The Hurricane Book Club is a collaborative reading initiative hosted online, in book shops and libraries across Scotland. Launched by Pan Macmillan and Orkney Library & Archive as part of Book Week Scotland, it is accessible on social media channels and the club’s website, through blogs and video broadcasts.
The first season of the book club will run from January to June 2016, and will focus on three titles specially selected by Pan Macmillan’s Mantle publisher, Maria Rejt. They are: The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay, The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis and The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin, winner of the John Creasey Award for Best First Crime Novel of the Year.
Each of the three titles has a two-month slot culminating in a special Hurricane Book Club meeting at Orkney Library, with a live broadcast and Twitter discussion @orkneylibrary and via #HurricaneBookClub. Meetings are scheduled for 7pm on the 25th February, 28th April and 30th June, to discuss each title respectively.
Orkney Library, which was named Library of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards, aims to get everyone involved regardless of where they are based, by using the Orkney Library twitter account @orkneylibrary and the hashtag #HurricaneBookClub. There will also be free resource packs available on its website, including information about the titles selected, as well as advice for readers wishing to set up their own book club. During each two-month period there will be blogs posts offering information and insights about these titles and about the publishing industry from the authors, editors, librarians, jacket designers, agents and readers.
Orkney Library’s senior library assistant Stewart Bain said: “With over 20,000 followers for the @OrkneyLibrary Twitter account, and the increasing popularity of e-book lending, online services have become an important part of what we do at Orkney Library & Archive. Hurricane Book Club is an opportunity for our island population to get involved with the discussion of great books even if they can’t come to the meeting in the library. We hope people across the world will join our readers in using #HurricaneBookClub to share their views on these titles.”
Maria Rejt, Mantle publisher, said: “I am delighted that Mantle books have been chosen to launch the first season of the Hurricane Book Club. To be working with a group of librarians who are so passionate about books and so innovative about introducing new authors to their readers is an honour indeed. I am looking forward to visiting Orkney on Thursday 25th February to lead the first Hurricane Book Club meeting.”
Dom Hastings, general director, Bloody Scotland added: “Crime writing is a phenomenally successful genre and Bloody Scotland exists to showcase the very best of it, both at our annual festival and throughout the year. For Book Week Scotland, what better way to celebrate the genre than start a conversation about three fantastic titles. We’re really pleased to work with Mantle and Orkney Library to explore these books with people as passionate about reading as we are.”