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Perks
05-16-2006, 08:42 PM
I wanted to gather sugestions on how to take it upon ourselves to make the world a little smaller. Specifically, to set out to read a book together for discussion here on the AW Book Club Forum.

Discussing it is easy - you people can't shut up. Selecting the book is the thing. Shall I do it dictatorily? I could, but as nasty as my reputation may lead you to believe I am, it doesn't sound like all that much fun.

We could have a quick poll to include a few selections. But where to get them?

Anyway, you see my dilemma. Fix it. What should we do?

CaroGirl
05-16-2006, 08:50 PM
Perhaps post a list of possibilities the interested parties can vote on. Then you can tally the votes and announce the winner. Give us a timeframe by which to finish and discuss.

Where to get the initial list from? No idea. Ask for some suggestions here first? Maybe each month can be a different genre. Or you could go with the best seller lists, lists of winners from recent prestigious contests (from what country? dunno), lists of classic favourites.

I'm sure I was no help at all.

Celia Cyanide
05-16-2006, 08:55 PM
I would like it to be something most of us have not already read.

maestrowork
05-16-2006, 10:35 PM
Too bad I can't suggest my own book... :)

Perks
05-16-2006, 11:29 PM
Why can't you? Who says?

Celia Cyanide
05-17-2006, 02:45 AM
So you can suggest your own book for people to read for the book club, but you can't start a thread on your own book? Is that the rule?

maestrowork
05-17-2006, 02:52 AM
Why can't you? Who says?

I thought you couldn't start something about your own book -- that is to prevent abuse.

Anyway, I am starting a book club discussion on the Pacific Between. :) So if anyone is interested...

If this post is deemed inappropriate, I will delete it.

Thanks!

jst5150
05-17-2006, 02:55 AM
You should select the book, Perks, however, you should also ensure you've got enough people onboard who will buy, rent or check out the book from a library, as part of this club. Ironclad people -- eight or so -- who are really onboard with the idea. Commit them to the process, show that process works and that will, in turn, attract others.

There's ALWAYS concensus when something's in the high-minded "let's all get onboard" stage. EVerybody believes it a good idea and wants to be supportive. Human nature. However, when the boat's ready to pitch away from the dock, there are surprising few sailors who are on deck. (And feel free to insert any Seamen jokes you may have stirring in your cockles)

Ultimately, the Mod should dictate the reading material (with suggestions from the club) and also guide the cirriculum. It helps keep things on track and ensures that everyone gets the right message.

Also, off topic, I have a suggestion for a new forum area: AbWr book exchange. Much like PeerFlix, you simply post a list of books you're willing to part with. If someone sees a book he wants, he PMs the person with the books and gets the particulars. Postage and like coul be worked out by the two parties. Not an auction. Not a sale. A one-for-one trading system.

poetinahat
05-17-2006, 02:55 AM
Anyway, I am starting a book club discussion on the Pacific Between. So if anyone is interested...

I'm in -- but I need a week for postage and handling (the book, that is). Wife's birthday is coming up!

(Hey -- how do book clubs work? Do you discuss as you go, or wait until everyone's finished? I'm such a rube.)

poetinahat
05-17-2006, 02:59 AM
Also, off topic, I have a suggestion for a new forum area: AbWr book exchange. Much like PeerFlix, you simply post a list of books you're willing to part with. If someone sees a book he wants, he PMs the person with the books and gets the particulars. Postage and like coul be worked out by the two parties. Not an auction. Not a sale. A one-for-one trading system.
Great idea. Sadly, the cost might be too prohibitive to and from my area.

maestrowork
05-17-2006, 03:01 AM
(Hey -- how do book clubs work? Do you discuss as you go, or wait until everyone's finished? I'm such a rube.)

