Bookish Rambling: Online Book Clubs

Free stock photo of wood, coffee, cup, relaxation

I’ve neglected bookish rambling posts of late, so I’m making an extra special effort to do more of them – starting with today’s post about online book clubs. I run my own online book club and readalong with several others, so I thought it’d be cool to share with you the book clubs I readalong with. I tend to dip in and out of most of them based on the book/s they’re reading. This post won’t be anything to complex, just a quick look at the book clubs, what books they’re reading and how you can take part. Obviously, I’m going I’m going to start with my own…

Criminally Good Book Club

Platform: Instagram – @criminallygoodbookclub (search hashtag: #cgbookclub)

Genre: Crime, mystery, thriller, suspense (books are voted on by book club members)

Moderator: Janel @keeperofpages Co-host: Ashley @b00ksinparadise

How to get involved: Follow on Instagram, readers are encouraged to use the hashtag so members can find each other and your photos may be re-posted on the book club account. Discussions are held at the end of the month on Instagram.

What they’re reading in September: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake - Rachel CaineGina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

What they’re reading in October: Unsub by Meg Gardiner

Nov: TBC once vote is held.

Am I reading along this month: Yes, every month!

Babbling Book Club

Platform: Instagram – @BabblingBookClub (search hashtag: #babblingbookclub)

Genre: Mixed (currently reading books from locations all around the world, books chosen by moderator)

Moderator: Tamsien @babblingbooks

How to get involved: Follow on Instagram, readers are encouraged to use the hashtag so members can find each other and your photos may be re-posted on the book club account. Discussions are held at the end of the month on Instagram.

What they’re reading in September: Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia)

Beauty is a Wound - Eka KurniawanThe epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan’s gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation’s troubled past: the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million “Communists,” followed by three decades of Suharto’s despotic rule.

Beauty Is a Wound astonishes from its opening line: “One afternoon on a weekend in May, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years…” Drawing on local sources—folk tales and the all-night shadow puppet plays, with their bawdy wit and epic scope—and inspired by Melville and Gogol, Kurniawan’s distinctive voice brings something luscious yet astringent to contemporary literature

What they’re reading in October: The Strays by Emily Bitto (Australia)

Nov: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)

Dec: The Cremator by Ladislav Fuks (The Czech Republic)

Jan: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Scotland)

Feb: Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glykhovsky (Russia)

Mar: The Red Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)

Am I reading along this month: Yes, and next month too. I also like the sound of December’s book. After Criminally Good Book Club, this is the one I join in with the most.

Ninja Book Club

Platform: Twitter – @NinjaBookBox (search hashtag: #ninjabookclub) & Instagram – @ninjabookbox

Genre: Mixed (Indie books only – books are voted on via Survey Monkey)

Moderator: The creators of Ninja Book Box @ninjabookbox

How to get involved: Follow on Twitter, readers are encouraged to use the hashtag so members can find each other and a live discussion is held on Twitter at the end of each month. Starting from this month, there will also be a discussion taking place on Instagram too.

Never miss a book: Ninja Book Box offer 1, 3 or 12 month subscriptions for their book club books so you can rest assured you’ll never miss a month – for more info, click here.

What they’re reading in September: Sealskin by Su Bristow

sealskin-su-bristowWhat happens when magic collides with reality? Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous …and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives – not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence? Based on the legend of the selkies – seals who can transform into people – Sealskin is a magical story, evoking the harsh beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its people, both human and animal, and the triumph of hope over fear and prejudice. With exquisite grace, Exeter Novel Prize-winner Su Bristow transports us to a different world, subtly and beautifully exploring what it means to be an outsider, and our innate capacity for forgiveness and acceptance. Rich with myth and magic, Sealskin is, nonetheless, a very human story, as relevant to our world as to the timeless place in which it is set. And it is, quite simply, unforgettable.

What they’re reading in October: TBC towards the end of the month once the poll has closed.

Am I reading along this month: Yes, it’ll be my first time participating in the book club, but I am a Ninja Book Box reader so I read and recommend potential book club (and book box) books.

Diverse Books Club

Platform: Instagram – @diversebooksclub (search hashtag: #weneeddiversebooksclub) & Goodreads Group

Genre: Mixed (diverse books only, books chosen by moderators)

Moderator: Madeline @topshelftext

How to get involved: Follow on Instagram to keep up with all news and announcements, readers are encouraged to use the hashtag so members can find each other and your photos may be re-posted on the book club account. Discussions take place throughout the month on Goodreads.

What they’re reading in September: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (YA)

The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasSixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Adult)

The Underground Railroad - Colson WhiteheadCora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.

In Whitehead’s razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But its placid surface masks an infernal scheme designed for its unknowing black inhabitants. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher sent to find Cora, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

At each stop on her journey, Cora encounters a different world. As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper (Childrens)

Stella by Starlight - Sharon M DraperWhen the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella’s segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this “New York Times “bestselling Depression-era “novel that soars” (“The New York Times Book Review”) that “School Library Journal “called “storytelling at its finest” in a starred review. Stella lives in the segregated South–in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community–her world–is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.

