River Forest Public Library River Forest Public Library

Adult Reader’s Corner: Booklists, Book Groups, & Reader Resources


Find out about the latest books and movies just added or coming soon to the RFPL! Don’t see your favorite genre below? Subscribe to receive specific lists curated by RFPL librarians directly into your email inbox. You will be able to click on titles and request books right from the lists.

Resources for Readers

Searching for your next great read for yourself? Need suggestions for your child? With your RFPL card, you can log in to Novelist Plus and Novelist K-8 Plus  to read professional reviews, find readalikes for your favorite books, discover new authors, and more.  

Your RFPL card also gives you access to TumbleBook Library for kids. TumbleBooks contains award-winning children’s titles, animated and always available online.

Are you a student of literature? Visit the Literature Resource Center  for your academic research needs.  Log in with your RFPL card to find articles from  journals and literary magazines, critical essays, work and topic overviews, biographies, and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works, and literary movements.

Book Groups

The River Forest Public Library hosts two vibrant book clubs that meet most months. The Afternoon Book Discussion Group usually meets the second Wednesday of each month, September through May, at 1:30. Our Evening Book Discussion Group usually meets the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 PM.
Please see our calendar for dates, times, and other book club details. We hope you join us soon!

Thinking of Starting Your Own Book Group?

Starting a Book Club

If you’ve never started a book club before (and even if you have!), it can feel a little daunting.

There are a lot of helpful resources out there, though, ranging from the professionally guided (such as the American Library Association’s “Quick Start Guide”) to the celebrity (Oprah!). Following you’ll find a short list of good places to start – read them all, read just a few, or branch out from these options as they lead you to new ideas. To access any of the following, just click on the name.

Selecting Books

The staff at River Forest Public Library has a lot of experience with helping patrons find their next favorite read, so don’t hesitate to ask whenever you stop by. You’ll find that for many of the titles listed, we’ve included a sample you can read from the eBook, giving you a chance to get an idea of the book before you commit.

Here are a few more tips from your friendly RFPL staff:

  • As tempting as it may be, try not to choose a brand new best seller – it might be hard for all of your group members to get their hands on a copy at the same time!
  • Choose a theme – for instance: “Family Secrets,” “Animals as Protagonists” (think Watership Down and The White Bone), or “Books with Recipes” – and build a list around your theme. (And if you pick a book with recipes, plan a pot-luck around it, too!)
  • Don’t forget that nonfiction is an option, as well: Presidential biographies, travel memoirs, or unusual takes on well-known history (such as Cokie Roberts’ Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation and her follow-up Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation) often feature great narrative and a lot to discuss.
  • And finally, it might be a good idea to start not by looking for a book, but by looking for questions about the book – for more on that, see “Leading and Participating in a Book Club,” below.

For more on how to choose your club’s next book, take a look at the following resources:

Leading and Participating in a Book Club

Sometimes the real question is not what book to pick, but how to discuss it later.

The RFPL subscribes to resources that can help you prepare for your discussion and wow your fellow readers. Use your library card to access NoveList Plus, the premiere database of reading recommendations. You’ll find summaries, reviews, read alike lists, and almost 1000 book discussion guides (look for the guides under the Quick Links tab) in Novelist.

Visit the Literature Resource Center for more scholarly research.  You’ll find articles from  journals and literary magazines, critical essays, work and topic overviews, biographies, and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works, and literary movements.

If you’re looking for help in facilitating, leading, or participating in a book club discussion, book reviews and publishers’ Reading Guides can be tremendously helpful. In fact, many novels are now published with a Reading Guide and author interview at the end – if you’ve got your hands on one of those editions, you’re already good to go!

For more on how to structure a book club discussion, take a look at the following resources: