The Rory Gilmore Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Meghan (last edited Jan 06, 2008 08:39PM) (new)

Meghan Dear Moderators:

Could we please revisit the discussion deadline? I ask because the last discussion of a book club book was December 23, 2007 - 14 days ago. And while I love discussing tv shows and movies with everyone (it's been a really great way to get to know people better), for me, the point of this club is to discuss books--specifically ones that deal with Rory's book club or ones mentioned on the show.

I know tomorrow we can officially discuss Atonement and so this question becomes moot. But I kind of feel like 2 weeks inbetween books is an awfully long time to wait.

I have no real suggestions. I'm just putting this out there. I suppose it's because I just miss discussing our books with all of you! And I'm impatient.

Your ever grateful member,

message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I agree. I know the reason we said we were going to wait is because when we discussed The Time Traveler's Wife, some people felt left out of the discussion because they hadn't finished the book and they were afraid of reading spoilers. But that was also before we decided to discuss by chapter. Now, because we're doing chapter sections, we don't have to have finished the books before we start discussing. So I don't see why we need to wait.

Also, I think it would increase my enjoyment of the books if I could discuss as I read. Maybe get me to see things in a different light. Even though Atonement was one I voted for, I'm struggling to get into it. Maybe if I was discussing all along, I'd have an easier time.

message 3: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
I'll defer to Michelle on this one, but I know she received a lot of negative feedback on starting the discussion before people had a chance to get the book and start reading. And then the slow-starters mentioned that the discussion had almost come to a stand-still by the time they were just getting into it. I'm like you guys...there's kind of a lull between books for me, too.

It's the 7th here, so if anyone wants to start...

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) But that was before we were discussing by chapters. People were staying away from the discussion so they wouldn't read spoilers. I don't think it's the same situation anymore.

message 5: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
I think this is something we should probably discuss again as a group and get feedback. We should set up a specific time to vote for every month - perhaps the 15th. Start discussing 1 of the books on the first of the month. And start discussing the 2nd book on the 15th of the month. This is a mere suggestion, but I think we need to add a little more structure. Also this will allow for at least 2 weeks of discussion for each book and should help eliminate the lull.

message 6: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments One of the things I like about virtual bookclubs is that nobody necessarily needs to meet a deadline and there is no limit of time to think through questions and insights. Anyone can pull up a thread and resume any discussion at anytime. As long as the early-birds are willing to continue the discussions and/or there are enough later-starters to continue, I don't know that we need to wait to start a thread. The chapter-by-chapter thing should have solved any spoiler issues.

I think Shannon's suggestion sounds like a great one!

I'm amazed and impressed with anyone who is feeling such a lull with *only* reading two books a month! I know I've seen Alison participating in other bookclubs on goodreads, and maybe doing that would help other quick readers in this group. Personally, I just read something in my to-read books pile next to my bed if I need to fill extra time during the month.

message 7: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Ah, you could be right Robbie. Perhaps if I stretched my wings and got involved in some other groups I wouldn't notice the lull quite so distinctly.

I'm not bringing this up because I want to constrain anyone. And it's definitely not a case of not having anything to read. I guess it's just that I really REALLY enjoyed our October discussion, and I guess, November's too. I really felt that the group not only gave me a lot to think about what I just read but also made a lot of really insightful remarks about each book.

I am the one who originally suggested having a discussion date, and again, will follow whatever is best for the group. If the majority is fine with what the status quo is, I'm okay. And I promise to stop bringing this up.

I really am trying to help make this the best possible group. It was just a little of a surprise to see that 2 weeks had gone by without any actual book discussion. I hope we can reduce that time frame, if at all possible.

message 8: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Oh and thanks Alison and Shannon. Great suggestions!

message 9: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Meghan, I agree this group is a great one for discussions. I have pretty much limited myself to participation with you all. I also agree that a lot of time passed without book discussion. Maybe it was the holidays?

message 10: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
I really felt that it was the holidays that limited the discussions because if you look at the date you mentioned... it's right before Christmas. Also, the books we chose were on subject with said holiday, so people were over it perhaps. But in general, there were very few things being posted at all during that time. For poor sops like me that don't have a life around New Years and have also limited ourselves to participation in this group, it was really depressing!

