The History Book Club discussion


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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 11, 2011 05:52AM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod

Many times folks may have a book which they would like to read on their own or with a group of friends. They may have wanted to read this book for a very long time or wanted to read the book and blog their reactions and impressions. Maybe they would like to know who out there in the History Book Club might want to join them for this "quick read" or maybe they want to take longer than four weeks - we allow both options.

This is the section where a "quick one month" read can be done or if you want to take longer we can work with you on what you have in mind. Your selection can be any non fiction book, any historical fiction book, any memoir, biography, autobiography, etc. - (pretty much any book which fits any of the above descriptors; and has some historical or non fiction aspects to it). Pretty expansive, I would say (smile).

You probably want to know what rules or guidelines you should follow if you want to do this.

Let me explain how this works.

The following few posts will give you very detailed directions and how to's. If you want to start with the brief version - then skip down to post 5 on this thread. However, all information is here for you to refer to and reference as you handle your first buddy read. And you can refer to any of the following information at any time. It is always here to guide you.

First, the History Book Club's rules as well as the guidelines for citations apply here on all of the Buddy Read threads just like they do anywhere else on the HBC.

We must respect everybody's right to express their opinions about the book; but everybody must be respectful of the work and the author even if the book or even the author's style of writing are not someone's cup of tea.

Of course, everyone also has the right to discuss their feelings (pro and con); but please make sure to also include these in the goodreads html spoiler formatting - so as not to ruin the reading experience for anybody else.

Since these are all single thread discussions, you must use the goodreads html spoiler formatting for all posts; because every comment could be a potential spoiler.

At the top of each post - state at the very least the chapter heading, title and number of the chapter you are on - and if you can cite the page number so much the better; although that is nearly impossible on downloads, kindle versions and audiobooks. But the chapter - anybody can muster.

Then put your entire post/quote/remarks if it is about the book itself in the goodreads spoiler html. All of this is easy enough and we will also show you how to do the above if you need any assistance.

Second, the next steps are a) deciding what book you would like to do, b) finding out who might also be interested in the book - enough so to read it along with you and c) making sure to contact me to ask me to set up the thread. We can help you with all of the above.

Please send me a PM or express on this thread you have some interest in a particular book and I will then take it upon myself to contact you to get the ball rolling.

Third, we must set up a "start date" which will always be a Monday. Maybe you would like to start right away and we can understand that enthusiasm; but we have a two week minimum rule. What does that mean?

Let us say you want to start tomorrow which is a Monday and April 11th, we would respond to you and indicate that you could start on any Monday; but the earliest would be April 25th. Why would we respond in this way? Because after the thread goes up; the group membership must be given adequate time in order to procure the book - if they want to participate.

There are some members who may want to download the book, others who might want to try to buy it on Amazon, others might even want to go to a bookstore like Barnes and Noble to see if it is in stock, some others might want to try to get it from a friend or the library; we think that all of these methods are good ones!

And we want to make sure that everybody has enough advance notice to acquire the book. This is the only way that we can be fair to everybody.

Fourth, then we also have to establish an "end date" - which is always a Sunday. Remember that in goodreads that you always have to add a start and end date for every discussion to make sure that the goodreads software is recognizing the book discussion properly. We can help you figure it out this way. Whatever the Monday happens to be when you want to start the discussion, there also has to be a published end date. We always put in an end date four weeks out; the end date is always a Sunday. You can also have a longer period of time than four weeks to complete the buddy read if you like; but we want to at least at a minimum give folks four weeks to complete the book allowing for everybody's busy schedule. If you personally want to read the book in a day that is fine, but all of your posts must have headings with, at the very least, the chapter heading and number and additionally the text of your posts must be hidden within the goodreads spoiler html.

Fifth, if you are the buddy read lead, we ask that you just look in once a day for the four weeks in case others post about the book. We know that you would like to respond. Just also be careful to use the goodreads html to avoid visible spoilers when you do respond since the buddy reads are all one thread discussions.

The only other thing you need to do as the lead is to add one post which gives the summary of the book itself, a post explaining any other pointers or info to your participants alerting them as to how you would like to divide the read up for discussion during the four week timeline or if it is an extended time frame - during that period of time.

Additionally, you always need to add one other post showing everybody how the spoiler html is done on goodreads. That is a pretty easy post; since you can easily use one that has been done by one of the other leads as a copy. Once you commit to a buddy read, just stick it out to the end and I know you will get a lot out of the experience. It is always a lot of fun.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 10, 2011 10:41PM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod

1. This is not a sidebar location to go off and not follow the rules and guidelines of the HBC. This is not an ad hoc group within the HBC.

2. This is not a section where you can ask for 10 threads for all of the books on your to be read list all starting at the same time or within two weeks. See rules for scheduling above.

3. We do not censor books or the language contained in any book; but when we are discussing any book, our language, decorum and words used should all be respectful, civil and in good taste.

4. There will always be a backup Assisting Moderator assigned to help out when and if needed on the threads. These threads are not "private" threads; the books and the discussions are always open to others and anybody has the right to participate and join in.

