Three Ways to Join a Book Club

It’s a new year! Why not try crossing something off your bucket list or start on your To Read pile by starting a book club?!

I am a consistent advocate for book clubs – they are great ways to engage with literature all the while getting out and being social. If you are interested in joining a book club, the below is a brief look at three different ways you can go about achieving this goal.

There are a number of ways you can find, join, or start a book. You can gather a group of your friends and hold a physical book club, you could join an established and public book club, or you can engage online in digital book clubs.

Option One: Start one yourself.

The main difficulty in starting a book club is finding members to join you. You may be lucky and have a few like minded friends who wish to also start a book club, or you may need to round them up, or even sweeten the deal with the promise of wine.

The hardest part of starting a book club is that first meeting. It is my suggestion that if you are starting one with friends, start small. Three or four friends is a respectable amount of people for a book club, there is no rule saying that you have to have a huge group – however if you do start with large numbers then that is great too!

My other suggestion for your very first meeting is to choose an easy and accessible book. You may want to start off with something like Pride and Prejudice, The Help, or even take a page out of the film The Book Club, and read Fifty Shades of Grey. By starting with an easy choice you can get the ball rolling early and easily and hopefully make it past that first book club meeting.

If you are able to pin down a few friends and start a book club – congratulations! You have done the near impossible.

Option Two: Join a book club

If you want to join a book club but don’t want all the hassle of starting one yourself, you can always join an exisiting book club.

Joining a book club is a great way to meet new people, expand your social circle, or engage with your community. It is also a really great way to meet new people if you have just moved to a new area because you are always free to come and go from the club with no pressure as you expand your new social circles.

If you are looking to join a pre-existing book club, I would recommend checking out your local public library. As a librarian at a pubic library, I know that each branch has a number of book clubs running through the library. Not to mention all of the private ones that utilise the library book club kits or space.

If you are unable to find a suitable library run book club, either because they don’t have any vacancies or they run at times not suited to you, check out your local community notice boards. You may get lucky and find a private club that is looking for new members.

Option Three: Engage with an online book club.

If you want to have a wholly digital book club experience, there are a number of ways you can engage with book clubs online.

Goodreads is home to a number of groups which are based around genres, book clubs, or reading challenges. Explore the site and see if you can find a group that grabs your attention – often you will find groups that post monthly polls for which books to read and forums where you can engage with each other.

Also really no matter what genre you enjoy reading, you will find a book club associated with it on Goodreads. You can join groups dedicated to Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, and even history books. On the Goodreads site, I would really recommend checking out Our Shared Shelf, which is a book club run by Emma Watson that looks at Feminist works of literature.

Celebrity book clubs are also ones you can engage in online – Oprah’s Book Club is on Goodreads, Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine runs Between Two Books, and  NFL football player Andrew Luck reads two books a month in their book club the Andrew Luck Book Club.


If you are interested in finding out more, I have previously talked about my love for them in my posts, Five Reasons My Book Club is Better than Yours and Top Ten: Book Club Books.

12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

May/December from
12 Tropes of 2020

Refers to a romantic relationship where there is a drastic difference in age between the two participants.

Taken from TV Tropes

“Some say I’m robbing the cradle, but I say she’s robbing the grave!”

Hubert FarnsworthFuturama

Better Not Pout
by Annabeth Albert

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind. 

Blurb taken from Goodreads

My thoughts

Better Not Pout has been on my reading list for a while now, I remember making grand plans to read it all the way back in December 2017… it only took me two years to read it. I am very glad that I did eventually read this book as I found it to be quite a sweet and tender hearted novel.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 Challenge – Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert”

Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Tough Guy

by Rachel Reid.

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: January 13, 2020.

Length: 262 pages.

Series: Game Changers #3.

Genre: QUILTBAG. Romance. M/M Romance.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Rachel Reid continues to blow me away. Not only does she make me want to know more about Hockey but she compels me to read her books in one session with her engaging characters and dynamic relationships. Although it is the start of the year, I feel like I have found a 2020 favourite in Tough Guy.

Continue reading “Tough Guy by Rachel Reid”

Long Lost Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet

Long Lost Reviews Icon

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett.

A deliciously funny novella that celebrates the pleasure of reading. When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, the Queen is transformed as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.

The author of the Tony Award winner The History Boys, Alan Bennett is one of Britain’s best-loved literary voices. With The Uncommon Reader, he brings us a playful homage to the written word, imagining a world in which literature becomes a subversive bridge between powerbrokers and commoners. By turns cheeky and charming, the novella features the Queen herself as its protagonist. When her yapping corgis lead her to a mobile library, Her Majesty develops a new obsession with reading. She finds herself devouring works by a tantalizing range of authors, from the Brontë sisters to Jean Genet. With a young member of the palace kitchen staff guiding her choices, it’s not long before the Queen begins to develop a new perspective on the world – one that alarms her closest advisers and tempts her to make bold new decisions. Brimming with the mischievous wit that has garnered acclaim for Bennett on both sides of the Atlantic, The Uncommon Reader is a delightful celebration of books and writers, and the readers who sustain them. 

