On Book Clubs - Booking Through Thursday

This week's Booking Through Thursday question/s:

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?

Funny you should ask about book clubs. I just attended the first meeting of a brand new book club on Monday. There are 12 women; our commonality is that we all know the woman who gathered and hosted us Monday evening - and that we all love to read, of course. We'll meet once a month for 90 minutes (which I don't think is long enough for twelve women to discuss a yummy book, but we'll see).

We came to consensus pretty quickly and easily about how to run the group. We each came with a title or two to propose. The person who champions the book then hosts the meeting for that book - meaning: providing the physical space as well as author information and, if desired, reader questions (e.g. study guide-type questions).

It took us about an hour to come up with ten books and a calendar. I was impressed how quickly it all came together. We also talked about having book exchanges and potlucks because, well, we're all middle aged women and we like to have a good time!

This is my second F to F book club experience; the first was many years ago and didn't hold together very long - I don't even remember why. Part of why I want to participate in this is to enrich my reading experience. I tend to read quite literally and so I enjoy hearing other's perspectives about books and what nuggets they mine from the reading.

Re: Part Two of this week's question - I don't read well under pressure. I don't enjoy it as much if I'm on a timeline because sometimes I'll feel obligated to read when I don't really want to (when's that???). But I think I read deeper and look for issues, symbols, allusions more than when it's not an "assigned" read. I've done quite a bit of online book clubbing at LibraryThing and do notice a difference in the way I read. But if it's a book I'm really enjoying, it doesn't really matter.

Some of the books we've chosen for our new group:
The Girls
Oscar and Lucinda
Three Cups of Tea
Prodigal Summer
The Bonesetter's Daughter
The Book Thief

I think I can live with those!


Jacquie Reaville (The Book Imp) said...

I've only read The Book Thief and I loved it. I think it's a good book club choice and should fire up some interesting discussions for you.

LisaMM said...

I'm so glad you found a group that seems to fit what you were looking for! I love my book club and write about them on my blog all the time.

Of your list, I have only read The Girls. It was very interesting and well written.

ravenousreader said...

Your new book group sounds lovely, and that's a very good list you've put together. I think you'll really enjoy The was a favorite of mine.

Terri said...

I hadn't heard of The Girls until that night, it sounds like a story I'd really like. The subject fascinates me. Glad to hear you both recommend it.

Jacquie, I've been looking forward to reading the Book Thief for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Another voice piping up in favour of The Girls, Terri! I've enjoyed most of the titles on your list (except The Book Thief, which I own, but haven't yet read...)

Have fun in your new book group!

(I'm not anonymous, I'm citizenkelly, but not a blogger/Google member)

citizenkelly said...

Ah, that's better - at least I've got a name now!

gautami tripathy said...

I have Bonesetter's Daughter and liked it. It is about three generations of women is a good selection for discussing. The Book Thief is on my read list.Others I have not read. Good luck with your book club.

Booking through clubbing

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

A new club; how cool is that! I couldn't get through either Prodigal Summer (which was a bummer, as I loved The Poisonwood Bible) or the Bonesetter's Daughter. My tastes run more commercial, but I hear great things about both books.

Terri said...

Susan, Prodigal Summer will be a re-read for me. It's the only Kingsolver book I didn't like, thought it was preachy and shallow. But most people rave about it, so I always wonder what I missed.

Bonesetter's is also a re-read, I know I liked it but can't remember much about it. I love Tan's work too.

Hi citizenkelly! Thanks for popping in! And good to see you here too, guatami.

Smilingsal said...

I've posted today with my first BTT, so we've something in common! Take a look at my answer and leave me a comment.

Jason Pfeifer said...


I came across your blog post regarding book clubs. I’m Jason Pfeifer, and some friends and I started an online service called Booksprouts, that allows people to create book clubs, choose books, invite friends, and read and discuss online. We are currently seeking people who might be interested in trying the site out, and giving us feedback on the service. We also welcome people who have blogs to write reviews of the site (good or bad) as a means of feedback. We’re really excited to hear what people think, and on how we can improve the site. It’s 100% free, by the way. Please feel free to check it out.

book clubs


Jason Pfeifer
Community Manager