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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 June, 2009

Thu, June 18th, 2009
Selection Survey
Posted by: Neil Hollands

Last week, I wrote about how to use a blind survey to address underlying unhappiness with your book group’s discussion habits. This week, let’s turn to the next biggest source of the book group blues: discontent with books selected by the group or the process for that selection. Unhappiness with book selection can take many […]


Tue, June 16th, 2009
BEA Brainstorm
Posted by: admin

One of the sessions held last month at BookExpo America was a panel called Book Club Brainstorming.  Although they were talking to booksellers,  the panelists presented lots of ideas that would work in libraries, too.  The June 16 Shelf Awareness newsletter includes a summary of  Book Club Brainstorming, and you can find a podcast on the BookExpo Podcast site.


Sun, June 14th, 2009
Farewell Blog
Posted by: admin

This will be my last blog on Book Group Buzz. After 126 blogs and a year and a half discussing book clubs, I want to thank everyone who responded or questioned or commented on my various reading group dilemmas and book-searches. I loved sharing my discoveries with you. My search for great new books will […]


Sat, June 13th, 2009
Jane Gardam's Old Filth
Posted by: Misha Stone

In preparing for a booktalk that a colleague and I will be giving next week at a local women’s group, I reread Jane Gardam’s Old Filth. Jane Gardam is an author who is still very much under the radar in the United States, even though a 2006 review in The New York Times mused that Old […]


Sat, June 13th, 2009
Take Your Book Group to the Movies
Posted by: admin

Neil’s recent suggestion about combining books group discussions with trips to the movie theater is ripe with possibilities in the next few months.   Coming soon to a theater near you:   My Sister’s Keeper, based on the book by Jodi Picoult, is scheduled to open on June 26. It stars Alec Baldwin,  Abigail Breslin, Cameron Diaz, and Jason Patrick.  Opening August […]


Thu, June 11th, 2009
DISORDERED MINDS
Posted by: Gary Niebuhr

The last book of this cycle for our mystery and crime fiction series is my perennial favorite read, Minette Walters. Our group has been reading Walters for years, one book a round, and we have made our way up to book ten, Disordered Minds. First published in the U.K. by Macmillan in 2003, when it […]


Thu, June 11th, 2009
Survey Says…
Posted by: Neil Hollands

Does your book group work for everyone who attends? It’s better to maintain with continuous minor adaptations and subtle adjustments  than to wait until readers begin to quit and a major overhaul is needed. In particular, you want to avoid the situation where discussion problems turn into public arguments between readers. Think tweezers, not machetes. Identifying and repairing problems […]


Wed, June 10th, 2009
Ruining the Reading
Posted by: Kaite Stover

I keep hearing from teens and occasionally older readers, about their dislike of reading as a leisure activity. When I probe for reasons why, I’m told that it was English class and the assigned reading that turned some folks off. This makes me wonder if book groups aren’t guilty of the same “overreading” of books […]


Sat, June 6th, 2009
The Uncommon Reader
Posted by: Misha Stone

Contrary to my initial fears, Alan Bennett’s delightful novella, The Uncommon Reader, provided plenty for my book group to talk about. The Uncommon Reader is an homage to reading which starts out with the Queen of England stumbling upon a bookmobile on the Palace grounds while walking her Corgis. The Queen decides to check out […]


Fri, June 5th, 2009
The Good Ones Are Always the Hardest
Posted by: admin

A half hour into our first discussion this month at the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Book Club, I could see I was in trouble. I like this book too much. So does everyone else. Those are not the ingredients for a healthy discussion. The good ones are always the hardest. I’ve just finished enjoying my […]





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