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Book of the Month?

Is there something you'd like to see on this site? Let the admins know!

What Shall We Do With the Book of the Month?

Poll ended at Tue February 15th, 2011, 4:35 am

Scrap it altogether.
2
13%
Keep it as is.
10
63%
Change to a bimonthly schedule (1 book every 2 months)
3
19%
Have a different member select the book each month; no nominating/voting
1
6%
 
Total votes: 16

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boswellbaxter
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Book of the Month?

Post by boswellbaxter » Sat February 12th, 2011, 4:33 am

Some of the members have been discussing the lack of participation in the Book of the Month forum. I've noticed it too, not only here but on other forums such as Goodreads.

So we're giving you a chance to vote on whether to keep the Book of the Month or whether to make certain changes to it. (Remember, even if we scrap it, people who want to read books together still will have the Book Buddies option, which can work well if two or more members are interested in reading the same book at the same time.) Here are the options:

(1) Get rid of the BOTM altogether.

(2) Keep it as is.

(3) Change it to a bi-monthly schedule, so we have two months to read and discuss a book instead of one.

(4) Keep the BOTM, but instead of nominating and voting, have a different member select the book each month.

Voting ends 2/15!
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
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Post by Margaret » Sat February 12th, 2011, 7:21 am

It's not like it's the end of the world if we don't have a rousing discussion every month. If we have a good BOM discussion two or three times a year, I feel like it justifies keeping the system going. Also, our membership is growing, which means there's a larger base of people who might consider participating. Within the current system, if those of us who nominate books make a point of nominating not just the books we're interested in reading ourselves, but books that we think others in the group would enjoy and which would stimulate a good discussion, the BOM might gain a new lease on life. And when we nominate a book, it might be useful to say a little more about why we want to read it (or have already) and discuss it, so as to generate a little more excitement about it.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Sat February 12th, 2011, 4:01 pm

I'm on the fence of keeping it as is or bi monthly.

My issue with the BOTM is that we have changed it(where now we have themes which I like since American HF was never being picked. It was always European stuff.) but there are so many books that are being picked that I don't want to read. Nothing interest me. The last book I read was My name is Mary Sutter which only 4 people talked about. Now we have Mistress of Nothing and so far I'm the only one who has posted in the thread.

Wider appeal would be great, but how do we do that? I'm tired of reading about Tudors and that time period, but I know others gobble it up. I love American HF, and I know others find it dull.
Last edited by Divia on Sat February 12th, 2011, 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sat February 12th, 2011, 4:32 pm

Looking back at the previous books of the month, we've actually had a good assortment of books--most of them have been set in Europe, but in a variety of time periods. Only two were set in Tudor England, and we read one of them way back in December 2008. So it's not a matter of people picking the same sort of novel each time, or of wanting to read only about the Tudors. I suspect the main problem is that people are simply plain busy and that when they have limited reading time, they're going to pick a book based on their own reading preference instead of choosing one just because a group happens to be reading it.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Sat February 12th, 2011, 5:27 pm

I wonder if it would be easier if the book of the month was selected a little earlier than the month before, say two months instead - this would give more time for people to obtain and read the book. Just a thought!
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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
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Post by Madeleine » Sat February 12th, 2011, 6:24 pm

I'm all for keeping it, even though I don't always read the BOTM. I suppose the law of averages means that, like a lot of things, some choices will prove more popular than others, and perhaps reader take-up might be less enthusiastic at certain times of the year eg holiday times, Xmas etc.

Perhaps we could try having a set list of people to nominate a book each time - maybe try that for a while and see how it works?
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat February 12th, 2011, 6:54 pm

I'm for keeping it as is. Sometimes the books fall flat, and sometimes they are lively. I don't always read the BOM, but I do try to read at least half of them.

Buddy reads is good too. Either way, if I have a chance to read the book at the same time others are discussing it, I find out more about how a certain style or plot device is affecting readers during the process of reading it. That's different from the review threads on a given book, where you only get people's opinion in retrospect, after they have finished the whole thing.

It's all the difference between guessing and having some observational data. There's no education for a writer quite like watching the wheels while they are spinning.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sat February 12th, 2011, 7:43 pm

There's also a fair amount of time in setting up the BOTM, from taking nominations, to a poll, changing the cover on the main page and the main thread itself. BB's been handling most of it, and the last and first days of the month are always the busiest for me and I don't have much free time then.

Just a little food for thought.
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...is the only place I want to be

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Sat February 12th, 2011, 8:22 pm

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]Looking back at the previous books of the month, we've actually had a good assortment of books--most of them have been set in Europe... [/quote]

And that's my point. Most are sent in Europe. I grow weary of the queens and their servants or the naughty mistresses. We rarely read anything outside of Europe, that's why I wanted a theme month. But it appears those who love European don't wish to read other things. My name is Mary is one of the most powerful books I have ever read though it received a lukewarm reception here.

People don't want to read American HF. That's fine, but I'm not about to take on any more European HF. To each their own.

In addition it appears as if the Victorian Era is rarely touched. Looking at this months BOTM nominations proves that. We had 3 choices. Yet if its the Middle Ages or later up until the 16 cent then there are a ton of choices.

Perhaps our tastes are too varied. Maybe the novelty has worn off. Before I was ready to dive into a book regardless of era, now I find myself more picky. If I have a choice between my time period that I love or the middle ages, I will pick mine. Perhaps others feel the same? It certainly seems that way by some of the discussions we have had in BOTM.

[quote=""Misfit""]There's also a fair amount of time in setting up the BOTM, from taking nominations, to a poll, changing the cover on the main page and the main thread itself. BB's been handling most of it, and the last and first days of the month are always the busiest for me and I don't have much free time then.

Just a little food for thought.[/quote]

Perhaps a new mod is in order then so the burden can be lightened.
Last edited by Divia on Sat February 12th, 2011, 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sat February 12th, 2011, 8:39 pm

Perhaps our tastes are too varied. Maybe the novelty has worn off. Before I was ready to dive into a book regardless of era, now I find myself more picky. If I have a choice between my time period that I love or the middle ages, I will pick mine. Perhaps others feel the same? It certainly seems that way by some of the discussions we have had in BOTM.
I love the middle ages as much as anyone else, but currently I've hardly any books in the pike with that setting - more are US history. That said, most of them are long forgotten OOP's that no one else is much interested in reading, so I just follow my own path. If a BOTM selection can fit in my plans, great if not...

Sometimes library holds and ILL's can upset the reading plans, or other group reads over at Goodreads.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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