I signed up for Literati because for some reason my book club wasn’t meeting for most of 2020 (no idea why, any ideas??) and I wanted to chat virtually with people who are smarter than I am about books. I read plenty of Literati reviews before I signed up but none of them gave me all the information I needed.
Plus, a lot has changed since I first signed up. Roxane Gay is there! Cheryl Strayed! Other brilliant people! With all the changes I think it’s a great time to add to the many Literati reviews for adults.
What is Literati?
Each month each of the Literati “Luminaries” chooses a book that’s inspired them in some way. Subscribers can choose to have the book sent to them or can BYOB from the library or their local indie (or the local flea market or the side of the road, etc. etc. ad nauseam).
There are then forum-style discussions set up throughout the month broken up by page or chapter numbers.
At the end of the month, there is an online discussion facilitated by the luminary who chose the book.
Who Chooses Books for Literati?
As of the writing of this article, there are 12 luminaries. I expect this to increase as Literati just added some powerhouses in June and seems to be investing heavily in new luminaries.
But for now, Literati reviews include the following dozen luminaries.
“American author and professor whose explorations of mythology and religion reframed the way the world views stories. Curated by the Joseph Campbell Foundation.”
“Once overlooked as an undersized high school basketball player, Curry ascended to the top of the NBA to become a two-time MVP and three-time champion.”
“Bestselling author, critic, editor, and professor. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, McSweeney’s, A Public Space, and many others.”
“Tie-loathing adventurer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, and the founder of The Virgin Group.”
“Nobel Prize Laureate, prominent education rights activist, and an international symbol of strength.”
“Dubbed the “Queen of Beach Reads” thanks to her wildly successful collection of sun-soaked page-turners.”
“Writer of true stories and bestselling books whose bylines have graced the pages of The New Yorker, Vogue, Rolling Stone, and more.”
“An award-winning media and travel company dedicated to experiencing the world’s wonders.”
What Makes Literati Different?
One of the main differences is that you do not have to buy your book through them to take part in Literati book clubs.
You also get access to all book club content from all luminaries when you sign up. Though I do have the book sent to me and chose Roxane Gay’s Literati book club this month, I can still access book clubs from any of the other luminaries. If a person played their cards right, they could access a dozen book clubs for less than $9 a month.
This is particularly useful for me because there is a luminary or two that I would not normally be particularly interested in, but because I can access their content without an additional payment I have discovered that they are much more intriguing than I would have thought.
Another difference with Literati is that the books are not necessarily new books. Some are years old. This has been great fun for me when luminaries choose books I’ve already read and loved, and I can pop into discussions to see others experience them for the first time.
In the middle of each month, books for the next month are announced. You can change your primary book club every month if you want to. This works out great for me because I am interested in Jesmyn Ward’s book club, but the first month she chose a book I already own and love (Heavy by Kiese Laymon).
What Literati Reviews Don’t Tell You: Is Literati Worth?
I know, what you really want from Literati reviews is an answer to one single question: Is Literati worth it? Let’s take a look at the price.
If you want a book delivered to you monthly, you’ll pay $25 for a subscription unless you want to prepay for 12 months, in which case you’ll get it for $20 per month.
If you only want access to the book clubs you’ll pay $8.25 after a $0.99 30-day trial. Note that this option is only available if you prepay for 12 months for a total of $99.
So, is Literati worth it? For me, it is. I have loved the discussions I’ve had with other readers, have appreciated the insight the luminaries have brought, and have enjoyed access to books that might not have otherwise crossed my radar.