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It’s admittedly been a few years since my book club was active, but when it was, I loved coming up with end-of-year book club ideas. With the holidays making everyone’s time a little tighter, it’s the perfect time to change things up.
Here are a few ideas to either refresh your book club or make that last book club of the year even more special.
Skip the book club selection and talk about your favorite novel.
If it wasn’t for audiobooks, I’d never get a chance to “read” but I’m even less likely when November and December roll around. I’m super busy and so are a lot of other people.
If you enjoy the social aspect of book club but don’t want to feel the pressure of reading a book, make a special night where everyone talks about their favorite book. Everyone can answer questions like:
- When did you first read this book?
- How many times have you read it?
- What do you love about this book?
- What kind of reader would love this book?
- What’s the best format (read it, listen to it, etc.)?
Pick a quick and easy read.
If your book club does decide to have a selection, make it an easy read. Something short and not incredibly complex. This is not the time to be talking about War and Peace.
If you’re looking for a holiday themed book, I love this list from Oprah Daily on the Best Christmas Books to Snuggle Up with This Holiday Season. If you’re less about Christmas and more about Hanukkah, those lists are a little tougher to come by but you can find a list of Hanukkah books on Goodreads. Just note that this list includes books for all ages, not just adults.
If you just want a light or heart-warming read or a fast read, here are some of my favorites from over the years.
Eleanor & Park
I chose this book for our year-end Holiday Book Club. We wanted something short, light, and easy-reading but still with substance. That’s what we got along with a quick trip back to the 80s. Sweet, sentimental, with enchanting characters.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Not many books are well-written, entertaining, and hold my interest. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this from start to finish. The style of writing is what I loved so much. Easy reading!
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
I listened to the audiobook and the wonderful narrator really captures the essence of Eleanor. I laughed at her and with her. I even teared up. So many tender moments so beautifully written.
If you need action in your books, this isn’t for you. But if you love character stories so well written that you feel like you’re part of their lives, please check out the quirkiness of Eleanor Oliphant. The story might even make you rethink that one strange woman in the office that nobody likes.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
This was a perfectly pleasant book but nothing memorable. The symbolism was a little too obvious and the story a little too predictable. I’m not sure if this is a YA book but it felt like it.
Kind of a cross between Harry Potter and Miss Peregrine but less original.
Nothing to See Here
Looking for a literary classic? This isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a smart, entertaining easy read and a quirky, unique story, this is it. I felt like I sat down and somehow told me an unbelievable tale and I believed every word of it. Such a fun book – one of my favorites in a long time.
Create a Book Club Quiz or Book Club Bingo
If you have kids, you might be familiar with a grade school program called Battle of the Books. Groups of kids are assigned a list of books to read. They become experts in those books and participate in a type of quiz bowl about the books, competing against other kids and schools.
I’m not suggesting you turn this into a work assignment. I’m simply suggesting that you see who’s been paying attention all year!
Here are some ways you can do that:
- Create a multiple list question sheet about books and characters you’ve discussed during the year. You can do teams or individuals and give out a prize for the most answers correct.
- Create a blank answer sheet and post pictures or questions around the room about the books you’ve read. This encourages people to circulate and brainstorm on the answers.
- Create a Book Club Bingo. Design a bingo card with character or book names in the squares. Instead of calling B23, you could call “a character from A Man Called Ove.”
Don’t stress over the questions. With a quick online search, you can find “book club questions” for many novels out there.
Again, reward the effort with a prize – even if it’s a gag gift. Maybe the lowest score has to host the next book club!
Have a Book Exchange
For those of you that require the smell and feel of paper in your hands, bring one of your books from the year and throw it into a book exchange pile. Everyone brings one, everyone takes one. Leave a note in the book you bring for the next reader! If you have extras or duplicates, you can always donate them.
Dress as your favorite Book Character
If November and December get too crazy for book club, you can always wrap up your book club in October and make it a costume party. It could be as simple as a red and white hat and a few whiskers to show up as the Cat in the Hat. Or you could wear a red gown and white bonnet and echo the words “under his eye” from The Handmaid’s Tale.
More book costume ideas:
- Lisbeth Salander from the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Hermione from Harry Potter
- Jo from Little Women
- Nancy Drew
- Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter
- Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
- Arya Stark or Daenerys Targaryen from A Games of Thrones
- Tris Prior from Divergent
More Book Club Ideas!
If you’re simply looking for more book club ideas on what to read throughout the year, I’ve got you covered there too. Here are a few of my round up book posts from previous years:
And finally, be sure to check out my post on how to read a book when you really don’t have time to read. It can help you fill your days with more stories!