What you need to know

Sharing the love of books online

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Do you know that feeling when you read a book and are bursting to tell other people about it?

On Thursday nights, readers from across Moonee Valley have the opportunity to share thoughts and recommendations at our online Book Chat.

Led by Jennie Moulder from our Libraries team, these sessions always throw up interesting discussions and suggestions for books to try.

“I introduce the chat, but once people get involved I can sit back and enjoy the discussion,” Jennie said. “it is live, informal and not recorded.

“We have some participants who are there every week, others visit now and then, but during the lockdown period we found it was an important opportunity for people to connect.

“I love that we have people from different parts of Moonee Valley who have never met in real life sharing their reading preferences and getting involved in the chat.”

Often the discussion is light-hearted, but there is no telling where the conversational thread might lead. For example, on one recent Thursday the discussion turned to the issue of grief, and what books one might read while grieving.

Book Chat will be held weekly until the end of October, and then fortnightly for the rest of the year.

Our library team is very active in the online space. Jennie is also a presenter of the podcast Read Now.

She emphasises that, although our libraries are currently closed, library staff are available 9.00-5.00 Monday to Friday to help people over the phone.

We asked Jennie to give us three recommendations of good reads for a Covid-19 spring. She chose three books that are available as e-books and e-audiobooks.

“These are wonderful platforms, and a great way to explore books. Our team is always available to give help on the phone to people who want to access e-books and e-audiobooks and aren’t sure how.”

So, what should we be reading right now, when we’ve been through a tough winter and are hoping for a better spring?

Jennie is a big fan of a new genre called ‘uplit’ – empathetic novels that build optimism, and focus on things like human connection, everyday heroism and love.

JENNIE’S UPLIT RECOMMENDATIONS

* The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
A wonderful book, with lots of depth and heart
* Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I absolutely love the central character. This book has with quite a dark backstory but leaves you feeling positive.
* The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
Deals with the heavy topic of emotional abuse, but it has a great story that leaves you feeling good at the end.

Explore our range of online offerings here.