In the Club

11 New December Book Club Picks, From #ReadWithMC to Subtle Asian Book Club

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Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

Time to finish the year of 2023 (good riddance!) with one final round of book clubs this December. Every month, I try to find the most interesting, popular, and unique book clubs out there and round up for you what they’re reading. The beauty of this is you can join as much or as little as you’d like. All but one are virtual, and you can even just pick your next read from the list.

If you were following along with Vibe Check’s first book selection, you can now listen to the follow-up episode with the author: Vibe Check Book Club with Matthew Desmond.

For December 2023’s book club picks, we have a wide array of choices! There’s a sapphic romance with a fake engagement trope, Reese Witherspoon’s thriller pick, a haunting novel selected by Roxane Gay, a blockbuster thriller romance, and a historical WWII novel. But that’s not all. You can read a novel in translation by a Palestinian author, a novel about a middle-aged woman sleeping with her daughter’s 23-year-old best friend, a Shakespeare play assigned in most schools, a historical mystery, a dive into the Congo’s cobalt mining operation, and a holiday romance!

The Audacious Book Club in 2023

cover of Hot Springs Drive by Lindsay Hunter

Hot Springs Drive by Lindsay Hunter

About the book club: Author Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist, Ayiti, The Banks) selects a monthly book with the goal of “Authentic and necessary perspectives from writers who fearlessly share their stories.”

What Roxane said about the book: “Next month in the Audacious Book Club, we’re talking about Hot Springs Drive by Lindsay Hunter, the third title from @roxanegaybooks. I hope you’ll join us at The Audacity to discuss this haunting novel.”

Follow Roxane Gay on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads


Cover of Kiss Her Once For Me by Alison Cochrun

Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun

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. One book a month is selected, alternating each month between fiction and nonfiction.

What Sapph-Lit said about the book: “A festive romantic comedy about a woman who fakes an engagement with her landlord…only to fall for his sister.”

Follow Sapph-Lit on social media: Instagram, Geneva

Subtle Asian Book Club

Minor Detail book cover

Minor Detail by Adania Shibli

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: If you’re looking for a novel in translation with two points of view and time periods that equally looks at both history and the current moment, this is your book club this month.

Follow Subtle Asian Book Club on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Discord

Reese’s Book Club

cover for Before We Were Innocent

Before We Were Innocent by Ella Berman

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: “How about a captivating thriller for the holidays? Our @reesesbookclub December pick is #BeforeWeWereInnocent by @ellamberman! Three high school friends on a summer vacation in a gorgeous villa in Greece 🌊 What could possibly go wrong…?

This compulsive thriller reads like true crime and had me guessing until the very end. I can’t wait to hear what you think!! Join us at #ReesesBookClub to discuss all month long.”

Follow Reese’s Book Club on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube

Mocha Girls Read

Book cover of Verity by Colleen Hoover

Verity by Colleen Hoover

About the book club: Mocha Girls Read is a monthly book club of Black women who love to read and currently have chapters in 14 cities across the U.S.

About the book: If you’ve been wondering what all the Colleen Hoover hoopla is about — or already love her — and are in the mood for a thriller romance, this is your book club this month!

Follow Mocha Girls Read on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MeetUp, Goodreads, Pinterest

TODAY Book Club, #ReadWithJenna

cover image for We Must Not Think of Ourselves

We Must Not Think of Ourselves by Lauren Grodstein

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 Jenna said about the book: “The book follows ‘an archivist who was writing the stories of people living in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II so that their stories would not be lost,’ Jenna says. ‘It is a book about love and resilience, about hope, even in the darkest moments. It’s timely and powerful, and it proves that even in the darkest corners, love still remains.'”

