Introducing the Irish Times Book Club
On Monday, we will reveal the first novel we will be discussing and launch a weekly email newsletter to keep readers abreast of our expanding literary coverage on irishtimes.com
A meeting of the Dundrum Library Book Club. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
In recent months The Irish Times has been expanding its books coverage on irishtimes.com, with the launch of new features including a weekly literary quiz; Brought to Book, a Q&A-style author interview; and articles by authors explaining the inspiration behind their latest work.
Recent highlights include Cormac James on the story behind his acclaimed second novel, The Surfacing; the academic Dervila Cooke profiling the new Nobel literature laureate, Patrick Modiano; and Diana Souhami on daring to dabble with Daniel Deronda by writing a novel about Gwendolen Harleth.
Our newest venture is a book club for readers – one that is slightly different from others. In our club, some of our readers will have the opportunity to discuss the chosen book face to face with the authors in studio, and every reader will be able to ask questions in an online discussion forum.
The Book Club launched last week with a 30-minute trial podcast featuring Michael Harding discussing his latest book, Hanging With the Elephant, with three readers – you can listen to it at iti.ms/1uJQU6E.
On Monday we will be announcing the next book that we will be discussing, and over the next few weeks we will publish a stream of material that we hope will enrich the reading experience. This will include a review of the book, along with the reviewer’s suggestions for themes to explore and questions to reflect on; an article by the author, explaining the inspiration for their book and addressing its themes; a quiz, testing your knowledge of the author or the theme of the work; an author interview; and archive material, such as reviews of previous works. These articles will all be open to comments from readers, to encourage discussion around the book.
Each book club will culminate in a podcast discussion of the book with the author and some book-club members, followed by a webchat, where every book-club member has the chance to be part of the conversation.
In order to raise awareness of our enhanced literary coverage on irishtimes.com, we are also launching a weekly Book Club newsletter on Monday, which will highlight the best of our reviews, interviews and features. To receive your weekly email, please sign up for free membership at iti.ms/1uJQU6E.