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Book Club to Go

Selected Resources for Book Clubs

Are you interested in starting a book club? Unsure of where to begin?
We compiled a list of helpful print and electronic resources for you.
All the books listed below are available from a Monterey County Free Libraries branch.
Additionally, you can access the electronic resources from the library or from the comfort of your own home. Happy reading!

Print Resources Social cataloging and book recommendations

Type the title of the book below to get results from the websites specializing in book clubs.

Online Resources for book clubs:

     Book Browse    
Devoted to current fiction and nonfiction books. Contains information for starting a book club, including hundreds of discussion guides "with a substantial excerpt and multiple reviews of each book." Also features interviews with authors, bestseller lists, discussion forums, and more. Searchable and browsable.

This is an online community dedicated to books and book clubs. It provides great resources to enhance book club experience. Find a book. Find a review. Find a discussion guide. Take a course. Whip up a recipe (to match your book, of course)! Buy a gift for your host ...buy one for yourself (description taken from the website). Our BC2G program featured on LitLovers.

     Oprah Book Club  
The Web site for daytime talk show host Oprah Winfrey offers this week's schedule, information about Oprah's Book Club, all previous book club selections, topics of discussion, her biography, details on how to become a guest, and more.

     Readers Circle  
An online directory for book clubs, reading groups, and literary salons of all kinds in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Search by zip code or type of club (such as social or academic).

     Reading Group Choices
Reading Group Choices selects discussible books and suggests discussion topics for reading groups. The company produces a printed guide annually that is distributed nationally to libraries, reading groups, book stores, community book festivals, and individuals.

     Reading Group Guides   
This site was "built especially for reading groups, providing them with all they need to make their book club experience better than ever." Presents the publisher's reading guides by category, title, and author name, along with advice, interviews, recipes, a newsletter, and online community for readers and book clubs. From The Book Report Network.

     Teen reads
This site brings teens info and features about their favorite authors, books, series and characters. It is a part of The Book Report Network, a group of websites that share thoughtful book reviews, compelling features, in-depth author profiles and interviews, excerpts of the hottest new releases, literary games and contests, and more with readers every week (description taken from the web site).

 More online resources for social cataloging and book recommendations:


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Print Resources:

Bloomsbury Essential Guide for Reading Groups: Discover Your Next Great Read by Susan Osborne (2008) 028 O 2008

This British guide offers urbane book selections, provoking and non-spoiler book summaries, author backgrounds that allow readers to refine their analysis of the book selections, Internet resources, and annotated suggested reading. This guide’s discussion questions distinguish the book by prodding readers to consider writing techniques along with standard questions to make the book a tool for writers as well as readers.

The Book Club Bible: the Definitive Guide that Every Book Club Member Needs by Lionel Shriver (2007) 011.73 B

Newly formed book clubs will treasure this guide for its more than 100 book selections spanning centuries and continents with a particular emphasis on the British Commonwealth countries. The two-page book entries offer readers a one-paragraph, non-spoiler book summary, a sample critical review, discussion points, background information that may include film adaptations, and annotated suggested companion books. The guide’s secret is that advanced groups will find something to ignite their discussion here as well.

The Book Club Companion: a comprehensive guide to the reading group experience by Diana Loevy (2006) 374.22 L

This book provides party ideas for most of its suggested books, which include menus and recipes, cocktails and costumes. Loevy critiques online discussion guides for books, provides reading lists by decade for nostalgic flair, and describes her book choices with verve. A good book for those seeking a very social book gathering.


Good Books Lately: the one-stop resource for book groups and other greedy readers by Ellen Moore and Kira Stevens (2004)374.22 M

Both Ph.D’s in English literature, Moore and Stevens share their literary know-how and know-why to make discussions go from good to extraordinary. The authors share a lively history of book groups in the United States that goes back to sewing circles and salons. This book provides in-depth information on how to read different genres and unlock a book’s meaning. Craft ideas and ways to energize groups are included.


The Mother-Daughter Book Club: How Ten Busy Mothers and Daughters Came Together to Talk, Laugh, and Learn Through their Love of Reading by Shireen Dodson. (2007) 372.4162 D

Sharing values during a young woman's formative years prompted Dodson to create a mother-daughter book club, which became a model for thousands of others across the country. Dodson relates how the daughters in her club all developed leadership, public speaking, and analytical skills as they led book discussions each time a mother-daughter pair hosted a meeting. Practical meeting advice and participant success stories make this an engaging read.


Read it and Eat: a month-by-month guide to scintillating book club selections and mouthwatering menus by Sarah Gardner (2005)028.9 G

Creating a meal around a book’s theme can make your book club experience more enjoyable. Chapters in this book are organized by seasonal themes and include recipes.


The Reading Group Handbook by Rachel W. Jacobsohn (1994)028.8 J

Jacobsohn, a professional book club leader, provides readers with an experienced eye, covering everything from recruiting members to sharing hosting responsibilities. This book is a must-read for first-time book club leaders and members.


A Year of Reading: A month-by-month guide to classics and crowd-pleasers for you and your book group by Elisabeth Ellington and Jane Freimiller (2002) 011.73 E

Book groups wishing to challenge themselves intellectually will appreciate the extensive discussions of biography, travel books, memoir, horror, catastrophic tales, classics as well as crowd pleasers. The book is an enjoyable read itself and provides ideas to extend readings with videos, trips, and internet resources among others.