We’ve had a great winter in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club with some great titles, a new class (more on that soon!), and lots of great bookish discussion as we set our reading goals for the new year. And today, I’m happy to announce that the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club is now open to new members, and from now on, it will stay open—for good.
We aren’t keeping a wait list any more. We previously opened to new members just a few weeks a year so we could do a great job of bringing our new readers on board. But now that we’ve got our legs under us, we don’t have to make readers wait when they’re ready to get started now. No more worries about missing a live class or a chat with a favorite author!
Reading is a solitary act, but there’s so much to be gained by reading together. Our one-of-a-kind online community makes it easy to connect with fellow bookish kindred spirits for fun, for encouragement, and for a more fulfilling reading experience.
Here’s how we do it:
- Each month in Book Club we read one core title together, plus a complementary, optional selection that creates a “book flight.”
- At the end of the month we’ll have an hour-long book chat (with the author, if they’re game) where we talk about the book. Curious about what that’s like? Check out our chat with Chris Cleave. (He was amazing.)
- You attend our hour-long book discussions live from your computer, tablet, or phone, or watch a replay later on your schedule.
- All month long, conversations unfold in the forums around the core and flight picks. These conversations continue long after the month is over, so even if you don’t read the book until months later, the conversation is there for you when you’re ready.
- More book talk happens in the forums 24/7/365. There’s a whole forum with threads dedicated to what you’re reading each week. You can start a thread for any title you want to discuss, and some readers band together to tackle giant classics like Les Miserables and War and Peace. Lately members have been sharing their favorite biographies and their thoughts on Stephen King’s 11/22/63.
- Book Club members get to watch new class recordings live and can access the classes afterward as part of their membership.
- The site is tablet and mobile friendly!
So what are we reading next?
In March we’re reading Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo, and pairing that with Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Stay With Me is a powerful, emotional debut about love, family, and marriage set against the backdrop of the turbulent political climate of 1985-2008 Nigeria. The story begins with Yejide’s mother-in-law arrives at her door with a guest in tow: her husband’s second wife, that she didn’t know he’d married.
Any title by Adebayo’s fellow Nigerian novelist Adichie would pair beautiful with Stay With Me; I’ve chosen Americanah, for its themes of love, identity, and—especially—secrets.
Our April pick is Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, and I’ve paired that with Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. Home Fire is a modern retelling of Antigone, and was long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. I’m not sure I would have realized this was rooted in the Greek myth if I hadn’t been told: Shamsie’s story feels modern, timely, and incredibly relevant to current events. (First line: “Isma was going to miss her flight.“)
It’s a great match with Exit West, for its themes of love, conflict, and identity.
It is so good to be among people who are reading, and I hope you will read with us this spring.