Follow Read With Jenna on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Read With Jenna Goodreads group

#ReadWithMC: Marie Claire’s Virtual Monthly Book Club

cover image for Alice Sadie Celine

Alice Sadie Celine by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

About the book club: Marie Claire editors created an online monthly book club for people with busy schedules to still be able to read. “Consider it socializing without actually socializing because, really, we all just want to take off our bra and lay down after a long day,” they explain. You can also share reviews online with the chance to have them featured on the site.

What MC said about the book: “In December, we’re reading Sarah Blakley-Cartwright’s Alice Sadie Celine, a seductive novel following a woman’s affair with her daughter’s best friend that tests the limits of their love and beliefs. Read an excerpt from the book below, then find out how to participate. (You really don’t have to leave your couch!)”

Follow #ReadWithMC on social media: Instagram, Twitter

The Stacks Book Club

romeo and juliet william shakespeare cover greek or roman myth

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

About the book cub: Hosted by Traci Thomas, The Stacks is a podcast that chats all about books, and there’s a monthly book club! The book chosen for the month is discussed on the podcast the last week of the month with a selected special guest.

What The Stacks Book Club said about the book: “After almost six years of the show, we are finally doing a Shakespeare play, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to take on his most famous one, ROMEO AND JULIET. It’s the story of star-crossed lovers who come together in spite of a decades-long family feud. Dust off your high school copy and read with us!”

Follow The Stacks on social media: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok

Matzah Book Soup: A Jewish Own Voices Book Club for All

cover image of A Little Magic

A Little Magic by Lindsey Lanza

About the book club: Lillianne Leight and Amanda Spivack created this book club with a 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: “Nothing is better than a holiday romance this time of year, so this month we’ll be reading @readwithli’s newest romance A LITTLE MAGIC!

This second chance holiday romance with an amazing Jewish main character will give you all of the feels this Holiday season and we can’t wait to talk about it with you all. Lindsey will be joining us via zoom on DECEMBER 26TH @ 8 PM EST to chat all things Theo & Ellie!”

Follow Matzah Book Soup on social media: Instagram, Facebook

Good Morning America‘s GMA Book Club

cover for The Frozen River

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

About the book club: Read along with Good Morning America Book Club, which aims to “showcase book picks from a wide range of compelling authors.”

What GMA said about the book: “Extensively researched until the final page, ‘The Frozen River’ neatly paints a picture of a community of recent immigrants making a life in an unforgiving landscape as public opinion shifts over the course of the unfolding trial. Beautifully written by Lawhon, the novel brings to life the sting of the frigid Maine air, warmth of the homesteaders’ fur cloaks, and herbal fumes of the tonics Ballard brews. Readers will alternate between swooning at Lawhon’s portrait of Ballard’s storybook marriage and ache for her to find the justice she so desperately seeks, while Ballard’s keen observations about parenting, regret and love ring with a bright contemporary resonance.”

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 “The Frozen River” at a Little Free Library location near you.”

Follow GMA Book Club on social media: Instagram, Facebook

Amerie’s Book Club

cover image for Cobalt Red

Cobalt Red by Siddharth Kara

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: “What is a life worth? In ages past, humans could pretend their luxuries simply appeared, but our current age makes it nearly impossible to ignore the harsh realities that make our way of life possible. And so it is impossible to remain ignorant to that which powers our lives. In Cobalt Red, Siddharth Kara provides an intense account of cobalt mining in the Congo, where three-fourths of the world’s cobalt is hand-mined in dangerous and toxic conditions by thousands of men, women, and children for one or two dollars a day. Kara also dissects the cobalt supply chain that provides for the world while devastating so many Congolese. We cannot ignore what is happening in the DRC, and though it has certainly gone on for too long, perhaps now that Siddharth Kara’s exposé has laid bare the truth for the world to see, there can be change, whereby the people of the Congo, who have suffered immensely throughout history, will finally be able to move forward with the hope and self-determination they deserve.”

Follow Amerie’s Book Club on social media: InstagramYouTube

If you’re curious about what book clubs have previously picked, here’s a roundup for March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November 2023.