Four Summertime Fixes for Bookworms in Phoenix

There's nothing like a good book on the beach ... or by the pool, on the couch, or in the break room.

What just might top a book on the beach, however, is a table of bookworms, ready to dish on the latest read.

In Phoenix, a few book clubs offer space for discussion and spots for those with a literary appetite. Here are four that will run through the summer, and get you reading and talking -- no sunscreen required.

1. For the "I probably won't actually read this" reader

We put you at the top of the list for a reason: You're a lazy ass. And you're in luck because Phoenix has the perfect book club for those people who never read the book up for discussion. The name says it all: Lazy Arse's Book Club.

And because we know you're lazy, we'll keep the directions short. Just read the first half of "Shipwrecks" by Akira Yoshimura and meet the rest of your brethren at Practical Art, at 5070 N Central Ave. in Phoenix, on June 20 at 6 p.m.

2. For the "I like girly books" reader
After a month break to get refreshed, the self-proclaimed "Chick Lit" book club of Scottsdale is back on the market. This is the type of group where it's a common occurrence to throw around, "I'm a Carrie (or Samantha, or Miranda, or Charlotte)" in everyday conversation. Just a tip: If you don't know what that phrase means, this probably isn't the book club for you.

Bring a copy of "Some Assembly Required" to the club's next meeting on June 18 at 11 a.m. at the Grand Lux Café, at 7014 E. Camelback Road, Site 102 in Scottsdale. Oh, and a $1 per person fee is required.

3. For the "I need alcohol with this" reader
As the group with the most in common with our queen of book clubs, Reading Between the Wines stays up-to-date with the latest bestsellers, but also drags out a few classical masterpieces (Yes, I'm looking at you, Jane Austen.) The group's July 7 meeting will focus on "Sense and Sensibility" while members sip on a bottle of wine and kick off their heels. One piece of bad news: According to the group's Meetup page, you must be a woman to join.

Contact group leader Carrie Rousseau for location details and pick up a copy of "Bad Dog (A Love Story)" for their June 19 meeting at 6 p.m.

4. For the "I'd like to find out who murdered that guy" reader
Scottsdale's local bookstore, Poisoned Pen, offers a variety of crime and mystery-related book clubs. Instead of tying yourself down with British or "hard-boiled" spooks, go for the one with broader selections for more scare. Join the ranks of Mrs. Marple and Jessica Fletcher (two old ladies who solve murders in their nightgowns) with Pen's Mystery-of-the-Month Club.

To put all the clues together, email Patricia or call her at 480-947-2974 to sign up and get specifics.

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Bryan Scott Dugan