Books for Two or More

My book group’s selection for January through February was An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen:

“When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking and what she’s hiding.” (Bibliocommons)

My thoughts? This is going to be a great read alike for fans of Gone Girl and Fates & Furies – I did find it a bit formulaic, but it was a fast read. The main character didn’t seem very bright since she continually got caught in the web being weaved and that was a bit disappointing. The idea was interesting it just wasn’t executed how I would have liked. Ultimately, I would have wanted Jessica and Dr. Shields to be more empowered. Continue reading “Books for Two or More”

Book Group Best Bets: Fiction for Discussion

Anyone who has belonged to a book club knows that there’s one meeting more difficult and stressful than all the rest – the meeting when members discuss which books to read and discuss for the rest of the year. How do you know what’s good? How can you be sure it will be discussable and sustain conversation? Fret not, our librarians have got you covered with a list of recently published, character-driven books rich with language. We think you’ll find a lot to discuss in these titles.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett
The tangled destinies and decisions of three teens growing up in a tightknit African-American community in Southern California. Continue reading “Book Group Best Bets: Fiction for Discussion”

Confessions of a book club dropout

"Leave me alone: I'm reading."

I still haven’t found a book club. Or rather, I haven’t found one I can stick with. I’m pretty sure it’s me; maybe I’m just a solitary reader by nature, or have commitment issues. Still, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out, seeing all those great book groups our library hosts all over the city, including a bunch right here at my branch (just search “book group” in our events calendar and you’ll see). And our book groups are really cool because you’ll find people gathering to have real discussions who might never meet outside of a public library. We also have this group called “Let’s Talk About Books,” where readers get together over lunch and share what they’ve enjoyed reading. I’ve been a few times: it’s a blast. I just haven’t managed to cultivate the habit, though I do love to share titles with my colleagues while we’re recording our Bibliocafé podcasts. #ExhibitionistLibrarian?

Maybe social pressure will be the key; after all, Bike-to-Work month finally got me on my bicycle, logging miles for one of our two library teams. Similarly, I couldn’t help but want to participate in our recent discussion with Chris Cleave via Facebook as part of our Continue reading “Confessions of a book club dropout”

Book clubs for kids

The Kids book club book coverEver since I started the Kids’ Book Club at the Northeast Branch, I’ve been getting requests from families about offering more book clubs for different ages, schedules and so on. I often tell families that they can help their kids start their own book club. “Oh no, that would be so much work!” It sounds intimidating at first: the logistics of getting a club together, deciding where to meet, how to get the books and so on. However, starting your own kids’ book club can be easy and fun if you have the right tools.

The Seattle Public Library has several books for readers who want to put together a book club. These are two of my favorites that focus on book clubs for kids:

Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp’s The Kids’ Book Club Book’s first pages are indispensible because they help readers determine what kind of book Continue reading “Book clubs for kids”

Book Groups for Busy People

Did you get a chance to make the lastest meeting of the Central library’s book discussion group “Let’s Talk About Books”?  I missed it, and it’s too bad, because LTAB is a wonderful opportunity for book lovers like us to share our thoughts on whatever we’re reading now and get ideas for what to read next.  Plus there’s no advance preparation: just bring what you’re reading and come ready to share. Brilliant!

image of Rules of Book Club shirt courtesy of Bob Boyetche via FlickrI’d like to try the book group at my local branch, or some of the fantastic options at other branches.  They’re offered  in many languages, for all age groups, on various topics, and even for the visually impaired.  Check them out!  (Select “Book Group” from the Event Type drop-down menu.)  I’m definitely going to one of them – right after I finish class, work, errands, and making sure my husband sees me often enough that he doesn’t think I’ve left him and moved to Uzbekistan. 

Okay, so despite our best intentions to make it to that book group, sometimes life just gets in the way.  But what if you could join one without having to make a major time commitment or even leave your home?  You can – by joining an online book group.  They’re usually message boards or email discussions, so you can post and read comments at your own convenience. 

You can also find one that fits your style, no matter what your age and interests may be.  Book Clubs Resource  is a great place for finding online book groups of all shapes and sizes.  The section “Special Interest Book Clubs” lists groups designed for African-Americans, mystery lovers, teens and children, and women, among others.  Booktalk  is a nice classic book group with an attractive interface. 

Of course, with the web becoming ever-more interactive, you might be inspired to start your own online book group.  You can get lots of great tips on how to set up and run your own online book group here, or on the library’s website

So there go all our excuses about being too busy or not being able to get away from the house.  If you have time to read a book, you have time to join an online book group.  Of course, we’d still love to see you at the library’s in-person discussions!

Have you participated in an online book group, or found one that looks particularly interesting?  Tell us about your experience!