As a city with numerous learning institutions, libraries, bookstores and a rich literary history, it is not surprising that Boston residents have numerous options when it comes to book clubs. There are those that cater to certain demographics. Some focus on a certain type of literature. Other still are open to anyone and everyone who is willing to read and show up. Readers can even book club hop so they can read the books that interest them. Few of these clubs have requirements that would make this difficult.
Cambridge Innovation Center
Charles Conference Room, 14th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02141
The Book Club for the Curious is an interesting sort of book club that was actually created at the city’s Museum of Science. It is meant for the reading and discussion of books that focus on science, technology and all of the great topics these two fields produce. The club meets once a month on the second Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Interested readers can find every month’s selection on a special shelf at the Harvard Bookstore at a 20 percent discounted rate.
Church on the Hill
140 Bowdoin St.
Boston, MA 02108
The Oasis Book Club is unusual in a couple of ways. Reading selections range from classic to modern, the discussion of which not only renews a sense of self in struggling members, but also reminds guests with housing of the inherent equality that underpins all human interaction. As such, this is a great book club for anyone interested in reading.
279 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446
A more traditional book club takes place on the second Monday of the month in the Brookline Booksmith’s Writers and Readers Room at 7:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to arrive and join in on the discussion without any prior registration or participation. This club has a wonderful diversity in its picks, which range from Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” to “Winter’s Bone” by Daniel Woodruff. Expect some great classic reads mixed in with popular contemporary novels.
Grub Street Headquarters
162 Boylston St., 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
The Grub Street Book Club is a members-only club, though members can bring guests. Basic membership for individuals is $60 annually and offers a bunch of literary discounts and access to the Grub Street library and space. The benefit of this being a somewhat exclusive book club run by a literary organization is that discussion is led by a Grub Street staff member, so guests can look at it as something of a workshop that is free with Grub Street membership. Better still, some club events involve the author of the novel, which is relatively rare in community book clubs.
160 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02116
One of the best things about the 20ish and 30ish Boston Book Club branch in Boston (there is another in Cambridge) is perhaps the tapas bar in which it meets. This club got together using meetup.com in 2007 and has been growing ever since. It is proof that social media does bring people together, but is also a great way for readers who do not get out much to plan their book club participation online and then have a nice night out with food, drinks and literary discussion.
Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.