Whether you’re a bookworm or enjoy an occasional novel, summer is the time of year most people make an effort to engage in at least one or more leisurely reads. Literati is making it even easier to do so while poolside on vacation or staying home with the kids with the launch of curated book clubs by eight best-selling authors.

Roxane Gay and Jesmyn Ward are among the writers who’ve partnered with Literati on this new initiative. Gay, the author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, will celebrate stories that “boldly disregard normal restraints” with her Audacious Book Club featuring such works as The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade, Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford, The Renunciations by Donika Kelly, and The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang. The club’s first pick for the month of June will be Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia.

“I am an omnivorous reader so I chose books that, first and foremost, I loved and that I found provocative and engaging,” Gay told ESSENCE via email. “There are novels, poetry collections, memoirs, and so much more. What all of these books have in common is that they are written by unique and powerful voices, and there is, in each instance, going to be a lot for us to talk about.”

Ward’s book club is titled Gathering of Voices and will explore texts that center “cultural outsiders whose worlds are so real, they feel like home.” The two-time National Book Award winner’s first book will be Heavy by Kiese Laymon.

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Each of Literati’s new book clubs will launch on June 1 with two membership options. Premium memberships include a print copy of the monthly book club selection available for $20 per month, billed annually, or monthly at $24.99 per month. Standard memberships cost $8.25 per month, billed annually. All memberships provide access to the Literati app where members, curators, and authors can connect to discuss each month’s selections.

In a time where there’s still such a great deal of uncertainty about the pandemic, our economy, and the day-to-day issues we each have to attend to, investing in a Book Club may offer just a simple form of self-care. “Books allow us to step away from our hectic lives and fall into the world of a writer’s creation,” said Gay. “At their best, books give us the space to question what we know. They entertain us and they expand our understanding of what is possible.”

Sign up for one of the Literati’s new Book Club here.