Thursday, June 6, 2013

Discussion: Book Clubs

I’ve mentioned here several times that I have a book club, Provisions and Paperbacks, and I’ve even shared some of our book discussions. Most recently was Jessica Park’s Flat-Out Love. The book club met this past Tuesday to discuss Nova Ren Suma’s 17 & Gone. (the discussion will be posted in the coming weeks) I’m going to a book signing for her at the end of the month and I picked it as our book club selection so that I would read it before the signing.

I finished the book that night before and I was all ready to discuss the book, but when we all were together, I found out that half of the people hadn’t finished the book. This isn’t unusual because there is almost always one person at our meetings who hasn’t finished the book. As someone who hates spoilers, I don’t want to ruin the book for them by telling them the details. But we have an understanding that we don’t hold back in the discussion and there will be spoilers. And there were and one person said she didn’t think she would finish the book because now she new what was going to happen. This disappointed me because I think 17 & Gone is phenomenal - the writing and the storytelling is masterful. I think by the end of our meeting I had convinced her to finish it.

When the discussion was over, we started to decide what we would read next. It is our practice for all of us to bring a suggestion and then we all decide from those choices. We can easily spend a good 20-30 minutes deciding what to read. We all have such different tastes in books and we really don’t want to shoot down anyone’s suggestions. We used to write down the titles and then draw them from the collection box. (We may start to do this again). We finally did pick a book. Finally.

I know that many of you readers and bloggers have book clubs as well. Most recently I’ve read some blogs who had themed book club meetings for Suzanne Young’s The Program. They look like a lot of fun. I know that others of you organize book clubs for your library and bookstores. A lot of effort goes into these meetings and I want to host a themed book club some time soon. Right now we meet at Panera, but I want to make some of our meetings more personalized and specific to the books we are reading.

If you are in a book club or host a book club, I’d love to know more it. Do you meet in a public place or at someone’s home? How do you decide which books to read for each meeting? Do you have a moderator or use discussion questions to prompt the discussion? How do you handle spoilers? Have you ever been to a themed book-club meeting?  If you’ve shared your book club meetings on your blog, please leave a link below so I can check it out.

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