Smarty Pants Virtual Book Club

Smarty Pants Virtual Book Club is a book club for people who want to read more. It’s a book club for people who want to read the smart books people talk about in their smarty pants language.  It’s a book club for people who want to read smart books but feel intimidated or are afraid they are missing the big picture.  It’s a book club for people who can’t or don’t want to engage in person for a variety of reasons and who think virtual engagement is quite lovely, thank you very much.  Smarty Pants Virtual Book Club is a virtual book club led by a trained Ph.D. and former literature professor who thinks discussing good books should be fun and engaging and that anyone can become a smarty pants and enjoy great literature.

You and your Smarty Pants friends will meet via Zoom on the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, starting on January 11, 2022. And don’t worry that it’s already started – you can jump right in at any time.

Want to join? Fill this out, and we’ll send you more details to finalize your membership!

What Do Smarty Pants Read?

Here’s a run-down of our 2022 schedule.
January – February
Good Girl Breaking Bad

You can’t have it all, so this book is pre-chosen as we get up and running…. Aaaaannnnd….

Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert (Lydia Davis, translator)

Why is Madame Bovary consistently in the top 5 best books of all time lists? Is Madame B a basic b*&ch who, if she lived in the here and now, might be wearing yoga pants with Uggs and sipping on an iced latte? Or is she simply a woman subject to the nasty patriarchy? Why does she make such bad choices? Does she need therapy? More lovers? No lovers? A divorce? Brené Brown’s seminar? Or just love and understanding? And why is this translation so amazing?
March – April
Ghosts of Presents Past: Afrofuturism and Fantasy

What if Black writers reimagined history and the role of African Americans in it? What if Black folks had better or different pasts, presents, and futures? This theme explores the beauty of the Black imagination.

Patreon Subscriber Voting Choices:
Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler
The Intuitionist, by Colson Whitehead
Underground Airlines, by Ben Winters
Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi

May – June
“You get an award! You get an award! Everyone gets an award!

What do the big prize committee members know that we don’t? Are they extra smarty pants? Let’s dive into a novel that has won a major literary prize, like, say, a Pulitzer or Booker. Or a novel by a Nobel Prize winner. The underachievers.

Patreon Subscriber Voting Choices:
White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga (Booker Prize)
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Pulitzer)
House Made of Dawn, by N. Scott Momaday (Pulitzer)
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker (Pulitzer)
Sula, by Toni Morrison (Nobel Prize for Literature 1993)

July – August
Summer Reads for Nerds: YA Novels with Substance
Do you remember the books that made you think deep thoughts as a young person? What have the kids been reading the last 20 or so years? Since these are quick and easy reads, let’s get wild and read one book each month instead of dividing one over two sessions. You can do it!
Patreon Subscriber Voting Choices (Pick Two):
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi (2000)
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (2005)
American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang (2006)
The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline (2017)
Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (2018)
Monster, by Walter Dean Myers (1999)
September – October
Smart AF
These are the books that make you go “hmmmmm.” They are on the philosophical side and just might make you learn some new concepts or fancy pants words. These might be on your “some day” list, or maybe you’ve never heard of them, but they’re sure to make to pause and reread a page or two.
Patreon Subscriber Voting Choices (Pick Two):
Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse
The Stranger, by Albert Camus
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Trial, by Franz Kafka
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
November – December
It’s the Busiest Time of the Year
So much to do, but so little time. Let’s keep the books short and sweet. November will offer a nice reprieve from the endless todos and errands with a novella, while December will offer a trio of short stories.
Patreon Subscriber Voting Choices
November (Pick One)

So Long a Letter, by Mariama Bâ
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor
Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel García Márquez
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Invisibility Cloak, by Ge Fei
December (Pick Three)
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“The Lady with the Toy Dog” by Anton Chekhov
“The Minority Report” by Phillip K. Dick
“A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri
“The Garden of Forking Paths” by Jorge Luis Borges
“Like a Winding Sheet” by Ann Petry
“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker

You can become a DIVA Smarty Pants for FREE, but to get a little extra something-something, you can become a member on Patreon.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

FREEBIE: Join and attend live Zoom discussions.

NERD HERD ($5/month): You are busy and might miss a discussion or two, or you want to read in your own sweet time.  You might also be a super nerd and like to go back and rewatch things and take notes so you can be an extra smarty pants at that next cocktail party when you want to impress your boss or level up on your smarty pants flirt game.  You get all of the benefits of the Freebie tier plus access to recordings and transcripts of all of the discussions.  You also get access to discussion questions ahead of time.

ILLUMINATI SMARTY SECRET SOCIETY ($10/month): We all know that the Illuminati run the world and make important decisions. If you join this tier, you know that knowledge is power, and you crave power. What powers do you get?  You get all of the benefits of the other tiers. You get to vote via Patreon on our next book. You get access to a mini lecture on the book and why it’s important and worth a close read. You can also engage in Q&A in the Patreon app as you read along – it’s like being the teacher’s pet without the bullying.  This is basically the cool kid’s table for nerds.

EXTRA SPECIAL ILLUMINATI ($15/month): You get nothing extra at this level, except DIVA’s undying love and gratitude. You get all the benefits of the other tiers and the warm fuzzy feeling of giving just a little extra.

Proceeds Are Allocated As Follows:
10% – Head Smarty Pants Book Club Leader Fee
20% – Accessibility (captions, ASL upon request, transcripts)
70% – DIVA