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HON 451

A quick guide to selecting book club books.

Considerations

Topic

  • Who is the target audience for your book club? 
  • Look for a book that will inspire discussion, like issues or characters on which people will have different perspectives.  A book that resonates with recents event might also inspire a lot of discussion.
  • Consider both fiction and non-fiction.  Creative nonfiction and/or memoirs are often suggested because they combine aspects of both.
  • Is there a specific theme that interests you?

Access and inclusion

  • Consider reading level and book length.  Too long/too hard may be intimidating.
  • Consider cost.  Even a small cost can be a hurdle.
  • Books available as audio books and/or in some e-book formats will make the book accessible to more people.
  • If reading multiple books, look for books show diversity in authors, topics, or characters.

Where to look

1) Google

If you do searches like "great book club books" you will get lots of results!  Also consider searching a bit more specifically.  book club books about diversity, book club books about the environment, great poetry books for book clubs, best memoirs for book clubs, etc.

2) Award winners

You can google this, too, but here are a list of a few major book awards (there are many, many more). 

National Book Award

Booker Prize

National Book Critics Circle Award

Some American Library Association Awards

Bellwether Prize (socially engaged fiction)

Read some book reviews

You can find plenty of reviews from readers on sites like Amazon or Good reads.  But you can also find reviews by critics and even scholars using the Library search tool.

 

Steps

1) Search for "title of book in quotation marks".  If a book has a very short title, you may need to add the author's last name (outside of the quoation marks).

2) After you hit search and to to the results page, look for the column on the left.  Under Limit by Source Type, select Reviews.

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