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Getting Social: How to start a book club

Whether or not you’re an avid reader, joining a book club can combine the joys of fully immersing yourself in a book with the chance to break down all of the highs and lows of your reading experience. Reading and discussing your latest book can give you the opportunity to connect with new and old friends, prompt new ways of thinking or looking at situations, and provide a much-needed escape from daily life. 

Book clubs also broaden your horizons, breaking you out of any reading ruts you’ve gotten into, helping you to find new genres or authors that may just become your new favorites. 

With all of these great reasons to join a book club, it seems like an easy decision! But what if there aren’t any book clubs near you? It’s easy enough to start your own. There are some key guidelines to starting a book club, that you’ll want to consider -but in a few short steps, you’ll be happily swapping stories and analyzing characters with your friends in no time. 

  • Set a foundation. Every book club needs to have some general guidelines so that all the members know what to expect. By answering a few questions about your book club goals, you’ll be able to quickly ensure there are no needless arguments. 
    1. What kind of books will you read?
    2. How will the books be chosen?
    3. Where will you meet?
    4. How can you ensure everyone gets their chance to speak?
  • Select an ideal number of members. At least seven or eight people at each meeting will ensure that no one ends up carrying the whole conversation. However, with various scheduling conflicts that may arise, setting your total group number at 10-12 will ensure you get 7-8 members attending monthly. To ensure that the conversation doesn’t completely stray away from the book, invite some members who aren’t already close friends, and let the book discussion take the conversational lead.
  • Give everyone a chance. Start the book discussion by going around the room and sharing initial reactions. Rotate who chooses the next book. Take turns hosting or choosing where the club will meet. By giving all members a voice, and the opportunity to take some ownership of the club, they’ll feel more invested in participating and enjoying the time together. 
  • Set a timeframe. It’s easier for members to block off time for their club meetings when they have an idea of how long it will go. An ideal length of time for a book club meeting is around 2 hours. Aim to spend at least 45 minutes of that time discussing the book. 
  • Serve food and drinks! There’s nothing wrong with a little social lubrication – whether that be alcohol or just a new appetizer recipe. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can try to coordinate the food and drink selection with the book discussion, but it may be worth waiting until the club finds its routine until adding in extra assignments!

Book clubs can offer you more than just a monthly reading assignment, they can forge new friendships, open up new discussions, and introduce you to new books, authors, and perspectives. Start recruiting today!

Best Of

Anxiously Awaiting Bridgerton Season 2? Here’s Your next series!

While we admit there may have been some happy dancing when news that Bridgerton Season 2 is hitting Netflix on January 21st, it was shortly followed with a moment of silence as we realized just how far away that feels. We are solidly invested in the drama of Anthony Bridgerton, Kate Sharma, and absolutely everything Penelope Featherington.

In the meantime, what’s a Bridgerton lover to do? We’ve already read the entirety of  Julia Quinn’s amazing Bridgerton series, but now with plenty of time to kill before season 2’s release, we need to get our historical romance fix…now!

So without further ado, we’ve compiled a list of the series that loved almost as much as we loved Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. Clearly, that’s saying a lot. 

Grace Burrowes Rogues to Riches Series

The Rogues to Riches series by Grace Burrowes

Did you love the drama of the lack of social graces behind closed doors in Bridgerton? The social climbing and backdoor deal-making that ensured everyone kept their status? Then the Rogues to Riches series needs to be your next read!

Set as a sort of Cinderella with a twist style, Burrowes delivers strong, well-developed characters that aren’t afraid to go after what they want. We fell hard for the strong heroines and the sexy rogues who stole their hearts. You’ll want to grab this series to see why!

*Exciting news! How to Catch a Duke from the Rogues to Riches series is featured in our $3 book sale! Click here to buy today!

Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series

The Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare is known for her witty historical romances, sliding some humor into the propriety of the regency era, and the Girl Meets Duke series lives up to her reputation. All three novels offer a take on Beauty and the Beast with each cranky aristocrat meeting his match in the woman of his dreams. 

Full of fun, laugh-out-loud banter, brooding and sexy leading men, and the kind of heroines that you can imagine as your best friends, this series is a welcome follow-up to the Bridgerton novels. 

Sarah MacLeon’s Rules of Scoundrels series

The Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean has long been a beloved author in the world of regency romance, and the Rules of Scoundrels series makes it easy to see why. Did you love the glimpse into the illicit underworld of London’s Victorian-era found in Bridgerton? The Rules of Scoundrels may be right up your alley!

Each of the four books in this series focuses on one of the four mysterious owners of the gaming hall known as “The Fallen Angel.” Full of romantic tension, sexy scenes, and charming characters, you too, will soon find yourself falling for a scoundrel!

Lisa Kleypas’s Wallflower Series

The Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas

Led by their determination to find themselves a suitable mate, the ladies of Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower are sick of being overlooked in Victorian-era London. The four make a pact to help each other land a husband, no matter what it takes. 

It’s hard not to fall in love with the four wallflowers, and Lisa Kleypas is known as one of the queens of historical romance, for good reason. Delivered with perfect pacing, complex characters, and absolutely electric chemistry, this series is just as addicting as everything Bridgerton has to offer.

The first novel in Emily Sullivan’s League of Scoundrels series

The League of Scoundrels series by Emily Sullivan

This brand new series already has reviewers feeling some serious Bridgerton vibes. Emily Sullivan’s debut novel was just released in March of 2021, and to rave reviews. Taking the Victorian romance out of London and into Italy, A Rogue to Remember follows Lottie Carlisle as she fakes a love affair and takes off into the Italian countryside to escape the tiresome London society scene and her uncle’s determination that she must marry.

