‘Indy’ Book Club 2021

In Partnership with the Santa Barbara Public Library

Calling all book worms! We are hosting another Reading Challenge for 2021. We are challenging you to read one book per month that fits into a specified theme. Download this handy worksheet and keep track of the books you read throughout the year that fulfill our challenge. Every month, we will feature our book of the month – a book on that month’s theme that we are reading as a book club and encourage you to read with us. Each month, we will host virtual book discussions where we chat about the chosen book of the month. We’ve partnered with the Santa Barbara Public Library, which will carry extra copies of the Indy Book Club picks, and join us for the monthly book discussions.

To find out more about the Indy Book Club, keep an eye on the print issue and this page, as we will be announcing more details as they unfold. Get started by picking up this month’s pick and joining our Goodreads group!

| 2021 Reading Challenge | 2021 Book Picks |

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2021 Book Selections


May: Nature Writing

Our book of the month is Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller. Borrow a physical copy from the Santa Barbara Public Library, listen to the audiobook on Libby, or read the ebook on Libby.

May Book Club Discussion: Thursday, June 3 @ 12 p.m. Sunken Gardens at the Santa Barbara Courthouse

Further Reading Suggestions:

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Available in print from the Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook from Hoopla and Libby, and ebook from Hoopla and Libby

Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone, by Juli Berwald
Available in ebook from Libby.

Overstory, by Richard Powers
Available in print from the Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook on Hoopla and Libby, and ebook on Libby. The Santa Barbara Public Library also has this title available in Bookclub in a Bag.

Underland, by Robert Macfarlane
Available in print from the Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook on Hoopla and Libby, and ebook on Libby.


April: Poetry

Our book of the month is Nature Poem by Tommy Pico.
Borrow a physical copy from the Santa Barbara Public Library, listen to the audiobook on Hoopla or Libby, or read the ebook on Libby.

April Book Club Discussion: Thursday, May 6 @ 6 p.m. Live on Zoom
Register Here – Registration is required before the event start time

Further Reading Suggestions:

Land Sparing, by Gabriella Klein
Available in print from Santa Barbara Public Library. Gabriella Klein is a local author.

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, by Morgan Parker
Available in print from Santa Barbara Public Library and ebook from Libby.

A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, by Naomi Shihab Nye
Available in print from Santa Barbara Public Library and ebook from Hoopla and Libby.


March: Memoirs & Biographies

Our book of the month is The Trauma Cleaner: One Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death Decay and Disaster, by Sarah Krasnostein
Borrow a physical copy from the Santa Barbara Public Library, listen to the audiobook on Hoopla, or read the ebook on Libby.

March Book Club Discussion: Thursday, April 1 @ 6 p.m. Live on Zoom

Further Reading Suggestions:

In the Dream House, by Carmen Maria Machado
Available in Print from Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook on Hoopla and Libby, and ebook on Libby.

Everything Sad is Untrue, by Daniel Nayeri
Available in Print from Santa Barbara Public Library and ebook from Hoopla and Libby.

Big Friendship, by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman
Available in Print from Santa Barbara Public Library and ebook on Libby.


February: Books Written by Black Women

Our book of the month is Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler
Borrow a physical copy from the Santa Barbara Public Library, listen to the audiobook on Hoopla or Libby, or read the ebook on Hoopla or Libby.

February Book Club Discussion: Thursday, March 4 @ 6 p.m. Live on Zoom
Register Here! – registration is required before the event start time

Further Reading Suggestions:

On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
Available in Print from Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook on Hoopla and Libby, and ebook on Hoopla and Libby.

Conjure Women, by Afia Atakora
Available in Print from Santa Barbara Public Library and ebook from Libby.

American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
Available in Print from Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook on Hoopla and Libby, and ebook on Hoopla and Libby.

Thick and Other Essays, by Tressie McMillan Cottom
Available in ebook from Libby


January: Feel-Good Books

Our book of the month is The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers.
Borrow a physical copy from the Santa Barbara Public Library, listen to the audiobook on Hoopla, or read the ebook on Hoopla or Libby.

January Book Club Discussion: Thursday, February 4 @ 6 p.m. Live on Zoom
Register Here!

Further Reading Suggestions:

The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T.J. Klune
Available in print from Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook from Libby, and ebook from Libby.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown, by Talia Hibbert
Available in print from Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook from Hoopla and Libby, and ebook from Hoopla and Libby.

The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan
Available on audiobook from Hoopla and Libby, and ebook from Hoopla and Libby.

The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
Available in print from Santa Barbara Public Library, audiobook from Libby, and ebook from Libby.


2020 Book Selections


Credit: Courtesy

December: Fantasy

Our book of the month is Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho

Further Reading Suggestions:

Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James

Vita Nostra, by Marina Dyachenko

The Queens of Innis Lear, by Tessa Gratton

The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater


November: Books About Food

Our book of the month is With the Fire On High, by Elizabeth Acevedo. Read our full review.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir, by Kwame Onwuachi

Number One Chinese Restaurant, by Lillian Li


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October: Mystery / True Crime

Our book of the month is The Cutting Season, by Attica Locke

Further Reading Suggestions:

One of Us is Lying, by Karen McManus

Evil Under the Sun, by Agatha Christie

American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI, by Kate Winkler Dawson


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September: Science Fiction

Our book of the month is The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin

Further Reading Suggestions:

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K Le Guin

This is How You Lose a Time War, by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler

Warcross, by Marie Lu


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August: Historical Fiction / History

Our book of the month is The Moor’s Account, by Laila Lalami

Further Reading Suggestions:

The Splendid and the Vile, by Erik Larson

She Would Be King, by Wayetu Moore


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July: Books About Animals

Our book of the month is The Bees, by Laline Paull.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

The Moon by Whale Light, by Diane Ackerman

H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald


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June: LGBTQ+

Our book of the month is Cantoras: A Novel, by Carolina de Robertis.

Further Reading Suggestions:

The Lost Coast, by Amy Rose Capetta

Red, White and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller


May: Young Adult

Our book of the month is Sadie, by Courtney Summers.

Further Reading Suggestions:

The Astonishing Color of After, Emily X.R. Pan

Michigan vs. The Boys, Carrie S. Allen

Wilder Girls, Rory Power


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April: Journalism/ Investigative Reporting

Our book of the month is She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou

Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

American Fire, by Monica Hesse


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March: Retellings

Our book of the month is Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi.

Further Reading Suggestions:

The Fishermen, by Chigozie Obioma

Circe, by Madeline Miller

Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente


February: Black History Month

Our book of the month is Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi.

Further Reading Suggestions:

On The Come Up, by Angie Thomas

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

Faster Than Light, by Marilyn Nelson

Citizen, by Claudia Rankine


January: Memoirs

Our book of the month is Know My Name, by Chanel Miller.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Monsoon Mansion, by Cinelle Barnes

The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom

Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church, by Megan Phelps-Roper


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