Calling all book groups!

The latest additions to our book group collections are guaranteed to stimulate lots of thought, discussion, and debate.

You can borrow up to 15 copies of any of the titles below for your book group to borrow for up to 6 weeks at a time. Find out how – and download the complete list featuring more than 200 other titles – here.

A Girl is a half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride
Experimental, award-winning insight into a young woman’s relationship with her severely brain-damaged brother.

Look Who’s Back by Timor Vermes
Berlin, 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of ground, alive and well.

The Forgiven by Lawrence Osborne
A Moroccan holiday goes horribly wrong.

Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding
Story of the British War Crimes Investigation Team and the hunt for the senior Nazi officials responsible for the atrocities of Auschwitz.

Longbourn by Jo Baker
Life below stairs in Georgian England.

Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healy
A mystery story with a difference, narrated by a ninety-year old with dementia.

The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh
Desire turns to dangerous obsession during a family holiday.

All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld
Something is killing the sheep, but what is it? There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and man, and rumours of an obscure, formidable beast.

The Circle by Dave Eggers
Mae Holland is hired to work for the world’s most powerful internet company. But a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.

World War One Fiction (available from September)
15 individual titles. Choose one each then share your reading experiences with the rest of your group.

World War One Non- Fiction (available from September)
15 individual titles including histories, biographies and classics. Choose one each then share your reading experiences with the rest of your group.

Join the Big Library Read

Join the biggest book group in the world and take part in the Overdrive Big Library Read!

All library members will be able to borrow and read the eBook, A Pedigree to Die For by Laurien Berenson, from the 3rd-18th June by visiting  our Overdrive site.

This unusual mystery novel is set in the cut-throat world of dog shows! The apparent heart attack that killed kennel owner Max Turnbull looks suspiciously like foul play as his prize winning pedigree poodle is also now missing. Melanie Travis is talked into investigating her uncle’s death so poses as a poodle breeder. She soon discovers, in the championship dog world, the instinct for survival, and winning, can prove fatal.

During the Big Library Read there is unlimited simultaneous access to this title. Why not get together with your friends or family and have a mini book group. Overdrive ebooks can be read on a wide range of computers, tablets, mobile phones and ebook readers (see Overdrive information page for more details).


Book group for parents with young children launches at Oxgangs Library

babyOxgangsOxgangs Library have just launched a new book group aimed at parents with young babies.  If you’ve been held back from attending a book group because of childcare arrangements then this book group could be exactly what you are looking for.

Come along to Oxgangs Library and meet like minded parents have a chat about books and reading. These friendly fun sessions will include short stories, poetry and short readings. There also be time to share books and rhymes with baby too.

Forthcoming sessions will take place on March 17 and 31, April 28 and May 12.

For more information email Carol Marr at Oxgangs Library or phone 0131 529 5546.

How libraries help learners

This week is Adult Learners’ Week. What’s it all about?

Adult Learners’ Week is a national celebration of the benefits of lifelong learning. We’re getting involved with writing workshops, singing, cooking, and facebook sessions – for details see our events calendar.

But why are libraries getting involved?

Public libraries have always been a source of information, knowledge and culture for all. They are spaces where anyone can go without feeling pressure to buy anything, and without feeling judged for what items they want to read.

Library services are crucial to adults who wish learn at whatever level, be it to improve their literacy or embark on a research project, through formal schemes or simply for the pleasure of learning something new.

Any individual can borrow any item they need, at no (or very little) immediate cost – especially relevant at a time when many people have less disposable income.

Also, for many adult learners, schools are associated with negative learning experiences whereas libraries are often viewed as more neutral spaces and therefore perhaps more conducive to adults wanting to learn.

So what do libraries do to support adult learners?

Lots! Here are just a few examples:

Our fantastic  Edinburgh Reads programme of events offers opportunities for adults to interact with authors and topics in an informal and stimulating way.

Some authors have engaged specifically with adults discovering reading for the first time. For example, crime writer Lin Anderson’s short novel Blood Red Roses, published specifically with emergent readers in mind, was read by several adult literacy groups in central Edinburgh who met the author for a chat over coffee and cake. This provided a real opportunity for personal growth in confidence and enjoyment of reading.

The annual ‘Six Book Challenge’ provides another way of supporting and encouraging emergent readers to discover the joy and satisfaction of reading for pleasure.

