Articles Club

Confession: I hate winter. I always get the winter blues when it’s cold, dreary and gets dark at 4:30. So, in an effort to come up with fun wintertime activities, I had a lightbulb idea…

Let’s start an articles club this winter! An articles club would be just like a book club, but we’ll read articles. We’d all read the same story–from, say, The New Yorker or Elle–and chat over wine and snacks. It would be fascinating, timely and a much easier commitment than a book club (because, honestly, who ever finishes the book on time?:). And it would make the winter feel fun.

What do you think? Would you want to start one with your friends? I could post the articles, and we could chat about them online, too. Let me know!

P.S. I’m thinking this one for the first?

(Layout by Jennifer Hagler for Cup of Jo. Photo by Shannen Norman for Cup of Jo)

  1. I’m in Jo! xox

  2. This is a great idea! I get seasonal blues too and would love something like this. And you always choose fascinating things!

    I also read the article. Thanks for sharing. When do we discuss?

    Oh, and when is relationship Thursdays starting? I’ve been checking each week since you mentioned it! I hope this is still in the plans!

  3. Great article! I think if we more frequently give our partner’s the space they need to be themselves and grow with out restricting them and holding them accountable to a certain routine, relationships would thrive and remain intact. It takes a strong person to do this!

  4. Lucy says...

    brilliant idea, but how can you hate winter? i love it!

  5. elizabeth says...

    Yes, I’d love this! When will we begin!

  6. Whitney, I love that idea! Any chance you’re in NYC so I can come? ; )

    Love the article club idea. I just read the Modern Love article. When are we starting the discussion?

  7. I’m down!

  8. Love this idea!

    I’m a slow reader, so keeping up with a book club isn’t a fun thought for me, but articles…no articles I can do! I can’t even read them online during downtime at work – is my boss reading this – so it’s perfect!

    Great idea, Joanna!

  9. I would love to give this a try. That article has affected me in a profound way. I am really chewing on it mentally right now.

  10. I totally have “Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear” pasted away in a scrapbook somewhere. There’s a lot to that about reading between the lines! Fun idea. :) Articles seem well suited to a blog format.

  11. I love this idea! I already have a lot of books waiting in the wings, but I can definitely squeeze in an article. What a terrific idea to share thoughts on a topic!

  12. I love it! Yes!

    I actually had the same kind of brainstorm the other day while making Chinese dumplings to freeze and I decided to liven up the winter by starting a cooking co-op.

    Members take turns leading the group in making something they’re good at or trying a new recipe- then everyone eats together or takes home some freezer or pantry ready products.

    I’m so excited to get started!

  13. I’m in! Articles- I can do. Great idea!

  14. Brilliant idea! And I love that Modern Love article. Actually, I love most of them! :) I’m in for the online club! And kind of want to start my own.

  15. This is an awesome idea! Maybe I will have to start an Article club here at my college!

  16. Wow. I love the idea, and I love the article. It left me in tears of admiration for such an unselfish and mature reaction to a major relationship blow. I wonder if I would ever be as strong?

    My book club met last night and 1 of 5 had read the book entirely (I’m on page 40:) This seems a great solution to that particular problem!

    Though I need someone like you to choose the articles since I’m not up on any…

  17. What a great idea. I don’t often start books because I never know when I’ll have time to finish them, but I read articles all the time. And because my husband leaves them around the house all the time, I’ve found that articles in sports magazines are actually some of the most interesting ones out there.

  18. what a fantastic idea! i am currently in a book club, and sometimes the books get tedious. plus, articles are oftentimes newsworthy (which is great for discussion).

  19. Anonymous says...

    A great idea!!!! I have an article ready to share. :) So much more doable than a book club. LOVE IT!

  20. What a great idea! Perfect way to make it through a rough winter. :)

    And the proposed first article is great, I loved reading it.

  21. I absolutely LOVE this idea!! Definitely going to do it with my pals…

  22. Love that idea. Also, did you already post that article a couple years ago? I think I found it through your blog. I read it just a few months before my own wedding and it has always stuck with me. While nothing that drastic has happened in my marriage (yet), I think it is an amazing way of thinking that has helped strengthen my young relationship with my husband and stay in control of arguments.

    This is a link from my own blog where I re-posted the article (back in 2009) and talked about you and my recent discovery of your blog. ;)

  23. First of all, an article club is an incredible idea. People feel daunted by a book club, articles are best for busy moms and the like who want to feed their brains/souls but have limited time. Secondly, that particular article brought me to tears. If my husband and I ever get to such a point in our marriage, I can only pray I will have her faith and patience. Thank you for the inspiration.

