After our meeting this month, the members of my book club agreed: we had one of our best discussions in a long time, if not in our 12-year history. The book that elicited such an enthusiastic response? The House of Mirth,
Edith Wharton's breakout 1905 novel about a well-to-do young woman who, after losing both of her parents and the family fortune, finds herself dependent on the benevolence of rich friends to remain in high society.
Since 2002, Gina Wyszynski and the Chicks Picks Book Club from Houston, Texas, have made it an annual tradition to take a reading group getaway, and in this blog posting she shares some stories about their travels. Whether the destination ties in with a book's theme or is simply a fun, new backdrop for a discussion, as Gina and her fellow members have discovered, a change of scenery can be a book club boost.---Carol Fitzgerald
Avideh Bashirrad is a "book person" whose recommendations I trust. She knows my taste and when she hand selects me a book from her list at Random House, I know I am going to enjoy it. We all know people like this. One day when we were having lunch she told me about a book group that she had started over at Hearst publications. Knowing that this was an idea that could translate for many of our readers I asked her to do a column about it.
A few years ago when I was vacationing on the Outer Banks I stopped by Duck's Cottage, a small bookstore/coffeeshop in Duck, North Carolina. I told Jamie Layton, one of the store's managers, that I like to frequent bookstores when I travel as I own a company that has a number of websites about books. She shared that one of her favorite websites was ReadingGroupGuides.com, not knowing that it was one in The Book Report Network.
One of the questions that I am asked most is about men and book clubs. Are they in book clubs? And WHAT do they read?
Today's post is from Nora Rawlinson who recently started a website for collection development and readers advisory librarians called EarlyWord.com. When we decided to do this blog, Nora was one of the first people who I reached out to and asked to become a regular contributor. She has been "my" personal advisor on the library market and over the years she has given me intros to some truly wonderful librarians. You can read Nora's bio here.
I wrote about this survey in a ReadingGroupGuides.com newsletter back in January, but I wanted to share it here as well since I would love to have our book groups participating in this. The American Library Association (ALA) is working on a study about book groups. They have a survey that they would love book group members to answer.They are trying to get as broad a picture as possible of book groups in America, so feel free to pass the link to the survey along to other book group members and bookgroup support organizations in your community.
My note in the newsletter last week about book clubs in schools and high school summer reading brought some good suggestions from readers. For those of you who missed it, I was pondering why schools have clubs for sports, arts, theatre, music and seemingly everything else under the sun, but not book clubs. The idea of reading for pleasure and talking about it seems like it would be a natural, but it's not.Our readers weighed in with some ideas and feedback on this.
Our first post is appropriately from Shannon McKenna Schmidt, a former staffer here at The Book Report Network who worked on the initial launch of ReadingGroupGuides.com and continues to contribute to the site today. This first week I am going to jump in with a few postings and by next week the team of early contributors that we have assembled will start writing. --- Carol Fitzgerald