In my monthly book club, we often have a hard time selecting our next book because there are so many to choose from. I thought narrowing the field might help so I brainstormed some monthly book club theme ideas. You could either create a book club entirely around a single theme, or use themes to narrow your focus for each month.
Around the World
A great way to broaden your group’s perspective is to introduce literature from other cultures. Travel “around the world” in books by choosing those written by foreign authors.
Books to consider:
If you want to stimulate interesting discussions, why not theme your club around books that stirred up so much controversy they were banned? Banned books are those that were removed from schools or libraries by school systems, parent or religious groups, or the government.
Here are some possible choices:
Truth can often be a lot stranger and much more fascinating than fiction. With a monthly book club themed around biographies you have so many different choices and it gives you the chance to step into the life of a person you’re all fascinated with.
You can read about an icon in music, art, or even an author, the list goes on and it allows you all to delve deep into their history and learn so many interesting things about them that you would’ve otherwise never known.
Book of the Month
You can eliminate all the stress of choosing a book each month by having all of the members join a Book of the Month club. Then, instead of choosing from hundreds of titles, your group only has to choose from five. Since you’ll each have your own membership, if a member is going to miss a month, she can just skip delivery for the month so she isn’t charged.
You can even choose a Book of the Month club that aligns with your group’s interests. Check out this list of different monthly book club subscriptions.
We all hope for a better future, one that resembles utopia. But our society’s bad decisions now, or simple lack of foresight can lead us towards dystopia instead. Dystopian novels encourage us to evaluate our current behavior and ideals in light of the future that could result from them.
Here are a few you may not have read yet:
If your book club is anything like mine, it’s just as much about getting together as it is about the book. Take some pressure off hosting by choosing a food theme for your cookbook and having each member bring a dish to your meeting that ties in with that month’s book.
If you have a group of reluctant readers, this is a great theme. The members WANT to be readers and have intellectual conversations, but they don’t really want to work too hard at it or waste time on books they may or may not like.
Because historical fiction is rooted in history, but made compelling and engaging via the fictional elements added to the story, these are perfect books for those easing into more serious reading.
It’s always fun to compare a book to its film many book lovers will not watch a film until they’ve read the books it was made from. But making this your monthly book club theme can be hard and take some time to set it up. You’ll have to sit down, print a list of books with movies and then figure out at your next meeting what books with movies no one has already seen or read.
You can either choose a movie that’s been out for awhile or a new movie that’s being released soon and aim to be done reading the book by the time it’s out. This theme is a really cool idea and super fun because it’s rewarding, when you’ve all finished the book you celebrate by having a movie night and afterwards you can get drinks or dinner and talk about the differences between the book and movie.
Check out this list of the Best Books Made Into Movies from List Challenges. If you want to do a movie night, grab these books BEFORE their corresponding movies come out:
For book clubs that appreciate truly talented writers, a theme based on award winning books is an easy way to narrow your selection. You can limit your choices to books that have won any type of literary award or select specific distinctions such as:
- Caldecott Medal
- Man Booker Prize
- National Book Award
- Newbery Medal
- The Pulitzer Prize
- Hugo & Nebula Awards
- Eisner Award
A fun theme that will give you plenty of variety is to choose books that have specific words or types of words in the title. For example:
- Numbers (e.g. Catch-22, 100 Years of Solitude)
- Single word (e.g. Caraval, Heartless)
- Country (e.g. Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain)
- Weather (e.g. The Gift of Rain, The Perfect Storm)
- Animal (e.g. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Water for Elephants)
- Color (e.g. The Red Tent, Blue Heaven)
Don’t let yourself get stuck and your monthly book club lose its fun. Use these monthly book club theme ideas to draw some creativity and bring your book club back to life. Do you know of any other awesome monthly book club theme ideas? Have you tried any of these themes for your monthly book club? Share in the comments!
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