Mid-May, halfway through lockdown, I found myself…a bit deflated. I’d been furloughed since 1stApril and with no return to the office in sight, I decided I needed something to fill the void left behind by work and the huge amount of time I suddenly had on my hands. I’ve always read a lot – my goal for this year was 50 books but I’ll have surpassed that by August, so I’m planning to increase it to 100 books for 2020 but I’ve never been able to discuss the books I’ve read with anyone other than myself, staring back at me in the mirror whilst I wash my face at night.
At the start of lockdown, I’d met wonderful Sophie (the founder of Women’s Rights) on Twitter through a shared excitement for the upcoming publication of Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld and a joint admiration of Hillary Clinton, and as soon as the Women’s Writes subscription started, I knew I had to get involved and finally discuss these incredible books with fellow feminists. Women’s Writes hold a book club for members every month – in which we discuss the subscription book (written by a female author, of course) and various other book club discussions, that both members and non-members are welcome to join (again, always female authors).
So a few weeks ago, I attended my first book club on Zoom. I’m not going to say I was nervous, I don’t really get ‘nervous’ as such. It was more like that feeling of the fear of the unknown, fear that you’ll be chosen for audience participation at a live show – except this time, the audience participation part was kind of the point. I had no reason to be apprehensive though – everyone was so lovely and I’ve since been to many book clubs, both with and without the author present. To be able to discuss a certain book – whether fiction or non-fiction – provides an amazing sense of community and belonging that can be hard to find in an age where everyone is so busy with their own lives. Joining a feminist book club has enabled me to meet some of the most intelligent and articulate women I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and empower each other to read more, think more and take our self-progression higher and higher.
Joining a feminist book club hasn’t just helped me though – by joining a community where all the authors chosen are women, and where £1 of every subscription goes to Women’s charities around the UK, we are ‘elevating women’s voices’ (thanks Sophie, I stole that from the website) and helping in the movement towards equality for women in literature, and in general.
I look forward to book club every month: I get my cup of tea (or this week, glass of wine) and settle down ready for another hour of friendly faces and thought-provoking discussion.
Details to join our book subscription are all on the website, where you can sign up to an online membership or to receive up to 2 books a month sent to you. We would love for you to join our community, where we aspire to support and empower both women writers and readers alike. Thank you Ali for your kind words, to think we are making a difference in both individual’s lives and to female representation is what motivates us every day.