Behind the Scenes with Book Clubs

 interviews with more than 80 book clubs in the U.S. and around the world

Over the past 16 years, we at BookBrowse have had the privilege of speaking with members or facilitators of more than 80 book clubs across the USA and the world. In the process, we've learned that there's a fascinating range of possibilities for what book groups are and can be.

Among those interviewed are a book club that conducts discussions through the mail, an ESL book club, a writers' book club, a club where members don't all read the same book at the same time, a club that includes both teens and adults, and a club whose beginnings were prompted by Toni Morrison's Beloved more than 30 years ago.

We've been fortunate to be able to follow up with some groups after a long period of time and find them still thriving, perhaps in part because of their willingness to adapt to the needs of their members. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we've been impressed to see the resilience groups have shown in implementing virtual meetings, often treating this not just as a necessity but an opportunity to make their get-togethers more accessible and inclusive.

These interviews showcase a wonderful variety of books and communities, and are all available for you to read in full on the site. Below is a sampling of just a few recent and past Q&As out of the many fantastic conversations in our archives. We hope you enjoy them and take away some inspiration for your own reading or book club.


Books About Native Boarding Schools by Native Authors

Books About Native Residential Schools

Recent years have seen increased awareness of the ongoing trauma created by historical residential schools for Native children in North America, which were operated by government bodies and churches beginning in approximately the mid-1800s, and lasting until the 1960s in the United States and the 1990s in Canada. Hundreds of thousands of children were forcibly removed from their families and taken to these institutions, where they were subject to mistreatment and abuse, including being stripped of their cultural practices and languages. In 2021, the buried bodies of 215 children were found at Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, prompting new mainstream consciousness of the scope and severity of this historical phenomenon, as well as an investigation by the United States Department of the Interior into the US's own role in maintaining hundreds of schools that "deployed systematic militarized and identity-alteration methodologies to attempt to assimilate American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children."


How Long Should a Book Club Book Be?

how many pages in a book club book?
What's the right number of pages for a book club book? Should your group set a page limit for the titles you read? In our most recent annual survey, we asked subscribers how their clubs factor the length of books into their selection process. Below, we'll explore their answers and the significance of page count for book clubs in general.


15 Books About Animals to Inform and Inspire

Books about animals
If you love reading books about animals, you're not the only one! Animals can evoke a sense of both the familiar and the otherworldly. As children, many of us read books featuring cute anthropomorphic cats, dogs, rabbits, bears, birds and other furry or feathered friends living through relatable circumstances. Many of us also read books full of fascinating facts about wildlife, or about extinct creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago. In adulthood, we can continue using reading to celebrate our connections with animals as well as to explore the details of how they exist in the world.

Below are recommended books from recent years, both fiction and nonfiction, to bring you a little closer to all the other beings with whom we share the planet. Some of them inhabit an animal point of view, while others consider how much people may be able to learn from living alongside animals. These also make great choices for book clubs.


Six Books Set in Magical Libraries

Books set in magical libraries
For book lovers, reading about magical libraries can have a special appeal—a place that, in the real world, already feels enchanted and full of possibility can literally be so in fantasy. Below are six books set in extraordinary enchanted libraries.


Bountiful BookBrowse Reading Lists

BookBrowse's beyond the book article category for reading lists

In addition to browsing by genre, time period, setting and a wide range of themes, BookBrowse offers specialized reading lists in our "beyond the book" section. These lists are curated by our professional reviewers to accompany featured works, and they can help you familiarize yourself with many fascinating niches of the book world.

Below are just a few examples of the hundreds of articles available in our Reading Lists category.


Previous Entries More Entries
BookBrowse Membership Sale
Guess the Pulitzer Prize-winning opening lines