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Image / Living / Culture

7 virtual book clubs and podcasts we are loving right now


by Shayna Sappington
26th Aug 2020
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Can’t decide what to read next? Here are our favourite book clubs to join right now


Recent rainy days have encouraged us to cosy up by the fireplace and tuck into a transporting page turner.

If you are looking for your next good read, there are plenty of virtual book clubs you can join that not only have riveting reading lists but also invite friendly discussion.

The most popular clubs are led by influential celebrities like Oprah, Emma Watson and Reese Witherspoon but there are so many smaller, quality book clubs too.

Ranging from feminist themes to diverse reads to feel-good flicks, there is a group for everyone’s favourite genre in these thoughtful, virtual communities.

Rebel Book Club

 

Focusing on non-fiction monthly reads, Rebel Book Club is for those looking to not only be inspired but to constantly learn about the world around them. The club specialises in sparking action, hosting in-depth discussions with the community as well as various authors.

You can join online from 11 per month, which includes a monthly book voucher and remote meets with guest speakers, community chats, quizzes and projects. Or, you can check out their reading list for free on their website for a more solo experience.

Reading Women

A book club podcast, Reading Women airs twice-monthly episodes, interviewing authors and discussing books by or about women. Hosted by bookworms Autumn Privett and Kendra Winchester, the pair started the podcast to break the trend of male-dominated literature and help female authors reclaim recognition.

The casual podcast has a book club feel, with monthly themes like women of colour, graphic novels, or Southern literature. This month they are focusing on the books that first taught them about feminism and the power of female authors. You can listen to episodes on their website, Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Kaia Gerber’s Book Club

 

American model, activist and avid reader Kaia Gerber started her own book club when the lockdown began in March. The club’s first book was Sally Rooney’s Normal People and she interviewed the BBC series’ stars Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal on her Instagram Live.

Since, she has posted regular recommendations, including My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell and Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing, when the model spoke with her legendary mother Cindy Crawford. The club’s current book is The Vanishing Half and Gerber recently spoke with its author Britt Bennett about racial passing, identity, young love and sisterhood. 

Diverse Spines

As its name implies, Diverse Spines features diverse authors, highlighting black women and women of colour. The group’s August read is These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card, which explores Jamaican colonial history while uncovering a family’s painful past. Card herself will be joining the Instagram book chat on Saturday, August 29.

The group reads both classic and contemporary novels by WOC, including Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Be sure to frequently check their Instagram page for recommended reads by fellow book club members as well, including short stories, poetry and prose.

Fearless by Malala Yousafzai 

 

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has always fought for girls’ education. Now, after recently graduating from Oxford with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics, the young activist wishes to continue championing women in her new book club. 

Partnering with Literati, the activist said the club, fittingly named ‘Fearless’ will “explore books from new voices and prominent writers — women with bold ideas and storytellers who show the world from their unique perspective.” Fearless launches in October and will cost a monthly fee (around €20), which includes a book mailed to you monthly and access to online discussions.

Light House Cinema Book Club

For bookworms and cinephiles alike, Light House Cinema has joined forces with Chapters Bookstore to form its own book club. The club focuses on novels that have film adaptations and hosts monthly discussions. Since Covid-19 restrictions, they’ve recently launched a podcast version, inviting followers to read the book of the month, watch the film and then tune in for a chat. 

Their most recent book/movie combo was Jane Austen’s romantic comedy, Emma, and Amy Heckerling’s 90’s re-imagining, Clueless. They looked at some of the clever ways Amy Heckerling delivered a relevant and charming 20th century update of Emma and why the film has aged remarkably well.

The Stacks Book Club

 

The Stacks is the perfect book club for fast readers. It discusses a new book every other week, delving into its themes and how it affects the reader. The podcast’s host, Traci Thomas, chats with a wide array of guests from film and television stars to community leaders, publishing professionals, and best-selling authors.

The club’s current pick is Sula by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Books chosen range across genre and time, and those read earlier this year include Breathe by Imani Perry, Savage Appetites by Rachel Monroe and Three Women by Lisa Taddeo.

 

Read more: Books you should read if you’re thinking about a career change

Read more: 4 books worth reading before watching their film adaptations

Read more: 5 engrossing books worth reading during rainy weather

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