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Stay sharp with summer book clubs

In an age of constant media and phone usage, it’s nice to get back to basics and flex your reading muscle.

/Maddie May

Share your book club with us:

If you have a book club that you want to inlude in our line-up, send an e-mail with information to: [email protected]!

As I need to cut down the time I spend on my phone mindlessly scrolling through social media, I noticed there are several summer book clubs aimed at adults but not a resource to see where they all are and how to get involved. If you aren’t able to make it to the book club events, you could always pair up with a friend or co-worker and pick one of the books to read from the list. Our team at The Rapidian is reading and discussing: A City Within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan by Todd E. Robinson this summer.

Books & Mortar Summer Reading Club:

Books & Mortar, a community centric independent bookstore located in the Cherry Hill District offers book club reads and events alongside their regular community events. The book club meets twice a month in June, July, and August to discuss the books and get the community engaged in topics ranging from eviction to the new American dream and everything in-between.

The book club kicked off with Evicted by Matthew Desmond and ends with Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m particularly excited to read Americanah after reading her essay We Should All Be Feminists adapted from her TEDX talk of the same name.

The full list of books and event nights can be found on the Books & Mortar event page and all books can be purchased in shop.

GR Reads at the Grand Rapids Public Library:

GR Reads: summer reading all grown up, is a book club designed to engage adult readers as well as those of us who have strayed away from reading and want to dive back in. The public library is hosting 28 events alongside their book line-up to compliment the novels and get the reader actively involved in the themes.

The book club dives into a variety of topics ranging from the science of dark matter in our universe to our cultural climate and everything in between. Events include a special tour of an exhibition at the Grand Rapids Art Museum while asking the question: How does art end up in a museum to learning about the global art of head wrapping at the Linc Gallery.

For a full listing of books and their corresponding events, visit the Grand Rapids Public Library website.

WMEAC Environmental Book Club:

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council offers a monthly book club focused on environmental issues and engaging the community in conversations surrounding environmental topics. Not only do they have monthly meetings, but they also have a 40 book list to choose from which is sure to get every kind of reader engaged in learning more about our earth and great lakes. They share on their website that, “Members range in career path and motivation for joining, but they all have one thing in common: they care about the environment, and want to see change.”

They meet the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the WMEAC office on Lake Drive. For more information or to join the book club email list, contact Hannah at [email protected].

Bend Gallery Book Club:

Bend Gallery is a new art gallery opening on Avenue for the Arts, by KCAD graduate: Maddie May. The community organized monthly book club kicked off with Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (And Rewards) of Artmaking.

May shares that, “during the meeting members can propose different books to read so we can begin to decide on a schedule. Boxed wine and snacks will be provided. Each month we will announce a new book and towards the end of each month (dates to be decided per member feedback) we will meet in the gallery to discuss it! Prompt questions will be provided to guide dialogue!”


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