Archive for August, 2011

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

I have found someone I would like to take out to dinner and talk to about book discussions.  His name is Alan Jacobs and he is a professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois.  He is the author of The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction.  Although this book only speaks directly […]

2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor: Finalists Announced!

2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor: Finalists Announced!

Here’s an interesting fact about James Thurber: as a child, he lost an eye in an game of William Tell gone horribly wrong. Despite that setback (or maybe because of it) he went on to be one of America’s foremost humor writers and cartoonists. In that tradition, the Thurber House has announced this year’s James […]

Posted in: Likely Stories
Online Book Discussions: Pros and Cons
By August 26, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Online Book Discussions: Pros and Cons

At a recent workshop on leading book discussions that I presented to graduate students at Dominican University, the talk turned to online book discussions, and participants enumerated some of the strengths and weaknesses of this form of sharing ideas about books. Here are the “pros” of this format, as defined by the group: 1.  Gives […]

Web Crush of the Week:  Hipster Book Club

Web Crush of the Week: Hipster Book Club

Hipster Book Club is an online review journal that aims to cover literature from all different genres, not bestsellers.  In fact, a large percentage of the books they feature are older backlist titles.  (hm, must be why we like them!) The site also features a number of interesting book-themed articles, and offers a fair amount […]

One Love by Cedella Marley

One Love by Cedella Marley

Cindy: I usually hate celebrity picture books and I’m not usually wishy-washy on book opinions, but One Love (Chronicle Books 2011) has me dithering and looking for other opinions. Can we talk? Full disclosure: I am a Bob Marley fan. I have a tiki bar in my back yard with a 4-foot carved statue of Marley […]

Zombies.  They’re everywhere.

Zombies. They’re everywhere.

Excuse the non-book related post, but I just had to spread this around.  As loyal ShelfRenewal readers may know, I (Rebecca) have a bit of an obsession with zombie fiction (um, as does quite a bit of the rest of the reading world, based on how many dang zombie books have been published these last […]

Serendipity in the Stacks #55: Charity Girl

Serendipity in the Stacks #55: Charity Girl

I was wandering around the stacks in my library when I found a book that I had read years ago and liked very much, Charity Girl by Michael Lowenthal. It is historical fiction and would be a good choice for book groups interested in little known pieces of American history. Charity Girl is a heartbreaking, […]

What is it with the elephants?

What is it with the elephants?

Lynn and Cindy: What is it with the elephants this year?  Has anyone noticed how many books about or featuring elephants there are? So far we’ve seen: Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson Cousins of Clouds:  Elephant Poems by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer Elephant Talk:  The Surprising Science of Elephant Communication by Ann Downer […]

Reading and comfort levels

Reading and comfort levels

The Children’s Book Council of Australia recently named the winner in the Picture Book category, Hamlet by Melbourne artist Nicki Greenberg. It’s a graphic novel based on the Shakespeare play. Yet the author is encouraging parents to review her graphic novel before giving it to very young children. It may be a picture book, Greenberg […]

Bringing Back the Buzz, Pt. 5

Bringing Back the Buzz, Pt. 5

Here’s part five of my ongoing series listing ways to shake up your book group with a little variety: 14. READ LOCAL–THEN VISIT If you live near a location that has been used as a setting in a book, consider combining a site visit with your discussion. You could hold the meeting on site, discuss the […]