ALA Editions. 2019. c143p. illus. bibliog. appendix. Index. ISBN 978-0-8389-1856-2. $49.99.
Book clubs fail for a variety of reasons. Attendance oftentimes drops. Facilitators get burned out and bored. They may be too busy to do the necessary work required to prepare for traditional book club meetings. Meeting time(s) and/or location(s) may not be suitable for participants and/or the clubs may not be serving the needs of their communities. Whatever ails your book club, there are a variety of ways to revive it or “reboot” it with a “twist.” In this publication published in cooperation with the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office, the authors, Ostman (Communications Manager, Public Programs Office, American Library Association; MA, Journalism, Columbia College, Chicago, IL) and Saba (Community Program Supervisor, San Mateo County Libraries, CA; MLIS, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA), both of whom are well-qualified and knowledgeable about the subject, profile 71 successful book clubs across the United States. While most of the featured clubs are associated with public libraries, many are not. All are successful because they foster meaningful book discussions and offer some good old fashion diversions such as exercise, food, good company, and opportunities to create, share, and socialize. Successful, non-traditional book clubs may provide a change of scenery, partner with organizations outside the library, unite people with common interests, make it easy for members to participate, meet community needs, target specific audiences, get quirky, encourage activism, meet participants where they are, and more. Some notable book clubs showcased by the authors include a walk and talk book club, book clubs held on ferries, in restaurants, and in bars, a Brown Bag Lunch book club, book clubs for people with developmental disabilities, book clubs for professionals such as nurses and teachers, book clubs encouraging activism, and book clubs for high school and middle school students, teachers, and parents. Offering tips and advice, sidebars on related topics such as marketing book clubs to specific populations and ways to facilitate book discussions, as well as an appendix of useful resources, this publication is highly recommended for many types of libraries. Review copy. Availability: ALA Store, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com