Library patrons can read and discuss ebook and audiobook for free with no waiting



SYDNEY – 1 September 2021 – Hundreds of public libraries and thousands of readers across Australia and New Zealand are enjoying the latest Together We Read: AU/NZ digital book club selection. From 1-15 September, public library patrons can enjoy Australian author Chris Hammer’s award-winning crime novel, Scrublands, as an ebook or audiobook for free. Readers can access the digital book exclusively with no waitlists or holds by downloading the Libby app. They can also participate in an online discussion with other readers across both countries.

The Together We Read: AU/NZ digital book club connects readers through participating Australian and New Zealand public libraries with the same ebook for two weeks and only requires a valid library card to get started. This free program is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for ebooks, audiobooks and magazines and creator of the award-winning Libby app.

“I love Australia’s and New Zealand’s libraries and I love book clubs! So I’m absolutely delighted that Scrublands will feature in the Together We Read: AU/NZ initiative,” said author Chris Hammer. ”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.”

In Scrublands, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself in an isolated country town. A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest’s deadly rampage.

Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.

Scrublands is published by Allen & Unwin and can be borrowed from hundreds of participating libraries in Australia and New Zealand during Together We Read between 1-15 September. The digital book can be read on most computers and devices, including Kobo® tablets and eReaders, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees. Download Libby to get started.

More information about Together We Read: AU/NZ can be found here.


About OverDrive

OverDrive strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 73,000 libraries and schools in 88 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalogue of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other content through award-winning apps. The Libby reading app for libraries is one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017.


Malcolm O’Brien

Australia and New Zealand Country Manager, Global Libraries and Education