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Thread: Does anyone belong to a book club?

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Quote Originally Posted by justCoz;3937192;
    The book club I'm in meets once a month. We meet at the library if the meeting rooms are available. We have one person "in charge." It used to be someone else, but she started working more, so another lady took over. She usually goes online to get discussion questions. We never follow those exactly because they don't always fit our group. Sometimes those questions will spark other discussions. Our group is pretty good at staying on topic, and when it starts veering off it's usually time for the meeting to be over.

    We've been doing it for a few years now. At this point we take recommendations for books. Our facilitator makes sure there will be enough copies of the books at the library, since a lot of the people don't buy books but borrow them. In past years we've almost gone month to month in choosing, but this year we are more prepared and have half of the year planned at a time. At this point we know the books for the next 6 months. That way people who take a long time to read can get started if they need to. One lady who teaches was happy with this arrangement because it's much easier for her to read books in the summer and so she'll be able to read some before school starts again. Have fun. We have so much fun at our group.

    Ours meets at the library, as well.
    We also host a lot of mystery authors there, so some times, we willl coordinate the books to read with a particular author.
    We also plan the books in adavnce to allow people enough time to read and order the books from the library, if available.
    Sweetpea, you are going to have fun. Enjoy!
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  2. #12
    Go Donny! Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Maybe my town is odd in this regard, but we have several local authors. Not best-selling, but good work. When I belonged to a book club through the library, the organizer had several months in a row where we read one of those books and had the author at the discussion. I'm guessing the authors were paid with library funds, and it was a different experience - the author spoke first and then people asked questions and discussed - probably not as frankly as they would otherwise. Something to think about anyway.
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    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    If it hasn't already been widely read by your group, I would highly recommend We Need to Talk About Kevin. It is bound to inspire quite a bit of conversation and dissent. And though it has been around awhile (published in 1995), I would recommend Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore, Gary Gilmore's brother. It is the story of their family, their lives and how they ended up on such different paths. I'm not in a club, but both of these books have caused quite the kerfuffel with me and the members of my husband's band - always an interesting response in a book group, I would think.
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    Forum Assistant sweetpea's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Thanks for the comments, and the book suggestions as well, Rattus. A friend mentioned We have to talk about Kevin to me awhile back but I haven't had a chance to look at it. If we agree to include non-fiction I think I'd like to recommend Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. It's been out for ages but it such a fascinating and engrossing read. I love Jon K. and have read and enjoyed also Into the Wild and Under the Banner of Heaven but the latter might be a big long and heavy on the Mormon history for some people.

    I can't wait to see how it all plays out. I have a cold (who gets a cold in June when you haven't been sick all winter?) but I'm hoping I'll feel better by tomorrow night.

    Any other suggestions for book club reads? I'd love to get a thread going that I could refer back to for suggestions for our group. Thanks!

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    Yes we Did! - Twice!! Katydyd's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Sweetpea, I don't know how large or "social" your group is, but it might be fun to do a book/movie pairing. For example, we read "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" for our group discussion. Later several of us got together and saw the movie (I'm looking forward to seeing the American movie in 2012 too). "Eat, Pray, Love" is a wonderful book and would be good for a group - if your group hasn't already read it - and the movie is coming out this summer.
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Quote Originally Posted by Katydyd;3937485;
    We have a great mystery book store where I live, and I belong to a club that meets once a month. We read, well, mysteries Critical, our club sounds like yours in that we choose our books close to a year out. Sometimes we'll do a mini theme - like foreign authors or mysteries set in other countries, for several months. Sweetpea, I wouldn't hestitate to make a suggestion of a book you like or are interested in reading when the time comes. That's part of the fun of joining a book club . You'll get the chance to read a bunch of books that maybe you wouldn't have otherwise picked up. Who knows what gem you might introduce someone else to? Or not But sometimes the best discussions come about when some in the group really like the book, and others don't. Have fun on Saturday!
    I've just read a couple of books about a half aboriginal Australian female detective that were fun, if you were looking for something different. They are by Adrian Hyland, have a lot of Aussie slang, but give an interesting picture of non-tourist Australia. AH has written some other books as well...you want the ones about Emily Tempest, in order. There are also some good ones by Ken Wishnia with an Ecuadorian female detective (his wife is from Ecuador and they spend a lot time there--his mom co-founded the women's studies program at our school; he does a good job writing from the perspective of someone from another culture and gender).

