Join us in June as we talk about book clubs, what they are reading and what exactly makes a book good for discussion.
Whether you are looking for a serious discussion or an excuse to regularly catch up with friends, a book club is a wonderful way to share the joy of reading. You will probably be reading books you would never have chosen yourself, this can lead you to some truly wonderful experiences, but it can also prove quite a challenge!
Books like Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls almost certainly owe their success to book clubs. More recently, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr have been popular choices for discussion.
There is no guaranteed formula for book club success, but historical fiction, themes of triumph over adversity and stories that are uplifting or inspiring are in high demand. Consider how much time your book club has to read – A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt are wonderful books for discussion, but at 800+ pages each, they might be daunting for many readers.
Traditional book clubs have involved a group of adults reading and discussing the same book, but we are now seeing groups especially for children, young adults or for parents & children. Groups may choose to read around a specific theme or genre, or in a certain language. Groups are also exploring different formats like film, article and audio book discussions.
Modern book clubs may not meet up in person at all, many book discussions take place online onTumblr, Goodreads and Twitter or on television programs like ABC’s The Book Club.
Book Clubs are such a big part of life that we often see them in pop culture like Channel 4’s seriesThe Book Group, or the page to screen success The Jane Austen Book Club.
It can be hard to join a book group; they are such fun that spaces don’t come up that often. Don’t be shy to start your own, get a couple of friends to invite a couple of friends and have a first meeting to talk about what you’d like to do – you have the advantage of being able to make it up as you go along. Click on the For Book Groups tab at the top of this blog for information on starting your own group.
Your local public library can be a wonderful source of resources for book clubs. Many have meeting rooms that can be booked for a small cost or event for free, some libraries have open book discussion groups that are open to all members of the community and it is becoming common for libraries to collect sets of books especially for book clubs to borrow.
Blue Mountains City Library has Book Club Kits to support our many local book clubs. Local book clubs can apply for a special Book Club membership card and use this to reserve and borrow a set of books for the club (8 books + reading notes) and borrow them for 6 weeks at a time. Click here for more information.
There are a number of websites dedicated to supporting book groups. They are a great source of ideas and readers’ guides and include LitLovers , Reading Group Choices and Reading Group Guides.
If you are looking for some more book club resources, try the NSW Readers’ Advisory Services Wiki, and let us know your favourite book club reads in the comments.
These are just a few #bookclubread ideas and suggestions and you may have different ideas about the theme – we would really like to hear about them. Don’t forget that while you are reading, playing or watching your #bookclubread, you can tweet about it using #bookclubread and #rwpchat, so that other people can have a conversation with you about it. You can also add to the discussion on Pinterest, or post your photographs to Instagram or Flickr and use #bookclubread #rwpchat so that others can share in your reading, watching and playing.
A date for your diary : There will be a #bookclubread Twitter discussion on June 28 starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings (Summer) Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Time, 8am – 10.30am, 2pm – 4pm, 6pm – 8pm GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.