We can change the format if that is what everyone wants, but honestly it's only been two people wanting to start discussions earlier... most everyone else likes the week lag (or at least don't mind it). Even by chapter, they like it because if they can't get the book right away or don't get into it as quickly or life takes hold for a bit, they don't feel they are going to miss the heart of the conversations. But maybe it's more than two major proponents. Whatever the group wants as a whole is fine with me. But we just had two holiday months in a row, so it really does make it hard to determine how it is going to go during average months.

message 11: by Erin (new)

Erin | 47 comments I think Robbie is right. The nice thing about virtual discussions, is that you don't HAVE to read them until you are ready/have finished. I know I am new to the group, but I think this format allows for fast/slow readers to discuss whenever. "If it ain't broke..."

message 12: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 571 comments Ok, having just finished Atonement and being fairly out of sync with other readers it seems, I now feel the need to add to this discussion.

I like discussing by chapters, but I found this time around at least that I was having trouble remembering back to the finer points of earlier chapters for discussion while I was busy reading later chapters.

Perhaps we could have threads for all the chapters/parts up on the day discussion starts? Or better yet, maybe consider putting the threads up the day after the book is selected and let people post in the appropriate threads as they read. It just seems to me that there might be more involvement that way.

my two cents. off to finish Northanger.

message 13: by Arielle (new)

Arielle | 120 comments Maybe it has to depend a little bit on the book. For example, with Atonement, we could probably have broken it up into the three parts instead of smaller chapter chunks. I like the idea of starting the threads all at the beginning. But no matter what, I bow to the greater judgement of our esteemed moderators! :-)

message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim Trying to finish Atonement but accidentally got caught up in a Girl Scout website for a few days - kept getting pop ups saying site was part of your group but seemed more interested in cookies that weren't the cookies in computer lingo.
These girl scouts seemed really mature for people their age.
I just hope they can't trace me and descend on my house with there cookies and keep me shut in where I'll have to finish Atonement instead of going to work.
Any idea how this group got on our site?

message 15: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Wait, what? We were discussing the yumminess and addictiveness of Girl Scout cookies, but not sure about pop-ups. That's weird, Jim. But they can descend on my house walling me in with all their cookies leaving me only to read and eat said cookies any time they want. BRING IT ON, GIRLS!!!

message 16: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Jan 13, 2008 06:31PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Jim, cookies IS this site! Without cookies (or rather, dessert), there would be no Gilmore Girls, no books, no advancement of civilization whatsoever. Find you a Girl Scout, get you some cookies, and finish this book. :)

message 17: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Yeah, I'm the one who started the Chapters 1-3 for Atonement only because no one else had started a thread and that's as far as I had gotten. Now that I've gotten past that, I realized that it probably would have been better to either do threads just by Parts 1, 2, or 3 or break up Part 1 into Chapters 1-7 and 8-15.

I do like Heather's suggestion of having the threads available prior to (or on) the date of the discussion. I think maybe a lot of members are unsure whether or not they are even allowed to start a thread when it comes to the book discussion and so they wait for someone else to start it. It would help if the person who started the threads, knew the best way to break up the book. Thus avoiding what I did for this month.

message 18: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
That would mean that the moderators would either have to have read or have to look ahead in the books selected in order to do this. I think that is asking a lot of us. If we were selecting the books ourselves, that would be one thing, but we vote on these books so we don't have a head start on anything.

I started the NA post because I was reading it and ready to talk. If I hadn't been, someone else would likely have had to start it. I mean if you want us to do what we did in other months and just put up the start of threads, that's fine and I get that... but I don't think we should have to know the best way to break-up the chapters or whatever.

Plus, some days we maybe just can't be online when it's best for everyone else... like I'm in California, and unless I start them at midnight the day discussions are supposed to start, I might not be able to get online and to the site until evening... in California... which might be quite late for you East Coasters.

message 19: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
I think each book is going to be best broken up differently. For example, A Christmas Carol was so nice to break up by the different ghosts. And Holidays on Ice by the stories. Was Atonement broken up by the author into sections? If we have parts already, part 1 and part 2 for example, that's a good way to break it up.

As far as NA, it's only 110 pages (my book), and I think it's fine to clump it together.

And it is nice to have it posted accordingly at the beginning. I think once the book is selected, we should go ahead and post the threads with the title, for example, Atonement Part 1: begin discussing 1/7/08. We can even discuss after we select the book how we'd like to break it down, if it isn't already obvious.

This makes sense in my head. Does it make sense on paper?

message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Michele, it doesn't have to be one of the three of you who has to lead the discussions, does it? Maybe if there's a member who's already read the selection, they could volunteer to start the threads? I think so far every month there's been someone who'd already read the book.

