31 August 2015

Review: The New Book of the Month Club

Book Of The Month ClubDo you remember the Book of the Month (BOM) Club? I have been a member off and on most of my adult life, so I was excited to see they've revamped and are making it more appealing than ever to be a member.

When given the opportunity, I accepted advanced access to their updated program because I was curious about the club's new look. The current program includes an impressive committee of judges, an online forum, and an easy way to pick which book you'd like to read every month. It's great to see this book-lovers' institution enter the new century.

How does it work? On the first of every month, BOM announces the judges' five current book selections. Members then have about six days to log in to the site, read about the selections, and pick the book they want to read that month. All books (hardcovers) are shipped at the same time (on the 10th of the month). After you've had a chance to start reading, you can log in to the club forum, where you can discuss the book with other members. Sometimes the BOM judge joins the conversation and sometimes even the author pipes in! This means you can participate in the new BOM almost as you would a traditional book club, if you'd like.

Thank You, Goodnight by Andy AbramowitzWho are the judges? The panel of twelve judges consists of award-winning authors (like Emily St. John Mandel), print journalists (like Christopher Cox from Harper's magazine), and online journalists (like Liberty Hardy, from Book Riot). For those who keep track: Most of the committee are women and (based on their profile images) there is one person of color.

What is the cost? If you want to try BOM on a month-by-month basis, the cost is $16.99 per month (for a hardcover book, shipping, and access to the website and forums). If you commit to three months, the cost is $39.99 ($13.33 per month), and the yearly plan costs $99.99 ($8.33 per month).

What did I read? I picked Andy Abramowitz's Thank You, Goodnight, selected by Judge Liberty Hardy.

My quick take: After nearly twenty years as a lawyer, a middle-aged man is unexpectedly inspired to write music again and revive his once-famous rock band. Can the foursome still make a hit album? This is a fun and funny look at trying to regain one's youth.
I'm glad I picked Thank You, Goodnight because I'm not sure I would have read it otherwise. My only disappointment is that this is the only BOM August selection that doesn't have an active discussion on the forum, so I wasn't able to take advantage of that feature--although, to be fair, I didn't have to wait to see what others were saying, I could have started a discussion myself. (See below for the other August selections.)

What's my recommendation? I encourage you to check out the new Book of the Month Club. It's a terrific way to learn about newish books; to connect with other readers, book journalists, and authors; and to buy hardcover books at a decent discount. Based on my past experiences with the BOM, they have a responsive customer service and are a reliable and trusted source for book lovers. Read the Book of the Month Club's FAQ for details on how the program works.


bermudaonion 8/31/15, 9:27 AM  

I picked the same book but I haven't read it yet.

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/31/15, 9:46 AM  

I was a member years ago, I'm glad to see they are still around.

Vicki 8/31/15, 10:33 AM  

Sounds like a great idea! I may check it out.

Jackie McGuinness 8/31/15, 3:39 PM  

I had no idea that they were still around. Bought many a book from them. I get most of my books from the library for my e-reader these days.

Daryl 9/3/15, 9:19 AM  

i dont think i was ever a member but i did once subscribe to a music version of this sort of club .. quitting it was harder than you would imagine .. they did not make it easy ... now a day i prefer my books in e version ... less to tote along on my day to day ..

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