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Sunday, October 31, 2010

National Reading Group Month Wrap Up

As October draws to a close and everyone gets excited for fun parties and candy, I am a little bummed about the end of National Reading Group Month.

A couple more book club suggestions:
some book clubs are lucky enough to have an author call in to speak with the group. One potential issue with this set up is that book club members don't feel they're able to be completely honest about the book while the author is listening. A solution is to set up the call for 30 minutes into the meeting, not just as soon as it starts. That way there can be some discussion before the author joins in, and any criticisms of the book can still be aired without worrying about insulting the author.

One book club idea I heard recently that I think is very cool is this: each month a topic is picked, and everyone in the book club reads a different book on the topic. Topics can be as varied as WWII, Jackie Kennedy, Southern Lit, racism, religion, the 60s, Asia, adoption. The members don't feel forced into reading a book they don't like since they pick their own, and everyone in the book each meeting hears about a lot of interesting books, and can find out about several potential great new reads at each meeting instead of just one. There are so many different ideas for book clubs. I found one run by a library in Illinois where the group meets at a walking trail and they walk while they discuss books - fantastic! I want to join that book club! A friend's library system in SC has a long list of book club books, and if you pick one and let them know by the cut-off date, they'll have the books in a bookbag, one person can pick them all up, they can be checked out for 2 months instead of 1, and it's really easy.

If you want to start a book club but don't feel like you have the time or resources to do it yourself, you might try a resource like Book Club in a Box. Also some book clubs have been known to pay a book club facilitator to run the meetings. If you have a book club and feel you need fresher suggestions for next year (beyond the ones I've suggested!), contact your local independent bookstore. Our local bookstore owners go to book club meetings throughout October and makes presentations on great new book club reads.

One of my favorite podcasts, Books on the Nightstand, did a whole episode based around National Reading Group Month a couple of weeks ago, which you can find here. I subscribe to the podcast so it just shows up in my iTunes periodically, very, very easy!

In the second half of the month, there hasn't been as many posts around the blogosphere, but there have been a few, so here they are. If I missed anyone, please let me know in the comments! National Reading Group Month was much fun and I look forward to it again next year.

Words We Women Write
Mother-Daughter Book Club
Bookworm Meets Bookworm
Book Group Buzz (Booklist online)

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