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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetpea;3940205;
    Any other suggestions for book club reads? I'd love to get a thread going that I could refer back to for suggestions for our group. Thanks!
    I read Two Rivers by T. Greenwood a last year and loved it. I recommended it to my mom and their book club read and loved it too. I'm reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda right now and I can imagine it would be a good book club selection. It's in hardcover right now though, so price may be a factor. We try to only read paperbacks in our book club after a few WAY over-priced hardcovers.

    My book club tends to get better discussion from literary fiction or non-fiction. Our selections are all related to art, but my favorite of all the books we've read is probably Broken Colors by Michele Zackheim (Amazon.com: Broken Colors (9781933372372): Michele Zackheim : Books). It's fiction and, although it talks a lot about the artist's process, it's an incredible story, even if you aren't an "art person." Many of us are still talking about that book two years later!

    Several publishers do monthly newsletters for book clubs. I subscribe to the one from Simon & Schuster and it usually has good titles and often ones I haven't heard of. You can sign up for it here: Author & Book News ? Sign Up For Newsletters from Simon & Schuster

    I think it might be good for your group to talk about what types of books you want to read and how you're going to decide. I know that some book clubs take more of a free-for-all approach to choosing their books and it takes forever. In our book club, the two of us who run the club choose the books because we did it when we worked at the museum. The members trust our judgment now after 3 years.

    If I was ever to form another book club, I think I'd do it the way my friend's book club does it: members trade off picking the books, but have to pick the genre of that book out of a hat. It definitely forces people out of their comfort zones and gets them reading things they normally wouldn't read.
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Love this thread - thanks for starting it. I also participate in a book club. We meet at the members home and also have a pot luck dinner based on the book (i.e. if it takes place in France everyone brings a dish based on french cooking.)

    Some of the books that we've enjoyed and had good discussions on are:

    Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

    These were two books I had suggested, the first because I wanted to have a dinner based on french cooking so I did a search at the Barnes and Noble web site for fiction in France, then read the discriptions and reviews of what popped up. I stumbled across the Alchemist by accident. I was looking up a book, which led to another book, which led to the wiki entry on best selling books of all time and it was there. I read reviews and thought it intriguing.

    For the moment our bookclub members submit suggestions and then we vote on them. We pick books for a year from the books with the most votes. We don't have a facilitator. My approach is to take notes (usually mental since I'm generally finishing the book the day of the book club) while I'm reading at parts that jump out at me (good and bad), or parts that made me think or reflect. Sometimes members (especially new members) will bring in bookclub lists of questions, but usually we have enough to talk about. The hardest book club discussions seem to be the ones where everyone liked the book, but it wasn't particularly inspiring regarding ideas. So we liked the First Lady Detective Series by Alexander McCall Smith, but it didn't stimulate much discussion about the book, though the dinner conversation was great since several members had lived in Africa.

  9. #19
    Forum Assistant sweetpea's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    Thanks for the suggestions, I love it!

    Our meeting was great. It was interesting, getting to know these women. I only really knew the hostess, whereas the rest of the ladies seemed to know each other, some fairly well. But that didn't stop me from participating and we had a good time. She had 'themed' snacks out and had some questions to generate discussion in a little container so we each chose a question and then talked about it. Of course, talk sometimes devolved into other things, but for the most part we tried to stay on track.

    Our next meeting won't be until after the summer, but we have chosen the book "The Blood of Flowers" by Anita Amirrezvani. Not sure what it's about, but it looks interesting. The next 'hostess' has been chosen and we'll go on from there.

    I'm hoping to be the hostess a little later, when I've gotten to know the women a bit better. Plus now I'm worrying about being able to have everyone sit comfortably in my very small living room!

    Love the suggestions for books to read, and let's also offer hints on where to find discussion ideas, etc. That would be wonderful!

  10. #20
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    Re: Does anyone belong to a book club?

    There are some good book club selection suggestions here: Best Book Club Picks on AbeBooks
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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