Book club inspiration

Get to Know Our Clubs: Thrillers by the Book Club

Jul 22, 2022



Annabel Zane

This month, we got to catch up with Chelsea Hofmann, creator and host of the flourishing book club Thrillers by the Book Club. Thrillers by the Book Club, also known as TxTBC, is a community of thriller/mystery readers with 27+ chapters across North America. They select one book per month and talk about it together.


Read on to hear about how TxTBC came about, fun ways club members stay connected beyond reading, and Chelsea’s thriller/mystery reading recommendations.


Tell us a little about Thrillers by the Book Club, and where the inspiration to start the club came from.


Thrillers by the Book Club was an idea I had back in October 2019. I wanted to join a book club that was exclusively for thrillers, but I couldn’t find any near me. I decided to put out some feelers online and realized there were many other people who also wanted to be in a thriller book club! So I started the group on Instagram and eventually made it its own page. Fast-forward to June 2021 my friend Yolanda asked me if I had ever considered creating a group in person. She offered to help me host, so we met with the Southern California group for the first time in July 2021. After I posted my first picture the idea took off and now there are chapters all over the United States (and Canada)!


What got you into thrillers? Share a few of your favorite thrillers of all time.


I have always loved mysteries! I grew up loving The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys, and I was never really interested in any other genre. It is IMPOSSIBLE to choose favorites, but some of the best thrillers I’ve read are His and Hers by Alice Feeney, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, The Whisper Man by Alex North, and The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.


Thrillers by the Book Club has grown into an incredible community of over 25 chapters across North America. Tell us about that expansion and if you expected it to grow as much as it has.


I honestly am still shocked by it. I had no idea this was an area that people would be so excited about. I started it because it was something I was excited about and a hole I wanted to fill. It has been so much fun talking with people all over the country about starting a chapter in their area. I have a group for hosts that we use to communicate and support each other and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. 


Do you have any really good stories from your book club (funny/fun/inspiring)?


Oh gosh tons! Recently our in-person book club took a women’s self-defense class for our one-year anniversary. We always read books about women being victims, so it was a lot of fun to learn how to defend ourselves if we ever get into a situation like that. It helped us bond a lot and it was tons of fun getting to practice!



How do your book club members stay connected beyond reading?


I know most of the in person chapters have become friends outside of book club meetings. I know for my club we also do fun things together besides our monthly meetings. The conversations we have in book club really encourage members to get to know each other on a deeper level, so we also do things we enjoy besides reading. Some examples are brunch, going to the movies, and going to the beach! We also have a constant book club chat on Instagram that keeps us in contact during the rest of the month. 


You host the Thrillers by the Book Club Online chapter, what can readers expect when joining this virtual book club?


Our virtual book club is very low key. On the first of the month the @thrillersbythebookclub account and myself (@thrillerbookbabe) both post the monthly book choice on Instagram. People can RSVP by commenting or messaging and I’ll add them to a group chat on Instagram. We also have a Thrillers by the Bookclub account on Bookclubs which not only shares information on our monthly pick, but also bonus events. We are lucky to be able to host authors on Zoom like Riley Sager and Jennifer Hillier. During the month participants are encouraged to chat in the group, but we don’t have the discussion or share spoilers until the 1st of the month. That’s when our moderators lead the chat and we have a rolling discussion. We have participants from all over the world, so people can chime in at any time during the day.  


How can readers join a Thrillers by the Book Club chapter or start their own?


If they want to join an existing chapter they can check my Instagram highlights or the book club account’s highlights to see where there are chapters located. Then they could either reach out to the account or join the club on Bookclubs. If someone wanted to start their own, I always encourage them to reach out to me directly. I have a whole information packet I share with them, and I’ll connect them with the host group to learn some tips and tricks. 


Any exciting news or events coming up for Thrillers by the Book Club that you’d like to share?


Absolutely! We are having a Zoom chat with Jennifer Hillier on August 7th at 4:30 PST about Things We Do in the Dark that anyone can join. We are also going to be meeting with Riley Sager on Zoom on August 21st as well to talk about his new book The House Across the Lake. Another super exciting piece of news is that I will be starting the Thrillers by the Bookclub Pod (@thrillersbythebookclubpod) with a co-host coming in August! We hope this podcast feels like a conversation with friends. We will each be talking about a different thriller each week, and we’re super excited to share what we’ve created so far!


What book is currently on your nightstand?


I JUST finished I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown which was super interesting because it was set in Southern California. Next up for me is probably going to be either Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger or Babysitter by Joyce Carol Oates.


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