One Week Reminder

I am curious about what other book group leaders do to prepare themselves and their groups for discussions.  There are so many aspects to “preparation,” so I am just going to share one.

Every month, one week prior to our meeting, I send out an e-mail reminder.  Because it is a Library book group, I find that this helps tremendously.  This way I hear from members if something has come up, if they have gone on vacation, or if they need an extra push to get through the book.

It is also my chance to provide some background materials for discussion.  When I hand books out the next month’s books, I generally provide discussion questions that I find online or that I create myself.  But when I send my one week reminder, I like to send articles or interviews that will enhance their reading experience.   Sometimes, too, group members will get inspired to do some searching themselves on an author or book, and take this as an opportunity to share with the group.

Next week we are discussing Richard Yates’ 1961 classic Revolutionary Road.  Since a film directed by Sam Mendes and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is slated to be released later this year, I found an article by a Yates biographer about Yates’ own tragic relationship with Hollywood during his lifetime.  I also shared an NPR “You Must Read This” spot and audiofile entitled “An Emotional Journey Down ‘Revolutionary Road.'”

One reader responded to me with a 1972 interview with the author in “Ploughshares” which I forwarded to the group.

So what do you do to enrich your group’s experience?  What do you do to prepare?  Do you share articles, interviews, biographical essays?  Do you compare the book and the movie? 

And if you have anything to share with me or my group about Richard Yates or Revolutionary Road in particular, you have one week.

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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