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Book Club Choices

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wendy
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Book Club Choices

Post by wendy » Wed January 12th, 2011, 11:32 pm

To those of you in an active book club - how do your members select which books you are going to read?

In ours we have always had every member bring suggestions and a general voting system to select the ten most interesting books for the year.

This year we are making a conscious decision to pick one book suggestion from every member.

Curious to know how others pick their lists . . . .
Wendy K. Perriman
Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)
http://www.wendyperriman.com
http://www.FireOnDarkWater.com

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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.
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Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu January 13th, 2011, 12:06 am

We have members volunteer to host. Whoever hosts, picks the book, moderates, comes up with the questions (if there aren't any on the website, or if she wants to add or delete one) and brings the snacks. The parameters are that the book must be fiction, novel-length (250--800 pages) and readily available under $20.

There are 43 members on my book club's email list, but only about 10 regulars--the others are sporadic. The regulars each seem to host about once a year.

An average meeting has anywhere from 8-16 members, depending on the book chosen and the season.

The one rule is that we pick books the hostess hasn't read, and hopefully nobody else, either. Sometimes we get a real clunker, but I must say I have learned a lot about reading tastes and reactions from these discussions that I would otherwise never have learned.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Thu January 13th, 2011, 3:03 am

My book club went defunct after over 20 years, but this was our process:

We met in the same house about 10 times a year and everyone brought a snack. Each meeting, one person brought 4-5 possible books (both fiction and nf were allowed), available for under $20, or readily available through the library, as candidates. The person introduced each book, told why they selected it and passed it around. Other members could make comments if they had already read it or read aloud brief passages for the flavor of the book. Everyone voted and highest vote getter was read for the next month. Nominations were rotated through the membership and posted each year.

I read a lot of books that I would never have chosen on my own. It was a fun experience and I miss it. :(
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Thu January 13th, 2011, 8:31 am

My book club went defunct after over 20 years
That's a heart-breaker.
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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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Thu January 13th, 2011, 1:59 pm

I attend two book groups (and am now in fact the organiser for both). We try to choose two meetings ahead to give everyone more time to get and read the books.

In essence, we invite suggestions, then put them up for the vote and the most popular is the chosen book. Both of the groups are now run online (on Meetup.com) (though we meet in person), so people email me their suggestions, which I pad out if necessary to get a decent-sized shortlist. I send out an email with details of the books (description, cover, price etc.) and set up an online poll, which I close after about a week. And that's it. Before we did it online, we just voted at the meeting (two before) with those who made suggestions describing the book and trying to make it sound attractive.

As far as criteria go, it has to be print and widely available in a current paperback with no more than about 500 pages, ideally less.

For my HF group, it's normally just random. Occasionally, we've picked an era or setting and had a shortlist of books all related to that.
For the other group, it's just random fiction. Or occasionally we'll do a non-fiction selection.

I've attended another group from time to time. The organiser basically decides for everybody, which I don't like.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Thu January 13th, 2011, 2:00 pm

My old book group used to choose the year's selections each January, and everyone would suggest a book, then we'd draw the names out of a bowl/hat/someone's hand to decide the order in which we would read them.
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Thu January 13th, 2011, 2:13 pm

Thanks for your quick responses. I think we are a bit more formal than most but we are all serious readers and very committed to stretching ourselves. We are currently reading ANNA KARENINA for next month.
I also passed out the list of male authors kindly suggested by several HFO members last year so I'm hoping we get an interesting mixed selection this coming year!
Wendy K. Perriman
Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)
http://www.wendyperriman.com
http://www.FireOnDarkWater.com

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rockygirl
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Post by rockygirl » Fri January 14th, 2011, 1:20 am

Very interesting thread. I just started a book group at work (reading YA literature, so my log will have a lot more YA I think than HF this year). I had decided to go with the vote on suggestions from all members. After reading this thread, I'm more confident in this decision.

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