Book Club / Culture

2024 is the year of the book club – and these are nine of our favourites

Since the collective isolation we felt in the early 2020s, we've been noticeably looking for novel and more wholesome ways to connect with one another – whether that be the burgeoning popularity of run clubs in Sydney or line dancing in LA – or dinner clubs well, just about everywhere in the world.

But one of the other 'clubs' we're flocking to lately is the humble book club – a way to simultaneously broaden our horizons, consume cultural capital and connect with like-minded peers on a topic. We're big readers here at RUSSH – we just hosted our first-ever 'Conversations with Creative Minds' event just a few weeks ago with authors Lamisse Hamouda and Winnie Dunn – and of course, we're ravenously devouring plenty of classics and new-release books in our free time too.

So we'd like to think we know a thing or two about books around here. And if you don't happen to have a couple of friends who are just as passionate about page-turning as you are, these are some book clubs you can turn to online or IRL for your regular filling of the cup.


1. Library Science by Kaia Gerber (online)


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Gerber has long been an avid reader and passionate about sharing the books she loves online with her millions of followers. Sparked from her weekly COVID book club video series on Instagram Live, where she spoke with authors like Lena Dunham, Kaveh Akbar and Carmen Maria Machado,  Library Science is a continuation of her mission to "get young people reading". It's a book club that shies away from classics and typical bestseller lists to better highlight underrepresented voices and stories, as curated by Kaia herself.

You can watch Kaia interview each author on the site, and read along at home.


2. Book Swap by Club Sup (Sydney and Melbourne)


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For the commitment-phobes among us who would love to engage with a one-off book club event, Club Sup's regular Book Swap events are a wonderful way to dip your toes into the world of book clubs. Founder Sophie McIntyre started her Melbourne supper club events in the post-COVID landscape, and their burgeoning popularity across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane has seen her events branch out into the world of book swapping. Basically, you buy a ticket, bring along a pre-loved book to swap and "set it free to a new friend". They'll provide snacks for the occasion too.


3. WellRead (online)


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If you're simply an indecisive reader and want to be relieved of the anxiety of choosing what's worth reading each month, then a subscription to WellRead is a must. Their carefully curated monthly send-outs allow you to opt for per month for three, six, nine or twelve months, and they also have resources to help you start your own book club amongst friends with your send-outs (including reading notes with each book to inspire conversation and extend the reading experience.


4. Service95 Book Club by Dua Lipa


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If you've ever wanted insight on what the cool girls are reading, then Dua Lipa's personally curated monthly book club Service95 is the place to start. The singer's diverse selections are matched with bespoke content on their website, which includes discussion guides and further reading lists aimed at giving you a more intimate look at the writers, inspirations and worlds of the books you are reading together.


5. Celebrity Memoir Book Club (online)


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If your particular predilection is for autobiographies by celebrities – big or small – then the uber-popular Celebrity Memoir Book Club podcast is a most apt choice (they even have merch and live shows you can attend!). Whether dissecting Crying in H Mart by Japanese Breakfast's Michelle Zauner or picking apart the memoir of Priscilla Presley – you'll be able to read along at home, and follow their Patreon for even more content.


6. TeaTime Book Club by Dakota Johnson (online)


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Named after her entertainment company, Johnson's book club shares a monthly book select alongside audio clips from authors and playlists curated to complement the book's tone. You can join TeaTime Book Club's broadcast channel on Instagram.


7. Reese's Book Club by Reese Witherspoon (online)


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It only takes a glance at Reese Witherspoon's producing catalogue to know that the actor has impeccable reading taste – from adapting Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty to Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. So we're taking Reese's word to stay ahead of what's probably about to blow up in the literary world (or at least, be shortlisted for adaptations by her and her production company).


8. Avid Reader (Brisbane)


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For our South East Queensland book worms, Indie bookshop Avid Reader in West End is one of the healthiest and longest-standing book clubs in the area – and they have multiple to choose from depending on your tastes. Of course, you can head to their general all-hands sessions, or you can opt for their Bloody Crime sessions for true-crime obsessees, their High Noon club for exclusively prize-winning fiction. They also host a range of incredible author talks and panel discussions alongside the regular book club sessions. You can find all the details on the Avid Reader website, and the sessions are free if you've purchased your book from the shop.


9. Our Shared Shelf by Emma Watson (online)


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Waton's intersectional feminist bi-monthly book club may have folded under the weight of COVID, but it's still a phenomenal space to revisit retrospectively for some damn good feminist reads. Of course, we never doubted that the actress, Brown graduate and UN ambassador would have good taste in books, but her literary prowess is hardly matched in the celebrity book club space. We'd suggest trawling their Instagram feed for some inspiration for your next monthly read.


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