Back To Book Club, part 3 – Virtual Book Clubs

Love the idea of a book club, but don’t want the commitment of regular membership? A virtual book club can be a great option for people who want the flexibility to read and comment on their own schedule. It’s also a simple way to get your feet wet discussing books with other readers.

While Oprah’s Book Club is the oldest and best known virtual book club, today, there are dozens. There are celebrity sponsored clubs, media-sponsored clubs, website sponsored clubs and library sponsored national clubs. Most work the same way, members read the month’s selection and post their comments on social media at their convenience. The clubs often offer fun extras such as giveaways, podcasts and livestream author interviews, online author Q&A sessions, reading guides and more.

Here are links to some of the most popular clubs. Click to learn more and find out this month’s read:

Star Power!

Andrew Luck’s Book Club– The former Indianapolis Colts QB selects a book for “Rookies” (kids) and “Veterans” (adults) each month. September’s books are Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of John Lewis by Jabarie Asim (Rookie) and The Color of Water by James McBride (Veteran).

Reese’s Book Club– Actor and author Reese Witherspoon shares her favorite new read each month, mostly focusing on women’s stories.  September’s pick is The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim.

Read with Jenna– Today Show host Jenna Bush Hager is the daughter of a librarian, as well as a former president.

Oprah’s Book Club– The online club that launched dozens of best-sellers is still going strong. This month’s book is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson.

Media and Libraries

New York Public Library/NPR– A joint effort between the New York Pubic Library and New York City’s pubic radio station. This month’s selection is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

Now Read This– This club is sponsored by the PBS News Hour and the New York Times Book Review. Each month the club picks four selections to read and discuss.

The Los Angeles Times Book Club– Sponsored by the LA Times, this club features online author chats and events. In September, the club will read Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half.



Goodreads Choice Awards Book Club– The Goodreads Groups tab takes you to a hub for book clubs catering to every interest, including some of the clubs listed here. The Choice Awards Book Club reads books selected by Goodreads members as their favorites, covering a variety of genres. September’s choices include How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Tyrant’s Tomb (Tales of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan.

The Girlfriend’s Book Club– A private Facebook Group for women 40 and over, sponsored by AARP’s Girlfriend’s bloggers. The club offers frequent book giveaways, and ongoing book chats.

Find your favorite online club, and start reading!

Back to Book Club, Part 2- Do It Yourself!

Last week’s Adult Services blog post highlighted AAPLD’s current book clubs.  But what if none of the times are convenient, or you enjoy gathering with a group of friends to talk books? AAPLDs Do It Yourself Book Club service has everything you need for your new or existing independent book club.

How does it work?

First, choose a book, and determine the number of copies you’ll need. How to decide on the right book? Consider your members’ tastes and interests, as well as how long they’ll have to read the book. (AAPLD sponsored clubs meet monthly). We also recommend choosing a title that’s at least a year old. While it’s tempting to pick the newest, must-read best seller, obtaining multiple copies can be a challenge. Older titles are more easily available.

Need inspiration? Check out the Book Clubs page on the AAPLD website, under Reader Services, where you’ll find links to online resources, such as LitLovers, ReadingGroupGuides, and more. The American Library Association’s I Love Libraries site also offers a wealth of resources for book clubs.

Adult Services Librarian Patty Pearsall considers her book club’s next selection.

Want to browse in person? Stop by the Main Library and explore our book club collection shelves, where you can find multiple paperback copies of popular book club selections ready for check out!

Once you’ve chosen your book, we can help you obtain additional copies. If you want special formats such as large type or audiobooks, be sure to ask about availability. Digital copies are often available as well. Simply fill out a Book Club Request form. We recommend requesting your books two weeks ahead of when you want them available to your members.  You don’t need to be an AAPLD cardholder, a card from any library will be fine.

Once the books arrive, you can pick up them up at either the Main Library or the Eastgate Branch.  Take all the books at once and distribute them to members, or have members come into the library to pick up copies themselves. When you’re finished with the books, simply return the books to the library, and choose your next selection.

Want to learn more? Visit our DIY Book Club FAQ page, or call the Adult Services department and talk with a staff member. We’re happy to help.

Back To Book Club!

With kids starting school, fall is a great time for adults to get back to reading. Book clubs are the perfect way to discover new books, and connect with other book lovers!

AAPLD offers a variety of clubs designed to fit our patrons’ tastes and schedules. Like our other programs, book club gatherings are held virtually, so you’re able to participate from the comfort and safety of home. Getting connected isn’t difficult and we’re happy to walk you through the process. Click the name of each club to register. Copies of each month’s selection are available at the Main Library, at the Branch (where indicated) and often, through our Virtual Library collections.

Here’s a round-up of our book clubs, when they meet, and links to what they’ll be reading this fall. Find the book (or books!) that interest you, and register for a club. We hope to see you there!

