Welcome to the Numlock Book Club!

I’m Walt Hickey, the writer behind the daily morning Numlock News. (You should check that out!)

I’ve always wanted to do some sort of organized book club. Whenever I find a new book, I tend to get really engrossed in it, but find that I generally have no one to discuss it with.

Sometimes there’s a Reddit thread about the book, but those can be lousy with spoilers and absent a dedicated organizer are too shambolic for me to actually follow. Sometimes I can find an author interview, and those are great, but those avoid discussing the good bits because nobody wrote a whole book to give it away for free online. Sometimes there’s a Goodreads, but I’m more interested in discussion than criticism.

Here’s the plan

Substack, in addition to being a top-notch distributor of email newsletters, also has fun discussion thread features. This book club will work like so:

  1. Readers vote between four titles to select the book.

  2. I’ll lay out the schedule, which will basically be about a month.

  3. Every Saturday, a discussion thread for a specific chunk of the book will go out.

  4. Maybe I see if I can land an interview with the author for some submitted questions.

  5. Repeat!

We’ll do this for six months or so as a trial, see how it goes, and adjust from there. The focus will initially be on generally recent non-fiction works for the trial period. The main way I’m choosing the books is “interesting, somewhat subject matter specific” rather than generalist.

Heavily community-driven discussion, but someone with a hand on the till. If you don’t like a book selected, all you have to do is delete four emails over the course of the month and hang tight. Passive, unless you want to be active.

Don’t hesitate to write in suggestions to bookclub@numlock.news, and if you haven’t yet be sure to check out Numlock News.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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