After finishing reading a book that has just blown your mind have you ever wanted to ramble at-length about it to someone, but then had to hold-in all your thoughts about the book as there was no one who would listen to rambles about the book? Well, no longer do you have to be silent about all your book thoughts as there are many book clubs and Community Reads you can join that would be thrilled to hear all your thoughts about books. The beauty of book clubs does not end with discussing books a length. Book clubs are a wonderful way to connect with fellow book-loving community, make friends, and discover awesome books. Check out many book clubs below you might want to become apart of.
Library Book Clubs
Libraries are a great place to find book clubs, connect with the literary loving community, and connect with your fellow community. Check out The University of Washington Bothell / Cascadia College Campus Library own Community Reads program below!
Upcoming Book: Emergent Strategy
Time: Wednesday, May 1st @12pm
Location: Library Room, LB1 – 205
Interview below with Cora Thomas, team member of Community Reads.
Emily: How did Community Reads start?
Cora: Community Reads began in 2016 from a group that wanted to focus on equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice issues. It branched off from a core group that were focusing on those issues. It has evolved since then as we are developing campus partnerships, expanding our marketing reach, and offering a variety of ways to engage with the texts on our webpage and providing sample chapters via Canvas.
Emily: What is the purpose of Community Reads?
Cora: The purpose of the library’s Community Reads program is to facilitate quarterly events in the library around common books or other media. Our intention is to choose readings which will cultivate productive discussion in the campus community around equity, social justice, and diversity. Our goals for the Community Reads program are to build community through a common intellectual experience, promote engagement with thoughtful noteworthy works of literature or scholarship related to issues of equity and social justice across the UWB/CC campus and community, and offer instructors an opportunity to invigorate curriculum with vital issues and community conversation.
Emily: How does Community Reads build community?
Cora: Community Reads builds community through asking the campus to engage with a book or material from a book at our quarterly event. During these meetings people hear different perspectives, and break into smaller groups to discuss the themes found in the text. I think if people hear from diverse backgrounds than they can build community. Building a community that understands they are not alone in their uncertainty or pain, work towards healing, bettering themselves through hearing differing view points, and interacting with the world through discussing crucial issues that effect all of us like systemic racism.
Emily: How do you promote engagement with thoughtful noteworthy works of literature or scholarship related to issues of equity and social justice across the UW Bothell and Cascadia campuses and community?
Cora: In terms of engaging people across campuses to participate we try to select material that have a common theme that touches issues that are directly effecting our students on this campus and in the broader community at hand. We try to draw a connection between issues that face our students and broader campus and the text we ask everyone to engage with. During Fall Quarter 2018, we read a book about the Black Lives Matter movement called When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors. We have read a couple books about that subject because on this campus it has been a critical issue that people really care about.
Emily: How was the last community reads?
Cora: We had a full room of people and a powerful discussion. It was a pretty hard book to read called Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot. But, at the same time a very important book to read. It was about indigenous trauma, mental health issues, and sexual and emotional abuse.
Emily: What differentiates Community Reads from a book club?
Cora: If it was called a book club I think it would have an additional piece attached to it. A piece that moves one step forward. We challenge people to grapple with additional resources and challenge people to go beyond the text. For instance there might be a video they would watch that would be about the author, and/or articles about the book. Then there is an action piece which we are still developing. After our event group discussions how do you go about and apply this out into the world? Many of the books we read are about activism, so how do you go out into the world and stand up and participate in what you are passionate about. If you are interested in activism then Community Reads is a kind of a catalyst for going in that direction. It’s not always about the traditional definition of activism. Sometimes what comes up in our event discussions is the sense of internal activism where you want to focus on yourself too and improve yourself and how you move through the world. Those types of internal struggles and navigations can help the world as well. In terms of academia it helps to change institutional oppression. It is still a young program, so there is a lot of work to do within our own group with how we envision the future of the program and how we engage the campus. We are always trying to improve and listen to feedback from our attendees and other campus community members.
Emily: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Cora: I think it is a really amazing program and opportunity to participate, and connect with other people on campus, connect with different types of literature, and have a chance to work together and “see” one another. Even though we are strangers in this room we do have a lot of strength and commonality as we meet in a shared space. Hopefully people can take away value and inspiration after each event. Even if it’s a small realization of something new. I think those small “aha” moments is the definition of success in our program.
Check out King County’s myriad of book groups for a wide variety of tastes. Book groups include BFF: Tween Book Clubs, and Russian Book Club. Again, to find out more click the link in the title.
Book Shop Book Clubs
Did you know that many bookstores have their own book clubs? Neat right? Check out a couple of book clubs hosted at these local bookstores.
The University Book Store has a great variety of book groups and events. Check out The Other Book Club.
Upcoming Book: Leading Man
Time: Wednesday, May 1st @ 6pm
Location: U District University Book Store
Discuss books that explore non-western cultures through literature. Join us to broaden your awareness of the world!
Upcoming Book: The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Time: Third Sunday of the month @ 2pm
Location: The Neverending Bookshop, Main Street Bothell
Third Place Bookstore has a myriad of book clubs and bookish events.
Upcoming Book: Our Lady of the Nile
Time: Saturday, April 20th @ 7:00pm
Location: Seward Park
You can find alot of book clubs made by community locals that center around a variety of genres and topics through meetup.com. Bothell meetup.com book clubs include Bothell Book Club Meetup and Bothell Books, Movies & other stuff.
Current book from Bothell Book Club meetup : The Gifts of Imperfection
Time: Thursday, May 9th @ 7pm
Location: Panera Bread (21221 Bothell Everette Hwy Bothell, WA)
Online Book Clubs
There are a plethora of online book groups that center around a variety of topics and genres. You are sure to find one that strikes your interest.
There are a myriad of book groups on Good Reads ranging from the eccentric EVERYONE Has Read This but Me – The Catch-Up Book Club to the niche Goodreads Librarians Group. You can also find other unique book clubs like Emma Watson’s United Nations Women affiliated book group our shared shelf.
Upcoming Book from Our Shared Shelf: Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir
Finish Date: Tuesday, April 30th
Discussion Location: Our Shared Shelf Forum
This is a book group that started up recently by Emma Roberts which celebrates reading, female literacy, and independent books. Each month this group selects an independent bookstore and book. There social media features lots of amazing photos that would jazz the soul of any bibliophile (*photo below!!*). This organization also has a wonderful blog that features interviews from awesome Awkwafina.
Upcoming Book: The Ash Family
Youtube’s Booktube is a great place to discover book clubs. There are also reading challenges like BlackAThon and the 24 hours readathon that frequently happen across Youtube which you can also participate in as well!