MLA Platinum Award Press Release

How to Host a Better Book Club

Washington Post logoA few days ago, I was interviewed by Washington Post columnist Jura Koncius for an article titled How to host a better book club, in which she shares suggestions from various experts on how to keep the sparkle alive in a book group. One of the ideas I discussed with her is the value of carving out time at least once a year to talk as a group about the book club itself, to make sure that everyone is on the same page about what they want from the group. You can read all about this process in our blog, and download a one page summary: The Book Club Health Check

--Davina

Book Clubs' All-Time Overall Favorite Books

Book Club Top 10 - All Time Favorite Books

This is the first in a series of four posts. See also nonfiction, mysteries & thrillers, and most popular books of 2019.


What are your top three all-time favorite book club books?

This is the question we posed to the 1,901 book club members who took part in our January 2020 survey.

Those who responded were well-qualified to answer this question. Over 90% have been in a book club for at least three years, 55% have more than ten years of book club experience under their belts, and almost half belong to more than one group. In other words, they've discussed a lot of books, so the titles that made it into the overall Top 10 had to triumph over a lot of competition.

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Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Nonfiction Books

Book Club Top 10 - All Time Favorite Nonfiction

This is the second in a series of four posts. See also overall favorites, mysteries & thrillers, and most popular books of 2019.


In the previous post we shared the results of our 2020 survey of book club members to find out their all-time favorite book club books. Most of the overall top 10 fall into the broad bucket of "literary fiction," but we know that most book clubs read a variety of genres, and rightly so because the qualities that make a book ripe for discussion are certainly not exclusive to "literary fiction," let alone "women's fiction."

So, we probed a little deeper to ask specifically about the respondents' favorite nonfiction books, giving them the opportunity to nominate up to three books and reminding them that we were interested only in titles they had discussed in a book club setting, because not every excellent book makes for great discussion; 1,172 responded to this question.

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Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers

Top 10 All-Time Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers for Book Clubs

This is the third in a series of four posts. See also overall favorites, nonfiction, and most popular books of 2019.


In the previous two posts we shared the results of our survey of book club members to find out their all-time favorite book club books, and their favorite nonfiction books. Here we look at mysteries and thrillers. Once again, respondents were given the opportunity to nominate up to three books and reminded that they should only name books that they had discussed in a book club setting, because there are many excellent mysteries and thrillers but not all have the substance to make for great discussion; 920 responded to this question.

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The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2019

The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2019

This is the fourth in a series of four posts. See also overall favorites, nonfiction and mysteries and thrillers.


In the previous three posts in this sequence, we shared the results of our 2020 survey of book club members to find out their favorite book club books of all-time. In three separate questions, we asked them to name their overall favorites, their nonfiction favorites and their mystery/thriller favorites, always reminding them to only name books that they had discussed in a book club setting, because the qualities that make for great books to read don't always translate into great discussions.

In the final question, we asked them to think back over just those books they discussed in a book club during 2019, and to name their one overall favorite; 1,354 responded to this question:

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Best Books for Book Clubs: The Indian Subcontinent

This month, we highlight books from the Indian subcontinent (which consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.) Reading something set in another part of the world can be both informative and fun, offering you the opportunity to learn new things about unfamiliar places and cultures. And, in the case of these books, you can also feel confident they will be good choices for your book club. We have discussion guides for all but one; and all are also available in paperback, or will be soon.

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The Paris Hours by Alex George