5. The start and end dates set up in advance will not arbitrarily change if you are waiting for your book and it has not arrived (and you are the lead). You still have to set up the two mandatory posts: the one with the book summary which can be found anywhere on the internet and goodreads and the second post which explains how to use the goodreads spoiler functionality and how the book will be divided up within the timeline. One can always add a post explaining any delay but the thread will still be open and available to others and when you acquire the book; you can simply just jump right into the conversation and proceed. We always will leave the thread up for you and explain the difficulties. However, we will not confuse the membership by taking threads up and down, changing and rearranging start and end dates, and making a muddle out of the process and the schedule due to personal issues. That is why we always back you up; because we all know here that life is what happens when you least expect it.

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 12, 2018 07:48AM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod

Here is an example of a buddy reads thread which has all of the necessary components:

This was the buddy read for the book One Bullet Away:

One Bullet Away The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick by Nathaniel Fick (no photo)


Here is a link to post one of a new Buddy Read's thread:

See Post One:

1. Bentley sets up all buddy reads threads and post one of buddy read threads.


1. The thread leader or buddy reads lead posts the summary of the book, any book reviews, a synopsis about the author of the book and adds a full book citation which includes the book cover, the author's photo and the author's link.

2. Here are some samples of what this post should look like.

Look at post six within this link:

Look at post two within this link:

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 12, 2018 07:48AM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod

1. The thread leader or buddy reads lead after posting the summary of the book, any book reviews, and a biography of the author - then sets up a post or two which indicates to the group any special rules or guidelines and how to avoid spoilers. This post or posts will identify how they want to divide the book up for reading, how to use the goodreads formatting to avoid spoilers, etc. and what citations of books and authors should look like.

2. Here are links which show what these posts look like:
See Message 7:

See Message 2:

3. How to give the buddy read group directions on how you would like them to divide up the book for reading

a) The buddy read schedule is very open ended. If the book is a month long read, then simply tell your small group or friend that you would like to divide up the book this way during the four weeks or however you would like to suggest in whatever amount of time you want to have:

Just one sample:

20 Chapters in the book: Chapters 1 - 5 (Week One); Chapters 6 - 10 (Week Two); Chapters 11 - 15 (Week Three) and Chapters 16 - 20 (Week Four)

What citations of books should look like (add bookcover, author's photo, author's link) for any other book aside from the book being discussed.

a) You do not have to add that book citation each and every time.


One Bullet Away The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick by Nathaniel Fick (no photo)

When speaking of an author: (add author's photo if available and always author's link). You do not need to do this every time after the book review post when discussing the book or author which the thread is designated for; but for other books and authors, you do.

Ralph Waldo EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 12, 2018 07:48AM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
So you want to read a book and read it now; what do you need to do to get a thread set up?

The Brief Explanation

1. I have given you the how and all of the details in previous posts; but it boils down to this - it is really quite simple:

a) Send Bentley a note or let them know that you are interested in - let us say - My Early Life by Winston Churchill and you want to read it. You and and another person are going to read this as an example let us hypothesize. I will ask when you want to start approximately. You tell me as soon as I can. Since it is April 11th today and I must set up the thread and give the members two weeks to get the book, I tell you we can start April 25th (a Monday) and I ask you when you want to end the discussion; you say two weeks. I would respond that we have to give four weeks as a minimum for all group members and we decide that the end date for goodreads purposes will state May 22nd (a Sunday); if you want it to be longer than even a month, we can do that too. We do not shut down the thread; and this gives folks as much time as they want or need to complete the book. Bentley then sets up the thread immediately with start and end dates and adds post one to kick the notification off. You (the buddy lead) then post your summary, reviews of the book and a brief biography about the author and possibly which edition you are using. You post a second note on how to pace the reading and how to use spoilers, then you are good to go. Very easy.

My Early Life, 1874-1904 by Winston S. Churchill by Winston S. ChurchillWinston S. Churchill

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Are there any folks who would like to do a buddy read?

message 7: by Alexw (new)

Alexw | 4 comments Yes, I would like to buddy read George F. Kennan by John Lewis Gaddis. I would like to start on Monday, July 9th and finish on a Sunday, August 18th.
I read about 40 pages a day and this book won the Pulitzer and is about the Cold War.

message 8: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 605 comments Mod
Thank you Alex. Bentley will be in touch with you when he returns. I will also send Bentley a PM that you have expressed interest in this buddy read. The book you are interested in should look like this to be consistent with our guidelines:

George F. Kennan An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis by John Lewis Gaddis John Lewis Gaddis

message 9: by Alexw (new)

Alexw | 4 comments Thanks for your help, Lorna. I really liked your review on Personal History by Katherine Graham also.

message 10: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (last edited Jun 26, 2018 11:48AM) (new)

Lorna | 605 comments Mod
Thank you Alex.

The citation should appear like this:

Personal History by Katharine Graham by Katharine Graham Katharine Graham

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Books mentioned in this topic

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer (other topics)
My Early Life, 1874-1904 (other topics)
George F. Kennan: An American Life (other topics)
Personal History (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Nathaniel Fick (other topics)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (other topics)
Winston S. Churchill (other topics)
John Lewis Gaddis (other topics)
Katharine Graham (other topics)