Have you ever exhausted your pandemic reading list? When the world stopped in March, it seemed naïve to us to think that we would be back to normal by the fall. Alas, everyone has adapted to the New Normal – even though we are always discuss the use of the face mask.
Previously relying on in-person book clubs, literature enthusiasts looking to connect with other book enthusiasts have also had to evolve. Discussions about the books are now taking place on Instagram, YouTube and the Goodreads book rating website, allowing the books to come together to discuss the twists and turns, stabbing character, and key takeaways.
While Reese Witherspoon’s and Oprah’s bands have been around for years, here are a few book clubs that are taking advantage of the recent wave of online connection.
Created by a group of young black creators on YouTube, this book club hosts a monthly live show on black authored literature. The club was born after the creators realized that BookTube (YouTube’s subsection of books and reading) lacked black voices commenting on and rating black authors. The club is in its fourth month and is ideal for teen and young adult readers.
Focusing on books in the mystery and thriller genre, the Literally Dead Book Club is for readers who want their blood to be filled with suspense all year round. A popular creator in the BookTube community, BooksandLala hosts the monthly Books Discussion on her YouTube channel and invites other BookTube creators to co-host alongside her for an hour-long live broadcast. The Literally Dead Book Club also posts discussion threads on its Goodreads account for readers to discuss throughout the month. Chicago rapper and poet Nameless launched the NoName Book Club to shed light on the progressive work of writers of color. “Read material for mates” is the club’s motto, and monthly picks have focused on topics such as the prison industrial complex, capitalism, racism, identity and revolution. In 2020, the club launched a program to send monthly book picks to incarcerated people across the country. Plus, each month there is a trial offered as a free alternative to monthly book picks with a Zoom meeting to discuss. The MO for this club is in the name. By focusing on historical fiction and non-fiction, the Goodreads Book Club transports readers through time with its choices and focus groups. Although the History Book Club began in 2008, its discussion groups continue to grow with almost 20,000 members. Established in September, the Late Night Book Club is one of the newer editions of book clubs focused on live streaming. Organized and managed by BookTube creators Ellias, Noelle Gallagher and Joel Rochester, The Late Night Book Club’s book picks follow no particular theme or genre, but are aimed at a young adult audience. The SmartBrownGirl Book Club aims to create a space for readers to engage in research, theory and history. It offers two reading tracks organized by black graduate researchers. The Book Club operates on an online classroom model with book guides and curricula, so members have the tools to engage in academic literature and learn while reading. Readers can choose between two paid subscription options, of different difficulty. Members also have access to Facebook discussion groups and private author chats.