Reading Blog


Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Fostering Connections


How is your book club doing these days? If you're like most of the respondents to our October 2020 survey, your group has gone through some changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you're meeting on Zoom or gathering in person with social distancing and masking protocols, your book club meetings probably don't look quite like they used to. But not all change is bad! As we discovered in our research, satisfaction among book club participants is still high, despite the curveballs this pandemic has thrown us. We surveyed more than 3,000 people who described themselves as currently in a book club. Of these, three-quarters were still meeting regularly with their book group, either virtually or in person; the remaining quarter mos... [More]

The Pandemic and Politics: Changes in Book Club Reading Habits


We've discussed how book clubs have changed the way they source books during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what kinds of books are they reading? For our "Book Clubs in Lockdown" survey (published in November) we asked respondents about their reading habits during the pandemic -- from how much time they're devoting to reading to what kinds of books have been on the agenda. The responses are illuminating.


How Book Clubs Find Books During the Pandemic


Continuing our series of articles based on our November 2020 "Book Clubs in Lockdown" research, we now turn our focus to one of the biggest challenges book clubs faced – and are still facing: how to source books! Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, over 84% of US book clubs we surveyed included at least one member who relied on borrowing print books from their library. With many public libraries operating under challenging conditions, it's unsurprising that many book groups have had problems getting copies of the books they want to read. Despite these difficulties, it's important to note that survey respondents express considerable appreciation for their local libraries--and the near-heroic efforts of librarians keeping ... [More]

Books in Translation for Book Clubs


Introducing translated literature into your book club is a great way to expand the scope of what you read and discuss. Translated books make up a relatively small percentage of all books published in English, but within that small percentage lie vast opportunities to engage with unique artistic perspectives. Below is a selection of recent translations for your book group to enjoy. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is a feminist novel that makes a statement via its everywoman protagonist. It Would Be Night In Caracas and When the Plums Are Ripe show political events through the eyes of their distinct main characters. No Presents Please and The Black Cathedral are multi-faceted reads that explore individuality and community while offering vi... [More]

Book Clubs During the Pandemic – Stronger Than Ever


The media often portrays book clubs as more interested in gossip and wine than books, but actually, they're much more dedicated to reading and discussing than some would have you believe. I know because in our 20 year quest to provide exceptional reading recommendations to book clubs and inquiring readers, BookBrowse has surveyed more than 25,000 book club members, so I have seen firsthand that most are strong communities, passionate about books, vigorous in debate and learning. What I didn't know is how they've been coping in 2020. So, over a period of two weeks in October, BookBrowse asked book club members to share their experiences with us--and over 3,400 answered. We compiled their responses into a recently published repor... [More]

Cover Reveal for ONE KID’S TRASH by Jamie Sumner


The best way I can explain this book is to describe how the idea came to me. In another lifetime before I was a children’s book author, I taught high school English. We had a very special set up with seminars that students could choose based on themes such as “Wit and Wisdom: Satire in […]

A Nerdy Conversation with Tae Keller and Colby Sharp


Please join me February 25th at 8:30 PM EST live on the Nerdy Book Club Facebook page or my YouTube channel for a conversation with Newbery Medalist Tae Keller. I am excited to chat with her about her book When You Trap a Tiger. If you have any questions you’d like me to ask Tae, […]

Digging Deeper: The inspiration and research behind Treasure of the World by Tara Sullivan


I spent my childhood in the Andean highlands. All of my kid memories—”sledding” down a glacier on a shower curtain, wandering the artisan and traditional healing markets on weekends, (accidentally) eating roast guinea pig—take place on the altiplano of Bolivia. Then, when I was ten, my eyes were damaged by the UV radiation ravaging South […]

Cover Reveal for Now You Say Yes by Bill Harley


Einstein’s real genius was in his thought experiments. He imagined what it was like to travel through the universe at the speed of light, and that imagining became the basis for his theories of relativity. I am no Einstein, but as a creator of stories, I do practice a similar process, asking myself, “What would […]

Cover Reveal – Word Travelers: The Mystery of the Taj Mahal Treasure by Raj Haldar


As a kid growing up in a bilingual household, I remember these interesting moments where my two worlds would collide. My parents immigrated from India and we mostly spoke our mother tongue, Bengali, at home. By the time I was in third or fourth grade, I can remember already being fascinated when I’d hear English […]

It’s Okay to Just Be “Okay” by Jen Petro-Roy


When I was a kid, I tried a lot of sports. In elementary school, I did ballet and gymnastics for a few years, like most of the other young girls in my suburban town. (I was…not the most graceful child.) I tried rec league soccer, softball, and basketball, and while I liked being on a […]

Trailer Reveal: EAT BUGS: PROJECT STARTUP by Heather Alexander


Have you ever eaten a bug? A year ago, I would’ve said, “No way, not me.” Today, I’m a proud member of Team Bug. What happened? Two amazing entrepreneurs–Laura D’Asaro and Rose Wang–opened my eyes to the importance of entomophagy (the practice of eating bugs). If you’re a Shark Tank fan (I mean, who’s not?), […]

Cover Reveal for Ear Worm! by Jo Knowles


I used to tell myself if I had a book idea in the middle of the night, it was no use getting up to write it down—if it was a good one, I’d remember. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve started to wonder if that’s really true. So recently when I had a dream about […]

Cover Reveal: The Great Bear by David A. Robertson


My favorite book ever is Tom’s Midnight Garden, a classic middle-grade novel about a boy named Tom who goes through a portal every night once a grandfather clock strikes 13. Through the portal, he travels to the past. There, he meets a girl named Hatty, and develops a relationship with her as he meets her […]

The Question That Took Me By Surprise by Jamie Littler


‘What made you include so many illustrations in your book?’ It’s a question I’m regularly asked about my debut middle-grade book Voyage of the Frostheart, and its upcoming sequel, Escape From Aurora. Middle-grade books aren’t typically as heavily illustrated as chapter books for younger readers.  For those who don’t know, the Frostheart series is a […]


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