The ones at my local libraries or private book clubs... you read the book in advance, then on a designated date, you get together and discuss it. There are usually topics and questions already thought out, but of course, random discussions are encouraged, too. One local book club only discusses books that have been made into movies -- they'd read the book, then watch the movie, then discuss and compare both. Sounds very interesting.

jst5150
05-17-2006, 03:03 AM
You read the book in advance, then on a designated date, you get together and discuss it. There are usually topics and questions already thought out, but of course, random discussions are encouraged, too.

This sounds eeriely like ... COLLEGE! :)

maestrowork
05-17-2006, 03:05 AM
It does, but it's a good thing. At least no one is required to write a book report. ;) I think the idea is to make sure everyone is on the same page (pun not intended) to encourage participation.

Perks
05-17-2006, 03:18 AM
(Hey -- how do book clubs work? Do you discuss as you go, or wait until everyone's finished? I'm such a rube.)It usually works best once everyone's all done. And since it's my house... ;)

So, now I need to come up with a poll selection of a few titles. I'll get to it and hopefully post the poll tomorrow. Maybe I'll link the book to a blurb or something like that and then in a few days we'll have our first selection.

Do you guys think, once the volume is decided, that two weeks would be enough? I don't want to wait too long, because people forget.

jst5150
05-17-2006, 03:20 AM
Two weeks is plenty. You might also want to switch genres from selection to selection and build a schedule. If you schedule genres (not necessarily titles) in advance, that'll draw interest from all areas of the Forum.

Perks
05-17-2006, 03:36 AM
Ah! Good idea. I'm thinking for this first one, I'll poll with a title from mainstream bestseller, maybe a classic, maybe a thriller and a non-fiction or something and see what generates the most votes.

Sound like a plan?

poetinahat
05-17-2006, 03:41 AM
Excellent. Can I vote against 'Soul Mountain'?

jst5150
05-17-2006, 03:44 AM
... and imagine the thread of rebuke if you chose 'Da Vinci Code' out of the gate (thought with the debut of the movie, not a bad idea). I'll pat myself on the back for that one later. ;-)

Perks
05-17-2006, 03:45 AM
Lord have mercy, I'd be relieved of my moderator stripes. I'm thinking that one's been talked to death.

Shame on you Jason.

jst5150
05-17-2006, 03:47 AM
Then suggest its better kissing cousin -- "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco

Perks
05-17-2006, 03:49 AM
That's a great book - and Focault's Pendulum.

poetinahat
05-17-2006, 03:49 AM
Pendulum! Hooray!
(Give us more than two weeks, though.)

A friend of mine has read both FP and DVC; he describes DVC as "FP For Dummies". I haven't read it yet, so I couldn't say.

jst5150
05-17-2006, 04:27 AM
Umberto Eco is tough sledding regardless.

I might also suggest having some guidelines and specifics about what will be discussed -- perhaps four or five areas of review. Not sure how other cliques do this, but maybe substance, writing, pace, flow, impact or something along those lines.

Also, I'd create an AbWr grading system for book reviews now before someone institutes stars, thumbs or chili peppers.

maestrowork
05-17-2006, 04:34 AM
I am not sure the purpose of these discussions are... are we discussing them from a writer's point of view (how well it's written, POV, pacing, etc.) or from a reader's point of view (the story is blah blah blah, the characters are blah blah blah). I don't think we're writing "reviews" here...


Usually discussions are framed in a set of questions such as "author X talks about the death of Y, and the theme of death is prominent throughout the whole story. What do you think that means?" Etc. Etc.

Obviously, we don't have to do that kind of discussions. A free from discussion would be very interesting. However, I think some guidelines would be very helpful, and if it's facilitated, even better.

jst5150
05-17-2006, 04:45 AM
True, but at some point, someone's gonna give it a grade ("Overall, I thought Curious George eats a 3-toed sloth was palpitating!"). Better to be prepared for that than not. Also important to note, for clarity's sake, I used the term "areas of review," vice asking for a review of the tome. Don't want to anger the Ray Gods.

Perks
05-17-2006, 04:55 AM
See, that's what interest me. I love the reader's-view book clubs, but I can't wait to discuss some from a writer's point of view also.

