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[18 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: 5 Tips for Building a Successful Book Club

It seems everyone wants to be in a book club. And I get it – they are fun. They also don’t run themselves, which is why I think I’m seeing more and more people wanting tips on how to organize a book club successfully.
I’ve been in my book club for ten years, and the group existed for several years before I joined. Through the years, we’ve figured some things out that I believe have added to its sustainability. Here are five tips that have helped make our group successful.

Members matter: …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[2 Jan 2018 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Best of 2017

I realize this post is two days late, but since I’m still seeing some residual “Best of 2017” on TV, I decided I’d go ahead with it. Plus, since I’ve already reviewed all my favorite books from this year, it will be quite the easy post to write. Mind you, these are the best books I read in 2017 – not the best books I read published in 2017.
Best Book of 2017 – Rules of Civility
Read my post for more comprehensive thoughts, but I picked this one over the other …

Book Clubs, Books, Things I Love »

[17 Dec 2017 | No Comment | ]
Literary Roundup :: Best Books of 2017

‘Tis the season for everyone’s “best books” list. Here’s a round-up of the more popular (and maybe some lesser known) lists.
If I’ve missed one, leave it in the comments, and I’ll add it. Disclaimer: When a source creates multiple lists, I will always default to fiction / literary fiction for these lists.
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Bloomberg
Bookriot
Elle
goodreads
The Guardian
GQ
Harper’s Bazzar
Huffington Post
Indigo
Kirkus
NPR
The New York Times
Washington Post
Popsugar
Publishers Weekly
Time
Town and Country
Vulture
Did I miss a list? Let me know if the comments! ⇓

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[17 Sep 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Rules of Civility

Twelve pages from the end of Rules of Civility, Amor Towels, in the voice of Tinker Grey, describes Manhattan as “so improbable, so wonderful, so obviously full of promise – that you wanted to approach it for the rest of your life without ever quite arriving.“
This is precisely how I felt while reading Towels’ 2011 debut novel. In fact, after my first sitting, I took to Twitter to try and describe how I already felt:

This will likely be the best book I read in 2017.  I adored A Gentleman in Moscow, and people …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[22 Jul 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: Year End Wrap Up for 2016-17

I’m a little late, but I’ve just finished the wrap up of our book club’s 2016-17 reading year.
We started doing something a little different in our ratings this year. Occasionally there are books that a member or two doesn’t finish or doesn’t even attempt. (In our very bookish club, this is rare. We’re serious about our reading, people.) In these cases, it is possible that said book could end up with a decent overall score because anyone who was a “DNR” or a “DNF” didn’t get counted, making its comparison with …

Book Clubs, Books »

[17 May 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista Short List for 2017-2018

After a record four-phase voting run-off, the SOC Sistas have selected the ten books we’ll be reading from June 2017 – May 2018. Here they are with some thoughts about why these are such fabulous selections.

Brit Marie was Here and My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
We couldn’t decide which one of these we wanted to read, so we decided to include both. Most of our members have read one or the other – if not both – so this seemed manageable.

Killers of the Flower Moon: …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[28 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sistas Long List 2017-2018

It’s that time of year when my book club is making its selection for the 10 books it will read in the upcoming year. We started this a few years ago, and now it is our favorite night of the year. We think that this year we may have outdone ourselves with the number of incredible options, so much so that we talked about not even making pitches next year & just choosing from the runner-ups. (If you need to catch up on how we do this, go here.)
A Long …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[7 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Fates and Furies

This is a novel that begs for discussion; that makes me wish I were back in college writing comparative essays; that makes me want to reread Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus. Mixing both Greek comedy and tragedy, Groff creates a villainous Mathilde reminiscent of Ron Rash’s Serena and Kathy of East of Eden.
I was warned before I started Fates and Furies to give it time. One of my best reading buds and literary soul-mates said it would take at least 100 pages before I was hooked. I appreciate the warning, but for me …

Book Clubs, Books »

[2 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sista Short List for 16-17

My apologies. I’ve been remiss in announcing the short list of books selected by the SOC Sistas for 2016-2017. We are already one in – having read The Boys in the Boat for June.
Some firsts about this list: For the first time two books were selected unanimously by the group (The Boys in the Boat and The Handmaid’s Tale). (If you’re just catching up, here’s where I talk about our book selection process.) Also, I had read three of the books selected before we started, which is more than ever …

Book Clubs, Books »

[19 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sistas Long List

April is when our book club makes its selections of books for the upcoming year. We started this three years ago, it has worked beautifully and prevents those painful moments at the end of the meeting when someone is trying to think of a great recommendation that they’ve heard of but aren’t sure if they really think it will be good for the group.
If you’re just catching up, here’s where I talk about our process. At the bottom of the post are past years’ long and short lists.
Finally, let me …