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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Discussion Planning for 2014

Kathy and I have been busy gathering suggestions for our book group ballots that will be handed out during our meetings this month. These ballots are for the 6 books we will read from January to June 2014.  Then I realized, why not share the resources we are using to gather ideas with all of you too?

You can use the links in this post (below) now or for your future planning. The great thing about book discussion groups is that people are more willing to read backlist titles, so you can use lists of hot book discussion titles from today this year, next year, or in three years.

As I have mentioned before, our group has a few rules on the book we will read. For information purposes they are:
  • The book must be under 400 pages (if nonfiction we do not count the bibliography or notes)
  • The book must be out in paperback (i.e. not brand new and super popular, thus hard to get)
  • The book must be easy to find in LP
  • The book should  not be by an author we have already read (this is a preferred rule, not hard and fast)
Here is a link to everything our group has read in our 12.5 years of existence as well as every post I have done about book discussion books. If you are specifically looking for my favorite book discussion resources, that post is here. Those are the ones I ALWAYS use when making up the potential discussion books ballot.

Here is the list from the Seattle Public Library's blog of their Fall Nonfiction Book Club Picks. It also includes this list of more ideas.

Here is the link to BookBrowse's online book clubs.  I often get ideas for possible titles for our group by browsing their list. I would also suggest you pass on this link to people who are interested in trying an online book club.

It is once again National Reading Group Month, which I never get to spend enough time celebrating because October is all about horror for me, but I always do like the NRM annual list of Great Group Reads.  Here is the 2013 list.  However, as I mentioned about, we require paperbacks, and this list is usually current hard cover titles.  Instead [as I mentioned above], I will be looking at the the archived lists from 2009-2012. The links for all of those lists can be found at the very bottom of the page here.

I will attached the list we compile for the ballot when it is ready in case you want to see it for yourself.

Finally, a shout out to The Book Table in Oak Park.  In order to support our local independent book store and the wonderful owners, Jason and Rachel, we buy 10 paperback copies of the book discussion books from them. That is 120 books a year.  We always need more than 10, but we interlibrary loan the rest.  We then use the purchased copies to add to our circulating Book Club Collection. Our patrons love to peruse this collection, and it helps a local business.  Everyone wins.

If you have more questions about how to re-charge your book club, contact me and we can talk about my book club training programs. 

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