I'd be hesitant to put in too many guidelines at first. I be tempted to let it flow freeform at first and see where it goes.

jst5150
05-17-2006, 05:05 AM
Chicken. ;-)

Perks
05-17-2006, 05:07 AM
Turkey.

jst5150
05-17-2006, 05:09 AM
And with that ... we cue the music.

CaroGirl
05-17-2006, 06:23 AM
Hey, you guys took my ideas! <pout> :tongue

Some novels come equipped with a section for book clubs with questions and topics for discussion. My copies of Bel Canto and The Good Earth both have a book club section. To make it easier, we could try one of those. Perks can post some of the more interesting discussion topics/questions (for those who don't have them) and we could have at it. (Hope we don't need an invitation, because I think I'm in, provided the book interests me.)

Perks
05-17-2006, 06:38 AM
No! No invitation! Or rather an invitation to all. 've heard good things about Bel Canto. Just give me a little time and I'll get a poll up and running for the first selection. Two days, max.

ChaosTitan
05-17-2006, 08:58 AM
Do you guys think, once the volume is decided, that two weeks would be enough? I don't want to wait too long, because people forget.

Perhaps the length of time allowed should depend on the length of the book. I don't know about anyone else, but I can read a 300 page novel a heck of lot faster than a 600 page novel.

aruna
05-17-2006, 09:37 AM
One criteria worth thinking about: the book should be available in paperback format.
It's a great idea, btw, and I look forward to taking part. It's a good idea to have controversial novels; books that people either loved or hated, as we alreday had with The Lovely Bones. That might get some spirited comments!

robeiae
05-17-2006, 03:20 PM
I think we should start with the Bible.

maestrowork
05-17-2006, 03:27 PM
Perhaps the length of time allowed should depend on the length of the book. I don't know about anyone else, but I can read a 300 page novel a heck of lot faster than a 600 page novel.

It depends on the genre, too. It's so much easier and faster to read thriller/suspense than literary fiction.

Perks
05-17-2006, 04:03 PM
Not that you guys are putting any pressure on me or anything. Pick one that's not too long, easy to read, but vastly enriching. Make it a paperback and draw up a list of thought-provoking discussion questions. Nothing too heavy. Shun the vapid. Oh, and how about door-to-door delivery while you weren't doing anything else?

Next time I have an idea, I'm going to write it on a little slip of paper and eat it.

poetinahat
05-17-2006, 04:07 PM
The collected works of Calvin and Hobbes. Done and dusted.

(Oh, all right, you want highbrow? The Doonesbury Chronicles.)

maestrowork
05-17-2006, 04:14 PM
I love C&H. Five stars!

See how easy it is?

sassandgroove
05-19-2006, 08:46 PM
The collected works of Calvin and Hobbes. Done and dusted.



My husband has those, so I could actually participate! But wait, he has about a bazillion books. I'd have more, but I am only thirty and I have moved 20 times, so I've had to part with many books. :(

I think this whole book club thing is cool.

Yeshanu
05-19-2006, 10:21 PM
The collected works of Calvin and Hobbes. Done and dusted.

(Oh, all right, you want highbrow? The Doonesbury Chronicles.)

I'll be in on the C&H, poet. Not a fan of Doonesbury, though. How about Bloom County?

Unique
07-16-2006, 03:34 AM
The Far Side.

But Seriously, Folks.
When's the next read, Perks?

Perks
07-16-2006, 03:49 AM
I'm on it. I'll post a new poll tomorrw. I just wanted to make sure we were stable and not going anywhere.

Unique
07-16-2006, 03:51 AM
I'll never be stable and I never go anywhere.

oh. you meant the boards....:tongue

pdr
07-16-2006, 01:29 PM
don't forget to make it an international classic this time.

Just to add to your list, Perks.

Godfather
07-16-2006, 03:39 PM
Hmmm... The Pacific Between?