Charity Book Club’s aim is to read books that help us to think big and think differently
We’re all working from home more than ever before, and although remote working brings huge benefits, it often means we miss out on connecting with people outside our immediate circle.
The Charity Book Club was setup in 2019. The group’s aim was to read books that help us to think big and think differently, and provide relaxed networking for those who work in or with the charity sector.
Four years later, in this new hybrid world, the group’s value is being felt more now than ever before.
I like book clubs. They are democratic and unswayed by hype.
Lemn Sissay OBE FRSL
The books we read and discussed this year cover a wide range of topics including masculinity, borders, religion, the environment and the care system. We always put out a poll to let our members choose our next read!
In 2022 we read:
- The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry
- The Drowned World by JG Ballard
- Sway by Pragya Agarwal
- My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay
- Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree
- It’s Not About The Burqa by Mariam Khan
We had two in-person meetups and continued the other four events on Zoom..
In the summer we met in a pub garden to discuss My Name is Why, the autobiography of author and poet Lemn Sissay. Halfway through the event a familiar face joined the table.
Lemn had seen our tweets and decided to make a surprise appearance at our little book club! “It was only two trains” he said. Later he explained why he decided to come: “I like book clubs. They are democratic and unswayed by hype.” As you can see from the smiles, he really made our evening!
registered to attend events
followers on social media
surprise author appearance by Lemn Sissay!
Loved my second @CharityBookClub tonight and totally recommend to anyone in the charity sector who wants to kick back and chat books for an hour or so each month.
Charity Book Club member
We plan to continue to run both online and in-person meetups. Having an author or topic expert present is a really valuable way to bring a book to life, so we’ll be exploring more opportunities for this in 2023.
We want to continue to attract a broad range of people to the book club, so will continue to write blogs and talk about the book club on podcasts and in interviews, and encourage our existing members to act as ambassadors to promote Charity Book Club.
It’s lovely to be able to talk books with a group of wonderful humans, and the books themselves have been a great way to learn more about different social issues.
2022 member survey response
This year we started a mailing list to formalise how we talk to members. We now want to launch a website where we can list all of our events and post additional material about the books and the meetups.
We’ve heard from many members that making connections with others is a key part of why they attend our events. We’re exploring ways to take the networking element further so that people are connecting online and offline at our events and in their own time.