This wholly original regency romance manages to add in a road trip and a second chance at love as Lottie’s childhood friend comes searching for her. We fell hard for all of the twists and turns that Emily Sullivan took us on in this novel and cannot wait for the next one to release!

*Exciting news! A Rogue to Remember from the League of Scoundrels series is featured in our $3 book sale! Click here to buy now!

Best Of Vendors

Emmie Moe’s

While we at Bubbles and Books love all of our vendors, we admit to having a special place in our hearts for Emmie Moe’s, makers of the famed moisture melts, as well as other favorites, like the spring shower steamers, and the glorious whipped lotions and soaps!

We love the pride and care our handmade sellers put into their products, ensuring that each item that ends up in your box has been carefully cultivated to ensure you have the best possible experience. We want you to get to know our beloved makers, so you can be as inspired by their work as we are!

First things first, what kind of books do you like? 

I like to read just about anything but it really depends on my mood.  My guilty pleasure is paranormal romance.

What inspired you to start Emmie Moe’s? 

We moved from the suburbs to a more rural setting and my daughter and I wanted to start a business doing something that would be fun and where we could eventually use things we grow in the products (lavender, rose petals, lemon balm etc.) 

What product are you the most proud of? 

I would say I’m equally proud of our cold process soap and our moisture melts.

Have you had any terrible first attempts at creating a product that ended up being great in the long run? 

Moisture melts were actually born from the failings of bath bombs.  I had made bath bombs that would just not stay together so I added some moisturizing oils and butters in the hopes of salvaging the bath bombs into a new, more moisturizing product. 

What are your favorite scent combinations? 

Lavender is my absolute favorite and I love pairing it with citrus scents like lemon or grapefruit.

Are there any special tips about using your products that we should know?

No special tips….simple and enjoyable is definitely the goal. We are always looking for suggestions and ways to improve our products or get new ideas so never hesitate to reach out.  

Are there any products still in the development stage that we can look forward to? 

Yes, we’re working to perfect a couple of different new products that we are hoping will be coming in a future box.  

Best Of

Big Bubbles in Small Batches: The best bath sellers on Etsy

Here’s Bubbles and Books' rundown of the very best small business sellers on Etsy, and why we’re madly in love with them.

Small Businesses love to support other small businesses. We at Bubbles and Books love nothing more than finding other companies that deliver exceptional products and services. Our focus on small or local businesses has led to hours pouring through Etsy and seeking out crafters who put their whole hearts into making their products special. In an effort to ensure every single bath bomb, bubble bar, and lotion that makes it into our boxes is the very best, we’ve tested dozens and dozens of products. Now it’s time to get the word out. Here’s a rundown of our very best bath sellers on Etsy, and why we’re madly in love with them.

Here’s Bubbles and Books' rundown of the very best small business sellers on Etsy, and why we’re madly in love with them.

Bombshell Boutique

The wide variety of custom bath products is just the beginning of what makes Bombshell Boutique stand out. With adorably shaped bath bombs, shower steamers, sugar scrubs, and body butters, these custom creations offer something for everybody. Some of their most distinctive items include bath bomb powder, which allows bathers to choose exactly how much powder to add to their tub, sugar scrub cubes that both moisturize and exfoliate, and thick whipped body butter. With scents good enough to eat, adorable packaging, and decor-worthy designs, there’s a lot to love from Bombshell Boutique. 

Bubble and Fizzy

Dinosaurs, Frankenstein’s monster, and unicorns quickly set Bubble and Fizzy apart from the crowd. While they offer a wide variety of standard, spherical bath bombs in gorgeous scents that linger on your skin, including lavender and sage, or coconut and lime, the true joy in Bubble and Fizzy’s creations lie in their fun and distinctive shapes. Have a gamer who also loves a good soak? Check out their game controller bath bombs in a variety of colors! Feeling sweet? Maybe one shaped like an enticing ice cream treat? These buzzworthy bombs have something for everyone!

Nana J’s Handmades

Nana J’s Handmades is decidedly our first stop for all of the best pampering products. As one of the best bath sellers on Etsy, they offer bubble bars, bath truffles, soaps, and shower steamers, just to name a few of their exquisite offerings. We also love their facial masks, lip balms, and even their itch relief sprays. Everyone on Nana J’s Handmades is delivered with intoxicating scents like Caribbean coconut, first rain, and warm vanilla sugar. Perfect for sensitive or dry skin, each of Nana J’s products are full of nourishing, natural ingredients that bring nothing but the best bubbles, deep moisturizers, and most soothing scents.

Little Farmyard

Cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and locally sourced, the aptly named Little Farmyard Etsy shop offers gorgeous bath products. Even better, the store gives shoppers a reason to feel good about their purchases, by giving back a portion of their sales to their local community. Their precious bath bombs in delightful bee, llama, and even toilet paper shapes are delightfully charming. Additionally, Little Farmyard also offers natural deodorants, beard and facial oils, and shampoo and conditioner bars that users swear by. Each product is created and shipped with tremendous care, in plastic free-packaging, and with carefully sourced and balanced ingredients. It’s pampering you can feel good about!

Southern Fleek Bath

If you like your bath products with a whole lot of scent and sparkle, Southern Fleek has everything you’re looking for. Offering dozens of exhilarating scents, and biodegradable, eco-friendly glitter, this site is your go-to when you need that magic touch. Southern Fleek’s bath bombs, bubble bars, whipped soaps, and body butters feel like they belong in their own art gallery! Details are everything when it comes to Southern Fleek, and each of their items delivers a unique experience from start to finish, making your “me time” feel extra special. It’s no surprise that this is one of the best bath sellers on Etsy!