June 26, 2022

Six Best Online Book Clubs: Literally Dead, NoName, Hostile Black Hotties

Have you exhausted your pandemic reading list yet? When the world shut down in March, it seemed naive to us to think we would be back to normal by fall. Alas, everyone has adapted to the new normal – even though we are always discuss face mask use.

Previously relying on in-person book clubs, literature enthusiasts seeking to connect with other book lovers have also had to evolve. Book discussions are now taking place on Instagram, YouTube and book rating website Goodreads, allowing bookers to come together to discuss twists, backstabbing and major takeaways.

While Reese Witherspoon 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 hookups.

Created by a group of young black YouTube creators, this book club hosts a monthly live show on literature by black authors. The club was born after the creators realized that BookTube (the books and reading sub-sector of YouTube) lacked black voices commenting on and reviewing black authors. The club is in its fourth month and is ideal for teenage and young adult readers. Focusing on books in the mystery and thriller genre, the Literally Dead Book Club caters to readers who want their blood pumping year-round. A popular creator in the BookTube community, BooksandLala hosts the monthly book talk on her YouTube channel and invites other BookTube creators to co-host alongside her for an hour-long live stream. The Literally Dead Book Club also posts discussion topics 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. “Reading material for peeps” is the club’s motto, and monthly selections 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 a trial is offered as a free alternative to the monthly book picks with a Zoom meeting to discuss it. The MO of this club is in the name. Focusing on historical fiction and non-fiction, the Goodreads Book Club transports readers back in time with its picks and discussion groups. Although the History Book Club started in 2008, its discussion groups are still going strong with nearly 20,000 members. Established in September, the Late Night Book Club is one of the newest editions of book clubs centered on live streaming. Curated and curated by BookTube creators Ellias, Noelle Gallagher and Joel Rochester, the Late Night Book Club’s book selections 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 qualified black researchers. The book club operates on an online classroom model with reading guides and syllabi, 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 newsgroups and private author chats.