 Stranger than Fiction, 1st Tuesday of the month, 6:30. A book club for non-fiction lovers. For September, the club will read In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences, by Truman Capote, and in October, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. Pick up books at the Eastgate Branch

 Cozy Corner, 1st Wednesday of the month, 7:00. Mystery lovers unite to discuss books selected by moderator Lindsey Tomsu, or share a book of their choosing on designated months. September and October are Reader’s Choice months.


 Book Clubbers, 1st Thursday of the month, 7:00. A general fiction club reading popular book club selections. In September, they’ll be reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. October’s selection is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

 Spinecrackers, 1st Friday of the month, 10:00 AM. A general fiction club reading popular book club selections. September’s selection is the The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal, and in October, Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore.


 Forever Young, 2nd Monday of the month, 6:30. A book club for readers 21 and older, who enjoy reading Young Adult books. September’s book is Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, October’s is Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke. Pick up books at the Eastgate Branch

Happily Ever After, 3rd Monday of the month, 7:00. HEA focuses on romance, women’s fiction, and chick lit novels with upbeat endings. September’s book is The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, October’s selection is Insatiable by Meg Cabot.


 Enjoying the Classics, 3rd Wednesday of the month, 7:00. Enjoy thought-provoking discussions of timeless and modern classics. In September, the club will read and discuss The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, in October, Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens.

 Nite Readers, 3rd Thursday of the month, 7:00. A literary book club that emphasizes Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and Booker Prize award winners. September’s selection is Rough Magic by Lara Prior Palmer, in October, the club will read In The Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende.

COMING SOON!   Oh, the Horror!, 4th Tuesday of the month, 6:30. Brand new in October, this club will focus on the horror genre.  At the club’s first meeting October 27, participants will discuss The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Pick up books at the Eastgate Branch.

How to Find Your Next Great Read

For book lovers, browsing at the library is one of life’s pleasures. But when you’d rather avoid public places, how do you browse for your next great read?

Fortunately, AAPLD has some helpful resources so you can find exactly what you’re looking for from the comfort of home.

BookPage– This monthly magazine carries the subtitle “Discover Your Next Great Book,” and reviews new releases in a variety of genres. Whether you’re in the mood for an edge of your seat thriller, a light-hearted romance, an inspiring memoir, or something else, Book Page will provide plenty of choices. Each issue features an interview with a notable author, discussing their new release. Older books are highlighted in features like The Hold List, which recommend titles based on a theme. Thanks to a recent Hold List feature on cats and dogs, I discovered The Duchess Deal, a delightful historical romance by Tessa Dare that includes Breeches, a cat with attitude.

Where to find BookPage? Read it online here, or pick up a copy at AAPLD.

Library Reads– Librarian recommended, with ten new titles each month, Library Reads have a distinctive red, white and blue sticker on their spine. At the Main Library, the newest Library Reads are shelved beside New Fiction, along with a flyer showing the current month’s titles. Older titles can be found throughout the library. Search past Library Reads titles online by visiting their archives, for lists going back to 2013.

AudioFile Magazine– Love audiobooks? This online magazine offers detailed reviews of new releases that discuss narrators and presentation styles, in addition to recapping story highlights. You’ll also find features on genres, narrators, and authors. Keep up with the audiobook world by subscribing to AudioFile’s free newsletter and listening to the Behind The Mic podcast. If you prefer print, AAPLD has copies available for check-out and a limited number for patrons to take and keep. Find them by the New CD Audiobook shelves.

ALA Book List– The American Library Association’s century-old review publication, Book List takes a comprehensive look at the world of books, including new releases, columns, features on themes, genres and authors. Normally subscription-based, Book List is currently available online at no charge. Visit

Check out these options, then give us a call to put a title on hold for pick-up at the Main Library drive-through, or our Customer Service desk, just inside the front door.

Want more suggestions? Use our Recommend Me A Book! Readers Advisory form for customized suggestions and check out links.

Happy Reading!

Have you read it? Have you seen it?

Welcome back!

As many know, AAPLD opened to the public on July 20. It’s been great to have patrons in the building once more and to see familiar faces.

Yes, things look a bit different and we’re not yet offering all of our services, though public computers are coming! To make browsing a little easier, and help our grab-and-go visitors, we’ve assembled two new collections, located near the front of the Adult Services area.

Our In Case You Missed It displays showcase the 100 most popular books and films, based on patron check-outs over the last 18 months.

Among our Top 100 movies you’ll find Oscar nominees (Green Book, The Wife, The Mule and Blackkklansman), blockbuster franchises (Mission Impossible, The Avengers, John Wick), musical bio-pics (Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, Judy), history and current events (On The Basis of Sex, The Favourite, Vice), fantasy (Jumanji, Ready Player One) and more.

Two non-fiction titles are near the top of our Have You Read It? Top 100 Books, Educated by Tara Westover, and Michelle Obama’s Becoming. The list features best-selling fiction authors such as James Patterson, Danielle Steel, Jodi Picoult, and Stephen King. There are also a few classics on the list, including Farenheit 451, The Great Gatsby, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

In the mood for something beachy? Check out summer reads like Elin Hilderbrand’s Summer of ’69, or Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews. Love thrillers? Try Brad Thor’s Backlash, Lisa Jewell’s And Then She Was Gone, or Past Tense by Lee Child.

