Summer is in full swing — in some parts dangerously so — and if you need a break from the heat/terrible air quality but want to feel connected to others, may I suggest a book club? All but one of the below book clubs are virtual and they offer the flexibility of participating as little or as much as you’d like, which is always a win-win. Plus, you can always just peruse this as a list to select your next read from and/or pile more books onto your to-be-read list.
This month we didn’t have multiple book clubs pick the same book, ending that fun streak, but one book club did pick the book chosen twice last month, this month! A sign of a perfect book club choice? Yes, yes it is! (Spoiler: it’s the bright yellow one!)
Once again we did have a month with great picks for all reading tastes! If you’re looking for nonfiction and memoir you have different options. There are two romance books, one for a Latine romance book club pick and one for a Jewish book club pick. A sci-fi that recently made waves on Twitter, just before Twitter really started imploding (talk about timing!). A contemporary that flips the romance genre question of “will they” into “should they,” along with a humorous contemporary summer read. Thriller fans have a book, literary fans have two options, and there’s a popular contemporary that reads like a literary thriller. Enjoy all the great choices!
Rivermouth: A Chronicle of Language, Faith and Migration by Alejandra Oliva
About the book: If you’re looking for a memoir talking about a current humanitarian crisis, this is absolutely your book club this month.
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone
About the book club: Tiffany and Alexandra, longtime friends, created the Subtle Asian Book Club in 2020 with the goal of uplifting Asian voices and storytellers. You can read along with the monthly book chosen, join on social media, and watch videos of their live author interviews.
About the book: You’ve probably never thought that you needed a sci-fi epistolary novel about opposing war agents in love, separated by time/space, but you’ll realize you did in fact need that in your life after this book.
Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess
About the book club: Mocha Girls Read is a monthly book club of Black women who love to read in the Los Angeles area.
About the book: While the monthly selection usually goes through a process of member votes this month is a sponsored pick for fans of contemporary novels. It takes you through Obama and then Trump’s election with a focus on Jess, a Black analyst at Goldman Sachs, and her relationship with Josh, a white coworker she’s known since college. Romance novels ask “will they?” (even though you know the answer) but Everything’s Fine has a focus on “should they”…
Lesbian Love Story by Amelia Possanza
About the book club: Born from TikTok, Sapph-Lit is a safe space book club for sapphic women and nonbinary readers to come together and chat books, life, and offer support.
Sapph-Lit picked TWO books for July! I’ll link to the individual Instagram posts for each title where you can find more info about the books, including listed content warnings.
Done and Done by Leonor Soliz
Save What’s Left by Elizabeth Castellano
What GMA said about the book: “In the critically-acclaimed novel, Castellano writes an original witty tale that has kept readers laughing.”
AND “This month, we are also teaming up with Little Free Library to give out free copies in Times Square and at 150 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Since 2009, more than 300 million books have been shared in Little Free Libraries across the world. Click here to find a copy of “Save What’s Left” at a Little Free Library location near you.”
Banyan Moon by Thao Thai
About the book club: Jenna Bush Hager — current co-host of Today with Hoda & Jenna — independently chooses a book each month that she personally loves. (“Jenna was not paid to mention these items and is unaffiliated with the authors and publishers“)
What Thao Thai told Today about her book: “This is definitely a book for those who really like to explore issues of history, of belonging and people who are very curious about the complexities of mother-daughter relationships.” Jenna said, “I read it very quickly, it’s the perfect summer read.”
The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor
About the book club: Sam Sanders, the host of Into It, recently announced a book club at the 20:40 mark in the episode How Netflix Envy Broke TV: “we’re starting this summer, this shows very first book club. I’m so excited. And we’re kicking things off with one of my favorite writers Brandon Taylor and his book The Late Americans.”
What Brandon Taylor told Sam Sanders about his book: “…It is, think of it like, a group portrait of young people in Iowa City and it follows them across a year. And I was just trying to capture a sense of like what it was like to be alive during this wild time we call late capitalism.”
How the book club will work: “We are going to be taking questions and comments and all kinds of things from listeners so when we have Brandon back on to talk about this book and do our book club conversation it’s going to include you listeners.”
The Spare Room by Andrea Bartz
About the book club: Marie Claire editors created an online monthly book club for people with busy schedules to still be able to read and to “Consider it socializing without actually socializing because, really, we all just want to take off our bra and lay down after a long day.” You can also share reviews online with the chance to have them featured on the site.
What MC said about the book: “a tension-filled thriller following a woman who’s found herself in a risqué, yet dangerous world when she stays in the spare bedroom of a glamorous couple’s home.” And you can read an excerpt!
Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon
About the book club: Lillianne Leight and Amanda Spivack created this book club with the focus on Jewish books and characters “with varying relationships to Judaism” that welcomed all readers — Jewish and non.
What Matzah Book Soup said about the book: “Business or Pleasure is Rachel’s newest adult romance and we’re told it’s the spiciest yet! 🌶️ We’re so excited to read this story about a ghostwriter and a C-list actor and we hope you all are too!
We’ll be meeting with Rachel via Zoom on SUNDAY, JULY 30th @ 12 PM EST and we can’t wait to see you all there!”
Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
About the book club: Every month, Reese Witherspoon picks a book for Reese’s Book Club that centers on a woman in its story.
What Reese said about the book: “This contemporary psychological thriller follows Juniper Song — a bestselling author who is not who she’s pretending to be. She didn’t write the book she claims she penned, and she is not Asian American.
Clear your schedule because the moment you start reading you won’t be able to put it down. This story circles themes like the dark side of book publishing, social media culture and so much more…when you finish it, you’ll want to talk about it — join us at @reesesbookclub to discuss all month long!!”
OF BOYS AND MEN by Richard V. Reeves
About the book club: “A modern book club for the modern reader” that invites casual readers to bibliophiles to join in on social media to talk about exciting books.
What Amerie said about the book: “In Of Boys and Men, Richard V. Reeves explores the issues so many males face in silence. His research has led to surprising revelations regarding men and health, the social sphere, education, and the age-old nature-versus-nurture debate. He pushes back on ideas that have been widely accepted with little examination, such as ‘toxic masculinity,’ and puts into words what so many have observed, which is that boys and men are ignored as society and its social constructs continue to evolve. What is going on with our boys, with our men? Without political partisanship, Reeves brings this question to the fore of modern discourse, and in doing so, does a service to us all.”