In this series we will hear directly from some very inspiring clubs using Bookclubz in order to get to know their stories and learn how they are using our platform to build uplifting and meaningful communities!
Get to know The Symphony Book Club, and how they have come together as one group of friends and confidants who support, share, and challenge each other on everything from literature to love & loss to life in general over the past two years!
Is there a conversation about picking out your book?
Typically, at the end of each meetup we discuss options for the next book. We tend to do a lot of timely or themed selections for example: Last February as a nod to Valentine's Day we read, Come as You Are (The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski and March is Women's History Month so we read The Woman Destroyed by Simone De Beauvoir Back to School. Other times we pick a genre we'd like to explore like Biography (She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh) or a topic we're collectively interested in like the Occult (Modern Tarot: Connecting with Your Higher Self through the Wisdom of the Cards by Michelle Tea). No matter the theme, subject, or genre, we collect suggestions from members and then everyone votes on the book they would most like to read.
How do your club members stay connected beyond reading?
Our club started off as an experiment for me to bring together all the incredible women in my life together under a common interest (books), but it's turned into much more than that! Now after two years, we've come together as one group of friends and confidants who support, share, and challenge each other on everything from literature to love & loss to life in general. We stay in touch with a group text, social media, and a monthly newsletter that keeps us connected in between our meetups, which happen about every other month or so.
How do you host successful meetings and inspire thought-provoking discussions?
We're pretty free form when it comes to discussions--most conversations about the books develop organically. Some members are more methodical and will come prepared with really thoughtful questions (shout out to Elena!) Actually, one of our best meetups was a poetry themed night where we all brought a few poems that really spoke to us and took turns reading them aloud. It was a nice departure from all reading the same book and instead it allowed us to each bring something unique and personal to the table. Similarly, the month we read Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea turned into an mystical evening of astrology charts, tarot readings and I-Ching divination.
Anything books that elicited a strong response?
The book we just finished (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer) has definitely been a crowd pleaser--everyone loved it! We also read Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis that really challenged individual perspectives/worldviews and provoked frank conversation and debate. I highly recommend both books!