Announcing the Jezebel Book Club, Exclusively for Subscribers
I can’t wait to do one of my favorite things (talk about books) with some of the internet’s smartest people (Jezebel readers).Illustration: Vicky Leta/Getty Images BooksEntertainment
I’m delighted to share the news that Jezebel is joining the ranks of society’s most illustrious tastemakers: Reese Witherspoon and Levar Burton. That’s right y’all, we’re getting into the book club game, and I, Nora Biette-Timmons, will be your host.
We’re launching this exclusively as part of our new subscription package, and I can’t wait to do one of my favorite things (talk about books) with some of the internet’s smartest people (Jezebel readers).
We’ll be focusing on recently released fiction titles (at least to start); one of the most fun parts of covering books for Jezebel is hearing about all the intriguing, fascinating, fun titles coming down the pike, and I’ll be putting all that knowledge to use for our monthly Book Club.
Our inaugural book will be Ordinary Human Failings by the Irish novelist Megan Nolan. Her debut novel, Acts of Desperation, came out in spring 2021 and was about the doomed-from-the-start sexual relationship between a young woman and an older poet. While Acts of Desperation had “plenty to say about victimhood and sexual violence, about the way women censor their own needs and ironize or eroticize their abasement,” as a Guardian reviewer put it, Ordinary Human Failings zooms out a bit, reflecting on the way society pathologizes the titular problems. It is ostensibly about a tabloid-bait crime in a low-income apartment block in London: a beloved young child goes missing, then turns up dead. (This isn’t a spoiler, I promise.) However, like many good novels, it is not about the inciting incident, but instead about the people involved (or not, as the case may be). I stayed up until 3 a.m. reading it earlier this month, which is among the best recommendations I can give.
To celebrate our launch, Nolan’s publishers are giving away three copies of the novel to Book Club participants! Once you subscribe, we’ll let you know how to throw your hat in the ring.
While I’m stoked for you to read Ordinary Human Failings and for us to discuss it, my goal is that, for subsequent meetings, the book choice will be a bit more democratic: I’ll suggest a handful of new titles, and then we’ll put them to a vote.
Now for some logistics. Once you become a Jezebel subscriber, you’ll receive a welcome email this Friday that includes instructions on how to join the subscriber Discord. If you want, you can join the Book Club channel—but you don’t have to. We’ll include details on the first meeting in subsequent subscriber emails.
Our meeting time will depend on what’s convenient for everyone participating. Jezebel readers are spread across time zones, and I expect the same will be true for our book clubbers, so I’m planning on doing some calendar magic. (And like any good club, you’ll be able to opt in and out of our meetings as your schedule demands.) We’ll meet once a month on Zoom, and use the Discord channel for books chatter in between meetings. When scheduling allows, we’ll have some additional programming, including occasional chats with authors and whatever else tickles our (and your!) literary fancies.
I’m so excited for this next chapter for Jezebel (pun absolutely intended), and I hope you’ll join us (aka subscribe). If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to shoot us a note: [email protected].