Introducing the Vocal Book Club

Discover your next must-read and connect with fellow bibliophiles on Vocal

By Erica WagnerPublished 27 days ago 3 min read

Welcome to the official Book Club of Vocal’s BookClub community! What an inspiring community this is for someone — like me, like all of you — who loves reading and talking about books. Seriously, what could be better? I’ve been really inspired by the stories you’ve posted here and thought it would be great to add something from me, and from all of us on the Vocal team, into the mix.

So, starting on the 3rd Friday of each month, I’ll be hosting a virtual discussion of a book we can read as a community. I’ve got the first few choices planned out in my head, but please feel free to drop suggestions into the comments below our first selection — and all selections ever after. I’m going to choose books that are easily available, mostly in paperback, maybe a couple out in hardback; generally, novels but I’m open to non-fiction too. To reiterate: I’d love to know what your suggestions are for books we could discuss, and I’ll keep a note of your ideas.

My plan is to write a short piece about the book under discussion — just a little introduction, I don’t want to tell you what to think! After my piece I’ll suggest a few questions (maybe three, maybe five, we’ll see how we all feel) that might open up a conversation around the book’s themes, story, characters… but please, don’t feel bound by these prompts. They’ll just be openings I reckon you might find useful, but if you have other things to say, go right ahead! That’s the name of the game. And, as ever on Vocal, I hope you’ll engage with other members of the community and what they have to say. One of the things I love best about Vocal is the warmth and support of our community; I’m always glad to see it in action. And I’ll be sure to pop into the discussion from time to time and respond myself.

In case you’re wondering why I’m so passionate about this… here’s a little about me and my background. I’m a writer and critic who was born in New York City; I now live mostly in London, though travelling is one of my passions. For many years I was literary editor of The Times newspaper in Britain, so I’m deeply immersed in the world of books. I still review books for lots of papers (mostly British) and I publish my own books too — a collection of short stories, Gravity; a novel, Seizure; a book about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath; a biography of Washington Roebling, the man who built the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve judged many literary prizes over the years and I talk about books on the radio and on podcasts. Of course, I’m the host of Vocal’s wonderful podcast, Write Here, Write Now — check it out if you haven’t already had a listen — and I’m the editor of the book we published last year, the Vocal+ Fiction Awards Anthology. Okay, enough — but you can see why I’m raring to go with this, eh?

Thanks for taking the time to read this — and for participating in our discussion. Our first title will be Gabrielle Zevin’s amazing novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. It came out in 2022 and has since sold over a million copies; it’s been the best kind of bestseller, the one that builds by word of mouth. I’m so thrilled to share it with you and hear what you have to say about it. Here we go!

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About the Creator

Erica Wagner

Lead Editorial Innovator, Vocal. Author, critic, friend, parent, cook. New book: Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge. Twitter: @EricaWgnr, Insta: @ericawgnr

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (33)

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  • Zakiya Hakizimana 7 days ago

    Hi! When will the new book for December be announced? I'm excited!

  • Xine Segalas7 days ago

    I love this idea and am very happy to have found an online community of fellow book lovers!

  • Chloe Gilholy20 days ago

    I’ve read this one and enjoyed it a lot. I am currently halfway through once upon a river.

  • Samreen22 days ago

    Great idea

  • PK Colleran23 days ago

    How fun! Thank you. 🎼🌞💕

  • Leslie Writes23 days ago

    I'll give it a go!

  • Soulful Writer23 days ago

    Excited for it

  • C. H. Richard23 days ago

    Love this idea! I'm not sure I can always make it, but will try. My first suggestion would be Allen Eskens "The Life We Bury". Thriller/mystery genre and very engaging. One of my favorite authors.

  • Gerald Holmes26 days ago

    This is a great idea. I love to read and talk about books. I average about 100 novels a year, so I have lots of books that I would love other people to read.

  • Oooo, this is so exciting!

  • Mohit Raj26 days ago

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  • Rachel Deeming26 days ago

    I love the idea of a book club and have the book you have suggested on my shelf. Just not sure how the discussion of it after we've all read it will work. Keep us posted.

  • Mackenzie Davis26 days ago

    The discussion will take place here on Vocal? Will it be in the comments section of a new article posted on the 17th? Awesome idea! Very excited for this.

  • Bibliophiles Rock!

  • Going to take a moment to pitch my friend's horror novella The Wailings. Fast-paced and compact for those with tight schedules. Bonus, it was inspired by a Vocal challenge. You can read all about the journey here:

  • Brin J.26 days ago

    I have two suggestions!! Dead Poets Society & The Secret History (I love Dark Academia book vibes, can you tell?)

  • Brin J.26 days ago

    Excited for this! Feels like I'm in an English class all over again, but that's in no way a negative thing! I loved reading and then giving my opinions about what I took from the books. I feel it's what strengthened my story-telling skills.🥰

  • Dana Crandell26 days ago

    Marvelous idea. I can't say whether I'll be able to join, but I'm sure it'll be fun.

  • Justine Crowley26 days ago

    Sounds good. It makes sense, because all writers started as readers. I love reading print books. I have a few ready to go. Fantastic idea.

  • JBaz27 days ago

    How can you say no to reading a book?

  • Kendall Defoe 27 days ago

    I just got a pile of books from a fair, so I'm on board for this!

  • Oh, we should read Lessons in Chemistry!

  • Zara Blume27 days ago

    The first book selected has been on my to-read list since it came out, so it must be my time to read it. I’m excited to discuss it here. 🤍

  • Natasha Collazo27 days ago

    I recommend A court of thorns and roses series! Natasha

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