Tag: book group tips

Discussing Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself
By December 22, 2014 1 Comments Read More →

Discussing Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself

My Other Realms book group met this month to discuss Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, the first in the First Law trilogy and his debut fantasy novel. For many this was an introduction to Abercrombie, who has been hailed king of “grimdark fantasy.” For those who want more information about this emerging genre, Abercrombie’s essay […]

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Time-Management Tips for Book-Group Discussion Leaders
By November 20, 2014 1 Comments Read More →

Time-Management Tips for Book-Group Discussion Leaders

I’ve been involved with book groups since 1999. Some of them have been connected to bookstores or libraries, while others have been individuals meeting in one another’s homes. I’ve started a few from the ground up and taken over others when the previous leader decided the responsibility was too much. Being a discussion leader takes up a […]

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Humiliation Can Be Good for a Book Group
By November 18, 2014 2 Comments Read More →

Humiliation Can Be Good for a Book Group

David Lodge’s classic campus comedy, Changing Places (1975), introduced a game called Humiliation, which readers have been playing to their red-faced delight ever since. Players get together in a group and confess the canonical works that they have failed to read, scoring a point for each other person who has read it. In Lodge’s book, in which […]

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A Book-Group Discussion Where Everyone Reads a Different Book? Blame It on Paris
By November 5, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

A Book-Group Discussion Where Everyone Reads a Different Book? Blame It on Paris

When I travel, I like to take books with me that are set in my destination. Reading Ian Rankin mysteries in Edinburgh, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994) in Savannah, made those trips more memorable, bringing to life locations that otherwise might not have signified much. But when faced with the plethora of choices […]

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A French Kiss in the Woods

A French Kiss in the Woods

I have a new writer crush on Tana French. Although other mystery writers have worked the angle of writing different books in a series from the perspective of different detectives in the same police department, her Dublin Murder Squad series uses the device to brilliant effect, creating unanswered questions that leave one dying to read […]

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What Light in Yonder Saber Breaks? William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

What Light in Yonder Saber Breaks? William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Looking for a change of pace for an upcoming book group meeting? I’m a big advocate of playing with the formula at least once a year and trying something unusual. The contrast helps to keep the standard meeting format fresh. One of my favorite variations is to read something aloud. There’s a great deal of […]

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Themes for Mystery Discussion Groups

Themes for Mystery Discussion Groups

Mysteries are a great example of the kind of book that might better be handled by thematic discussion than by asking all of your readers to read the same title. Many mysteries (including some that are wonderful books) are highly plot driven, and it’s difficult to get a long discussion out of plot. Also, readers […]

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Don’t Supersize Me

Don’t Supersize Me

Overlook, if you will, the title of this book, which plays on women’s deepest fears.  Picking up where the French Women Don’t Get Fat trend left off, Naomi Moriyama takes us to her native Japan, where women get neither fat nor old.  What, do they not get uninteresting or senile either?  Well, probably not.  Lay your skepticism aside […]

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Building Better Book Talks

Building Better Book Talks

In any group where participants have not read the same title, particularly in thematic book groups, the paramount skill for a successful meeting is the ability of readers to describe what they read in an intriguing way. While most readers pick up this skill through the model of others over time, early efforts can be […]

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The Basic of Thematic Book Groups Pt. 2

The Basic of Thematic Book Groups Pt. 2

My last post gave hints on how to prepare for a thematic book group and get the meeting started. Let’s continue by examining how discussion at the meeting plays out and why this format is advantageous for many groups. After the introduction to the theme described in the previous post, it’s time for your readers […]

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