Tag: Book Club

Virtual Bookclubs to Join During Quarantine: Part 2

Sometimes, the best part about reading a book is the community around it. Book clubs have been a staple of reading books for near as long as the books themselves. Yet, in recent times of social distancing, it can feel much harder to connect into these larger populations of book readers. Many book clubs have had to cancel their in-person meetings, even as one of the few perks of quarantine is the increased ability to read. Thankfully, the literary community is an adaptable one. Many groups have already found ways to transition book clubs to a virtual affair and are eager to expand their conversations to anyone ready to join. Below, you can find just a few examples of book clubs already ready for a new, virtual reality. Check out part one here, if you haven’t already.

1. Los Angeles Times Book Club

Image result for los angeles times book club

image via la times

The Los Angeles Times Book Club is returning in a new virtual set-up. Their first meet-up will be on March 30th with authors Steph Cha and Joe Ide.

Newsletter
Cha and Ide will be joined by Times reporter Maria L. LaGanga in a discussion about L.A. noir. The meet-up will be streamed live on the L.A. Times Facebook page and on YouTube, starting at 7 p.m. Monday.

2. The Guardian’s Reading Group

On the first Tuesday of every month, a theme or author is put to a public vote by the Guardian. The book is then chosen by the outcome of these votes. Sam Jordison, a well-known reader and publisher,  then hosts an online discussion every Tuesday where he explains the book’s history, researches any questions the audience asks and, potentially even, arranges live chats with the author.

 

3. sILENT bOOK cLUB

Image result for silent book club

image via silent book club

This may or may not have been in part one, too. You can’t blame us, we’re big fans. In 2012, Laura Gluhanich and Guinevere de la Mare founded this book club as a potential outlet for introverts. The club has been succeeding wildly since, as it has grown to 260 chapters around the world in 31 countries. In a typical chapter meeting, members read whatever book they’ve brought for an hour silently. After, they share what they casually share what they learned. For now, they’ve gone virtual.

4. translated Fiction ONline Book CLub

This weekly Zoom series is run by six European publishing houses. The participating houses switch off presenting a book from their catalogs to their audience. Their first call is today, March 26. The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke is being presented, a family drama set before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

5. Quarantine Book Club

Image result for quarantine book club

image via quarantine book club

The Quarantine Book Club has been using the increased time indoors to their full advantage. Every weekday since March 16, t, the club has hosted two Zoom talks each day with varying authors. Erika Hall and Mike Monteiro, two designers who live in San Francisco, founded the book club when their work opportunities dried up; their audience soon expanded beyond the circle of friends they’d imagined taking part in.

In an interview with TIME, Monteiro says, “People want human connection. They’re bored, they’re freaked out. So you get on here and you talk to somebody who’s really good in their field.”

Monteiro seems to be onto something. Hundreds of people have been paying the small admissions fees to listen to authors and ask them questions. The Quarantine Book Club plans to run twice a day for however long the quarantine lasts, with proceeds going to the authors as well as Monteiro and Hall’s design studio. The science fiction author and journalist Cory Doctorow will be featured on April 1.

 

Of course, beyond any of these options, there’s no better time to organize your own book club. Reach out to some book-loving friends and see what you can create! With a bit of ambition and a good wifi connection, just about any sort of book club can still be made possible.

feature image via book giving day

Enjoying Bookstr? Get more by joining our email list!

Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!

 

Finally! A Book Club Anyone Can Join Anywhere

“Introvert Happy Hour”. Three words that Guinevere de la Mare would use to describe the Silent Book Club. Bookstr had the chance to (virtually and cross-coastal) sit down with the group’s founders and get an SBC blurb.

Silent Book Club is a renowned hobby-turned-business that longtime friends Laura Gluhanich and Guinevere started back in 2012. What began as two friends carving out reading time in their busy lives, grew into an ever-expanding organization of groups of readers meeting to read together, in public, in silence. According to the founders themselves, SBC is an easy, low-friction way for people to connect with a shared passion.

The Silent Book Club has an origin story worthy of a New York Times bestselling novel. Laura and Guinevere are both incredibly busy women and in 2012, they decided to meet at a local bar in San Francisco, committing to reading at least one chapter of the books they had on the go at the time. They followed this up with gossiping and chatting, before deciding to make it a regular occurrence. Guinevere herself even harks back to the early days of SBC as “an excuse to have a glass of wine!” Whenever Laura or Guinevere posted on their social media about their meet-up, they deployed an instagram hashtag. Friends started asking to come along, and for the first year or two, it was a core group of ten or so. When a friend moved to New York, they decided to co-ordinate bi-coastal meetings, using their trusty hashtag to virtually link up.

 

 

This new chapter starting up in Brooklyn, alongside another in L.A., was “the seed that put it [Silent Book Club] into the world”. Afterwards, a Facebook group was launched, along with a website. Suddenly SBC was not just a core group of friends, but strangers started joining and the group took on a life of its own. The growth hasn’t stopped since.

image via silent book club

In February of 2019, Silent Book Club was featured on Oprah’s website – that’s right THE Oprah. Later the same year, in August, they were featured in an NPR article. This article, in particular, caused an explosion of growth. Within six weeks, they had doubled the number of active chapters. Positive press, alongside word of mouth, have benefited Silent Book Club immensely, allowing for continual growth and movement from strength to strength.

What this growth meant for Laura and Guinevere is that they now had an organization to run. Luckily, as self-professed “tech veterans”, they were no strangers to start-ups. Their familiarity with that world gave them expertise they could tap into. Most importantly, they both had experience in building communities and at the end of the day, Silent Book Club is one big reading community, connected by a shared love of books.

