I’ve belonged to several book clubs over the years, but my favorite one—and the one that has always operated most smoothly—is my yoga book club. And not just because I can never get enough of books about yoga and meditation.
Rather, I think what makes our book club so great is its narrow focus. If nothing else, all of the members have this one, common interest, which makes it much easier to find books we can all enjoy.
And sometimes, in addition to discussing the book-of-the-moment (and drinking a lot of wine), we even throw in an activity relevant to the book, such as a guided loving-kindness meditation, or several minutes of rolling oms.
When I asked around, I found I wasn’t the only one I knew in a niche book club. A fellow Book Rioter was in a cookbook book club. Another once ran a book club dedicated to cult classics. A friend of mine is in a book club for romance novels, and they use bingo cards featuring popular tropes, such as “love triangle,” “stranded,” and “time travel.” A fellow writer mentioned that she had just done a roundup of financial book clubs.
Closer to home, I learned about a sci-fi/fantasy book and movie club that meets bimonthly at various diners throughout New Jersey, and also makes trips to the movies whenever a major sci-fi title is released. And of course there’s my local indie’s Nasty Women Book Club, which is reading Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair this month and oh my god I wish I could go.
Listing all of these out, one thing becomes clear: books + another favorite thing = success. Here are five more book clubs I would totally sign up for immediately:
1. The Businessy Book Club
My life revolves around my career, and a good friend once accused me of monetizing all of my hobbies. Writer. Yoga teacher. On-call funeral singer. I guess it’s true. So I’d undoubtedly love a book club for similarly ambitious women. In addition to reading books like The Boss of You and How to Win Friends and Influence People, we could hold speed networking events and critique each other’s business plans!
2. The Delicious Things Book Club
I love food. So taking a tip from my fellow Book Rioter, I would gather a group of people who also love food, and then have them try super specific cookbooks like Treat Yourself!, Bread Illustrated, and Maple (I have a sweet tooth). Then our book club meeting would also be a potluck featuring our favorite dishes from the cookbook we’d just tried and, the following month, I’d probably just have to pay for dental fillings or something.
3. The Sex Ed Book Club
When I’m not nerding out on Book Riot, I’m usually writing about sexuality and sex ed for both adults and young people. So I’d really dig a book club meeting that combined fantastic books like Come As You Are and The Multi-Orgasmic Couple with workshops on how to create a four-course meal containing aphrodisiacs, or how to tie the best knots if you’re a BDSM beginner.
4. The Superhero Book Club
Ever since I started reading comics, I have become insufferable, in that I am always talking about comics. Someone pretty please form a comic book club with me so that my husband doesn’t get sick of me and ask for a divorce. We could read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel and Destroyer and then, after showing each other our favorite panels, we could do a crafting hour, during which we helped each other put together our future cosplay outfits or bedazzled cardigans with various superhero logos and Lumberjane badges. (I already own a BeDazzler. Just sayin’.)
5. The Horror Book and Movie Club
Finally, I absolutely have to have a book club devoted to my favorite genre. My very first Book Riot post was about how I fell for horror, and my most recent Book Riot post is also about horror, and clearly I like horror. Come join me and we will read horror together. The Changeling. Valley of Terror. The Fisherman. After discussing our most recent read, we can watch a horror movie that pairs well with it, perhaps due to a shared trope such as “claustrophobia” or “the unseen” or “haunted houses.” Then we can have a slumber party so we don’t have to go home alone to an empty house and stare at our ceiling in terror all night long. Just a suggestion.
What would be your dream book club? Think big!