Book Groups With a Theme
Do you have a theme?
This is not to say you must have a theme. Most book groups forgo themes and read a different type of book every month. It's good to have an idea of what you want in advance so that everyone is on the same page.
If you are interested in having a theme, make sure it's broad enough that you will be able to find enough books. For example, something like "art mysteries" are not nearly as plentiful and easy to find as "cozy mysteries" or "women authors".
It is also possible to choose a different topic or genre for each month and then choose titles to match:
- One way might be to choose a different ethnic group to focus on each month, so January you might choose to read fiction by Latinx Authors, and Feburary might be African Authors, and so on and so forth.
- Or you may choose to read a different genre each month and require that all nominations be authors of color.
Having a focus like these can also help your group members feel less overwhelmed by all the options out there when they nominate titles. Depending on how far into the future you plan, if you know that in July you'll be reading a Mystery novel, you can start a list of possible titles well in advance and then vote when you're closer to the discussion date.
Keep in mind, you don't have to do this the same way every year. It can be fun to change it up every January or on the anniversary of your first meeting.
Possible theme ideas include:
- Choosing to read a broad selection of only fiction or nonfiction
- Books for teens or children (adults can enjoy them too!)
- Cozy mysteries
- Graphic novels
- Short story collections
- Biographies & Memoirs
- Female authors and/or female main characters
- Science fiction
- New York Times Bestsellers
- Armchair travel
- Books soon to be movies
- Parenting nonfiction
- Debut books
- Banned books
- Books published within a specific year or decade
- Career advice nonfiction
- Local interest/local authors (fiction/nonfiction)
- Books by or about musicians and music
- Books by authors of color
- Urban fiction/Street lit
- LGBTQ+ authors (fiction/nonfiction)
- Social justice nonfiction
- Audiobooks (fiction/nonfiction)
- Sports nonfiction
- Nonfiction on finance
- Romance novels
- Cookbooks (everyone can make a recipe from the book to share!)
- Books you already own but haven't read yet (each member takes a turn choosing the book)
- Everyone reads a different title and talks about it rather than everyone reading the same book
- Fanfiction (fiction written by fans of popular works like Harry Potter or Law and Order that's posted online for free)
Reading challenges can be a great boost to your personal reading list, but they are also great for book groups!
POPSUGAR Reading Challenge for 2023 - This annual challenge is a list of 50 fun and unique book prompts that will help you accomplish your reading goals, whether you simply want to read more books in the coming year or you want to diversify your reading by diving into niche genres, discovering lesser-known authors, or branching out of your book comfort zones.
The 2023 Master List of Reading Challenges - This is is a compilation of YEAR-LONG challenges designed to level up your reading year. Check back every Sunday through January 2022, as the list is updated with new reading challenges for the year ahead.