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Book Group Buzz

A Booklist Blog
Book group tips, reading lists, & lively talk of literary news from the experts at Booklist Online

Archive for November, 2008

Thu, November 20th, 2008
Reading the Memoir of our President-Elect
Posted by: Misha Stone

When my book group discussed Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, in 2004, we had no way of knowing that the author would become the 44th President of the United States. It made me wonder how book groups picking up the book now will read it, how Obama […]


Thu, November 20th, 2008
Book Club Immortality
Posted by: Kaite Stover

Forget the 10k and the bronze statue. What these authors really want is for people to read their books. Well, last night, they all got their wish. The National Book Awards were bestowed at a ceremony hosted by playwright Eric Bogosian. The nonfiction winner, Annette Gordon-Reed, received a pretty nice birthday present when she became […]


Wed, November 19th, 2008
A Comic Classic Touched by Time
Posted by: admin

  Well, I was at my wits’ end, trying to find a short, upbeat book for December to read in my book group and feature in my bookstore, and I figured anything goes, maybe I’ll just do something completely different and go back one hundred years to a comic classic I’ve never read, always meant […]


Mon, November 17th, 2008
Two Non-Fiction Disappointments
Posted by: admin

Dang it, I don’t think either one of these is going to work. I’ve been reading two new non-fiction books this weekend, hoping I’d find our group’s book for December, and neither one quite fills the bill.   I had high hopes for Daniel L. Everett’s Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes, as my last two […]


Sun, November 16th, 2008
Thankful for Books
Posted by: Misha Stone

A recent blog post from Seattle’s own University Bookstore got me reflecting on the books I am truly thankful for in recent memory. For one, I am thankful to Mary at the main store for handing me Dorothy Whipple’s Someone at a Distance. The Persephone Books edition is so lovely to hold, that I keep […]


Sat, November 15th, 2008
Dusty Answer
Posted by: Misha Stone

“Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul/When hot for certainties in this our life!”–George Meredith My father-in-law introduced me to Rosamond Lehmann. He sent me a copy of “The Heart of Me,” a film starring Paul Bettany, Olivia Williams and Helena Bonham Carter, a film based on Lehmann’s novel The Echoing Grove. Rosamond Lehmann […]


Sat, November 15th, 2008
We need a Fiction IV, STAT!
Posted by: Kaite Stover

The good doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital have realized the healing power of talking about books. In an effort to improve the bedside manners of residents, Dr. Richard S. Panush encourages the discussion of short stories, poetry and essays among his fellow physicians and their patients. Using literature as a jumping off point for […]


Sat, November 15th, 2008
Form a Reading Circle, Turn to the Side, Pat the Person in Front of You on the Back
Posted by: Neil Hollands

Last week, I wrote about ideas for book groups during the holiday season. No matter how you spend that meeting, it’s important, it’s mindful, it’s wise as another year of reading comes to an end, to celebrate and acknowledge your efforts. I’ve been thinking about why people choose to give their time to the rather […]


Fri, November 14th, 2008
Discussing the Actual (Shudder!) Content
Posted by: admin

I want to discuss the book’s merits as literature. I want to discuss character motivation, and foreshadowing, and plot surprises. I want to discuss an author’s skill in tying together his threads at the end. As for the actual content of the book – its historical setting, its social setting, the issues at stake – […]


Wed, November 12th, 2008

Posted by: Gary Niebuhr

Goodbye, Wisconsin by Glenway Wescott.  Borderland Books Edition, 2008.  For many years, in the back of my mind, there lurked a book with a title that intrigued me and angered me at the same time: Glenway Wescott’s Goodbye, Wisconsin.  What is wrong with us and why is everyone always trying to leave, I wondered but […]





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