13 November 2008

Book club: Notes for next time.

I survived my first book club pick. I'm pretty happy at how it turned out, although I could've done better -- the discussion lagged a little bit and I take responsibility for that. Here's what I want to do differently next time:
  • Arrive with more questions. Procrastination got the best of me and I had 7 or 8, but we could have used a lot more. (And it's neither here nor there, but I found the provided [SPOILERRIFIC] reader's guide questions to be incredibly lame in that they all boiled down to, "How do you feel?")
  • Focus on asking better follow-ups for people who are speaking. I was determined not to be the kind of book group leader who interrupts people when they're mid-sentence, but I think I forgot sometimes that I was steering.
  • Read about the critical opinion to the book, not so I could parrot those points but so they could inspire some discussion. I personally like to know what other critics are saying about what I'm reading (although if I'm reviewing something, I'll hold off until after I turn my piece in to see what the consensus is).
Anyway, the consensus was that THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD is worth reading, if you were interested. Next month: Sarah Vowell's THE WORDY SHIPMATES, which wasn't even my idea but is going to be awesome.


Kelly Simmons said...

Hi Ellen -- I loved the Post Birthday World -- when I visit book clubs that's one of my recommends to them. I see that you're in NYC -- if your group ever wants to read my novel, I can visit your club for Q&A -- I've done several clubs in NY and lots on the East Coast. Thanks!

Kelly Simmons

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous of your book club! I keep trying to find groups to join, but I never have any luck.