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Newcastle Library joins national online book club


Forced to close its doors during lockdown, Newcastle Library has found a way to keep its readers engaged by joining Australia’s biggest online book club this September.

The central reading hub is encouraging its members to join readers from all over the country taking part in Together We Read.

The free program is facilitated by OverDrive, a digital distributor of ebooks, audiobooks and magazines, and the creator of Libby app.   

Together We Read’s digital book club selection for 2021 is Chris Hammer’s bestselling crime novel, Scrublands

From 1-15 September, public library members can borrow Scrublands as an ebook or audiobook for free. 

Set in the fictitious drought-ravaged town of Riversend in New South Wales, Scrublands follows the plight of a small-town priest who kills five of his parishioners before being shot himself. The book is a crime thriller, following a journalist’s investigations into his motivations. 

First-time author Chris Hammer says he is delighted Scrublands will feature in the Together We Read initiative. 

“I love Australia’s libraries and I love book clubs, “ he said.

“In these times of COVID and lockdowns, what could be better than an online, digital book club? I’m really looking forward to the online discussion.”   

The Together We Read digital book club is a community program run by Australian public libraries. 


To join Australia’s biggest online book club, readers will need a current library membership and access to the free Libby app on a device.

Scrublands can then be downloaded as an ebook or an audiobook, with no holds and no waiting, between September 1-15.  

Readers will then be able to join the online discussion with other readers and Chris Hammer at https://togetherweread.com/aunz/join-the-discussion/  

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