Indy Book Club

Calling all book nerds! We are hosting a 2020 Reading Challenge. 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 and encourage you to read with us. Also, we have partnered with the Santa Barbara Public Library, which will carry extra copies of the book of the month.

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!


November’s Theme: Books About Food

In November we are indulging in 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


“The Cutting Season”

October’s Theme: Mystery / True Crime

In October we are diving into mysteries and true crime.

Our book of the month is The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
Read our full review.

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


N.K. Jemisin’s “The City We Became”

September’s Theme: Science Fiction

In September we are jumping into Science Fiction.

Our book of the month is The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Read our full review.

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


Laila Lalami’s ‘The Moor’s Account’

August’s Theme: Historical Fiction / History

In August we are reading books about history and historical fiction. Read our review here.

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


Laline Paull’s ‘The Bees’

July’s Theme: Books About Animals

In July we are diving into books about animals.

Our book of the month is The Bees by Laline Paull. Read our review here.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

The Moon by Whale Light, by Diane Ackerman

H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald


Carolina de Robertis’s ‘Cantoras’

June’s Theme: LGBTQ+

In June we are focusing our reading on LGBTQ+ novels.

Our book of the month is Cantoras: A Novel by Carolina de Robertis. Read our full review here.

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


‘Sadie’ by Courtney Summers

May’s Theme: Young Adult

The month of May was all about Young Adult novels.

Our book of the month is Sadie by Courtney Summers. Read our full review here.

Further Reading Suggestions:

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

Michigan vs. The Boys, Carrie S. Allen

Wilder Girls, Rory Power


‘She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement’ by Jodi Kanor, Megan Twohey

April’s Theme: Journalism/ Investigative Reporting

April is all about journalism and 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. Read our interview with Megan Twohey here.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou

Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

American Fire, by Monica Hesse


‘Boy, Snow, Bird’ by Helen Oyeyemi

March’s Theme: Retellings

In March, we’re taking an interesting twist and focusing on retellings.

Our book of the month is Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi. Read our full review here.

Further Reading Suggestions:

The Fishermen, by Chigozie Obioma

Circe, by Madeline Miller

Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente


‘Homegoing’

February’s Theme: Black History Month

In February we are focusing only on books written by authors of color.

Our book of the month is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Read our full review here.

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


Chanel Miller’s ‘Know my Name’

January’s Theme: Memoirs

For our first month and first theme of the Indy Book Club, we are reading memoirs.

Our book of the month is Know My Name, by Chanel Miller. Read our full review here.

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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