Once we start reading as an adult, reading often becomes a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It is so much fun to talk with others about what you’ve read, and that’s why Neill Public Library has the Grand Avenue Book Club. We meet once a month to discuss and share our thoughts on our latest read, and I never fail to learn something, and be amazed at all the different perspectives on the exact same book.

Also, when you only read by yourself, it’s easy to get a little bit stuck, reading the same authors and the same genres, over and over. That’s not true with a book club, though. Time and again, book club members tell me one of the best parts of book club is reading books they never would have chosen on their own. Discovering new books, new authors and entirely new genres can be genuinely exciting for readers of all ages.

And our book club has a fantastic variety of titles lined up for the first part of 2022. In January, we’ll be reading the graphic novel “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui, and for February the historical fiction epic “The Long Petal of the Sea” by Isabel Allende. In March we’ll read the nonfiction art world thriller “The Isolation Artist” by Bob Keyes, and March will bring the novel “Anxious People” by best-selling author Fredrik Backman.

Want to start your own book club, or looking for new titles for your current book club? Our newest book club kits available for checkout include “Educated” by Tara Westover, “There There” by Tommy Orange, “American Cheese” by Joe Berkowitz, and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. All of our book club kits include 10 copies of the book, a reading guide, and discussion questions. For many of our book club titles even more resources can be found on the library’s website. Book club kits check out for six weeks, so you’ll have plenty of time to read the book and meet to discuss what you’ve read.

Not only do we have a book club, we also have an online reading challenge for this November. All ages are invited to participate in our newest Beanstack reading challenge: Read Grateful. Register for the challenge online (neill-lib.beanstack.org/) or with the Beanstack Tracker app. For every single hour of reading you log between now and Nov. 30, you will be entered to win a raffle prize. Prize winners will be notified on Dec. 1.

Interested in the Grand Avenue Book Club at Neill Public Library? Just shoot me an email at dan.owens@neill-lib.org, or give me a call at (509) 338-3251. We’ll get you on our book club email list and you’ll be informed about all of our books, meetings, and more. Currently we’re meeting online, but we’re definitely hoping we’ll be able to meet in person in 2022. Happy reading!

Owens is the adult services librarian for Neill Public Library.

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