The community aspect is hugely important to the group’s founders, and requires active effort. Guinevere points out that the twitter community of readers (or book twitter) used to be a wonderful, nurturing, intellectual and funny space, before it was “eaten alive by marketing and all that it is now”. Silent Book Club tries to avoid the same fate, keeping the ethos of understanding and lack of judgement paramount. Judgement does sometimes come externally, though, but the people that are scornful of the groups or look down on them generally don’t come out from behind their online avatars.

 

 

A Silent Book Club, while not stringent in its execution, does follow a formula. Turn up, order (or not), take a seat, have a chat, an hour of reading, and maybe some more chat. The administrative side of operations has its own formula, too. When you join the network, you have to agree to some guidelines. Rule number one is Be Kind and that stays true online. On their Facebook page, all members answer screening questions, are monitored for spam and all posts are pre-approved. Guinevere points out that neither she or Laura have any qualms about kicking people out if they aren’t adhering or are being rude as “Facebook is not a public town square” for arguments. The group share a set of core beliefs and acceptance is one of the most important aspects. “All readers are welcome, even e-readers!” Now that’s truly inclusive.

 

image via pinterest

While book clubs often have a stereotype of being inherently female, the SBC has a more balanced demographic. Their London chapter is fronted by a male organizer and he is one of the longest running organizers of the group. By taking the pressure of an assigned book off, the book club is opened up to a lot of different people with different interests. Publishing and book selling or buying is often skewed towards women, but as Guinevere points out; “men read”. The SBC offers a space for anyone and everyone, so long as you come bearing a book!

 

The group’s founders find it rewarding to see the spread of Silent Book Club, and to see how many people it impacts. Laura and Guinevere also cite their continued connection as one of the best things to come out of their hobby-turned-business. Starting a business with a friend can destroy a relationship but theirs has flourished. Every once in a while, they even meet up just the two of them like the days of SBC yore.

 

Guinevere and laura | image via silent book club

The Silent Book Club has over 250 chapters in twenty-seven countries. Check out the crew in Pasadena, Innsbruck, Fort Wayne, New York, Newport, Geneva, London.

Take a look at their finder here to find one nearby, and if you can’t, start your own – bring a little slice of the Silent Book Club community to your own city! One thing is for sure, the SBC is only going up, and we for one, can’t wait to see their trajectory.

Featured image via read it forward

Enjoying Bookstr? Get more by joining our email list!

Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!

Book Tour Canceled Due to Criticism

American Dirt, a novel that Oprah immediately claimed as part of her book club, is now causing an uproar. The author, Jeanine Cummins, is facing criticism for her stereotypical depictions of Mexicans. So, for Cummins’ safety, her publisher had to cancel the reminder of her book tour.

Image via Amazon

 

The novel is about a Mexican woman and her son, and how they flee to the U.S Boarder. Before the controversy the book was widely praised, even before its January 21 release. Then Mexican American writers began to criticize Cummins, who is of Irish and Puerto Rican descent, for the way she stereotyped the characters. According to her Publisher at Flatiron, Cummins spent the past five years writing this book and they’re saddened by the backlash, because Cummins had good intentions for this work of fiction. Now her book tour is cut, and even before it was cut, Cummins already did some promotional work, but a Saint Louis based Bank Books canceled an event, and others, including California stores canceled their events as well.  However, despite the backlash Cummins is facing, her novel is still doing quite well. It is number 8 on the Amazon best seller list.

Image result for jeanine cummins"
Image via NBC News

 

Even though her tour is canceled, Cummins still has one more interview left. She has a major interview with Oprah this month that will air on Apple TV in March. Her interview is the third one chosen by Oprah to air on the streaming service. Oprah picked the book last fall for her book club, before the criticism arose, and according to Oprah, she hears the Latinx community and understands their concerns, and by meeting with Cummins she can get a better understanding from both sides.


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!

 

Featured image via CBS Baltimore

The Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey Turns 66 Today

Oprah

image via the atlantic

Talk show host, actress, philanthropist, author, and overall Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey celebrates her 66th birthday today.

Winfrey was born Jan. 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey. Her parents separated soon after her birth and she was left in the care of her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee. Winfrey moved around frequently as a child, bouncing from the urban, poor life of her mother to the safety of her father’s home.

 

 

Oprah says that her life was saved by her father. Her father was quite disciplined and had a focus on education, which made Winfrey a star pupil. Winfrey went on to get a full ride to Tennessee State University and received two offers from CBS before accepting a role as co-anchor of the evening news on WTVF-TV. Winfrey’s role with CBS was groundbreaking because she was the first ever African-American female anchor in Nashville history.

 

Oprah with kindle.
image via pinterest

Her role as anchor wasn’t the only groundbreaking thing Oprah would achieve, as many readers already know. Her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which launched in 1986, won several Emmys for Best Talk Show, and Oprah herself was honored as Best Talk Show Host. She also launched her own production company, Harpo Inc., in the summer of 1986 so she could produce on topics that were important to her.

 

 

Besides her roles on the screen, Oprah has played a significant role in the literary world. Between writing almost 20 books, launching her book club and the Oprah stamp of approval, she has inspired many people to read.

Launched in 1996, the Oprah book club has meticulously selected books for her audience to read, many titles that she selected go on to be bestsellers. Some titles on her prestigious list include Becoming, The Invention of Wings and many other titles.

 

Oprah holding sun does shine book

image via youtube

For all that she has done, in all of her many fields, we here at Bookstr wish the Queen of Media a very happy 66th!

featured image via Biography


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!