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Goodreads Book Club

Join SPL Book Chat

Each month one of our Public Service Librarians will host a book discussion on a title that is widely available in our library system. You’ll have the whole month to weigh in on the title - whenever you have the time to do so!  Moderators will be posting questions and resources weekly, and we invite your comments and contributions each week. There will also be a monthly reading challenge to check out, just for fun!

Are you looking for a book club to be a part of? Unable to start or join one during this social distancing era? Good news – the Stratford Public Library is offering SPL Book Chat, an online book club open to anyone, found on the Goodreads platform.

What We're Reading

Book cover of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Our book club pick for July and August is: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this #1 New York Times bestseller chronicles a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Now an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by Barry Jenkins.

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.

In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.

Who may join the online book club?

Anyone who has an account at may join the discussion. You do not have to be a Stratford Public Library cardholder to join (although it is recommended that you get one!). The discussions on our site will be aimed at adults and mature teens.

How far in advance will selected titles be posted?

Books for the current month and the following month are displayed on the SPL Book Chat page on Goodreads.

How can I get a copy of the latest title?

You may check the library catalogue at for availability. Whenever possible, we will feature titles that we own in several formats: print, audio, and e-book. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee the availability of copies.

When is the site moderated?

SPL Book Chat is moderated Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During those hours, our staff will respond to postings on the site.

If I join, am I obligated to contribute comments?

Posting comments is optional. Of course, we hope everyone will comment regularly to create a lively discussion!

Any other questions?


If you’re new to GoodReads, follow our user guide to create an account and join us in our monthly SPL Book Chat.