Back in 2012, a 14-year-old fan tweeted singer, songwriter and angel spirit Florence Welch proposing she start a book club. Welch wonderfully took her up on it, and was promoting the club’s first pick – Gwendoline Riley’s Opposed Positions – on stage within a week. Six years later and still going strong, Between Two Books regularly features reading recommendations from Florence herself, celebrity friends, and the fans who started it all.

On the book club’s evolution, Welch reflects: “It began from me choosing books that I really liked. But actually I started to find it more fun and interesting to get people to recommend books…I’m always fascinated by what books people like and what they are reading, so this gives me a great excuse to ask people I love and respect what books have really affected them.”

Expanding on literature’s sneaky power to affect internal change, she says: “I get so absorbed in a character, and it’s nice to get to a place where you feel like you don’t exist. But then their revelations become your revelations, and you don’t realize that it was teaching you things all along, and somehow you have been changed.”

And on the importance of book clubs to give readers a sense of community, Welch muses: “Growing up, I used reading as a form of escape. I was shy and sensitive, and so reading gave me a safe space. It’s a huge generalization to say that all readers are introverts, I’m sure there’s a lot of extroverted bookworms out there, but for me it’s nice to know people of similar inclinations can actually come together in a social way and talk about something that is inherently solitary. Between Two Books has a really good energy I think.”

To celebrate the release of Welch’s first book of lyrics and poetry Useless Magic, find a selection of titles recommended by her book club below, and stay up to date with their latest picks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Opposed Positions by Gwendoline Riley

The Ice Age by Kirsten Reed

Why Not Say What Happened? by Ivana Lowell

Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (also rec’d by Alice Walker)

Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays by Young Jean Lee

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (also rec’d by David Bowie & Rose McGowan)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (also rec’d by David Bowie)

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham (also rec’d by Carrie Brownstein)

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough to Make Us Beautiful Together by Mira Gonzalez

Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes

Just Kids by Patti Smith (also rec’d by Annie ClarkCarrie BrownsteinMarina Abramovic)

Night Flower: The Life and Art of Vali Myers by Martin McIntosh and Gemma Jones

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (also rec’d by Patti Smith)

Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur (also rec’d by J. Cole)

In Praise of Shadows by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry

Last Exit To Brooklyn By Hubert Selby, Jr. (also rec’d by David Bowie)

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer (rec’d by Nick Cave)

Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

“I was profoundly affected by this book… To get swept out to sea and make it back to tell the tale is a kind of grace… that anyone who has managed to get sober will recognise.” -FW

(via Between Two Books)

Categories: Musicians

Leave a Reply