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Five fictional book clubs that are better than yours.

Katie Yee

September 16, 2020, 11:49am

In the age of quarantine, book clubs are alive and well! A shocking number of my friends who had previously expressed very little interest in discussing books with me are now #bookstagram-posting fiends. (You know who you are!!) This minor betrayal aside, it’s soothing to me—as someone who works in book media—to see that in times of distress and turmoil, people really do turn to literature, to learn something new, to form a shared experience.

Still, starting a book club is tricky. You have to find the right members—people who share your interests and your reading speed. That’s probably why I haven’t joined any book clubs during this time. But you know what I have been doing? Watching an egregious amount of TV, which is why I have for you here a list of fictional book clubs I’d like to join.

*

Appeared in:
Gilmore Girls

Book(s) up for discussion:
Michael Faber, The Crimson Petal and the White

Book club members:
Emily Gilmore and, most likely, other members of the D.A.R.

Reasons for joining:
I imagine this book club to be mostly sitting around, drinking expensive scotch, complaining about people who didn’t deign to show up to book club. This is the kind of critical discussion I can get behind!

 

The Finer Things Club

Appeared in:
The Office

Book(s) up for discussion:
E.M. Forster, A Room with a View
Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

Book club members:
The Finer Things Club consists of Pam, Oscar, Toby, sometimes Andy, and once (but never again) Jim.

Reasons for joining:
This book club goes all out! Finger sandwiches (shown here) for A Room with a View, sushi for Memoirs of a Geisha, and pints of beer for Angela’s Ashes. Count me in! Also, since it takes place during work hours, it’s a good excuse to stay in the break room for as long as possible.

 

The Vagina Monologues

Appeared in:
Little Fires Everywhere

Book(s) up for discussion:
Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues
(Though we know they discussed How Stella Got Her Groove Back previously, and there was a plea for Memoirs of a Geisha to be next because it’s, in their eyes, less controversial than the play at hand.)

Book club members:
Elena, Linda, and the rest of their similarly-minded wealthy, white, suburban friends.

Reasons for joining:
Come for the endless wine and the one enthusiastic member who genuinely wants to discuss the play, but stay for Mia Warren’s insights about motherhood and the lack of respect for vaginas in society.

 

book club

Appeared in:
Kim’s Convenience

Book(s) up for discussion:
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

Book club members:
Mrs. Kim, Mrs. Lee, assorted unnamed friends, and (regrettably) Mrs. Mehta

Reasons for joining:
If you get there before Mrs. Mehta, there are apparently snacks. Also, by getting there before Mrs. Mehta, you automatically look like a good friend and upstanding member of the community—and isn’t that half the reason people join book clubs? Also, if they’re reading Donna Tartt, clearly they have good taste. (Though, personally, I would’ve chosen The Secret History.)

 

Mae Whitman, Rhetta

Appeared in:
Good Girls

Book(s) up for discussion:
???

Book club members:
Beth, Ruby, and Annie

Reasons for joining:
Although there is one episode in which it appears Beth would like to change her life and join an actual book club, for the rest of the show “book club” is obviously code for their money-laundering side hustle, and I want in!

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