Each display has a list of our Top 100 that you can take home, or click these links to our Top 100 Books  and Top 100 Movies lists. Use it next time you’re browsing online, or if you prefer, give us a call and we’ll be happy to put an item on hold, to pick up inside at our customer service desk, or at the drive-up window. Don’t forget, our current hours are M-Th, 11-7, Friday and Saturday 11-5, and we are closed Sunday.

We look forward to seeing and helping you soon!



BLM: Community Read, Week 4

The final selection for the Libby/Overdrive Black Lives Matter: Community Read is So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijomea Oluo.

“This breakout book explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape–from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement–offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide

Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.”

Overdrive/Libby has made unlimited quantities of the audiobook available for immediate download through July 26. Click here to download the title to your device.

The book is also available in ebook, print and CD audiobook. AAPLD cardholders can download the ebook, or place the book on hold for curbside pickup.

As our nation examines the complex issues of racial inequality and searches for solution, books such as these can offer new perspectives and understanding. We are glad to have been a part of this effort by Overdrive and the North Suburban Digital Consortium to offer four anti-racism/Own Voices titles to our patrons. We hope it’s been valuable to you as well.

To find more anti-racism title suggestions, check out this post from the Adult Services blog, call or email for customized Readers Advisory recommendations.

Black Lives Matter: Community Read, Week 3

This week’s selection for the Overdrive/Libby Black Lives Matter Community Read is a fiction title, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Published in 2017, The Hate U Give is eerily relevant to the May 25 death of George Floyd, and the national protests that followed.

Black teen Starr Carter is caught between two worlds; the mostly-white suburban college prep academy she attends, and the poor urban neighborhood where she lives.  Fully at home in neither, Starr is forced to confront the realities of her divided life when she sees her childhood friend Khalil shot to death by police.

Will speaking out help bring justice for unarmed Khalil, or will it destroy the lives of Starr and her family?

A New York Times bestseller and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, The Hate U Give is a Young Adult/High School fiction title that adults will also find gripping. The book vividly captures Starr’s worlds, especially her neighborhood. While the presence of R-rated language may give parents of some younger readers pause, the story and its courageous young heroine will provide a valuable starting point for family discussions about racism, poverty, and white privilege.

AAPLD cardholders can access The Hate U Give in a variety of formats, including ebook, downloadable audiobook , print , CD audiobook. We also have copies of the 2019 film. Click on the links to download the item to your device, or to place a hold for curbside pick-up.

New to Overdrive and Libby? Learn more about how to use them here.

AAPLD is proud to be part of the BLM Community Read, and encourage our patrons to add an anti-racism title to their summer reading. The series concludes next week, be sure to check back to learn more about the featured title.

BLM Community Read, Week 2

The Black Lives Matter: Community Read continues this week with The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander.

The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.

As the United States celebrates its “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of black men in major urban areas are under correctional control or saddled with criminal records for life. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an extraordinary percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a parallel social universe, denied basic civil and human rights—including the right to vote; the right to serve on juries; and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits. Today, it is no longer socially permissible to use race explicitly as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet as civil-rights-lawyer-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander demonstrates, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once labeled a felon, even for a minor drug crime, the old forms of discrimination are suddenly legal again. In her words, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Alexander shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.

The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community—and all of us—to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.”

This audiobook is available for immediate download through July 15, part of an ongoing effort by Overdrive and Libby, to encourage patrons to add an anti-racism title to their summer reading.

AAPLD is proud to be part of the BLM Community Read, and hope these books, written by Black authors, spark conversations about racism, inequality and the criminal justice system.

We’ll feature a different title each week, just click here to download the title to your device. If you prefer a digital book, we have limited copies available. Place a hold here. New to Overdrive and Libby? Learn more about how to use them here.

Continuing The Conversation

While the protests following George Floyd’s death have paused, our country is just beginning the process of addressing systemic racism.

An important role of the library is to provide access to materials that help patrons learn about important issues. AAPLD is part of a network of libraries in the northern suburbs that will be participating in the Black Lives Matter Community Read.  Throughout July, selected anti-racism titles are available for immediate download from Overdrive and Libby.

We’ll feature a different title each week. Read on to learn more, or click the title link to download the book to your device. New to Overdrive and Libby? Learn how to use them here.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad is available as an ebook download through July 12.

Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would spread as widely as it did. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and nearly 100,000 people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook.

Updated and expanded from the original workbook, Me and White Supremacy,takes the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.”

Prefer the audiobook? We have that too. Click here to download.

We’ll feature these titles in future posts, so be sure to visit the AAPLD Adult Services blog or social media account next week. #BLM #CommunityRead