with a great cast of characters, then look no further than The long way to an angry little planet by Becky Chambers. I was hesitant to choose this one at first, but I’m so glad I did. It’s the perfect choice for someone looking to dive into the sci-fi genre. You will feel all the sensations while reading this one. It’s also the first book in a series, but this book itself is a full story, which is great if series aren’t your thing.

Indy Book Club Pick: January 2021


Superb collection of poetry

An American sunrise by Joy Harjo was SB Reads’ pick for 2021. I never would have picked this one if not for the book club. Poetry is not something I gravitate towards, because most of the time I don’t think I “get it”. But our Indy Book Club discussion for this book was one of my favorites. It turns out poetry is all about how you connect with the text. Anyone can read the same poem and get a totally different message or reading experience from it. If you’re considering reading it, I highly recommend reading it while listening to the audiobook. Joy Harjo tells it, and it’s so nice to hear her recite her poems.

Indy Book Club Pick: November 2021


Email me at [email protected] and let me know of any books you’ve enjoyed and read as part of a book club that you might not otherwise have chosen.

Your loving bookworm, Emily


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