  24. I read this article a year or 2 ago and it blew me away! I can’t even begin to express how much I admire that woman’s strength and way of breaking away from her natural emotional based response.
    In this day in age when divorce is so common I am impressed when people actually put effort into and go to extremes when trying to save their marriage!

  25. this sounds awesome! the article looks really interesting!

  26. I’m in!!! I never finished the books for bookclub – ever! But I was all over the wine and snacks. ;)

  27. This is such a great idea, and I really enjoyed your selection! Kudos to the author for remaining calm and patient throughout…I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do it. Anyone else?

  28. I also hate winter! Great idea…

  29. Perfection – two children, busy life, and love to read…I can’t wait!

  30. This is great! I’m really excited. I’ve been making a list of fun things to do to combat the winter blues and this is perfecto. If anyone is really getting together in NY I’d be in, but all for the online chats too. Woot woot.

  31. I am in for sure. I can not read a book under pressure :)

  32. This is an awesome idea! I read a lot and often want to discuss stuff with others but then forget as I read more.

  33. this idea is quite glorious. it makes me a bit giddy, to be honest. (and secretly, i’m glad to hear that i’m not the only one with blues about winter! :)

  34. I love the idea of the articles club, i am also a slow reader and there is no way i could read that fast.

    The article you proposed is inspiring and it relates close to home. Although different scenario (reversed really. My husband and I just got married, I got depressed and distanced myself I felt like the one who never loved and got really down on my self. He was so patient and loving and now we are back to normal. But I do not think I could have got through that without him.

  35. Alex says...

    I am actually obsessed with this idea. I’ve wanted to join a book club for awhile now but didn’t know how I’d fit it into my schedule…this is perfect. I’m in!

  36. Glenda says...

    love this idea. will you always link the article we are supposed to be reading like you did below?

    i’d love to join a book club, but depending on the book sometimes i can read it in 9 hrs and sometimes it’ll take me weeks. :)

  37. BRILLIANT idea! I’m a fan…so much less committment, so much more timely discussion. I’m in!

  38. Love it! I am in. Also, based on an older post I purchased a SAD light for these long winters. The combo of these 2 things will def. get me though the winter.

  39. I LOVE this idea!! (PS-great article pick. I remember reading this in the Sunday paper a few years ago and it totally freaked me out. (I think what what was so freaking was that she didn’t see it coming) It’s a great article to start with.

  40. Laura says...

    just emailed you b/c my computer was being weird with the captcha, but now it’s working, so I’ll comment, too! this is the best idea EVER!!! if you need help organizing, let me know.

  41. I LOVE this idea!! Please please post online, too so we can follow along! :)

  42. you are a genius!

  43. Oh, this is wonderful. I’m in!

  44. Fantastic! I’m in! I created a virtual (online) book group for distant connections for similar reasons (no pressure, activity, doldrums-distraction). I love this. Great idea.

  45. i love this idea because sometimes books are just too long! or maybe you want to meet up with friends more often : ) pleeeease post your selections online

  46. AM says...

    Love it! Would definitely participate, especially since my book club has fallen off a bit..lots of slow readers :)

    Ann Marie

  47. I hereby join right now! Great idea!

  48. fun idea, i think i’ll see if my girlfriends are interested! that article was heartwrenching… i’m not married, but i don’t ever think i’d have that strength. and i’m not sure that i really agree it’s the best tactic.

  49. that sounds like a stupendous idea – love it!

  50. Caitlin M. says...

    Great idea! We could mix a book in with the articles, maybe. Discuss articles all winter and end with a book?

  51. Count me in! Great first article! I would never ever have the strength the author had. Quite an amazing story. However… it all comes down to the husband when your strategy is to give him that much space. What if he can’t figure it out for himself? You’d have to have a lot of confidence. Scary!

  52. Love this idea! Maybe not possible while I’m living in Spain but I’m in for online discussions.

  53. Love this idea!

  54. I love this idea. Thank you for making my upcoming winter a little more enjoyable. This blog is feeling more and more like a friend.

  55. I loved this article. I think that the writer – Laura A. Munson – sets a great example for all women (and people) in relationships. She could have easily made her husband’s problem her own, but she stepped aside and let him deal with it rather than dragging down her family. This is what marriage is all about and what we sign up for when we say ‘for better or worse.’ Her stepping aside during this worse time is a testament to her love for her husband, her children and, perhaps most importantly, her own self.

  56. mp says...

    fun!! i’m in!

