I've been preparing to go to my Book Club this morning. Most of you know how groups like this work--we all read the same book and meet to discuss it. In our club, the person who is hostess for the meeting selects the book we read and she leads the discussion.
Some people read the book and are then ready for the discussion. Others, like me, do a little more to prepare. I go to www.amazon.com and put the book title in the search box. When it comes up with all the selling info that Amazon gives, I click on the title and a whole page of goodies comes up. There are editorial reviews and also reviews from readers. If I've read the book weeks prior to this, it helps a lot to bring it all back into focus. And I find the reviews to be most helpful. They will also usually include some information about the author.
Another way to find the reviews is to put the book title and review as keywords in any search engine. You'll have your pick of many. Or, you can put the author's name in a search engine and find out more about his/her life and publications.
Go to www.readingguides.com, put the book title in a search engine and you'll come up with a reading guide with discussion questions which can be very helpful--especially for the person leading the discussion. They also have critical reviews.
Reading Group Guides is also a good place to look for a book to read. Just like browsing the library bookshelves but you do it all from your desk chair.
There are some simple things that are helpful. The key is knowing what they are. Hope these few suggestions will be of help to you.