Blog Archives

New Book Club Kits for August


We have two great new titles to add to our Book Club collection. Local book clubs can apply for a special Book Club membership card and use this to reserve and borrow a set of books for the club. The kits are loaned for a 6 week period, allowing you all plenty of time to read, discuss and return the books.

Kits include:

    * 8 copies of a title

    * Fact sheets about the book and author

    * Book reviews

    * Discussion questions


For more information, ask Library staff or see our catalogue which has downloadable fact sheets.



New Book Club Title for July

Attention all Book Clubs! The library has a new addition to our book club kit collection:

 The Light Between Oceans

Local book clubs can apply for a special Book Club membership card and use this to reserve and borrow a set of books for the club. The kits are loaned for a 6 week period, allowing you all plenty of time to read, discuss and return the books.

Kits include:

    * 8 copies of a title

    * Fact sheets about the book and author

    * Book reviews

    * Discussion questions


For more information, ask Library staff or see our catalogue which has downloadable fact sheets.

#bookclubread, the Read Watch Play theme for June 2016


Book groupJoin us in June as we talk about book clubs, what they are reading and what exactly makes a book good for discussion.

Whether you are looking for a serious discussion or an excuse to regularly catch up with friends, a book club is a wonderful way to share the joy of reading. You will probably be reading books you would never have chosen yourself, this can lead you to some truly wonderful experiences, but it can also prove quite a challenge!

Books like Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The Help by Kathryn Stockett  and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls  almost certainly owe their success to book clubs. More recently, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty  and All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr have been popular choices for discussion.

There is no guaranteed formula for book club success, but historical fiction, themes of triumph over adversity and stories that are uplifting or inspiring are in high demand. Consider how much time your book club has to read – A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry  and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt  are wonderful books for discussion, but at 800+ pages each, they might be daunting for many readers.

Traditional book clubs have involved a group of adults reading and discussing the same book, but we are now seeing groups especially for children, young adults or for parents & children.  Groups may choose to read around a specific theme or genre, or in a certain language. Groups are also exploring different formats like film, article and audio book discussions.

Modern book clubs may not meet up in person at all, many book discussions take place online onTumblr, Goodreads and Twitter or on television programs like ABC’s The Book Club.

Book Clubs are such a big part of life that we often see them in pop culture like Channel 4’s seriesThe Book Group, or the page to screen success The Jane Austen Book Club.

It can be hard to join a book group; they are such fun that spaces don’t come up that often. Don’t be shy to start your own, get a couple of friends to invite a couple of friends and have a first meeting to talk about what you’d like to do – you have the advantage of being able to make it up as you go along. Click on the For Book Groups tab at the top of this blog for information on starting your own group.

Your local public library can be a wonderful source of resources for book clubs. Many have meeting rooms that can be booked for a small cost or event for free, some libraries have open book discussion groups that are open to all members of the community and it is becoming common for libraries to collect sets of books especially for book clubs to borrow.

Blue Mountains City Library has Book Club Kits to support our many local book clubs. Local book clubs can apply for a special Book Club membership card and use this to reserve and borrow a set of books for the club (8 books + reading notes) and borrow them for 6 weeks at a time. Click here for more information.


There are a number of websites dedicated to supporting book groups.  They are a great source of ideas and readers’ guides and include LitLovers , Reading Group Choices and  Reading Group Guides.

If you are looking for some more book club resources, try the NSW Readers’ Advisory Services Wiki, and let us know your favourite book club reads in the comments.

These are just a few #bookclubread ideas and suggestions and you may have different ideas about the theme – we would really like to hear about them. Don’t forget that while you are reading, playing or watching your #bookclubread, you can tweet about it using  #bookclubread and #rwpchat, so that other people can have a conversation with you about it.  You can also add to the discussion on Pinterest, or post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #bookclubread #rwpchat so that others can share in your reading, watching and playing.

Twitter logo for RWPchat postsA date for your diary : There will be a #bookclubread Twitter discussion on June 28 starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Time, 8am – 10.30am, 2pm – 4pm, 6pm – 8pm GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.

Stella Prize Longlist Book of the Day

Here is a message from the Stella Prize people:

stella 2016

Since the announcement of the 2016 Stella Prize longlist on 9 February, we’ve had a huge response from readers who are loving the 12 books in contention for the prize.

