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Break Into A Book Club

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on May 14, 2010 6:20PM

Photo by kwerfeldein
Themed book clubs have plenty of benefits. Read books you like. Meet people like you. Discuss this and that, sometimes related to the book, sometimes not. If you’re into reading a particular genre and want to pursue your book club dream, we have some suggestions for you.

SciFi and Fantasy: The Edgewater SciFi and Fantasy Book Club meets monthly and reads a wide range of authors and speculative fiction. Past books have included classis, space opera, "urban" fantasy, young adult lit, graphic novels and even horror. The next meeting is May 25 at Third Coast Comics at 7 p.m. They're reading Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The club includes everyone from college students to librarians and is open to anyone, as long as they RSVP on the site.

Foodies: If you’re into cooking and eating food, For for Thought might be the perfect book club. The culinary club meets every month to discuss a food-related book, and occasionally members will get together for other activities such as cooking classes or wine making. Each book club meeting is also a potluck, and members prepare dishes that correspond to the month’s reading material. This month’s book is My Life in France by Julia Child. They’ll be meeting May 25 at the French Market at 6 p.m. Visit the Food for Thought blog for more details.

Comics and Graphic Novels: The Challengers book club, aka the Chatterings are reading Incognito by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillip this month. Purchase it from the store for 20 percent off and join the group on May 27 at Challengers Comics and Conversation at 7 p.m. to discuss.

Chicago: The Gapers Block Book Club reads a book every month that has some tie to Chicago. The books are sometimes set in Chicago or are written by authors who once lived or still live in Chicago. Sometimes an author will even stop by to join in the discussion. That might not be the case with next month’s book though, which is Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware. The next GB club is meeting June 14 at The Book Cellar at 7:30 p.m. Get more information from their site.

Young Adult: The members of Never Too Old are not ashamed to love young adult books. The group is open to those grown-ups who devoured the Twilight series or Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and liked them. The reading list alternates between new books and classics as well as target ages to maintain a good mix from month to month. The next book is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. The club is meeting May 26 at The Book Cellar at 8 p.m. See the Google group for more information.

Queer Latino: Queeratura meets once a month to discuss Queer Latino literature. This month they’re reading Daniel Torres' De Bellaqueras, and the author will be joining in on the discussion. The meeting is May 27 at Center on Halsted at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Readers of Queer Latino Literature facebook page.

Other: On, we also found ChiBlackLit, Chicago Queer Books, a group working through the books on the “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die” list, Beyond David Sedaris, and Chicago Non-fiction Book Club. It seems like there’s a book club for almost anything, but we’re not sure how active these groups are. Reader's Circle also has a long list of book clubs in the area, but several of these seem out-of-date.