  57. Brilliant Joanna. I’m totally into this!

  58. Anonymous says...

    Such a good idea. This article was profound and potentially helpful in the future. Thank you.

  59. great idea! i will follow along in Wisconsin online! love your blog!

  60. Sounds like fun! I’m in!

  61. My friends and I have talked about doing this before and we said we would call it a PI Club (Pieces of Interest Club) and we would read great articles and eat seasonal pie :)

  62. what a lovely idea…..and since an article is totally doable, i won’t have the guilt and shame of not keeping up with a book club or just being a skimmer.

  63. I love this idea. I can never get people to commit to a book club! Thanks!

  64. Yes!! I love magazines and it would be awesome to discuss the articles with others! :)

  65. Love this concept. Yes, I would love to join/have an articles club.

  66. Natalie says...

    I would love an online article club!! That sounds wonderful :)

  67. Love, love, love! I’m so in. You are brilliant!! And that pic is adorable!!

  68. Anonymous says...

    Can i join? Via skype!!! :-)

    What a great idea!!! Xo

    Macaca grava por cima

  69. @Sarah: I’m in Toronto too! Yay Canucks!

  70. Susan says...

    Yep, there are these clubs down here in DC.

  71. i’m down.

  72. I love this idea, and what a wonderful and moving article! Wow. What incredible strength and willpower.

  73. I love this idea! There are so many articles I come across that I’d love to discuss – this would be the perfect solution. I’m in!

  74. Oh, that article was so good. I don’t know if I could ever do that. I wish I could. Re: article club- sounds lovely!! I’ll let you know if I find anything good in Oprah, sometimes they have good ones.

  75. kaela d. says...

    I’m down in cold colorado! :D

  76. Great idea! Also, I love your first article choice. That was the very first article I ever read from the Modern Love column, and it is one that I have bookmarked and gone back to again and again. I tear up every time I read it.

  77. I definitely get the winter blues every February…I’m a psychotherapist, and I know it’s because of the dreariness, but it doesn’t help :) I lived in NYC for 6 years, but now I relocated to Michigan, and it is SO gray here! I made a point of already booking a 5 day vacation to California mid February. We need to spread the joy in the winter!

  78. Sounds like a great idea!

  79. I remember that article!! If that baby won’t get a discussion started I don’t know what will.

  80. That sounds like a lot of fun. My friends and I recently started a “meta-bookclub”, where we talk about what we would talk about if we were to have a bookclub. (In other words, everything but the book.)

  81. How fun!! Would we do it virtually? I guess Boston isn’t THAT far from NYC. :-)

  82. Joanna,
    Read this article when it was published and saved the link so I could read it over and over again. I’m not married, but I kept thinking “This woman is either incredibly smart, or seriously deluded.” I’m just glad it had a happy ending.
    Love this idea and I’m looking forward to enjoying articles in the coming (cold) months!


  83. How fun! If you do this somewhere in Manhattan, I’m game. I’d even offer to host :)

  84. I’m totally in and I so know what you mean about winter. Brrr… I think it’s a fantastic idea and I cant wait!!! Kisses

  85. I LOVE this idea!!

  86. I love this idea! Especially because that article was incredible. I’ve never read anything like it.

  87. I’m in from LA!

  88. I love it. Articles Club 2011! I will definitely use this for my winter blues!

  89. Articles Club is a great idea. I rarely have time for books but love reading interesting and thoughtful articles during my lunch.

  90. I loved that article, I hope that I never have to face that day, but she was so diligent and patient. So good for her to have stood strong.

    I love the idea on an article club, I will join from Oregon!

  91. LOVED the article. Please keep posting your recommendations! Maybe I’ll pass it along to my friends and we can have our own article club. wine, food, good talkin – CAN’T WAIT!

    when can we expect the next article?

  92. I love this idea! My girlfriends and I attempt to have a book club, but rarely does everyone finish reading in time. What a great way to incorporate the book club concept into a more time sensitive, schedule friendly, impromptu gathering.

  93. I am sad that book clubs never work out, but this is a nice alternative. What I really appreciate about it is that I often times skim the news and mean to go back and read an article, but then I don’t because I forget. If I started an articles club, I would have a reminder to go back and read the articles I intended to read in the first place.

  94. um, yes!

    I sort of do this: I email articles to my family/friends and ask for their opinions, but sometimes they are not as enthusiastic as me. I would love to do this with a more varied group!

  95. wow, i just finished reading that article, powerful. What a strong woman, and a great way to view issues like that in a marriage. Makes you think for sure about alot of things, how we can act and handle things differently, maybe not take things so personally as women sometimes.

