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Finally, A Book Club on the Same Page As You

These four reading groups do away with the boxed wine and awkward prompt questions.

Illustration: Lars Leetaru

1 Bourbon Book Club at Drawl

2423 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park
The spin:Reading, with booze
Who it’s for:People who like talking about amber liquors as much as books. Every month, readers — all 21 and over, natch — get together for appetizers, bourbon-imbued cocktails, and discussion of a Southern-themed title.
Sample reads:Snowden Wright’s American Pop and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

2 The Read at Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery

515 N. Halsted St., Fulton River District
The spin:A home for errant book clubbers
Who it’s for:“People who love the idea of a book club but just forget or don’t have time,” says Semicolon’s owner, DL Mullen. The solution: A livestream allows anyone to join remotely. And even if you can show up IRL, it’s a pressure-free outing where members haven’t necessarily finished the book but still want a drink and some conversation.
Sample reads:Tope Folarin’s A Particular Kind of Black Man and Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist

3 Silent Book Club at Uncharted Books

5140 N. Clark St., Andersonville
The spin:A meet-up for introverts
Who it’s for:Anyone who wants company without the stress of group analysis. Members quietly page through the books of their choice. “For people who have been part of book groups where you have to come up with questions when you would just rather sit there and read, this is the you-would-really-just-rather-sit-there-and-read part,” says Chicago chapter cofounder Julie Snyder.
Sample reads:Whatever your quiet heart desires

4 Noname’s Book Club

nonamebooks.com
The spin:An online and occasionally in-person community led by rapper Noname, whose mom owned Bronzeville’s now-shuttered Afrocentric Bookstore
Who it’s for:Social-media-savvy readers who want to support authors of color and discuss books on Twitter and Instagram. The club selects two books each month — one it describes as creative, the other informative.
Sample reads:Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower

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