Deciding to join a book club or begin one of your own can be an exciting, new adventure. There are many options to consider when seeking book club suggestions. Whether you are new to reading or have been reading all your life- do not fear! There are many book clubs designated to both beginners and advanced readers. You will want to decide whether or not you are going to join an existing club or if you would like to form your own before further pursuing book club suggestions. Once you have decided what works for you and have found a book club that fits your preference, it is time to dig in and discover all of the different genres there are to explore with your fellow readers. However, if you have chosen to create your own book club, you must begin to plan exactly how you want it to be. Remember that your book club should revolve around reading and relaxing.
Form Your Book Club
Extending the invitation. Begin forming your book club by inviting the friends you would like to join you. You can choose to restrict the number of members or keep it open for all who choose to join. Perhaps you will choose to create a book club for yourself and your coworkers. Neighbors, friends and colleagues all make for great book club members to invite. Keep in mind that your book club may also serve as a place for others to meet new friends and mingle. You will want to direct your book club suggestions and invitations to those who are interested in unraveling books regularly. It is a wise suggestion to keep an open-door policy so that your book club maintains diversity and character amongst its members.
Set the mood. Make an event out of your book club meetings. Consider the overall mood you want your ideas for book club suggestions to possess. If you prefer a sophisticated vibe, you can serve wine and hors d’oeuvres. If you would like to keep your book club humble and personable, you can suggest a potluck style meeting with your members. You can have the best of both worlds and base your themes off of the type of book you are reading. For example, a comedic book may call for popcorn and milkshakes. A romantic drama may call for wine and chocolate. Paying attention to the details of your book club meetings will make a big difference for your members and add to their experience.
Plan the details. You will need to figure out where you will be hosting your book club. Most hosts choose a comfy sitting room within the home. You are not limited to one location. You can choose a coffee shop or local café if you want to shake things up and get a change of scenery. The atmosphere in which your book club meetings will take place should be peaceful and quiet enough to read and discuss the materials at hand. Book clubs typically meet once a week but you can personalize your schedule to the needs and availability of you and your guests. Upon scheduling your first meeting, you can ask your members about what day of the week works for them and what time they are all free. This way, you will avoid any scheduling conflicts and you will know that everybody will be able to make the most of your time together without stress. Once you have established a day that works for all, you can choose a time slot in which you can efficiently discuss the literature. The typical amount of time book club meetings take is anywhere within 1-3 hours. The technicalities of setting up your meetings will vary with personal availability and should all be customized to each group individually. Keeping yourself and your members happy is the main goal when planning the time and date of a book club meeting.
Books that fall under the dramatic drama grip their readers and spark conversation. Dramas are a perfect book club suggestion because your members will never be without input. Dramatic books intrigue readers with emotional twists and turns. You can section your meetings into chapters and leave your members with a cliffhanger that will be sure to start a fun conversation. Share theories, reactions and more with a dramatic book choice!
An example of a dramatic book suggestion would be Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This dramatic novel follows the journey of a young man who survives a shipwreck and becomes stranded on a boat with a tiger. It is a moving piece that will make your readers laugh, cry and learn. The drama genre is one of the most popular amongst book clubs.
Romantic novels are always a hit within book clubs. They spark an emotional response within readers and that makes for excellent conversation for your meetings. You may even find your book club members sharing personal experiences that the book reminds them of. Romance is the perfect book club suggestion if you want your members to bond with each other- especially if they are not all already acquainted.
Nicholas Sparks is the king of romance novels. His book, A Walk to Remember, is a beautiful love story that resonates with its audience throughout multiple generations. One of his newer releases, Safe Haven, follows a woman on the run from her fearsome past as she falls in love again in a beach town. His novels always include a proper conflict which is sure to make your members come back for more. Set the tone with low lights, candles and flowers.
Thrillers are perhaps the most exciting of the genres for your book club. Everybody loves a good thriller. It is hard to resist suspense. With suspense novels, your book club will look forward to sharing theories and ideas with each other. Thrillers are a good book club suggestion for a group that loves to discuss potential endings. They will excite any group and make for a fun time at meet ups. Set the tone by keeping the lights off and using flash lights- campfire story style!