Taken from book blurb

So I only recall brief snippets of this book but I remember being charmed. If only because the protagonist is the current, Queen of England. As the blurb states, the story follows the Queen as she stumbles upon a mobile library and from there develops a love of the written word. Dear old Lizzie makes her way through the classics as well as modern literature.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet”

My Goodreads Year in Books – 2019

I did it – I finished the challenge!

Previously in 2018 I had challenged myself to read 70 books and beat that challenge, so this year I thought I would go for the big 💯. I am happy to say that I have beat that by *almost* 50. So close 😋

Since I surprised myself so much this year, I plan on upping the challenge to 150 books in 2020. So wish me luck and also check out all that I read in 2019.

Continue reading “My Goodreads Year in Books – 2019”

2019 Goals Rundown!

Happy almost the end of 2019!

Let’s have a quick look at what I have accomplished this 2019. If you’ve been paying attention, I have been tracking my progress each month in my Small Snippets posts, so some of this may not be a surprise to you.

Reread

I have gone abysmally at rereading books this year 😰 While I did try with reading the first book of the Lunar Chronicles this year, sadly I did not pick up any other books in the below series.

The Lunar Chronicles by Melissa Meyer.

❌The whole Tortall series by Tamora Pierce.

The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix.

❌Finish the Modern Faerie Tales series.

Continue reading “2019 Goals Rundown!”

Christmas Book Bingo by The Never Ending Bookshelf

Happy Holidays everyone!

The lovely Jess over at The Never Ending Bookshelf started a Christmas themed Book Bingo towards the end of November that really caught my eye. The below bingo card really inspired me to sit down and tackle some Chrissy books.

While I haven’t read too many Christmas themed books this December, I was able to read three of them. The three books are all QUILTBAG romances that I had mixed feelings about – however two of them were quite enjoyable and fun books about the holiday season.

So, using the content from the above three books I was able to cross off five of the prompts.

Snow: The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott because the main character sadly spends the first half of Christmas Eve sleeping on a bench in the snow 😞

Gifts Exchanged: The Ugliest Sweater by Gillian St. Kevern because half way through the book there is a gift exchange which features one of the characters giving quite a naughty but Christmas themed present 🍬🍭

FREE CHOICE: I choose Santa 🎅 In Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert, main character Nicolas dresses as Santa multiple times to help with a charity drive because he just cannot say no.

Christmas in the Title: The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott because tadar! It’s in the title 😋

Scrooge/Grinch Character: Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert because Nicolas starts off as such a scrooge. Thank goodness he has Teddy to make him see the error of his ways – elf costume and all 🧝‍♂️

So yay! With three books I achieved a Bingo!

Be sure to check out The Never Ending Bookshelf and let Jess know how you went with your Christmas reads! While you’re there why not see how you went on the challenge and post to let us know 😄🎅

My Hopeful Reads of 2020

Due largely to my enjoying the graphic, rather than my ‘success’ of last year – I will be attempting again my Hopeful Reads of 2020 reading challenge.

Referring to the below image, this will be on display in a sidebar widget of my blog for the entirety of 2020. The books featured are ones that I want to hopefully read by the end of 2020, thus the ‘Hopeful reads of 2020’ title.

The books that are featured are potentially ones that:

  • are designated reads in my 2020 Goals
  • potential Book Bingo selections
  • have been recommended to me
  • have caught my eye
  • are books that have remained from last year
  • or simply are ones I want to read.


See any books in there that you want to know more about? Do you want a similar template for your blog? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

Rundown of My Hopeful Reads of 2019

Since I started my Hopeful Reads of 2019 half way through the year, I am going to forgive myself for not really getting through many of my selected reads 😅

The image which has been on display in a sidebar widget of my blog, saw me complete a grand total of 6 out of the 16 total books. One of these books was something that while I technically finished, decided to mark as Did not finish as I really disliked the book.

There are still a few on there that I want to read and will be transferring across onto my 2020 graphic but there are also some that I may abandon. The Lily & the Crown is a book I still want to read but I can be honest with myself in 2020 and get rid of the the first Lioness book, Alanna as I doubt I’ll be getting to that series anytime soon.

I really enjoy looking at the graphic and so I am planning on continuing with this easy and passive reading challenge in 2020. Keep an eye out later in the week for my updated graphic for my Hopeful Reads of 2020.



Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton

Long Lost Reviews Icon

Chart Throb

by Ben Elton.

Ben Elton is about to put the “real” back into Reality TV in his biting satire of one of today’s most popular cultural phenomena — the TV talent show.

95,000 hopefuls. Three judges. Just one winner.

And that’s Colin Simms, the genius behind the show.

Colin always wins, because Colin writes the rules. But this year, as he sits smugly in judgment on the mingers, clingers and blingers whom he has pre-selected in his carefully scripted “search” for a star, he has no idea that the rules are changing. The “real” is about to be put back into “reality” television, and Colin and his fellow judges (the nation’s favourite mum and the other bloke) are about to become ex-factors themselves.

From the best-selling author of The First CasualtyPopcorn, and Dead Famous comes Chart Throb. One winner. A whole bunch of losers.

Taken from book blurb

I have extremely vague memories of this book, however I always remember it fondly. While I could not tell you much about the plot, I do remember one character arch that has stuck with me ever since I put the book down.

Alert – Spoilers Ahead

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton”