In the age of hand-held devices and chronic internet usage, it can be difficult to have family game nights anymore. Everyone seems to be doing their own things and families can feel separated more than ever. Well, here’s a solution: start a book club inside your own home! Each Friday of the month, bring your family together to discuss the book of the week. To get your family book club started, here are my suggestions for your first month.
Fiction Week: The 1st through the 7th
My favorite novels to read, and surely most readers’ favorite, are fiction novels. With countless subgenres such as fantasy, science-fiction, mystery and more this reading week for your family book club will excite your readers. We want to get your family interested in this weekly family get-together, so beginning with something a little easier and fun to read would be the best choice.
My recommendation is to start your first month off strong with one of the pinnacles in fantasy reading. Filled with cool monsters like giant spiders and goblins, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is an exciting tale of bravery and comradery. It is sure to engage even the pickiest reader.
Warning: This book contains mentions of drinking and smoking. Contains violence.
Non-Fiction Week: The 8th through the 14th
Guess what? Non-fiction does not mean boring, factual textbooks. In fact, truth can be stranger than fiction. Non-fiction week allows the book club to expand its horizons outside of just fiction reads and read some truly interesting real stories from real people. These novels can be inspiring, dramatic and perhaps even educational.
However, the words “non-fiction” tends to leave a sour taste in people’s mouths. So, to ease your family into the concept, choose a household name. I suggest Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend by Karen Blumenthal. Utilizing facts, photographs and narrative storytelling, Blumenthal brings this classic villainous duo to life.
Warning: this book contains violence and theft.
Classics Week: The 15th through the 21st
No matter the genre, classics are novels everyone should read in their lifetime. Just like non-fiction, these wonderful books tend to get a bad rap as being outdated and boring. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Filled with timeless writing and thoughtful concepts, knowing classical literature is a necessary stepping stone for every reader. That’s why, it’s great to start the journey of classic novels together.
A great option to begin with is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This novel was the origin of my love for classic novels and I hope it is yours too! Coelho combines elements of magic, mysticism and personal growth into a beautiful story of following one’s dream. It weaves gorgeous language into a unique narrative sure to entice your family.
Family Choice Week: The 21st through the 31st
For the final week of the month… you choose! At the family book club meeting before the last week, have everyone vote on what book they want to read. Together as a family, pick out a novel you want to read whether it is old, new, fiction, non-fiction or anything in between. Just try to limit the discussion to about 15 minutes so there isn’t any arguing over what everyone wants to read. Remember, there’s always another week to choose a book that wasn’t picked this time.
Don’t let the reading journey stop there! Every family is unique, so try and switch up this format to what works best for your family. Make sure to choose age appropriate material and have fun sharing the joy of reading with your children.
For more ideas about books interesting to everyone, see our article YA Novels for All Ages.