  96. Wonderful idea! I’ll be following along online ;)

  97. I absolutely LOVE one quote from that article: “When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: it’s not a spouse or land or a job or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within.” Especially the part about childhood myths. It is really tough to transition from the fuzziness of a world wide open childhood to the stark reality of adulthood. Thanks Joanna!

  98. Love it as well. Much easier to manage and lots of great magazines to choose from :)

  99. Becca says...

    Count me in!!


  100. Great idea! I was just starting to dread the time change coming soon!

  101. Kiasa, you are so sweet! we ride bikes to the UWS a lot. if we bump into each other, please say hi, it would be so fun to have a chat! :)

  102. great idea! i think winter totally sucks too. this would be a good way to keep things interesting and fend off the dreary.

  103. Wow. Just got done reading it. Awesome article!

  104. Great idea! …just passed it along to my girlfriends!

    it’ll be so much easier to commit to reading an article instead of a whole book!

  105. Um, I think this is a brilliant idea! I think this would be a great way to help everyone be more up-to-date with the happenings of the world. Please do share what articles you pick for this club because I really want to follow along, and get in the discussion! In fact, my favorite part about being an English major were all the discussions/debates we had in class about our reading material. I really miss that stimulating conversation.

  106. Anonymous says...

    I think this is a great idea!

  107. Amazing idea! I spend so much of my time reading as many articles as I can find, but it can often feel like a bit of an isolated pursuit actually. Please do!

  108. I love love this idea! Now I would just need to find people who would get as excited about it as me…

  109. Count me in! You’re totally right — the intimidating part of a book club is trying to finish it on time :) Great idea, Joanna!

  110. Only because you chose a Modern Love article as the first! Let’s talk about this point: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy.”

  111. What a great idea! And I read that article before and it really stuck with me. Good choice!

  112. What a fantastic idea!! Love it!

  113. YES! I have so many unfinished book club books. With 3 little ones I always fall asleep when I sit down to a book. I love articles! I’m in!!!

    P.S. I live on the UWS and sometimes wonder what I’d say to you if I ever bump into you. I probably wouldn’t say anything, just like when I pass Samantha Bee (frequently). Isn’t that silly?!

  114. I love this idea, Joanna! The Times article you shared was amazing, and I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us :)

  115. I love this idea! I work a lot and most of my friends are still in school. This would give us all an excuse to get together once a week :) Plus I am sure that we would be able to learn something from all the different articles.

    It would be really great if the person that picked the article each week rotated that way everyone would be able to share something that they are interested in!

    Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  116. I like! One of the reasons I ended up with a random english minor in college: the small classes reminded me of book clubs :) Definitely on board with this idea!

  117. yes yes yes. I’m in. I always love your choices.


  118. Joanna, I think this is a lovely idea! You’re definitely right about the book club idea. It’s very difficult to find the time to read a whole book, so this is a wonderful alternative. Winter can be quite draining, I live in Michigan and I’m sure you remember what our winters are like! xx. Renee

  119. Wonderful idea! I’ll read along with you from sunny FL and send you some of our mild winter weather to ease your blues. :)

  120. That’s perfect! It’s probably easier to get a conversation going about a timely article than do literary analyzing, good idea!

  121. teriffic idea!!! i love reading, but whole books by a deadline is totally not my thing.

    count me in! i’ll be there :)

  122. I love this idea! I already share interesting articles via Twitter, Facebook, and my blog, but doing it in person would be so much more HUMAN!

    Your place or mine? ;)

  123. Ooo, I’m in.

    Hey Brooklyn gals, if you want do this, get in touch and I’ll head it up!

  124. Love the idea for an online article club! Makes so much more sense for a mom then a book club does. And what a great and inspiring article.

  125. awesome idea. count me in! that first article caught me hook, line and sinker! can’t wait to hear what others have to say.

  126. Brilliant! I love it. I think it’d be fun to have an online chat, but I also think it’d be awesome to start a club like this in my neighbourhood in Toronto.

    Also, I remember reading that article you proposed a few years ago and it’s devastating and so inspiring. I can’t imagine having that kind of strength.

  127. yeah, i’m such a slow reader, i could never finish a book in time for a book club :)

  128. that’s adorable, what a great idea. i’m down!!


  129. Articles club sounds great! Like… a girls night ; )

    But in all seriousness, I think that would be way more effective than a book club, I mean, in terms of attention span and all… at least I know that’s why I didn’t join a book club, I don’t have the attention span to read book after book!