It’s no secret that I love book clubs. But I didn’t always. I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, devouring books that were much too big for me even at a young age — from my first chapter book (Black Beauty) at six years old to my mother’s suspense novels as a tween. I was always reading, but I was always reading alone. Until several years ago, when I joined my first book club as a way to make some friends when I was living in New York City. I dutifully read the book, walked into a room full of strangers, and was surprised at the immediate connection. I never looked back.
Now, I’m in three book clubs. I love that, through them, I have formed several close friendships. I love that they’re often an excuse to drink wine on a weeknight. I love that they can be fun but also serious. I love how book clubs get me to read books I wouldn’t otherwise have picked up on my own.
I often read as a means of escape, but I also read to gain perspective and learn. I think it’s important to read outside of your comfort zone. This is where book clubs can really come in handy. They are all the things I said above, but book clubs are also a safe space to have deep, meaningful discussions about what we encounter in books and in life.
This is true of all of my book clubs, including the one I currently lead for my company. I work for an advertising agency that has made diversity and inclusion a pillar of its mission, and our book club is centered around diverse perspectives. I jumped at the chance to join and have been a part of it since it began about four years ago. And, I have been fortunate enough to be able to lead it for the past year and a half.
You don’t always have to read serious, academic or big, tough books to have these kinds of discussions. In fact, contemporary fiction often encourages wonderful, insightful conversation between book club members. As you can see below, a lot of the selections we read for my company-sponsored book club fall into this category.
If you’re looking to spur thought-provoking conversations through reading—whether in your own book club, a group of coworkers, or buddy reads with friends—read on![Read more...] about Books for Thought-Provoking Discussions