Ever just want to listen in on a book discussion without participating? Check out the library's new podcast series, "The Book Report."

Each month, various members of the library staff get together to discuss certain pre-selected books, give detailed personal reviews, and share in a discussion on characters, themes and plot.

These discussions are recorded and then uploaded to the library's website for your enjoyment. The link for podcast episodes is http://www.newportbeachca.gov/nbpl/podcast/podcast.html or locate the logo "The Book Report" on the library's homepage at http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org

Currently, there are six available episodes on our website that will interest readers of many genres. Tune in today to listen to these interesting discussions on recent releases, best sellers, and some of the librarian's favorite books.

Current episode descriptions:

"Fables" by Bill Willingham, a comic book series, explores various characters from fairy tales and folklore. If you enjoy graphic novels mixed with fairy tale fantasy setting, then "Fables" is definitely for you.

"Mockingbird: The Story of Harper Lee" by Charles J. Shields explores the life of one of America's most elusive writers. Harper Lee only wrote one novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird." Shields surveys Lee's life that has been kept under wraps for a long time, gives fans greater insight into the classic novel.

"Shipbreaker" by Paolo Bacigalupi, a young adult dystopian fiction novel, is set in the distant future of the American Gulf Coast. The story's main character, Nailer, scavenges old ship wreckage for survival and faces many harrowing decisions that will affect his future. Shipbreaker will appeal to a wide audience, not only YA fiction fans.

"Dune" by Frank Herbert, a popular, well-regarded Science Fiction novel takes readers into the future and explores a complex imagined society.

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins details the adventures of Katniss as she finds herself faced with playing a huge role in the "Hunger Games," a deadly competition for survival among children that is televised by the government in efforts to keep societal control.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson details a cold murder case in Sweden in which two very different individuals come together to explore the corruption that exists among the wealthy, in turn allowing them to make connections in their investigation.

Up this month is the bestselling title "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. The plot reflects a time when racial divisions were at the forefront of social relations in 1962 in Jackson, Miss. A story about compassion, friendship, and understanding unfolds as an unlikely ally joins forces with African-American maids to uncover and shed light on the inequalities and unjust treatment faced by these women.

And for the upcoming months, look for:

September: "The Girls of Murder City" by Douglas Perry

October: "Don Quixote" by Cervantes

November: "L.A. Noire" (video game)

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org. For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.