Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Book Blab Episode 17: Book Clubs

Hi guys! I know it's been a million years (my fault, I'm the one with the crazy schedule), but Amy and I finally got together to record another episode of The Book Blab! This was another really fun discussion about book clubs (honestly we may do a Part 2 episode here, because we didn't even get around to talking about what books make good book club reads). And please, tell me all about your book club experiences in the comments. What makes them good, what makes them not-so-good? I'd love to hear!

Show notes below!

(Also, ugh, excuse the awful lighting on my end, and the technical glitches. I filmed this while taking a study break in a study room at the library, so there was awful fluorescent lighting and a jumpy wi-fi connection. Apologies.)

1:00 - Life updates
1:50 - Today's topic: book clubs
2:40 - Why would you want to be in a book club?
  • 3:20 - A book club lets you discuss those books that beg to be discussed
  • 4:08 - A book club helps you see a certain book in a new way
  • 4:16 - It's fun to socialize with other readers
  • 5:10 - A succinct answer to that question
5:58 - A few descriptions of some of the book clubs we've been in
  • 6:17 - Suzanne's traditional book club in Chicago
  • 7:50 - Suzanne's casual book club in Houston
  • 8:03 - Suzanne's Learning Circle through the Power of Moms organization
  • 9:22 - Amy's education group
  • 10:15 - Suzanne's brand new book club in Kansas City
  • 10:33 - Suzanne's virtual book club with former college roommates
  • 11:57 - Amy's neighborhood book club
  • 12:58 - Amy's very traditional, very serious book club
  • 15:55 - Amy's family reunion book club
  • 17:00 - Suzanne's family book club (and surprising confession!)
  • 17:53 - Amy's plans for a book club with her kids this summer
  • 19:30 - The Book Blab mini-book clubs
20:18 - Helpful tips for making a book club work well
25:36 - A few ideas for how to start a book club
29:26 - Two of our favorite books about motherhood

  • 30:05 - Suzanne's recommendation
  • 31:20 - Amy's recommendation
33:47 - Conclusion

Books and links talked about during the show:

The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
Mini-book clubs on The Book Blab (Episode 6 on A Man Called Ove and Episode 13 on The Girl Who Drank the Moon)
Educated by Tara Westover (Suzanne's review


  1. I'm not sure what reminded me to come back and listen to a book blab discussion but I remembered you had one on book clubs and I've been trying to figure out why I bowed out of mine recently. But after listening again, you guys totally validated my need for a serious book club and where most of the readers are just there to socialize and the books are mediocre, I guess my need for something more is real haha. Just trying to find those serious bookish people I guess! :) Also, wouldn't be mad if you guys starting doing these book blabs again. ;)

    1. Wow, it's been a while since I've gotten a non-spam comment on one of these old posts. I'm so surprised you even remembered this episode! But I'm glad you found it useful! I'm sorry if you're not finding your current book club to be fulfilling in the way you want (I would LOVE to have you in a book club, I'm so sure you would make the most insightful comments... would you be interested in joining one of my virtual book clubs?). Also, no promises on reviving the book blabs again (I feel like I'd want to overhaul, invest in equipment, turn it into a real video/podcast thing... I just don't have the bandwidth for that right now, but maybe someday?)