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Time to finish the year of 2023 (good riddance!) with one final round of book clubs this December. Every month, I try to find the most interesting, popular, and unique book clubs out there and round up for you what they’re reading. The beauty of this is you can join as much or as little as you’d like. All but one are virtual, and you can even just pick your next read from the list.
For December 2023’s book club picks, we have a wide array of choices! There’s a sapphic romance with a fake engagement trope, Reese Witherspoon’s thriller pick, a haunting novel selected by Roxane Gay, a blockbuster thriller romance, and a historical WWII novel. But that’s not all. You can read a novel in translation by a Palestinian author, a novel about a middle-aged woman sleeping with her daughter’s 23-year-old best friend, a Shakespeare play assigned in most schools, a historical mystery, a dive into the Congo’s cobalt mining operation, and a holiday romance!
Hot Springs Drive by Lindsay Hunter
What Roxane said about the book: “Next month in the Audacious Book Club, we’re talking about Hot Springs Drive by Lindsay Hunter, the third title from @roxanegaybooks. I hope you’ll join us at The Audacity to discuss this haunting novel.”
Minor Detail by Adania Shibli
About the book club: Tiffany and Alexandra, longtime friends, created the Subtle Asian Book Club in 2020 with the goal of uplifting Asian voices and storytellers. You can read along with the monthly book chosen, join on social media, and watch videos of their live author interviews.
About the book: If you’re looking for a novel in translation with two points of view and time periods that equally looks at both history and the current moment, this is your book club this month.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
About the book club: Mocha Girls Read is a monthly book club of Black women who love to read and currently have chapters in 14 cities across the U.S.
About the book: If you’ve been wondering what all the Colleen Hoover hoopla is about — or already love her — and are in the mood for a thriller romance, this is your book club this month!
Alice Sadie Celine by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
About the book club: Marie Claire editors created an online monthly book club for people with busy schedules to still be able to read. “Consider it socializing without actually socializing because, really, we all just want to take off our bra and lay down after a long day,” they explain. You can also share reviews online with the chance to have them featured on the site.
What MC said about the book: “In December, we’re reading Sarah Blakley-Cartwright’s Alice Sadie Celine, a seductive novel following a woman’s affair with her daughter’s best friend that tests the limits of their love and beliefs. Read an excerpt from the book below, then find out how to participate. (You really don’t have to leave your couch!)”
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
About the book cub: Hosted by Traci Thomas, The Stacks is a podcast that chats all about books, and there’s a monthly book club! The book chosen for the month is discussed on the podcast the last week of the month with a selected special guest.
What The Stacks Book Club said about the book: “After almost six years of the show, we are finally doing a Shakespeare play, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to take on his most famous one, ROMEO AND JULIET. It’s the story of star-crossed lovers who come together in spite of a decades-long family feud. Dust off your high school copy and read with us!”
A Little Magic by Lindsey Lanza
About the book club: Lillianne Leight and Amanda Spivack created this book club with a focus on Jewish books and characters “with varying relationships to Judaism” that welcomed all readers — Jewish and non.
This second chance holiday romance with an amazing Jewish main character will give you all of the feels this Holiday season and we can’t wait to talk about it with you all. Lindsey will be joining us via zoom on DECEMBER 26TH @ 8 PM EST to chat all things Theo & Ellie!”
The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
What GMA said about the book: “Extensively researched until the final page, ‘The Frozen River’ neatly paints a picture of a community of recent immigrants making a life in an unforgiving landscape as public opinion shifts over the course of the unfolding trial. Beautifully written by Lawhon, the novel brings to life the sting of the frigid Maine air, warmth of the homesteaders’ fur cloaks, and herbal fumes of the tonics Ballard brews. Readers will alternate between swooning at Lawhon’s portrait of Ballard’s storybook marriage and ache for her to find the justice she so desperately seeks, while Ballard’s keen observations about parenting, regret and love ring with a bright contemporary resonance.”
AND “This month, we are also teaming up with Little Free Library to give out free copies in Times Square and at 150 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Since 2009, more than 300 million books have been shared in Little Free Libraries across the world. Click here to find a copy of “The Frozen River” at a Little Free Library location near you.”
Cobalt Red by Siddharth Kara
About the book club: “A modern book club for the modern reader” that invites casual readers to bibliophiles to join in on social media to talk about exciting books.
What Amerie said about the book: “What is a life worth? In ages past, humans could pretend their luxuries simply appeared, but our current age makes it nearly impossible to ignore the harsh realities that make our way of life possible. And so it is impossible to remain ignorant to that which powers our lives. In Cobalt Red, Siddharth Kara provides an intense account of cobalt mining in the Congo, where three-fourths of the world’s cobalt is hand-mined in dangerous and toxic conditions by thousands of men, women, and children for one or two dollars a day. Kara also dissects the cobalt supply chain that provides for the world while devastating so many Congolese. We cannot ignore what is happening in the DRC, and though it has certainly gone on for too long, perhaps now that Siddharth Kara’s exposé has laid bare the truth for the world to see, there can be change, whereby the people of the Congo, who have suffered immensely throughout history, will finally be able to move forward with the hope and self-determination they deserve.”