Any book club member will tell you that choosing the right title is half the battle: Pick something too long or dense, and many of the members won’t read it; something too light, and there’s not much to discuss. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by long lists of “must reads” and have no idea where to start. Easier to drink wine.
Austin-based startup Literati aims to take the guesswork out of book clubs, offering members curated books each month. Members select from many different “book clubs” on the site, each club headed up by well-known authors, business leaders and personalities (from Roxane Gay, Elin Hilderbrand and Cheryl Strayed to Richard Branson and Stephen Curry.) There are also theme-based clubs like Atlas Obscura, which is dedicated to travelers and world adventurers, and Kids Clubs for younger readers. The premise is that an author or business leader you admire is likely to suggest titles that you’ll like as well. Richard Branson’s book club has descriptive tags like “business,” “adventure,” “leadership,” “nonconformity” and “risk taking,” which is a pretty good summary of the man himself. (His July book pick is “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill” by Matthieu Ricard.) Elin “Queen of the Beach Read” Hilderbrand hosts a club called “The Beach & Beyond,” designed to show that “beach reads” can be much more elevating and thoughtful than the label might suggest. (Hilderbrand’s July pick: “It Had to Be You” by Georgia Clark).
Literati offers two membership options, Standard and Premium, both of which enable access to the Literati app, where members, club curators and authors connect to discuss each month’s selections. Premium memberships include a print copy of the monthly book club selection (Standard does not include the book). Standard memberships are available at $8.25 per month, billed annually. Premium is available for $20 per month, billed annually, or monthly at $24.99 per month. For more information on membership, visit literati.com.
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