Reading Group News

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Cambridgeshire County Council
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Winter 2023

Cambridgeshire Libraries

Cambridgeshire Libraries - Reading Groups

Suggested Reading Group Titles

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Reading Group News

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Hello Cambridgeshire Libraries’ Reading Groups!

This quarterly eNewsletter is automatically sent to each group’s main contact person, and we thank you for forwarding it to your members. Individual members can also sign up to receive the news directly by clicking on the Join Our Mailing List button at the top of this page, or via our webpage: Reading groups - Cambridgeshire County Council

New Reading Group Sets

Book covers for new reading group sets.

Over the last couple of months, we have purchased several new reading group sets, to help refresh our collection, and ensure we have a variety of titles available to Reading Groups.

Titles recently added to the collection include:

  • How to Kill your Family by Bella Mackie
  • Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  • Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
  • A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe
  • The Herd by Emily Edwards
  • Build your House Around my Body by
  • These Precious Days (Non-Fiction title) by Ann Patchett
  • Lily: A Tale of Revenge by Rose Tremain
  • The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
  • Small things Like These by Claire Keegan
  • The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont
  • The Policeman by Bethan Roberts

Click here to browse the new and suggested reading group titles on the library catalogue.

If you have a suggestion for a title you would like to see as a reading group set, please place a purchase suggestion via the online library catalogue.

Reading Group Voices

Paperback book cover for The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

Day Books reading group, Bethlehem Public Library, New York State, USA

We’ve reached across the Pond to find out what a reading group in the USA has recently enjoyed. Day Books, run by Anne Coletta, is Bethlehem Public Library's longest running book discussion group. It focuses on books that are award winners, or in top ten lists, or are by well-reviewed debut authors.

Day Books recently read and discussed The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris. This Booker Prize longlisted debut novel gave the group a lot to talk about; we felt we had barely scratched the surface by the time our hour was up. The response to the book was overwhelmingly positive, and we were intrigued by the setting - the immediate aftermath of the Southern Confederacy's surrender as the American Civil War drew to a close. We found the storytelling and language to be beautiful, and discovered that the themes reverberate through the years to the present day. The characters' internal worlds were portrayed with such tenderness that one really felt distress as the events of the novel unfolded. I especially appreciated this book as one of my goals is to introduce my group members to new perspectives and experiences, and this novel is one of the few that portrays the experience of newly emancipated enslaved Americans.

Find copies of The Sweetness of Water in our catalogue.

Digital Resources for Reading Groups

Book covers for Forever Home by Graham Norton, Murder at the Victoria and Albert Museum by Jim Eldridge, and Larch Tree Lane by Anna Jacobs.

Book cover of The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain

Digital Library news - uLibrary

Talking Books is uLibrary’s dedicated audiobook club for adults. You can download the uLibrary app from the app store and the Google play store or log in to the uLibrary website. Log in with your library card number and go to the Book Clubs tab to listen to a different title every month.

February’s title is The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain, which we also have available as a print book for your reading group to reserve!

There are new audiobooks added to uLibrary every month which are all available to 100 users at a time. Recent titles have included Forever Home by Graham Norton, Murder at the Victoria and Albert Museum by Jim Eldridge, and Larch Tree Lane by Anna Jacobs.

Images of the book covers of classic titles always available on OverDrive.

Always Available on OverDrive

We have thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks which are always available on OverDrive! Including lots of classic literature! Log in to the OverDrive website or Libby app with your library card number and browse our Always Available containers to read or listen.

Popular titles available in both formats include: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne; A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; Dracula by Bram Stoker; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Author Talks

Book covers for the authors giving talks across Cambridgeshire Libraries.

Please note that some details for up-coming author talks have been updated from those published in the February edition of the Cambridgeshire Libraries monthly newsletter.

Jessie Keane – Never Go Back

Online, Thursday 23rd February, 7pm

Jessie introduces her latest gritty gangland adventure, featuring the Carter family. Discover the inspiration behind Jessie’s popular novels and learn about her personal history – from her Romany origins; riches-to-rags upbringing; encounters with shady characters in London's East End and Soho, all the way to her successful writing career.

Tickets free, book to receive a Zoom link to the event:

Online event with bestselling author Jessie Keane Tickets, Thu 23 Feb 2023 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

Author Jesse Keane

Books cover for The Brutal Tide by Kate Rhodes and The Choice by Penny Hancock

Kate Rhodes & Penny Hancock: A Life of Crime

Do you love a classic whodunnit? Or maybe the drama of a family with skeletons in the closet? We are offering two chances to enjoy a double dose of mystery and intrigue with two popular Cambridgeshire crime writers…

Histon Library, Wednesday 8th March, 2pm.Tickets £3

Bar Hill Library, Wednesday 22nd March, 2pm. Free, but donations appreciated. Please pre-book.

For tickets, ask in the relevant library, email or call 0345 045 5225

Author Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly – The Silent Child

She can’t have a future until she has a past. Author Jim Kelly introduces his powerful and moving historical novel, The Silent Child – a survivor’s search for lost identity after the horrors of World War II.

St Neots Library, Wednesday 15th March, 7:30pm

Ramsey Library, Thursday 30th March, 7pm

Milton Road Library, Thursday 20th April, 7pm

St Ives Library, Thursday 27th April, 7pm

Tickets £5

Ask in the relevant library, or email: (for St Neots event) (for Ramsey and St Ives events) (Milton Road event)

or call 0345 045 5225

Author Matthew Green

Matthew Green – Shadowlands: A journey through lost Britain

Great Shelford Library, Wednesday 3rd May, 2pm

Drowned. Buried by sand. Decimated by plague. Plunged off a cliff. Join historian Matthew Green to explore the forgotten history of Britain's lost cities, ghost towns and vanished villages: our shadowlands.

Tickets £5

Ask in Great Shelford Library, email or call 0345 045 5225

Recommend a reading group title – win a free a book!

Submit a short book review for us to share in future editions of this newsletter, and we’ll give you a free copy of Nicola Upson’s popular historical crime novel, Nine Lessons - yours to keep!

Don’t tell us too much about the plot, but we’d love to know your response as a reader to the book you choose to review – did it have you gripped? Did it make you laugh out loud, or reduce you to tears? Why might reading groups enjoy this title?

Send your reviews to:

The book cover for Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson

Contact Us!

We love to hear your group’s stories and recommendations. And we’d love to know what else you’d like to see in this newsletter. You can email us at (please mention Reading Groups in the subject line) or send us a message via our Facebook page.

Look out for the next edition of Cambridgeshire Libraries Reading Group News in the spring.