Make Friends in DC by Joining One of These Book Clubs in August!

Claire Handscombe

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Book clubs are a great way to make like-minded friends, especially if you've just moved somewhere new. In DC, there's no lack of book clubs. Chances are, if you already have a friend group and you ask them, somebody will know of some book clubs you can join. But if not, don't worry! Lots of DC bookshops, including East City Bookshop, were I work, have book clubs you can join. Mostly, they are currently meeting online but will resume in-person meetings once it's safe to do so. Here is what's happening in August at East City Bookshop (online). Keep your eye on the ECB website for September meetings and any new book clubs that might launch!

For Middle Schoolers

Middle Reader Book Club, led by Keiana through East City Bookshop, is for eight-to-ten-year olds, and it focuses on reads about friendship and adventure. They are meeting on Sunday, August 1 at 3 pm and will be discussing Emmy in the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido. Since that's pretty soon and your child may not be able to read the book before them, you can sign up here to be notified of the next meeting in plenty of time. And if you'd like to attend this time, please email Keiana.

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Tween Book Club, also led by Keina, next meets on Sunday, August 1 at 4.15 pm. The focus on this group is on all the changes that go with growing up, like puberty and crushes, but it's age appropriate for kids from upper elementary through. As with Middle Reader Book Club, you can email Keina to join Sunday's group, where the book discussed will be Efrén Divided, by Ernesto Cisneros. Sign up here to find out about the next meeting in plenty of time!

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Adult Fiction

Usually meeting on the first Monday of the month, including on August 2, at 6.30 pm, ECB Fiction Club reads an ecletic selection of books from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. What the books have in common is that their themes echo the struggles and issues that face our neighbourhood. This Monday, they'll be discussing The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi. Sign up here to be notified of future meetings and contact Erin, the host, here to let her know if you'll be joining.

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The Capitol Hill Interesting Literature League for Young Professionals (Chilly P's) meets on the first Wednesday at 6.30 pm to discuss books with award-nominated or winning books. On Wednesday, August 4, they'll be talking about My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. If you want to join, please email Will at or Anna.

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Led by ECB's adult book buyer, Emilie, and meeting monthly on Sundays, the New Fiction Book Club is a great fit for anyone who wants to be up to the minute with the books everyone's tweeting and talking and buzzing about right now. Recent literary fiction is the focus, and the pick for August 22 at 4 pm is Luster, by Raven Leilani. Register your interest here and email Emilie if you want to join in!

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If you love love, Really Reading Romance is where you want to be! This super fun, super active book club has its own social media accounts and two passionate co-hosts, Destinee and Elizabeth. They usually meet on the 3rd Friday of the month, though in August their discusion of Whiteout by Adriana Anders will take place on August 27th at 6.30 pm. Register your interest here and email Destinee to let her know if you want to be part of it!

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YA Fiction for Adults

One of ECB's most fun book clubs, W(h)ine and Angst Book Club is for adults of 21 who love reading YA -- and drinking wine. This takes places on the second Friday of the month at 6.30 pm, and on August 13, they'll be discussing Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. You can be notified of future meetings when you sign up here, and you can let Cecilia or Keiana know if you want to attend!

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Adult Non-Fiction

Meeting on Sunday afternoons, the Stranger than Fiction Book Club reads narrative non-fiction: memoirs, essays, and more. On Sunday, August 15, at 3 pm, they'll be discussing Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey. Sign up here if you want to find out about future meetings, and email Destinee if you want to come to the next meeting!

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The Social Justice Book Club is a great place to be if you want to engage with social justice and activism. Book selections will address immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, racial justice, and lots more. This month, the club will discuss Lower Ed by Tressie McMillan Cottom on August 31 at 6.30 pm. Get notified of future meetings by signing up here and email Destinee if you'd like to attend.

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Mixed Genre

Well-Read Black Girl is the space for you if you identify as genderqueer, non-binary, or female and you want to be part of empowering the narratives of Black women. The selection for August 22nd at 4 pm is The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris. Sign up here for advance notice of future meetings and let Destinee know if you want to attend.

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Claire Handscombe is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC, in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but really, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a monthly show about news and views from UK books and publishing; the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan; and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives.

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