To celebrate, we’re focusing on a different longlisted book each weekday from now until the announcement of the shortlist on 10 March. Check our website each day to learn more about our Book of the Day, and keep your eyes on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages, too – we’re giving away longlisted books daily.

The Stella Shortlist Book Club is back for 2016!

From Monday 14 March, you’re invited to join us on Twitter every Monday night, 8–9pm AEDT to discuss one of the books on the 2016 Stella Prize shortlist. Stella will lead the discussion on Twitter (@thestellaprize) and we’d love you to join in using the #stella16 hashtag. You don’t have to contribute every week – just swing by if you’ve read that week’s allocated book (or even if you haven’t!) and feel like a chat. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these twelve outstanding books and your predictions on who will be the winner!

Sign up here to register your interest in joining the Stella Shortlist Book Club. One lucky reader will win a full set of the shortlisted books. To enter the draw, simply sign up before the announcement of the 2016 shortlist on 10 March.

Find out more about the Stella Shortlist Book Club here.

Shadow Reading Groups

Could your book club read six books in six weeks? We’re looking for Shadow Reading Groups to take up the Stella Shortlist challenge by selecting their own winner from our judges’ shortlist.

If your book club is interested in becoming a 2016 Stella Prize Shadow Reading Group, please email for more information.

Upcoming Stella Events

Stella Reviewing Masterclass with Felicity Plunkett
Saturday 5 March, 10:30am–4:30pm
Queensland Writers Centre
A good review can make or break a book. Suitable for bloggers and writers submitting to magazines, websites and journals, this masterclass, led by Felicity Plunkett, delves into all elements of compelling critique. You will learn practical skills for dissecting a book’s characters, themes and story, and examine ethical issues that come into play when reviewing. By the end of the day, you will have a strong grasp of what makes a great review and where you can pitch them.

Stella Diversity Survey Public Forum
Thursday 17 March, 5–8pm
The Wheeler Centre, Workshop Space
The Stella Prize and Writers Victoria invite members of the writing community to contribute to the upcoming Stella Diversity Survey at this open forum discussion. This will be an opportunity to help shape the survey by sharing and discussing any thoughts, feedback, concerns or questions. We are particularly interested in input from writers who identify as belonging to marginalised or minority groups.

This public forum is free, but attendees are requested to register their attendance at the Writers Victoria website.

The Stella Prize in Conversation
Thursday 17 March, 5:30–7pm
Noted Festival, Canberra
Stella Schools Ambassador Simmone Howell and Stella Schools Program Coordinator, Bec Kavanagh, will talk about the need to maintain recognition of outstanding women’s writing. They will also be announcing the first ACT Stella Schools Ambassador.

The Stella Prize and Australian Women Writers: A Panel Discussion
Thursday 17 March, 6:30–8pm
Books Kinokuniya, Sydney
To coincide with the Stella Prize shortlist announcement, Books Kinokuniya Sydney is running a campaign to showcase and celebrate Australian women authors throughout March. This panel discussion will focus on the Stella Prize and the current climate of women’s writing in Australia today. Hosted by writer and academic Alecia Simmonds, and featuring authors Anna Clark (Private Lives, Public History), Fiona McFarlane (The High Places), Emily Maguire (An Isolated Incident) and Sarah Ayoub (The Yearbook Committee).

Good news!

05. GoodReads IconGood news!
– The library now has a Goodreads account!

But what is Goodreads?

Goodreads is a social media site for books!

This site allows you to like, share, rate and review books. You can even join online books group and participate in group discussions and monthly reads.

Have a look around and whilst you’re there don’t forget to:

  • Follow us at to see what books library staff are reading and find out what we thought of them.
  • Join us at for our online Young Adult book club and join discussions on your favourite books, participate in monthly reads, or challenge yourself with our reading challenges.


See you there!

Free books for book clubs

Book Group discussion

Do you belong to a book club?  Pantera Press are giving book clubs the chance to win 5 signed copies of the Pantera Press title of their choice.

All you have to do is tell them, in 25 words or less, what is your group’s favourite genre and why.

To enter* simply send your answer with your book club name and location, the number of people in your group and a contact email address to:

*Full Terms and Conditions and the Privacy policy are available here.

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