Reading Blog


What to Do When a Book Club Member Talks Too Much


As reported in our recent publication The Inner Lives of Book Clubs, the vast majority of book club members surveyed describe their group as a vital and fun aspect of their life. They report enjoying a sense of community and a deepened sense of empathy and, often, close personal friendships. But even in the most harmonious of book clubs, conflict is likely to arise at some point, and if disagreements are not resolved, problems may grow more intense and people may end up leaving their book club - or worse - they may reach a breaking point and disband the group altogether. In our research we've found that one common cause of conflict are overly dominant personalities (ODPs) - people who, whether intentionally or not, occupy too much of... [More]

Maggie O'Farrell – Life & Books


Maggie O'Farrell was born in Northern Ireland in 1972 and grew up in various locations across Wales and Scotland. When she was just eight she contracted encephalitis, an experience she describes in a chapter called "Cerebellum (1980)" in her memoir, I Am I Am I Am. The illness did long term damage, leaving her physically weak and sometimes unstable, and likely brought on neurological traits of unease, oversensitivity and dissatisfaction. Despite this major childhood trauma, O'Farrell returned to school and attended Cambridge University, studying English before embarking on a career as a journalist. She published her debut, After You'd Gone, in 2000, and is now the author of seven highly acclaimed novels. In her memoir, I Am I Am I Am:... [More]

The Caribbean: A Reading List for Book Clubs and Bookworms


Choosing only a handful of books to read about the Caribbean is like holding a small mound of snow in your palms. You know each snowflake is unique and you also know that you've only touched a fraction of what is falling from the sky. And while you may be hard pressed to find snow on any part of the Caribbean, you can easily discover countless stories about these 7,000 islands, and all of them are different. Still, just as it is magical to hold those few snowflakes, it is also magical to read any of the half dozen books we've culled together here. [More]

Visit Your Library to Borrow ... a Tie, Briefcase or Handbag!


New York Public Library logoMany thanks to Michelle Lee, of NYPL's Riverside Library, who tells us about their Grow Up Work Fashion Lending Library!

Can you please tell us a bit about the Grow Up Work Fashion Lending Library? What is it? To whom is it available?

This program lets any teen or adult who has a New York Public Library card with low (below $15) or no fines borrow a tie, briefcase or handbag for job interviews, prom, graduation or other special events. Items may be borrowed once for a three-week loan period, and must be returned in-person to the Riverside Library staff. The late fee is $.25 a day per item. The replacement fee for ties is $25 and varies for briefcases and handbags.

Where Do Book Clubs Meet?


Many people think of book clubs as meeting in people's homes, but the book club world is much more diverse. In fact, according to BookBrowse's research, only 55 percent of in-person book clubs meet in a home.

So, where will you find the rest?

Overall, 17% meet in public libraries, 14% meet in restaurants or cafes, 6% in community rooms, 4% in places of worship, 2% in bookstores and a further 2% at work. You can see the breakdown below:

Be Yourself, with Silliness and Self-love by Aidan Cassie


I love myself, just as I am.   Well, okay, maybe not everything about myself…   I mean, I wish I weren’t such a talented procrastinator (yup, just got sidetracked “researching” TED talks on procrastination), I’m not too fond being diabetic (I’m slightly “bionic,” but not in the cool, Six Million Dollar Man kinda way), […]

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan – Review by Shilpa Mehta


Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan is a compilation of stories tied together in a timeless thread by the power of music. The harmonica, featured prominently on the cover and the book’s spine, travels through time and across continents and oceans through the hands of three magnanimous children, and brings to each comfort and the confidence […]



I always took chocolate for granted. As a child growing up in the Ivory Coast, we always had a chocolate bar or two nestled in the cold of the refrigerator door away from the tropical heat. We made cupcakes and chocolate mousse just for fun: “gateaux au chocolat” on special occasions and “pains au chocolat” […]



It happened on a plane. On a plane! I tend to board at the end when I have an assigned seat. Less time on the crowded plane feels right to me, and I rarely need overhead storage. A bearded man next to me had the same idea. “Why spend more time on a crowded plane,” […]

Turning Readers into Writers by Carrie Rodusky


I stumbled upon this rock while walking my dog through the woods. It is about to be a creative writing prompt for my upper elementary students. Who knows where it will go.     As an ELA teacher I have to find a way to include reading, grammar, language, and writing in a 60 minute […]

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins – Review by Kacy Smith Paterson


Farrar Straus Giroux/FSG Books for Young Readers 432 Pages, Ages 14-18   Mitali Perkin’s new novel, Forward Me Back to You, is an epic and layered read of identity and family, similar to her earlier works, such as You Bring the Distant Near and Tiger Boy. The narrative encompasses multiple characters, families and countries, which […]

After the Russians Came – Turning my Father’s Story into Fiction by Monika Schröder


My first novel, THE DOG IN THE WOOD, comes out in paperback on May 14th. I feel fortunate that the story continues to be available for young readers and I am grateful to the Nerdy Book Club for giving me the opportunity to tell a bit about its backstory. The novel, set in a small […]

The Clockwork Ghost or Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story by Laura Ruby


Sometime last fall, a friend asked me if I wanted to go to Greece* in April.   “Of course I want to go to Greece,” I said. “Who doesn’t want to go to Greece?” Except that I didn’t have time to go to Greece. I mean, I barely had time to go to the bathroom. […]

Impossible Heroes by Jess Keating


It started in Kiev. I watched with my heart in my throat as two undercover American agents interrogated a Russian man who believes he’s murdered a member of the IMF. They do their job, the adventure begins and then that infamous match is struck. A fuse is lit, racing across the screen, as that ubiquitous […]

Book Dating by Kyla McDonald


As a parent, teacher or librarian, you might never have thought to encourage your tweens or teens to start dating, especially speed dating. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok for your kids to date early, as long as they are dating books! Unlike dating people, book dating is free from rejection, completely safe […]


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