The Silver Petticoat Book Club is back and (hopefully) better than before with a Winter 2023 announcement! We’ve worked on this for a few months, so we hope you enjoy the new changes. And if you’re entirely new to the book club, fantastic! We can’t wait to have you join us.
Before we announce the new books, here is everything you need to know about The Silver Petticoat Book Club (with changes to how the book club worked before).
We also have a new Silver Petticoat Book Shop!
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ABOUT THE SILVER PETTICOAT BOOK CLUB – NEW OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION
Every season (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer), Amber and Autumn – twin sisters behind The Silver Petticoat Review and The Silver Petticoat Book Club – select six book recommendations. A book club focused on books with love stories (it does not need to be a romance) or books with Romanticism.
Think sweet, smart, imaginative, or Austenesque in style. From classics to debut authors, bestsellers, personal nostalgic favorites, and more.
Amber and Autumn have made it their mission to select books that inspire or excite them – books that ignite a love of reading, whether it’s a fun, sensationalist read or a literary novel that explores themes of humanity.
All selected book club books range between one and three out of five on the steaminess scale and do not have tons of gore, profanity, or explicit content. Some novels may include a little bit of graphic text, profanity, or violence; however, it will not be throughout the book, and Amber and Autumn will give a content warning.
(Amber and Autumn include these ratings even if a book is not technically categorized as a “romance.”)
While there are numerous romance ratings based on steam level, for the book club’s purposes, one is the equivalent of a G movie like Hallmark. A two is a book on the PG/mild PG-13 level, which might include more kissing or fade-to-black moments with implied sensuality.
Three might include a bedroom scene or even up to a small handful, but they are more emotional, less graphically depicted, and not the book’s focus. A four can be very explicit but still have a story beyond the bedroom scenes (think Outlander), while five heads into the erotica category.
Again, the book club only covers books from one to three (out of five) on the steaminess scale for this book club. The amount of profanity and violence in a novel are also considered and rated similarly.
WHEN WILL NEW BOOKS BE ANNOUNCED?
New announcements will typically come near the beginning of a new season. So, you will have a few months to choose from the current list of books and join in on reading the ones that interest you!
They’re also great choices to add to your local book clubs.
ONLINE BOOK CLUB DISCUSSIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO FOLLOW
The discussion is simple. About every two weeks (starting after the season’s new announcement), Amber and Autumn will ask members on Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram about one of the books.
They’ll ask members if they’ve read the book and what they thought. You can join in at any time to share your thoughts.
You can also follow the hashtag: #TheSilverPetticoatBookClub. Also, please use the hashtag to show how you’re participating. And remember to invite your friends to join.
Join the private Silver Petticoat Book Club Facebook Group if you want extra fun.
FOLLOW THE BOOK CLUB ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
A FUN PERK FOR OUR PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP
A new addition to our re-launched version of the book club is that in future announcements (the next one in the Spring), book club members will have a say in choosing one of our following book club books.
During the current season (right now, it’s Winter), we’ll ask members what book they’d love to see as a book club pick. After we gather a few titles mentioned in the comments, we’ll include a poll, allowing members to vote on one of the books.
We will announce the chosen book as part of our next roundup of book club picks. Of course, the selection will need to stay within our rules (it can’t be more than a three on the steaminess scale, and it can’t include tons of profanity and graphic violence) and match the type of books we choose.
We’re testing this feature, so we’ll see how it goes.
INTRODUCING THE SILVER PETTICOAT BOOK SHOP
To make it easier to buy from the selection of Silver Petticoat Book Club picks (while also supporting local bookstores), you can check out our new bookshop on bookshop.org with a list of all our book club selections – and a few extras.
We even included a cute graphic design of our bookshop created by a talented artist!
Check it out.
THE SILVER PETTICOAT BOOK CLUB ANNOUNCEMENT FOR WINTER 2023
So, that brings us to our Winter 2023 book club announcement with six new books (or book series) to choose from and read! You can read them all or select the ones of interest.
For the Winter Book Club selections, we chose five books we’ve read and loved and one we’ve wanted to read. So, we’ll read it for the first time with you. From now on, one of the book club choices (out of six) will include a novel we want to read but haven’t yet.
Below, you’ll find the official descriptions of each book and buy links.
BLOOMSBURY GIRLS BY NATALIE JENNER
Genres: Historical Fiction, Books About Books, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: 2022
Our first-ever book club pick was The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner! Well, we thought it fitting to re-launch with another lovely historical fiction book by Jenner – this time, Bloomsbury Girls.
It’s a standalone sequel to The Jane Austen Society and is absolutely delightful.
Content Note: There is nothing graphic in this book. A couple of implied love scenes behind closed doors are in the book. So, a two on the steaminess scale. There is also some mild profanity.
Natalie Jenner, the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world in Bloomsbury Girls.
Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:
Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances–most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.
Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.
Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.
As they interact with various literary figures of the time–Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others–these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.
PLUM BUN: A NOVEL WITHOUT A MORAL BY JESSIE REDMON FAUSET
Genres: Classics, Literary Fiction, Harlem Renaissance, Romance
Publication Date: 1928
Jessie Redmon Fauset is an overlooked but essential part of the Harlem Renaissance movement from the 1920s and 1930s.
She was the literary editor of The Crisis, helped the careers of famous Harlem Renaissance authors like Langston Hughes and Nella Larson, and wrote romance books with happily-ever-afters.
In celebration of Black History Month this February, we chose Plum Bun, Fauset’s most famous novel. It’s a classic romance with a happy ending – and a fascinating exploration of NYC in the 1920s.
