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Real-life book club

May 10, 2007

Water for ElephantsOk, we have more than two weeks until starting on our discussion of Water for Elephants. I am 2/3 the way through the book and I must say, I am enjoying it much more than I thought I would! How much progress have you guys made? Are you enjoying it?

Keep an eye out for a poll early next week to vote for our next book club pick. This is usually when I ask you guys to e-mail me suggestions, but this time we will vote between the books which came in second place in the previous four polls. This gives you a chance to vote for one of your favorites that didn’t quite make it last time.

Speaking of bookish stuff, next Tuesday night I am kicking off a book club here at my home. My neighbor and I had talked about it before, but never actually did it. I have been enjoying this other book club I joined a few months ago, but they don’t seem to have a set way of picking books. For example, this month’s book was suggested by one of the group members and instead of voting on it, the moderator just said ok and that was it. I certainly don’t mind picking up a book I normally wouldn’t have read (isn’t that part of the whole book club experience?) but this book is in hardcover and has a waiting list of like 150 people at the library. I really don’t want to spend money on a hardcover book and so I probably won’t be able to read this one. In the book club I am starting one member a month gets to bring in two suggested books that we all vote on. The only requirement is that it is a paperback already (therefore making it cheaper to buy and easier to get from the library). If you are involved in a real-life book club, how does it work? Do you have any suggestions for me?

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    May 10, 2007 9:27 am

    I started a book club ehre in Okinawa called “Lit & The Island” over a year ago and we have a very democratic and successful way of voting. Each member e-mails ahead of time and then brings the list of her nominated titles. Each person tries to sell the books they want voted on and then we vote. Each person writes done their top four titles (we vote for four titels at a time since ordering on-line takes a week or more for delivery… we don’t have Borders or B&N here)and then I tally the votes and we get the four books for the next four months by most tally marks.
    This way everything is fair and no ones feelings are hurt because their nomination(s) weren’t chosen.
    Good luck with you club!
    Regarding “Water For Elephants”, I know I would really enjoy it more if I didn’t have my “real life” book club title to read this month too. It’s “The Emperor’s Children” and it’s a bit daunting.

  2. May 10, 2007 9:48 am

    I am currently wading through the other boleyn girl and just finished the namesake and the road last week. I don’t know if I am going to get to water for elephants.

    anyone else read the road? I found it very unsatisfying.

  3. May 10, 2007 10:43 am

    I really liked Water for Elephants – I listened to the unabridged audiobook a few months ago and enjoyed it greatly.

    I don’t belong to a book club IRL so I don’t have any suggestions – sorry!

    I haven’t read The Road but looked through it and it didn’t look like a book that would hold my attention.

  4. May 10, 2007 11:43 am

    I haven’t started Water for Elephants yet. I just received notice that it is finally available at the library, so I expect to start it tomorrow. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it; after reading the book review I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not.

    I’m not involved with a real-life book club either, so I don’t have any suggestions 😦

  5. May 10, 2007 12:37 pm

    I don’t think I’ll be able to join the Water for Elephants discussion (running behind on all my books as usual) but hopefully next discussion.

    One of my book groups is super organized. We have one voting night a year. Each member gets to nominate three books. We then vote and the 12 books with the highest amount of votes make it to the reading slate for the next year. My other book group only chooses 3 or 4 books at a time. This group is a bit more laid back so it works for well.
    Good luck with your book group!

  6. May 10, 2007 12:39 pm

    I have to confess I like WfE ok, but I’m not loving it. I’m about 1/2 through, and I’m just ready for the end. It might be my funky mood as of late, or just my difference in taste.

  7. Tara permalink
    May 11, 2007 1:14 pm

    I read Water for Elephants a few months ago. I liked it quite a bit. I usually enjoy books about the depression so it had that going for it. I was surprised to also be interested in the circus aspect of it. I initially thought reading about a circus is not for me. Yet I was wrong and now am reading Tracy Chevalier’s Burning Bright. So far not loving that one though!

    I am in a “real life” book club. It’s a program at our local library and it’s ok. They keep picking books I have already read though because we use the library systems book in a bag resource. Right now we are reading Vinegar Hill which I read about 10 yrs ago.

  8. May 11, 2007 10:42 pm

    I read WfE last fall and was disappointed in it, so I’m curious to follow the upcoming discussion for this one.

    I used to be in a book club where members took turns selecting the books and the person who chose it was responsible for leading that book’s discussion. Our main rule was that the book had to be available in paperback. It definitely introduced me to several books that I otherwise wouldn’t have read. I’ve been meaning to start a book club since moving to GA but just haven’t gotten around to it. Good luck with yours!

  9. May 11, 2007 10:48 pm

    I’ve only skimmed WfE so far, and read the first few pages. Just got it from work a couple of days ago. Hope I’ll be caught up in time, though. As for book club tips, I don’t belong to a ‘real life’ one, but my husband’s men’s book club does the same as Lesley mentioned; each member takes turns choosing a book (pbk. availability necessary) and they lead the discussion, which is at their house that month. It has worked for them so far. Of course, they’re all men so don’t feel obliged to also entertain when it’s at their house! Wine and cheese and they are set. 🙂

  10. May 12, 2007 5:16 pm

    I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up this Gruen book, leafed through it, found it interesting, and have [for some reason] left it at the store.
    It looks like it is good, and what I have read of it, here and elsewhere, sounds like it would be a worthwhile read.
    Looking forward to your conclusions.

  11. May 16, 2007 2:48 pm

    Just bought WFE on Monday and am well into the book. When I read the description of it, it didn’t appeal to me but am quite surprised that I really like the book so far.

  12. Beth permalink
    May 26, 2007 8:25 pm

    I just finished this book. After reading, I looked at the discussion questions and realized the author parelled Jacob’s life with Jacob from the bible. I feel so cheated that I didn’t see that! It makes me want to reread and see the similarities.

    I loved the book. The transition from 23 year old to 93 year old is flawless. I found the book a refreshing change from what I’ve been reading – there’s not many books about circus life! The history is amazing. She sure did her research.

    I do have a local book club (Reading Between the Whines). Whomever hosts gets to pick the book. We don’t do any voting. We’ve done it this way for 2 years – only a couple I really disliked. Now, our library has book sets available for book clubs. We decided that for the next year, we will use these sets. No cost. Good books. No pressure of choosing. Talk to your librarian. We have done inter-library loan for sets of books from other libraries. You just pay shipping one way for the entire box (under $5).

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