When Interabang Books opened at Preston and Royal two years ago this month, it changed the bookselling game in Dallas. Lori Feathers, the store’s co-owner and adult books buyer (who also sits on the board of the National Book Critics Circle), made it a priority to engage North Texas readers and revitalize the literary scene. Interabang’s Book Club Concierge Service was created to do just that. Feathers offers free advice on creating reading lists and even offers to lead discussions, her schedule permitting. She thinks Dallas has one of the strongest book club environments in the country. And it’s not just wine and social hour: these are readers choosing a challenging discussion over cheese. We asked her to name some of the fancier clubs in town.
The Literary Salon (formed 2019)
What makes it special: They’re new, no one has to host, and it’s open to any member of Park House, a high-end private social club in Highland Park Village, which costs $5,000 to join. Feathers herself leads the discussions.
Where they meet: Park House. But more specifically you’ll find them outside, on a patio that affords a good view of the downtown skyline.
Favorite recent read: The River, by Peter Heller
The Gentleman’s (Book) Club (2017)
What makes it special: There aren’t many venues where men can gather that don’t involve sports. The idea behind this book club is an excuse to do just that. The 13 animated type-A personalities who range in age from 63 to 73 drink scotch, eat small sandwiches called Doozies, and share equal time guiding the month’s book convo.
Where they meet: Whichever member’s house has the Doozies
Favorite recent read: Educated, by Tara Westover
The Unnamed Club of Feminist Movers and Shakers (1990)
What makes it special: These dozen or so sixtysomething women are under-the-radar progressive powerhouses in Dallas. Members are involved in organizations like Planned Parenthood, Annie’s List, NTARUPT, and Texas Women’s Foundation, fighting for women’s rights and education. While their work doesn’t intentionally guide their book discussions, it has sustained an unshakable bond among members and made for lively conversation. Need another plus? They read poetry and international translations.
Where they meet: Homes from Dallas to McKinney
Favorite recent read: A Month in the Country, by J.L. Carr
The Unnamed Club of Creatives (1995)
What makes it special: This melting pot of a club earns its esteem from its diversity of members. Not only is one of the original founders local author (and violinist for the Fort Worth Symphony) Rosalyn Story, it also claims an oboist, a corporate lawyer, architects, a visual artist, a tech consultant, a TV producer, and an interpreter. Membership is split nearly evenly male-female, which is refreshing.
Where they meet: East Dallas or Arlington
Favorite recent read: Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
Pierian Junior Club (1924)
What makes it special: Pierian has maintained an exclusive book club of 40 to 50 women for nearly a century. Founded under the principles of deeper learning, it takes serious reading to the next level with oral presentations to the group, mandatory attendance, and an expiration date. Members age out at 47.
Where they meet: Currently unknown—they keep things “quiet and private”—but at one point, meetings were held at the Stroud House, at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. It’s older than the club, constructed in 1899.