Archive for June, 2008

Making a Book Club from Scratch
By June 21, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Making a Book Club from Scratch

  I really need a committee. Sure, I can choose and assemble the titles on the reading list, and I can put together a few sample study guides, and facilitating the discussions is no problem. I can figure out how to write grants, I suppose, but it’s going to take time to learn how to […]

Posted in: book groups
The Book Group (show) Must Go On

The Book Group (show) Must Go On

If you’re going to ALA you don’t want to miss Book Group Therapy: How to Repair, Revamp and Revitalize Your Book Group on Sunday, June 29, 10:30am-12,  in the Disneyland Hotel, the Disneyland North BR. Which do you want first? The good news or the bad news? Bad news? Okay, the guest speaker is unable […]

Posted in: book groups, book news
An Ode to the Unexpected

An Ode to the Unexpected

Neil’s post about ODD books got me thinking.  How often have you gone into a book group meeting fearing the worst, that everyone will just hate the book?  I never expect the entire group to love a book.  In fact, better discussions arise when there are real differences of opinion.  It can be quite boring […]

Posted in: book groups
To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self Be True

On Galleycat, Ron Hogan expresses his surprise that the Wall Street Journal‘s Jeffrey Trachtenberg (“Amazon Shows Its Clout“) didn’t mention an important detail about David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle–that it happens to be to Hamlet what Jane Smiley‘s A Thousand Acres was to King Lear. Good point, and one worth mentioning. Furthermore, Trachtenberg didn’t mention […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
The Book-a-Decade Treadmill

The Book-a-Decade Treadmill

There’s been a bit of discussion lately about writers whose publishers pressure them to write a new book each and every year (“Top writers feel heat from publishers’ presses,” by David Mehegan, Boston Globe). And, no doubt about it, the author-as-brand-name is a growing trend. In some instances, it feels like we’re seeing a new book each […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
When Nobody Likes the Book

When Nobody Likes the Book

“I hated, hated, hated this book!” Those words are probably not what most book discussion leaders are hoping to hear when they convene their group — and yet, that response comes up often enough, so that leaders have to be ready to deal with it.  But what happens when everybody in the group (or almost […]

Posted in: book groups
AN ACTION HERO FOR OBSESSIVE COLLECTORS

AN ACTION HERO FOR OBSESSIVE COLLECTORS

  I am an obsessive bibliotaph.  My secret vice is that over the years I have accumulated six thousand private eye novels which I store in a damp basement on the south side of Milwaukee.  Temperature controls, humidity sensors, pffit!  Over the years, I have been asked to share (or sell) a volume in my […]

Posted in: book groups
An Ode to ODD Books

An Ode to ODD Books

If you’ve been in a book group for long, you’ve been there: the choice for next month’s meeting is announced and it’s a book you would never choose to read on your own. A book that you don’t expect to enjoy. A book that is ODD. A thought will pop into your head at this […]

Posted in: book groups
From Bosnia, via Germany, to Seattle
By June 19, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

From Bosnia, via Germany, to Seattle

An international author arriving for the first time in his life on the West Coast isn’t likely to find his internationally bestselling novel for sale at the airport bookstore. Sure, everyone in Germany may be reading the novel, and sure, it may be a phenomenal, prize-winning success throughout Europe, but that doesn’t mean squat when […]

Posted in: book groups
Where does she think writers get their ideas?

Where does she think writers get their ideas?

Reporting the latest developments in the 2004 plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea, Lydia Polgreen writes that the details are “too outlandish even for Graham Greene” and that “fact has proved as strange as fiction, if not stranger.” The events “loosely mirror the plot of Frederick Forsyth’s 1974 book, ‘The Dogs of War’,” […]

Posted in: book news