Your Library Staff At Home… 4 Book Clubs You Can Join Now

Struggling with what to read next? This can be overwhelming, especially with the constant barrage of best seller lists readily available anywhere, yet ever changing.  Joining a celebrity or popular book club can be a great way to discover new books and possibly dive into some meaningful discussion. This can be a great option if you can not physically attend a book group.

Here are 4 celebrity or popular book groups you should consider joining now:

Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, Hello Sunshine.  The book choices in her club focus on books written by female authors.  Reese’s current book pick is The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

The Henna Artist - ebook

 

Jenna Hager Bush, co-host of NBC “Today Show”, Read With Jenna Book Club.  The book choices in her club are generally contemporary novels with a compelling plot.  Hager explained her book tastes in an interview as, “No matter what, you have to have a great, compulsively readable plot. Something where you cannot wait to figure out what’s going to happen.”  Jenna’s current book pick is All Adults Here by Emma Straub.

All Adults Here - ebook

 

Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club,  Oprah’s Book Club.  Oprah deserves the ultimate round of applause for popularizing book clubs across the county. Oprah unveils her pick each month, and then features an interview with the author. Oprah’s current book pick is Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker.

Hidden Valley Road - ebook

 

Now Read This, a book club from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times.   This is a staff created book list in which they choose a book that, in their own words, “helps us makes sense of the world we’re living in — fiction, history, memoir, and more.”  The current fiction book choice is Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips.

Disappearing Earth - ebook

Virtual Book Club – Week 4 – Book Woman

This Memorial Day weekend, we’re talking about another holiday celebration: one that takes place in The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.

If you’d like to read along with us, click the link above to go to Hoopla, one of our e-media services. All you need is your card number and PIN to check out a copy of the book – no holds, no waiting! And what better to do over a long weekend stuck at home than to read? Now, let’s get to the discussion…

  • How do you think Cussy feels when she is ostracized at the Independence Day celebration, despite her change of skin color? Can you relate to her feelings of isolation? 
  • If Cussy was alive today, do you think she would still face the same kind of prejudices against her skin color that she did during the Great Depression?
  • Cussy has to deal with the loss of many loved ones in a very short amount of time. How do you think she handles her grief? Which loss was the most difficult for you to read?  

Some questions from the author’s website, some additions by me.

Check back next Sunday for our final week of discussing Book Woman! We’ll post the last batch of discussion questions and close out our virtual book club for May. Whether you comment or just read, we’re happy you’re here!

Virtual Book Club – Week 3 – Book Woman

Hello everyone, it’s time again for our virtual book club! We’re in our third week of talking about The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, which you can get right now from Hoopla if you click that link. No waiting, no holds, always available!

This week, we will talk about the community scrapbooks that Cussy makes, as well as a ‘spoilery’ question about Cussy’s genetic condition. Don’t read the second question if you haven’t read about the ‘cure’ for Cussy’s blueness. You’ve been warned!

  • Imagine you were making a community scrapbook like the ones Cussy distributes to the people of Troublesome. What would you include? Do you think these materials were helpful to Cussy’s library patrons?  
  • When Cussy receives the cure for her blueness from Doc, she realizes there’s a price to pay for her white skin and the side effects soon become too much to handle. If you were in Cussy’s shoes, would you sacrifice your health for a chance at “normalcy”? If there weren’t any side effects, do you think Cussy would have continued to take the medication? Would you? 

Questions from the author’s website.

We’re dying to hear what you think in the comment section below! And make sure to check back next Sunday for our next batch of discussion questions and comments.

Virtual Book Club – Week 2 – Book Woman

And we’re back – week 2 of our second virtual book club pick – The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson! That link will take you to an ‘always-available’ copy of the book through Hoopla. Let’s get right to it!

In the first few chapters, despite her protests Cussy is married off, even though she has a job as a librarian and can support herself. But her father, thinking he is doing what is best for her, gives her to a violent and angry man. The discussion questions this week talk about that betrayal and the aftermath, as well as how hillfolk have been treated throughout history. Questions come from the author’s website.

  • Missionaries, government, social workers, and various religious groups have always visited eastern Kentucky to reform, modernize, and mold hillfolk to their acceptable standards. Do you think Cussy faced this kind of prejudice from the outside world? Is there any prejudice or stigma associated with the people of Appalachia today?  
  • How do you think Cussy’s father feels after he marries her off to an abusive man? Why do you think he agrees to Charlie Frazier’s proposal in the first place? What do you imagine life was like for an unwed woman at that time? 

Throughout the month of May, we will be posting new discussion questions in this read-along book club of Book Woman.  Sound off in the comments below, or just read along with us. Check back every Sunday for new questions to think about, and read along with us! 

Virtual Book Club – NEW Title! – Week 1

It’s here, the day you’ve all been waiting for… the day we announce the new book for the virtual book club for May! This time, we’re taking a turn from present-day literary fiction to historical fiction.  

Our book club pick this month takes place in the rolling hills of Kentucky during the Great Depression. Most people are out of work, or killing themselves in the coal mines to provide for their families.  They barely have time to sleep, let alone educate themselves. But that is where Cussy Carter and the Kentucky Pack Horse Librarians come in. Funded on a grant from the Works Project Administration, the Pack Horse Librarians braved the wilds of Kentucky to bring the people of the hills books and education. Cussy is not just a librarian, though – she is a Blue: one of the last blue-skinned people of Kentucky, whose skin is a cerulean hue from a unique genetic trait.  

Based on historical fact, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson shines a light on a fascinating time in America’s history, seen through the eyes of a blue librarian. And you know we just can’t resist a story about librarians! 

Just like last month, we’ll post new discussion questions each week on Sunday. Click the book’s title up there to go to Hoopla, where it is always available. No need to wait or place holds for this one! Our librarians may also pop in to add their thoughts to the discussion. If we have a lot of interest, we’ll do an online meet-up to discuss the book. 

For this week, let’s talk a bit about libraries and librarians – you don’t need to have read the book to answer these!  

1. The Kentucky Pack Horse program was implemented in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to create women’s work programs and to assist economic recovery and build literacy. Looking at the novel, how did the program affect the people in this remote area? Do you think library programs are still a vital part of our society today? 
 
2. How has a librarian or book lover impacted your life? Have you ever connected with a book or author in a meaningful way? Explain. 

Questions from the author’s website

As always, thanks for reading, commenting, and hanging out with us!