Need a Book Club Title? Where Should You Look?

Photo of a book club

“Gapers Block Book Club: Water for Elephants” by Daniel X. O’Neil. From a Flickr Creative Commons Image Search

First, I welcome you all back to a regular posting schedule instead of Book Review Summer.  As longtime followers know, Book Review Summer usually runs from Memorial to Labor Day, but this year I had a late start, so it also ended late.  On this first post back, I will touch on a subject I presented on last week at a conference.

The full presentation last week was about the process of creating and running an accessible book club for patrons of a talking book and braille library.  As part of that, there was a section common to all book clubs: where to find books to discuss?  With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite places to check (listed alphabetically, not ranked).


  • Book Club Central:  This site is the American Library Association’s new initiative, which is also a partnership with actress Sarah Jessica Parker. Each mouth, Parker picks a book and ALA also supplies read-a-likes.  There are also many tips for running book clubs on the site.
  • Book Club Girl: Book Club Girl features summaries of books as articles and podcasts.  They also send a weekly e-mail featuring these reviews and contests for winning books to discuss.
  • Book Movement: Book Movement is the social media service designed for book clubs.  Users can create groups on the site, each with its’ own page to show upcoming titles and meetings.  Users even have forums within each club to discuss the choices online.  In addition, it provides summaries of each book and how each book has been rated by other clubs that read the title.  There is also a weekly updated list of the top 100 books being read by book clubs worldwide.
  • Book Reporter: BookReporter features summaries of books and a plethora of author interviews.  They also highlight upcoming books and offer a weekly e-mail.
  • Goodreads:  Goodreads is normally used for reviewing, rating, and/or sharing books in a social media format.  Lesser known is that under the community option on the menu is that there is a page called “Discussion.”  This is for book clubs that are ran on Goodreads.  Some allow all to participate, others are closed groups.  Regardless, users can still go and view what books are being discussed.  Goodreads also will feature read-a-likes for the books and is best for titles of similar content.
  • LitLovers: LitLovers offers much the same types content as both Book Club Girl and Book Reporter, including podcasts and book reviews.  It also provides resources for starting and managing book clubs.
  • NoveList: NoveList is an EBSCOHost database aimed at reader advisory.  It offers summaries of books, professional reviews from various journals, and other pertinent information about the book.  It also has a vast read-a-like databases, which I have found great for finding titles by similar authors or by authors with similar writing styles.
  • Reading Group Guides: Though this site’s main focus is on creating reading group guides, it also provides summaries and reviews.  As far as guides go, theirs are often my favorite as they go beyond questions to also provide a summary of the book and a brief author bio

Other sources:

  • Bookmarks Magazine:  This bimonthly magazine offers tons of book reviews for recently published titles.  In addition, it features themed articles that end with a list of up to a couple dozen titles on the topic.  The best feature though is that each issue features an interview with a book club and readers can see what books that club tried and enjoyed (or did not enjoy).
  • Publisher’s Weekly or Booklist: Reading summaries in these publications often leaders me to investigating titles further.
  • Mentions in Newsletters:  See what other libraries near you are reading and see if those are of interest.
  • Patron Recommendations and Interests:  Ask club members about the types of books they like to read or if they have any title or author suggestions.  Use these when planning.  It is the best way to keep their interest in the club!

Additionally, all of the above websites offer lists of discussion questions for books.  If there are no questions for books your club wishes to discuss, there are other places worth checking:

If you would like to view this presentation, I have it posted on Slideshare.

Do you have any other places to suggest for locating book club titles or discussion questions?  I know this list is by no means exhaustive!


5 thoughts on “Need a Book Club Title? Where Should You Look?

  1. Pingback: Library Conference Round-Up 2017 | Amy's Scrap Bag: A Blog About Libraries, Archives, and History

  2. Pingback: Trouble Locating Discussion Questions for Book Club? Now What? | Amy's Scrap Bag: A Blog About Libraries, Archives, and History

  3. You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really something that I believe I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely huge for me. I’m looking ahead to your subsequent publish, I’ll attempt to get the grasp of it!

  4. Pingback: Tips for Running a Book Club | Amy's Scrap Bag: A Blog About Libraries, Archives, and History

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