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Meet the Women's Prize for Fiction 2024 Book Clubs

The Women’s Prize for Fiction – now in its 29th year of shining a spotlight on outstanding, ambitious, original fiction written in English by women from anywhere in the world – is celebrating 2024’s exceptional shortlist by joining six reading groups from across the UK to read and discuss the wonderful titles. Read on to meet each of the groups and find out what makes them special and what titles they’ll be reading.

The Literary Legends Book Group

The Literary Legends Book Club started in 2020, stemming from a Facebook podcast fan group, and has been meeting monthly ever since. They are a diverse group of women, from four different countries, living hundreds of miles apart, with members in their 20s up to their 40s, with only one thing in common: a love of reading. They have never all enjoyed the same book, but still meet every month to discuss (and debate) our latest pick.

The Literary Legends Book Club are reading River East, River West by Aube Rey Lescure

Lighthorne Book and Pudding Club

Lighthorne Book and Pudding Club was formed in 2022 and is the original Book and Pudding Club group facilitated by host Jenna who runs The Book Taster. The group has over 35 members and includes women from the ages of 20 -70, from all walks of life. The group loves nothing more than delving deep into a great book and discussing it’s highs and lows. They read widely from a range of genres and every month vote for the book they will read and discuss – they do love a good thriller! They describe themselves as a chatty, welcoming and friendly bunch – mostly fuelled by the delicious pudding whilst discussing the monthly book at every meeting. They are a part of the Book and Pudding Community of over 400 members across 19 groups reaching widely over the UK. Their love of reading, community and pudding is what unites us!

Lighthorne Book and Pudding Club are reading Restless Dolly Maunder by Kate Grenville



Sub Plots and Side Books

Sub Plots and Side Books was formed following the difficult Christmas of 2020. Feeling isolated from the people in her life, Emma, a NHS healthcare manager, hoped a book club would reconnect people. Meeting virtually each month, the club also holds an annual in-person meet at literary locations where they share food, wine and time together. Members span much of England, from Bath and Bristol to Brighton and Essex, London, the Midlands, and Liverpool, and their reading tastes are similarly broad.

Recently, Sub Plots and Side Books suffered a major loss when one of their members suddenly lost her life. Juliet was in her early forties with a young family, and an avid and insightful reader. Her infectious laugh and the lightness she brought to any discussion has left a gaping hole, and yet somehow that acknowledgement serves to honour her.

Sub Plots and Side Books are reading Enter Ghost by Isabella Hammad

The Cocoa Book Club

The Cocoa Book Club was established in January 2023 at Red Lion Books, an independent bookshop. They meet once a month to partake in a varied discussion about the monthly book. It started as an opportunity for members to diversify their reading tastes and open themselves up to genres they had never tried, and evolved into a safe space for a wonderful collective of like-minded and diverse individuals to share their love of books and form incredible friendships.

The Cocoa Book Club are reading Brotherless Night by V.V. Ganeshananthan

The GatherUps Book Group

The group started in 2008 with a group of friends who wanted to share and expand their love of reading. We live in and around Banbridge County Down. The membership has changed a bit over the years – with 7 members meeting monthly, their next meeting is number 155! They include a range of ages, interests, occupations and personalities: a nurse, an artist, a bookkeeper; motorbikes. They note that they have a clear bias to female writers, and to Irish writers. Sometimes their book choice will be a newly published ‘trending’ book, others from good reviews, a few classics, and some weird and wonderful (Nigel Slater’s Tender, a vegetable recipe book!).

The GatherUps Book Group are reading The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright

The Undaunted Bookclub

Some librarians at the V&A started The Undaunted book club in 2001. Now hailing from a wide range of different professional and personal backgrounds, each month one person adds three books to the ‘library’. At the end of a meeting, they each choose from the pile as many books as we want to read that month. By the end of the year’s cycle members have read most of the books from the pile and their original advocate takes them home. This gives them the opportunity to broaden our reading habits: sampling – at very little cost – genres, authors and titles they might not otherwise consider or even hear about. They are drawn to writing that expands our horizons and provokes our assumptions. They say the challenge of all reading the same book at the same time and discussing it together will be a new one and will inevitably add to their reading experience.

The Undaunted Bookclub are reading Soldier Sailor by Claire Kilroy

Get involved

Are you interested in reading any of the shortlisted titles? Find out more about the shortlist here.

If you work in a library or workplace and would like to promote the shortlist, you can download a free digital pack from our shop

What do you think of the 2024 shortlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #WomensPrize.

Keep up with all the latest news on the Women’s Prize website.

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The Winter season of the Radio 2 Book Club is out now, with brilliant brand-new fiction titles to discover. The BBC Radio 2 Book Club is on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show. It features a wide range of titles and authors, recommending great reads from both new and much-loved writers, encouraging listeners to perhaps try out a genre they might not have read before, and share their opinions and insights on the titles and great reads they’re enjoying right now.

Resources

How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started. You can also download icebreaker questions to help get your discussion started, and a social media guide to show how you can share your reading with others online.

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Discussion guides

We know how useful a discussion guide is for your book club meeting, so here you’ll find some recent guides provided by publishers. Free to download, you can use them to help choose your next book and guide your discussion.

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