DYK? Seattle is in the top five most literate cities in America (and has been for years). Along with that reputation comes a vibrant book club community, but be warned, you don’t have to limit yourself to what Oprah reads. Drunk book talks, meetups for current events, groups for women who love comics—the city has it all.
So take out (and dust off) your library card or recharge your e-reader; here’s our roundup of the best and most unique literary groups in town.
Tomes and melodies
Books inspire song. So says the Bushwick Book Club, a group from Seattle that launches original musical performances inspired by the chosen book at each session. Sponsored by the Shunpike Arts Collective, the Club is actually a non-profit organization, inviting the community to participate in order to increase awareness of music literacy. Their sixth season ended in early summer; season seven begins in September 2016.
At one time or another, after reading a book, we’ve all wished we could pick the author’s brains over what they wrote. With UX Book Club, your wish is granted. At the end of each month, the group hosts one-hour virtual Q&As (via Google Hangout) with established tech authors from across the tech industry, combined with free drinks and book giveaways. The topics of the books range from user experience to behavioral psychology to information architecture. The next meeting will take place on June 26, from 6 to 9 p.m., and will include a discussion on Cadence and slang with author Nick Disabato.
If you’d rather discuss books from the comfort of your couch, you should probably check out the Seattle Museum of Art blog, where once a quarter they share their thoughts on a title related to the selected art. You can join others in the comment section to discuss, thus getting your art and literary solution. Expect the next discussion in the fall.
Do you like science fiction novels? There’s a book club for that.
On the way for the ride
Is your only semblance of downtime your daily commute? Well, lucky for you, there’s a book club for people like you. The Transportation Choices Coalition’s Books on the Bus program is a commuter-focused program. With a focus on PNW authors, the group selects a book every three months for runners to read. Discuss the selection with a seatmate or discuss it together at a group-wide event after each three-month period. Commuting by ferry to Bainbridge? On August 11, the Ferry Tales onboard book group meets during the 4:40 a.m. ferry crossing from Seattle to Bainbridge to discuss the monthly title. How to read novels like a teacher by Thomas C. Foster.
In the news
You have your finger on the pulse of the latest news, and Elliott Bay Book Co. has your perfect club. The Global Issues Book Group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, coming together to discuss topics of universal interest. On August 9, the group will meet to discuss Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Militants, and a Scholar’s Search for Justice by Alice Dreger.
Silence is golden
Love books, but don’t participate in organized group discussions about them? The Silent Book Club, through various chapters, offers the joy of BYOB reading without the typical book club “homework”. Come to the monthly reunion (Seattle is one of the newest chapters in the group) to enjoy books, friends, and wine (or beer, coffee, or other goodies) — stress-free. The group meets from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the last Monday of the month at Shug’s Soda Fountain. Another silent reading night is held in the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel on the first Wednesday of every month, 6-8pm.
It’s not exactly an organized club per se, but it could be. If the types of books you love are those with recipes, you can attend Book Larder’s Author Conferences, free events featuring book discussions with food writers. Gather a group of friends and visit the store this month and next to discuss Theresa Carle-Sanders Cooking from abroad (July 27) and Tessa Huff’s Guide to Cakes Layers (August 2nd).
Want more books in your life? Perfect. There’s a book group in Seattle for everyone.
You are passionate about science fiction, just like the group that meets monthly at Ada’s Technical Books. The 21st Century Science Fiction Book Club comes together for community and conversation about the latest in the genre; on July 26, they dive into Pierce Brown’s red climband on August 23, auxiliary sword by Ann Leckie. But that’s not all; the store also hosts separate book clubs around the themes of classic science fiction, history of discovery, user experience, graphic novels, and computer science.
The Seattle Feminist Book Club explores the subject in its Focused Readings, examining its intersection with pop culture, feminist novels, and theory. The aim of the group is to engage in feminist critique and examine conflicts and disagreements within feminism. Their meeting on August 5 includes a discussion on Acutethe memoir of Seattle-based writer Lindy West.
They’re not just for gaming nerds or your little brother. The Seattle Ladies Comic Book Club invites anyone who identifies as female (and loves comic books) to join in on discussions about the latest literary cartoons. The group’s next meeting on July 21 involves a discussion on Decryption of Rita vol. 1. Want more diversity? There is also a mixed group.
Do you like book clubs of the most standard variety? You can find many local book clubs at various SPL branches.