I like on the B&N online book clubs how there is a discussion leader who asks questions and raises points in order to get the conversation flowing. Maybe each time we choose a book, someone could volunteer to lead the discussion. Just a thought.

message 21: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
Sarah - I like your suggestion of trying to see if anyone has read the book already and can provide a overview of how best to break up the book. I don't think it's always best to break up a book in chapters.

Also I still think we should add more structure to the group:
A specific time to vote for every month - the 15th.
Start discussing 1 of the books on the first of the month.
And start discussing the 2nd book on the 15th of the month.

message 22: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Jan 14, 2008 09:41AM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Well currently there is structure... just not those dates.

But I think having the two books that far apart is a bit extreme for those that are only choosing to read the second. That's more than two weeks without being able to be a part of a book discussion... which is, after all, what this club is about.

We have been waiting to do the nominating followed by the voting until closer to the end of the month (around the 20th) so that the selection is announced right around the last day of the month. Then discussions for the first book begins on the 7th, and discussions on the second book on the 11th. It is basically the structure you are suggesting, just not your specific dates, Shannon.

Though there is plenty of support for how things currently are, it seems that the big to-do is over discussions not opening on the first. So okay. This month lets open both books to discussion on the first day. I received a lot of feedback in previous months that having the threads open right away was frustrating as so much of the discussion had happened, and indeed was completed already, when others were just getting started in the book... and spoilers had been posted without warning as well. But now the frustrations seem to go the other way. So for this month, we'll try it this way.

As for beginning the second book's discussions simultaneously, if the reasoning in starting the first book at that time is that now that we are doing chapters people shouldn't be upset, then it holds that both can also begin together with the same reasoning.

That said, nominations will begin on the 20th still. With it being February, Alison and I thought that a themed month again would be fun... so think about love and romance and choose accordingly. The details of how the nominating and voting will happen this month will be announced when it begins. Sound fair?

message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Sounds good, Michele. I like the idea of both book discussions starting on the same day. That way people don't have to read both books. For example, I'm having such trouble getting through Atonement that I haven't even started NA. If the discussions started at the same time, I could have chosen to only read NA or to start it first. If that makes any sense. :)

Yay, love and romance! Maybe we will get another Austen next month?

message 24: by Robbie (last edited Jan 14, 2008 11:53AM) (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments I can go with the flow as far as structure.

I wasn't sure where to post this comment, so I chose to do it here. I just want to say how much I'm enjoying reading the discussions of the books this month. I'm not having much time to read this month, but I read Atonement a while ago. Reading all of your posts helps me experience the book again with new perspective--complete with quotes!

I haven't bought NA yet, and I was considering not reading it. But with RGBC notes (better than Cliff's notes) I might try it and even like it.

So, I apologize for not contributing much to the discussions, but want to express my deep gratitude to all members of this bookclub!

message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I don't want to step on anyone's toes, but it seems like people are maybe afraid to start new threads about the book discussions, so I went ahead and started them. I hope that's okay. I just wanted to get the discussions flowing.

message 26: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
That works Sarah. Sorry if I was remiss this month.

Robbie, we love having you here and whenever you can, do contribute. I really recommend NA as it's a quick, enjoyable read. I've laughed out loud at times and generally delighted in the tone. Plus it's Austen, so it's smart. Also, if you are into lists, it's on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list! In fact, Jane Austen is I think the only write to have all of her works on the list... unless some only wrote one book... like Harper Lee. Heh. Anyway, you get the idea. Totally lost my momentum, didn't I?

message 27: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Thanks to all the moderators for addressing this issue for me. I stand by whatever decision is made.

message 28: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
I did a post on NA this morning, and my computer failed when I tried to post it. I'm so bummed. I'll get back to it. The pairing of Atonement with NA was sheer brilliance. I think these are the two best matched books we've had yet.

I'm pretty easy on the dates/nominations as well. I will read anything this group comes up with as long as I haven't just read it within the last few months, and can start whenever. It just really heightens the experience for it to be "shared."