Since doing the  Challenge I have seen my reading get better. I am on my fourth book and did not read much before.’ (Sue)

I like to read to my children now, we help each other.‘(Chris)

Perhaps one of  the most popular ways Edinburgh  Libraries support adult learners is through our LearnIT Project. For complete beginners, we provide free informal and very supportive support in using computers. Adults can attend classes, pop into a drop- in LearnIT Lab, or meet with a volunteer IT Buddy for one to one tuition.

I was thrilled to be able to buy a washing machine online for nearly  £70 less than in the shops!’ Joan, LearnIT student.

And of course, our growing library of online learning resources provide support to adults learning at home or on the move.

Happy Adult Learners’ Week!

New titles to borrow for your book group

deadman's pedalBook groups in Edinburgh now have an even greater choice of free books to borrow as we’ve extended our list of book group collections to include 173 titles.

New additions like Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Are you my mother? and John O’Farrell’s The man who forgot his wife have generated strong reactions from critics and are sure to do so among book groups as well. Throw in a few classics, some thought-provoking non-fiction and the cream of contemporary Scottish novelists and you’ve got the perfect mix of books for your group to read, debate and discuss.

And you can join in the conversation right here right now, on Tales of One City.

Each title on our list of books for book groups has a link to a page where you can see what other readers thought of the book as well as submit your own thoughts and opinions.

So whether you want to stick up for The Elegance of the Hedgehog, share your thoughts on Mr Chartwell or join the Shirley Jackson love-in … you can do so now.

How to borrow books for your book group

If you’re a member of a book group in Edinburgh you can borrow up to fifteen copies of a particular book for your book group to use for 6 weeks. It’s so easy, and even better, it’s all free!

Here’s how:

  • Choose a person from your bookgroup to join as a Library Book Group member.
  • Get a Book Group ticket at your nearest library.
  • Choose the book you’d like to read – take your pick from these titles
  • Call 0131 242 8046 or email to book the collection.
  • Pick up and return collections to your nearest library.

If you already have a library card you can still use it for your own personal reading. The book group ticket is an extra card for borrowing multiple copies of the same book.

The Big Book Group Quiz is BACK!

It’s on! In association with Blackwell’s Bookshop we’re looking for the smartest book group in town. Could it be yours? And even if it’s not, we guarantee fun fun fun finding out.

Register your team of five bookish quizzers and maybe you’ll be the ones to take the title from reigning champs Portobello Book Group.

The quiz takes place at Central Library on Thursday 13th December, 6.30 – 7.45pm – so why not make it your book group’s Christmas night out? Call 0131 242 8046 or email reserve your team’s place. If you’re struggling to get five people don’t worry, we’ll get you sorted out with a team.

Finally, just to get you in training, who said “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke?” (Here’s a clue. It was a man…)

A different kind of book group

Our ESOL Chatabout reading groups are a great way to improve your English, make friends and have fun. These friendly, informal reading groups are ideal for adult students learning English as a Second Language, at Intermediate Level, and are most definitely NOT English classes!

Over the past few months we’ve been reading The Little One by Lynda la Plante: a creepy ghost story that makes you want to sleep with the light on.

Maria commented ‘it was really scary and I loved the tension building up.. I learnt some new words like bell-pull..’. The group enjoyed sharing traditional ghost stories from their home countries.

More light-hearted was ‘Kung Fu Trip’ by poet, musician and writer Benjamin Zephaniah and his partly fictional account of a visit to mainland China. One of our members, Fung, was able to explain some of the Chinese expressions.

But the book which everyone enjoyed the most was Bloody Valentine by James Patterson, a particularly gory murder mystery! It led to lots of chatter and sharing of some new words and expressions.

All these books are from the ‘Quick Reads ‘series – short books by best selling writers and celebrities.Take a look at the full list of titles.

Chatabout groups run in the following libraries – use the contact details to find out how you can join.

McDonald Road Library Group meets the last Thursday of each month, 10-11.30am, starting Thursday 27th September. Contact: Wendy Pearson 0131 242 8022

Moredun Library Group meets the last Friday of each month, 11am, starting Friday 29th September. Contact: David Hayden 0131 529 5649

Fountainbridge Library Group. If you are interested in being part of a group at this library please contact Mo Boussaboun 0131 529 5616