What they’re reading in October: TBA.

Am I reading along this month: Yes, this is the book clubs first month in existence so I’m excited. I’ll be reading THUG and The Underground Railroad.

Salt Water Reads

Platform: Instagram – @saltwaterreads (search hashtag: #saltwaterreads)

Genre: Mixed (books chosen by moderators)

Moderator: Kourtney @kourtneysbookshelf & Stacey @prose_and_palate

How to get involved: Follow on Instagram, readers are encouraged to use the hashtag so members can find each other and your photos may be re-posted on the book club account. Discussions are held at the end of the month on Instagram.

What they’re reading in September: The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper

The Other Alcott - Elise HooperWe all know the story of the March sisters, heroines of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. But while everyone cheers on Jo March, based on Louisa herself, Amy March is often the least favorite sister. Now, it’s time to learn the truth about the real “Amy”, Louisa’s sister, May.

Stylish, outgoing, creative, May Alcott grows up longing to experience the wide world beyond Concord, Massachusetts. While her sister Louisa crafts stories, May herself is a talented and dedicated artist, taking lessons in Boston, turning down a marriage proposal from a well-off suitor, and facing scorn for entering what is very much a man’s profession.

Life for the Alcott family has never been easy, so when Louisa’s Little Women is published, its success eases the financial burdens they’d faced for so many years. Everyone agrees the novel is charming, but May is struck to the core by the portrayal of selfish, spoiled “Amy March.” Is this what her beloved sister really thinks of her?

So May embarks on a quest to discover her own true identity, as an artist and a woman. From Boston to Rome, London, and Paris, this brave, talented, and determined woman forges an amazing life of her own, making her so much more than merely “The Other Alcott.”

What they’re reading in October: TBA.

Am I reading along this month: No, I am intrigued by this one as I loved Little Women but as you can see my whole TBR for this month is basically book club books, so I’m giving this one a miss. I did join in last month for Gather the Daughters and I’ll be checking out their selection for next month.

Litero’s Queer Book Club

Platform: Instagram – (search hashtag: #literosqueerbookclub)

Genre: Mixed (LGBT books only – books are voted on by members, list of books up for vote can be viewed on Goodreads here)

Moderator: Bex @literosexual

How to get involved: There is a private group chat/DM for this group. If you message the moderator saying you would like to join, she will add you to the group chat.

What they’re reading in September: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

We Are Okay - Nina LaCourYou go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

An intimate whisper that packs an indelible punch, We Are Okay is Nina LaCour at her finest. This gorgeously crafted and achingly honest portrayal of grief will leave you urgent to reach across any distance to reconnect with the people you love.

What they’re reading in October: TBC towards the end of the month once the vote has taken place.

Am I reading along this month: No, after reading A Little Life with this book club two months ago, I don’t need any more books about grief right now. I’ll check back in next month.

Suspenseful Clues and Thrilling Reviews Book Club

Platform: WordPress – Clues and Reviews and The Suspense is Thrilling Me & Twitter – @cluesandreviews and @suspensethrill & Goodreads Group

Genre: Mixed (books chosen by moderator but voting poll to be introduced in Nov)

Moderator: Sam, author behind Clues and Reviews & Chelsea, author behind The Suspense is Thrilling Me

How to get involved: Follow both blogs as there is a discussion post shared on each blog. Also, a live chat hosted via Twitter.

What they’re reading in September: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale by Kristin HannahDespite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities, but also humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale will leave you breathless.

What they’re reading in October: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Nov: TBC once vote is held.

Am I reading along this month: No, this month I have reached my book club limit, but I hope to join in next month as I love the sound of Night Film.

So there you have it folks, the seven online book clubs on my radar – heavily Instagram based. If you’re not on Instagram, I highly consider you join, there’s lots happening over on the ‘gram. I hope you found this post useful/interesting.

Are you a member of any book clubs?

33 thoughts on “Bookish Rambling: Online Book Clubs

    1. The good thing about these book clubs is there’s no pressure, dip in an out as much or as little as you want. Sometimes, I won’t read along for a few months and then one of them will read a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for ages, and it’s a great incentive to get me to read it! I love Instagram, I had it for several month before starting my blog so it was my first introduction to the bookish world 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not that I’m aware of, just written discussions. A video chat would be an interesting way to discuss the book in ‘real time’ but due to time differences across countries it might be hard to find an ideal time when everyone’s available.


    1. I love Instagram but it can be time consuming, I mass take my pictures so I can post everyday. Instagram is my first love, I had it month before I started my blog! But too much social media is hard to manage, my poor FB in desperate need of some TLC haha

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ah, the guilt of not having joined in with the Criminally Good Bookclub for the last couple of months! I will be back! 😀
    I had no idea there were so many options, though! Whilst I don’t think I can join any others, it’s good to know that there are options. Now if I could just get into Instagram…

    Liked by 1 person

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