I am so excited about romance month. And I was already thinking about Jane Austen again, too. Not to jump the gun (O.K., I'm jumping the gun), but there seemed to be more classics than contemporary novels that fit this bill. Anyway, it's going to be awesome!

message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Wow, Alison, I'm really interested to hear your thoughts on comparing the two since someone else had said there wasn't much to match with these books. So it'll be interesting to see your perspective.

message 30: by Dini, the master of meaning (last edited Jan 14, 2008 10:23PM) (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Alison, I'd like to jump the gun with you ;) Another Austen sounds great.

message 31: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Oh lord, between Sarah making me read Dickens and Michele making me read Austen, you all are going to force me to read all those English authors I can't stand!

And the worst part of it all? I'm probably going to end up loving them. dang!

message 32: by Meghan (last edited Jan 15, 2008 05:21PM) (new)

Meghan Okay, this is not a "here we go again" issue. It's not an issue for me at all. Just a mere thought to ponder.

Since it seems like a lot of you enjoy reading the classics, but the contemporaries are the ones that get voted for. How about reviewing the initial suggest of possibly alternating months?

For example, January's choice was a contemporary. So all nominations for February should be a classic. Contemporary for March. Classic for April, etc. Would more people feel like they are going to have a better chance of their choices being voted for then?

We could then leave the second book to be whatever we felt was the best compatible book--regardless if it's a contemporary or classic (meaning, for February, we could do two classics instead of finding a contemporary if we felt a second classic was a better match).

Okay, just throwing that out there. Seriously, I'm not trying to cause any further trauma.

message 33: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Jan 15, 2008 01:30PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Meghan: That sounds fine to me. I was kind of hinting earlier that I'm not sure too many contemporary books on Rory's list are going to fit in with "romance month." (O.K. to call it that? Surely don't want to provide anymore fodder for Jim ) I was actually thinking we might have to do two classics for February. All just talk.

Sarah: I almost feel like Northanger Abbey was McEwan's inspiration for Atonement (if I may be so bold). They're two totally different novels in tone and structure, but you can't help wonder about passages like this..."it had been all a voluntary, self-created delusion, each trifling circumstance receiving importance from an imagination resolved on alarm, and everything forced to bend to one purpose by a mind which, before she entereed the Abbey, had been craving to be frightened." "She saw that the infatuation had been created, the mischief settled, long before her quitting Bath, and it seemed as if the whole might be traced to the influnce of that sort of reading which she had there indulged."

I mean, we could just as easily be talking about Briony here as Catherine.

I'll post more later. I have to clean my kitchen.

message 34: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Alison, that's why I suggested NA in the first place. I thought the idea that fiction influences how we veiw reality was a central theme to both. I was surprised then when some members said they thought the books weren't wll paired, and since I haven't finished either one yet, I didn't know what to think. But I really like the passages you quoted and agree that they could easily be Briony.

message 35: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
I had no idea what NA was about going into it (maybe someone posted a synopsis that I fail to remember, so please forgive me there). I knew that you had mentioned the quotation at the beginning of Atonement. Again, I think ideal pairing. Especially since NA was so light, coming off Atonement.

message 36: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Jan 15, 2008 11:20PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
I like your ideas, Meghan. Alternating each month the main selection from classic to contemporary would be great. Anyone else think so?

I was going to suggest that we nominate in pairs so that we selected the two books in one go... like I might nominate Jekyll with Wicked, while Meghan nominated Dorian Grey with Wicked and Sarah nominated The Time Traveler's Wife and The Time Machine... but I actually really like your idea better. I mean sometimes one classic really works with another, while some have suggested Reading Lolita in Tehran with The Kite Runner (I think it was that). So while a classic - modern pairing can be the archetype, we will have more of a freedom in the pairing knowing that the following month we will get to the other style if not now.

Anyway, I like it! What do the rest of you think?

message 37: by Sera (new)

Sera Sounds good to me.

message 38: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I like it, too.

message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Me three.

message 40: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Me! Me! Me!

and me.

message 41: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Stirrat | 201 comments Me five!

message 42: by Sarah (last edited Jan 17, 2008 05:16PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I'm excited about Romance Classics month. I've got an idea of what I'm going to nominate already. :)

I have to say, though, recently all I've been reading have been these very cerebral books. I really need some fun fluff.

message 43: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Dottie, is that on Rory's list? I didn't see it.

message 44: by Dottie (last edited Jan 17, 2008 06:02PM) (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 698 comments Sarah -- OOPS -- no and I didn't intend to post that here but in the book recommendations in the general folder -- SO, I've moved my post -- SORRY.

It is just one I happened across at the library last trip I made.

message 45: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) OH. I thought it was a Rory romance-type book you were suggesting. Hee.

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