Starting the Conversation: Online Book Clubs You Should Be Part Of

Despite the upending of pretty much every part of our lives, COVID-19 has not taken away our love of books. Wonderful bookworms everywhere have been sharing their favourite reads, new releases and read-alongs with people all over the world.

As August is Women in Translation month we thought we’d share some uplifting stories of how you’ve stayed connected through language over the last few months. If you haven’t already, you might want to give these heavenly bookish spaces a follow – let’s spread the literary love!

Books That Matter Book Club – Facebook
First and foremost, we have our own online book club that has been bustling with BTM subscribers since well before lockdown. Within the community you can get in touch with like minded readers and feminists to ask for book recommendations, reviews, your favourite boxes so far and more. Getting in touch, especially during this unprecedented period of isolation, has really lifted our bookish spirits and inspired us to find some escape in our excellent array of women’s literature.

Ladies Lit Squad
Founder Sheree Milli started the hashtag #LadiesLitSquad a few years ago and has been curating a worldwide community of readers online ever since. Follow the # to stay up to date with book recommendations in the community – you might just find some wonderful feminist and literary accounts to follow in the process!

Reese’s Book Club – @reesesbookclub
Actress, director and avid reader Reese Witherspoon created this online space that now has 1.7 million followers. Every month Reese discusses one book with a woman at the centre of the story. Recent featured books include Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi and July’s favourite: I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown.

Our Shared Shelf – Twitter, Instagram
Our Shared Shelf is a book community focused on sharing intersectional feminist literature. It was founded by the actress and activist Emma Watson, but Our Shared Shelf has now been given over to the community that use it, who continue to share online using the hashtag and tagging @oursharedshelf. Don’t be afraid to get involved in this community, you can see previous recommendations on the main grid of @oursharedshelf and new engagements via their ‘tagged’ section.

Dialogue Virtual Book Lounge – @dialoguebooks
Dialogue Books is a publishing house that focuses on the publishing of books by and about those in the Black, Asian and Minority ethnic; disabled; LGBTQ+ and working class communities. The founder, Sharmaine Lovegrove, did a series of Instagram live interviews with Dialogue Books authors to hear about their experiences, their books and their passions. You can catch them on her IGTV tab on the @dialoguebooks Instagram page.

Between Two Books – @betweentwobooks
Bringing literary love for a wondrous 8 years, Florence Welch’s bookclub Between Two Books has accumulated a whopping 133 thousand members. Throughout lockdown the club has been discussing the likes of Sally Rooney’s Normal People, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong and some interesting historical texts such as this month’s favourite: How Much of These Is Gold by C Pam Zhang. The platform also has beautiful collections of artwork and recommendations from Between Two Books members on their story highlights, so you can find inspiration in the creativity of this community.

The Bookstagram space – #bookstagram
#Bookstagram is a community of readers on Instagram who post bookish content, images and discussions. This is a deep, immersive space of literary love affairs that welcome your thoughts, recommendations and experiences. Through the hashtag readers have been doing read-alongs for new releases during lockdown, including Olive by Emma Gannon. Others have been reading old favourites like the beautifully poignant A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. As it’s nearly WIT month, the #bookstagram space has been gearing up to celebrate women’s literature in translation. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, Little Eyes by Samantha Schweblin and The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun are but a few that have already been discussed by the community.

Throughout the year and the many annual celebrations for literary communities, awards and anniversaries, these book clubs have thought provoking and diverse books to enrich your reading. Especially during times like these, it’s great to connect with people and things that bring you joy and happiness. This #WomenInTranslation month, get involved and start a conversation.

Written by Ellie Stebbing

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