Content Note: Racism and racist language are in this classic novel. There are also a couple of fade-to-black love scenes. We would rate this as a two on the steaminess scale, but there’s nothing explicit.
Written in 1929 at the height of the Harlem Renaissance by one of the movement’s most important and prolific authors, Plum Bun is the story of Angela Murray, a young black girl who discovers she can pass for white. After the death of her parents, Angela moves to New York to escape the racism she believes is her only obstacle to opportunity. What she soon discovers is that being a woman has its own burdens that don’t fade with the color of one’s skin, and that love and marriage might not offer her salvation.
ALL SOULS TRILOGY BY DEBORAH HARKNESS
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Witches, Suspense & Thriller, Historical Fantasy, Time Travel
Publication Dates: 2011, 2012, 2014
The All Souls Series of fantasy romance books from Deborah Harkness are about as good as the paranormal romance genre gets. The exquisite historical research, well-crafted prose, imaginative mythology, a swoony love story, and much more.
Book one is A Discovery of Witches; Book two is Shadow of Night; and Book 3 is The Book of Life. You can buy them (or check them out from a library) individually or as a bundle.
Once you finish reading, you can also check out the superb TV series adaptation that finished airing in 2022. There is also a fourth book – although it’s a separate story focused on a secondary character from the trilogy.
Content Note: These books are not quick reads – and there is some steaminess. A handful of love scenes throughout the series are tastefully done (so not too graphic). There is some language and violence, but it is about a three on the steamy scale. And it feels PG-13 holistically.
Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.
Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, and concludes with The Book of Life. The story now comes alive in an incredibly lush eponymous TV series, starring Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four, Hacksaw Ridge) and Matthew Goode (Match Point, The Imitation Game).
NOW, VOYAGER BY OLIVE HIGGINS PROUTY
Genres: Classic, Romance, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: 1941
If you love the famous movie starring Bette Davis and Paul Henreid, you’ll want to try Now, Voyager. The film is a close adaptation of the book – with much of the dialogue the same.
The writing is intelligent, the romance intriguing, and the exploration of mental health ahead of its time.
Content Note: Everything is behind closed doors, and subtext/innuendo is more of the style than vulgarity – much like the film. So, a two on the scale.
That iconic American melodrama that inspired the 1943 cult classic film starring Bette Davis.
“Don’t let’s ask for the moon! We have the stars!”
The film Now, Voyager concludes with these famous words, which reaffirmed Bette Davis’s own stardom and changed the way Americans smoked cigarettes. But few fans of this rich story know its source. Olive Higgins Prouty’s 1941 novel provides a rich, complex portrait of the inner life of its protagonist and the society she inhabits. Over half a century later, it still offers fresh and quietly radical takes on psychiatric treatment, traditional family life, female desire, and women’s agency.
Boston blueblood Charlotte Vale has led an unhappy, sheltered life. Dowdy, repressed, and pushing forty, Charlotte finds salvation in the unlikely form of a nervous breakdown, placing her at a sanitarium, where she undergoes treatment to rebuild her ravaged self-esteem and uncover her true intelligence and charm.
Femmes Fatales restores to print the best of women’s writing in the classic pulp genres of the mid-20th century. From mystery to hard-boiled noir to taboo lesbian romance, these rediscovered queens of pulp offer subversive perspectives on a turbulent era.
THE UNSELECTED JOURNALS OF EMMA M. LION: VOL I BY BETH BROWER
Genres: Historical Fiction, Victorian
Publication Date: 2019
A friend from college recently recommended this book series to us, describing the female protagonist as a blend of Anne Shirley and Lorelai Gilmore. Hmm. Needless to say, we were all in!
The book is a witty and humorous historical fiction novella – beginning the series with cleverness and fun. Emma M. Lion is an amusing, likable protagonist with witty one-liners and charm.
If you want to keep reading, Volumes 1-6 are available, with more coming. It reads like a continuous TV series. For more, follow the official website of the author, Beth Brower.
Content Note: Nothing of note. It’s a clean read.
“I’ve arrived in London without incident. There are few triumphs in my recent life, but I count this as one. My existence of the last three years has been nothing but incident.”
The Year is 1883 and Emma M. Lion has returned to her London neighborhood of St. Crispian’s. But Emma’s plans for a charmed and studious life are sabotaged by her eccentric Cousin Archibald, her formidable Aunt Eugenia, and the slightly odd denizens of St. Crispian’s.
Emma M. Lion offers up her Unselected Journals, however self-incriminating they may be, which comprise a series of novella-length volumes. Armed with wit and a sideways amusement, Emma documents the curious realities of her life at Lapis Lazuli House.
Readers have compared Beth Brower’s writing to Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, and L. M. Montgomery.
IN SEARCH OF A PRINCE BY TONI SHILOH
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction, Royal Romance, Clean and Wholesome, Inspirational
Publication Date: 2022
In Search of a Prince is a book that’s been on our TBR pile all year. So, we thought, what better time than now to read it?
The contemporary romance book received fantastic reviews. And it sounds like The Princess Diaries meets a Hallmark royal romance film.
Note: Be aware that there is religious content in the book. And while considered a clean read, there is a fade-to-black moment.
Named a Best Romance Novel of 2022 by Oprah Daily, a Best Novel to Read for a Romantic Getaway by POPSUGAR, and a 2022 Christy Amplify Award Winner
It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything.
Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell–Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.
Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?
For more information on The Silver Petticoat Book Club, check out our new official page.
So, who’s reading with us this Winter? And what books will you be reading? Let us know in the comments below!