A great thriller novel is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book took over book clubs everywhere and for good reason. It is a murder mystery of a man who becomes a suspect in the disappearance of his wife. This novel is complete with many twists and turns that your readers will not see coming at all! Including thrillers your book club suggestions is a great way to make your readers get excited about returning to your meet ups.
Historical fiction is a great genre to both entertain and educate your book club members. Many historical fiction novels are turned into major motion pictures. You may enjoy setting up a night to watch the movie upon the completion of the novel. This is the genre in which you may find culturally impactful stories as well as stories based off of real events. Whether loosely based or verbatim, historical fiction novels promise to take your reader’s breath away. Your book club members will have lots to talk about no matter what- but historical fiction brings up conversation regarding important historical moments in our world. Again, this type of novel will also connect your readers in ways they may not have thought possible.
The novel Night by Elie Wiesel chronicles the actual authors real life experience in concentration camp, Auschwitz. This is the perfect example of historical fiction because it is literally based off of his experience but it is told through the fiction novel that we all know and love. Night is often used in school systems to teach history and your book club will be sure to take away the same impactful lessons as they do in school. Educations pieces like this expand the hearts and enrich the minds of readers. Your book club would benefit from connecting over historical fiction and it would surely diversify the content of your options! The acquisition of knowledge regarding history is as interesting as it is important.
Memoirs are biographical or autobiographical books that recount the experience of either the author or someone they have acquired extensive knowledge about. As your book club travels through the written journey the author portrays, there are plenty of aspects to be discussed because memoirs are packed with moving content. Memoirs have a tendency to remind us of our own lives and may even drive your book club members to write a book of their own!
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui is a beautiful memoir that details a woman’s experience traveling from her home land of Vietnam to America in search of her family’s truth. It is a story of both struggle and triumph as Thi Bui discovers what it means to start over. Memoirs as such will inspire your readers and intrigue deep discussions.
Classic novels date back to different era and transport their readers to an earlier time. Classic novels withstand the test of time and continue to be read by book clubs all over the world. There is a reason that they are called classic and that is because they never get old. They are particularly a good choice for book club suggestions as they often insight new ideas and takeaways with each new generation. The classic novel genre epitomizes what literature was intended to do- reach every reader of all ages and walks of life. Every great novel is can touch the heart of any reader and create a new meaning/perception is each one. Literature is all up for interpretation and it is meant to be enjoyed as the reader understands it. Classic novels also tend to sustain lasting success because they can be read throughout all different stages of a life and be interpreted differently. Seeing a novel in a new light with each read is a special experience that you can best get through classic novels. Can you imagine the discussions to be had within your book club? The possibilities and opportunities to learn from each other are endless.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a class novel that we all know. Set in the roaring 1920s, this book embodies the themes of passion, love, wealth, pride, success, loss and romanticism. It was published in 1925 itself and so it perfectly captures the era. Your book club will love ending out the novel with a viewing of either the original or most recent movie adaption. Gatsby will have your readers discussing the book’s themes in great depth just as it was meant to do. You may even decide to have your entire group dress the part and wear 20s costumes for your meet ups!
Poetry is coming back swinging and you will want to get your book club involved in its comeback. Poetry was published just as often as novels not too long ago and we are seeing it settle back in at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. The new generation of poets have become household names just as it was with previous generations of poets. There is a poetry style for everyone!
You can include classic poets like Shakespeare and Edna St. Vincent Millay in your book club or introduce Maya Angelou’s lovely array of both political and spiritual pieces. Or you can venture into today’s poetry collections like Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey. Your readers will love to share their reading experience with each other.
At the end of the day, you want your book club to be a great time for all goers. Work with each other in scheduling and when choosing books to read. You can suggest fun ideas like dressing up or planning books around seasonal holidays. Incorporate books that mean something to all members. Above all, make it a memorable experience for your book club members that you can all cherish as much as the books you read!