How to Start a Book Club

“Would you like to join our book club?” she asked.

Those eight words were music to this bookworm’s ears.

I felt like I’d been asked to sit at the cool kids’ lunch table! I’d been hoping to bust into this group of voracious readers for some time. And then it happened. They finally had an opening. And I was in!


More Than Wine
This group of ten women has been meeting and reading together for years. We even have a name: The Lit Chicks. And in spite of many book clubs’ reputations as “organized wine drinking,” this one actually discusses the book. In great detail. And yes, we do also drink wine.

Joining the Lit Chicks has opened up my reading repertoire as well as my mind. In our club, the hostess gets to select the book. This has pushed me to read many books I may not have otherwise chosen to read. And our respectful, insightful discussions have challenged me to consider new ways of thinking.

We read mostly fiction. We’ve enjoyed psychological thrillers, historic fiction, best sellers, chick lit and romance novels. We’ve even had an author attend to discuss her work. And occasionally, if the book has inspired a movie, we’ll add a field trip to go watch it at the theatre.

How it Works
Our group meets in our homes with a different member hosting each month. We usually meet on week nights for about two hours. The hostess provides snacks and beverages, and facilitates discussion to keep us on track. At the end of a meeting, we compare calendars and select the next meeting date based on availability, and the upcoming hostess lets us know the book she has selected.

Lit Chick club members all live busy lives, but the expectation is that we come prepared, having read the book. After all, it is hard to discuss a book you haven’t read. Our group is a mix of women with diverse professional lives and political views. Because of this, we generally avoid partisan politics. But we do encourage respectful discussion about the books and their themes.

How to Get Started
If you’re considering starting a book club, here are some items to consider:

  • Think about your intentions for the club. Decide on your tone and theme.
  • Will you focus on a specific genre or type of book? Some clubs only do business or self-help books. Others leave it wide open.
  • How often will your club meet? How long will your meetings be?
  • How will you divvy up the responsibilities?
  • Will you be the leader? Or will you rotate who leads meetings?
  • What are the minimum and maximum number of members your club can accommodate?
  • Where will you meet? Consider a library, a book store, a restaurant, or members’ homes.

Remember, there are many ways to organize a book club. It just takes a few interested people to get you started. All you have to do is reach out to friends, colleagues, or fellow bibliophiles and say those eight magic words…“Would you like to join our book club?”


Here’s a list of the Lit Chicks 25 most recent books:

  1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  2. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
  3. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  4. Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif
  5. The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
  6. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  7. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
  8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  9. Room by Emma Donoghue
  10. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  11. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
  12. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
  13. Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  14. Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
  15. The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  16. The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
  17. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  18. A Lesson Before Dying by Earnest J. Gaines
  19. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  20. Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
  21. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  22. Constellation of the Vital Phenomenon by Anthony Marra
  23. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
  24. The Storyteller by Jody Piccoult
  25. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple


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