Viking and the Reading Agency are marking the publication of Richard Osman's debut novel The Thursday Murder Club by offering libraries, care homes and community centres in the UK the chance to host their own book club, with a special prize on offer.
Osman's book, about four septuagenarians friends who live in a retirement community investigating a crime, was bought by Viking last year for a seven-figure sum following a 10-publisher auction.
Through The Reading Agency’s Reading Friends programme, which tackles loneliness by bringing people together to read, chat and share stories, older people across the country will have the chance to experience the "Pointless” host's crime story.
Reading Friends groups in libraries, prisons, care homes, community centres and recovery cafes will be able to order a pack containing an exclusive extract of The Thursday Murder Club, reading group questions about the book and a Q&A with Osman. The pack will be available in a digital format to support groups who have temporarily shifted to a telephone befriending model in accordance with social distancing measures.
In support of recently reopened libraries, a specially curated book club pack has also been created by Osman and Viking which will be available for free to libraries across the UK. There are also reading recommendations from Osman – including Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize-winning Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton) and Caroline Kepnes’ You (S&S) to inspire future book clubs.
As part of the campaign a competition will be launched which will see the library with the best The Thursday Murder Club display win a visit from Osman.
Osman said: "There are few things as magical as chatting about a book you’ve loved. I hope that these reading groups across the UK enjoy The Thursday Murder Club and that it gives them plenty to talk about. Keep reading, keep sharing, and support your local library!”
Digital packs for Reading Friends groups and libraries will be available to request on the Reading Agency website.
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