Thursday, June 12, 2008


BTT: Clubbing

Gotta love this week's Booking Through Thursday:

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

Nope, never been a book club member. Sorry. I OWN my book club.

No, I didn't buy them. I don't run roughshod over them. They just like me so much that the job of leader is mine until I don't want it any more. We've been together for almost eight years now. I love my group.

As to the reading experience, we all try harder to finish something we don't like. There was one that the whole group hated. They won't let me live down the fact that they managed to finish it and I couldn't. Believe me, I tried. It just wasn't meant to be.

Our most recent book was so poorly written that it made me gag. I've got another whole post about that, so stay tuned. One of the women described it as "Susan versus everyone else" and while I can't say that's not entirely true, it's not entirely false, either. I doubt I would have finished it if it weren't a book club choice, but the story was ... well-intentioned. The bones of it were there, and that part was ... okay. It was supposed to be about a woman, the title character. Instead, it was the story of her husband and his struggle to be a good husband. Okay, fine. I can deal. Just call it something else, will you? Of course, that ruins the theme of the series...

And yes, I'll shut up and smile when we read the third in this particular series. Hopefully, the author has taken more time and gotten the writing up to where it was in the first book. We'll see...

One note that the BTT question didn't address: Yes, I feel terrible when something I brought to the group is a total dog. But when I suggest something like Disobedience or A Day of Small Beginnings or A Thread of Grace (okay, a non-member suggested that one and I pushed for it), it's that much sweeter.

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Here in India, somehow book clubs do not work. It is not due to lack of reading. I find that most want to get together to just chill out and discussing books is out of question. Being a fast reader is detrimental for any club, I suppose. I am kind of misfit.

Like John said in his post, most want to go for the latest best seller. As you know, we seldom look at best sellers! Let alone read those.
I try to steer us away from those, too, Gautami. We've found some real gems because of it, too.
I like genre fiction, and so far, all the bookclubs I've encountered concentrate on literary stuff. I don't mind reading some of it, but my reading time is valuable these days, so I pick books I know I'll enjoy.
I picked up a copy of A Thread of Grace a while ago. Maybe I should get around to reading it one of these days...

My book club's selections tend to be a little idiosyncratic, which I think is a good thing.
I belonged to a pretty cool bookclub when I lived in NC, and was a founding member of the mystery book club at my old library. A friend of mine is actually starting a vampire book club at her library, for teens.
Nice to see that am quoted!
It seems from reading all the other posts that they work best when the rules for deciding the books are clear and accepted, books are drawn from across the genres, paperback and under 400 pages, it keeps an healthy balance between being a school and night out,no one personality dominates, the time scales are realistic, etc...Tall order?
My his he being serious post!
I can't book club. I can barely read at the moment. I have books and ebooks to read and I'm too busy to even been interested in them for the moment. I'll get there... probably the next time I get sick. Ugh.
Sorry I've been such an irregular visitor lately. Don't you hate it when real life gets in the way?

Oh, and I'm planning to post on Disobedience soon. I'd love to know what your book club ladies thought of it.

The best thing about the voting process is that if we all hate the book the blame is spread around ;)
I belonged to a book club for a few months when I lived Way Out West and it was fun. We ended up calling ourselves the 'Tri-Corner Club' after the cakes the women eat in The Red Tent (I think that was the name - somebody correct me if I'm wrong), which was one of the books we read that everybody liked and that made us all giggle when we realized what the 'tri-corner' shape was representing. Each member choose a book in turn and it could be anything - fiction, non-fiction, you name it - so we got to read a wide variety of things I would have never encountered. We got so we started off our meetings by going around and everyone saying one thing they liked and one thing they didn't like about the current book, which I think helped the book chooser to not be too miffed if her book wasn't adored by all.

Unfortunately, just after we began to really 'mesh' as a group, I had to move a thousand miles away, and I haven't run into enough people around here that I 'get' well enough to start one up. But now that I'm thinking about it, I might just give it a go... I sorta miss the girl time, yanno?
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