Book Club Resources

  • Monroe County Public Library is dedicated to enhancing the reading life of its community members. Book clubs are an important venue for readers to share their thoughts and feelings about books. This subject guide is designed for local book clubs to use for guidance on choosing books, creating lively discussions and making books available to members.

    Dory L

Local Resources

  • For the Love of Reading book blog is created and maintained by library staff. Book reviews of both current and older titles are available here. Occasionally, a group of novels or books on one subject are treated together in one post. A good source to find interesting title suggestions.

  • The library now offers free book club bags to members of local book clubs with library cards. They include multiple copies of a book and additional materials such as book club questions, author biography and readalikes for the title. Check out It's in the Bag for some interesting background information and for copies of titles for your reading club.

  • The Sights and Sound blog is also created and maintained by library staff. Movies available from the library's collection are reviewed, sometimes with a brief video clip to provide an introduction to the film.

  • This is a free service for any Indiana resident sponsored by the Indiana Humanities Council. Novel Conversations has over three hundred titles available to borrow. There are multiple copies for each title so that individual members of a book club can read his or her own copy. After placing your request for books with the Council, the bags are sent to your local public library for pickup and return. Check their website for more details on available titles, procedures for borrowing the books and contact information.

  • This pathfinder, For the Love of Reading Subject Guide was created by an MCPL librarian. It provides websites, books, a database and local resources to help your group find the perfect book. This site will also help you locate the next book in a series. Also provided are read-alikes for favorite books and authors. You can also search for books about a particular location or time period.

Web Resources

  • This site bills itself as an online magazine for book lovers. It features previews of books about to be published, reviews, author interviews, suggestions for book clubs, readalikes, and much more. It allows you to search books by time period, genre, setting, and theme. Some of the 200+ lists include favorite recommendations and award winners.  Under the tab for book clubs, the site offers a discussion section, advice for people in bookclubs, author interviews and free reading guides that have book summaries, reviews and discussion questions. This site makes an excellent resource and one-stop website for information about fiction and nonfiction.

  • This site is geared entirely for book club members. Not only does it offer constantly updated descriptions of new books, but it tries to cover the whole book club experience by including sections on music, food, and even wine by the book. It also includes lists of favorites, good discussion books, and great group reads. Also helpful are tips on starting and running a book club. The best one-source place for book club members.

  • The famous librarian and book author loves to recommend books. Her site is a great place to find well-written reviews of first novels and other book gems. It also allows you to search by category in order to discover and explore new reading areas: for example, fairy tales, satires, biographies and memoirs.

  • This website has hundreds of guides for books. Designed for use by book clubs, these guides are free for printing. On their homepage, choose the tab "For Book Clubs" for titles to use with your group. Each guide includes information about the book, a detailed list of questions, and some excerpts from reviews about the book. Also included are interviews with varied book club members. This site will provide answers to many questions about starting and sustaining book clubs.

  • Sponsored by Booklist Magazine, this blog incorporates individual postings from many bloggers about what books worked well and what books bombed for their book discussions. Helpful categories include reader guides, books in the news, author websites, and book awards. Also included are book club tips and resources.

  • Here you will find lots of book news including announcements about new books being published in both hardbound and paperback. It also has a "word of mouth" section and one devoted to indie books (independently published books.)

  • This site owned by Amazon describes itself as "a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers."  Useful features include a subject index and lists of most popular and highest-rated books. They also have a link to recent book club picks, a section that might help you choose your next book. Author information is also provided.-powered

Databases

  • This wonderful database could serve as your one-source place for good reading choices, at least for fiction. Although they offer the same services for nonfiction, the nonfiction selection is much smaller. But for novels you can find author and title readalikes, recommendations, and over four thousand articles and book lists.  There are also book discussion guides and author biographies. The database allows searching by multiple categories including, among others: genre, tone, historical period, location, subject and writing style.

Journals & Magazines

  • Book Marks Magazine just celebrated its tenth anniversary. It's a great resource for book club members. The whole book is devoted to reviews except for a monthly interview with the members of one particular book club. They always discuss the group's favorite books as well as the ones that were most unpopular. Particularly helpful are their long, carefully written reviews and easily-scanned ratings for each book.

  • A trade magazine for the publishing industry, Publishers Weekly provides many book reviews, bestseller lists, and information about the book industry including author interviews. With its reviews of brand new titles, it's a good place to get ideas for interesting new reads. Reviews are divided by category and also by genre so it's easy to find a review in a subject area that you're interested in. Our library offers circulating copies.