Chicks On Lit discussion

Book of the Month Poll *reults*

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message 1: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
So, I know this is a topic that has come up before but let's beat this horse till it's dead and come up with an answer. I put up a new poll about how we do our books of the month.
It is the middle of the month and the discussions have gone stagnet again. No fault to anyone I think it just happens we are all talked out after about two weeks with a book. So it begs the question. Do we stagger our book reads more? Should we go one book every two weeks? Leave it as is? Or does anyone else have a fresh brilliant idea?
Are people not interested in discussing two books at once or are we picking one of the two books to read and it wouldnt really matter about the other one?
There was discussion about breaking the books up to be read and discussed but not all books lend themselves to this idea if there arent clear breaks in the story with chapters and so forth.
I put a poll up on our homepage at the bottom of the page for voting.
One idea I would like us to try is rather than putting all the burden of discussion on one person is to spread it out a bit. Maybe if the chicks that read that book come out and share a one line statement about what they liked about it or what touched them or made them think or even what they didn't like. Maybe if each of us came up with a question or discussion topic within the book it would keep things fresh too. Just floating ideas... lets hear yours.
If you have another idea lets hash it out here and I can always ammend the poll if need be.

message 2: by Patty (new)

Patty | 84 comments I think staggering the books would be helpful. I know I am always late with the monthly readings. I finished Nefertiti and most of the discussion was over - I did enjoy reading people's comments. I am only about halfway through Glory Cloak - and that discussion dried up early.

I like the idea of everyone posting a comment or question - it would probably spark a bit more discussion.

message 3: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (last edited Apr 16, 2009 10:00AM) (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I like the idea of having a book every two weeks. Keeping a big discussion going longer than that does seem to be a challenge. I like the idea of inviting everyone to post their own comments and questions to help keep the discussion going.

I do like the fact though that previous book discussions are kept here, because if you missed a book during the time frame, you can still access the conversation that took place, and even add your own comments after the fact, which would welcome others to comment at a later date also. So I guess the main "big" conversation of a book could be 2 weeks, but the discussion would always be open for continued discussion forever for those who read the book later.

message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I think your idea about sharing even if it is a on line I think sharing is what should be emphasized and what is important. The word dicussion scares me too. Maybe a wording change? I think we need to figure out a way for those who like to dicuss more technical aspects of the storline, characters, plot and for those who like to share ideas, thoughts, quotes.

message 5: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Well I did think that every two weeks was a good idea. Now I am thinking that perhaps we could stagger even more. For example, opening up the discussion to midEast was a great one.

Maybe we should start thinking of changing formats sometime. We could pick an author for the month one month. Or a region, or a concept. Maybe just doing one book bimonthly is not always the way to go. Just an idea.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I haven't been able to keep up w/our reads for a while, but I liked how the reads used to go like this: Whomever was leading a read posted a reading schedule to begin the 1st of the month & the chapters were assigned so many for each week of the month. Then, just before the end of each week, the leader would post questions to answer & discuss pertaining to the chapters for that week. This kept everyone reading and engaged in discussions about the book for the entire month.

Once a number of Chicks started reading the selections ahead of time & diving right into discussions about them before the 1st of the month or right on the 1st of the month, (which left me feeling WAY behind on the reads so I honestly gave up trying to participate as a result) I saw a quick change in how the reads were going and also saw them peter out within 2 weeks.

Call me old school, but I think the way we started doing the reads last year is the best.

message 7: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments I don't know about all the discussions but I know the discussion I started on the Gargoyle when most of the month. I am STILL in a discussion on the Glory Cloak!!!
If a discussion keeps going but on related tangents I think that is still a discussion.
I like it that way it is but I can see it would work to start one discussion on the first and one on the 15th just to stagger it if someone wanted to read both books each month they might like that better. I thought we had a long discussion on Jane Eyre too and it was so informational...I just loved these last three discussions. :)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Here's a suggestion What if we were to let the Chick who's leading the read (because it was her nomination) chose how it's going to go?

message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Fairly new to the group but I thought when I read the book of the month on the home page that people were to start reading the book at the beginning of the month so I was really surprised to see discussion start on the first of the month.

I like the idea of having the person leading the discussion adding questions throughout the month.

message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Jo wrote: "I haven't been able to keep up w/our reads for a while, but I liked how the reads used to go like this: Whomever was leading a read posted a reading schedule to begin the 1st of the month & the ch..."

I think reading schedules are great too. It keep you on track.

message 11: by Holli (new)

Holli I personally like doing the discussion every month as Jo described it. That way you could read the book ahead of time if you like and just answer the questions as they come or you can read it during the month and follow the schedule and answer questions as you go. That way appeals to me on every level of my personality. The only thing it doesn't allow for is spoilers and talking about things ahead of the questions....maybe that's what we need to decide. Do people want to be able to talk about all aspects of the book as the month starts or do they want to hold back and keep it to themselves until that part of the book is discussed? Just thinking out loud here.... :)

message 12: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I think another problem we are facing is that some of the books we select, although they are great books, are not books that lend to lengthy discussions. Although I liked Nefertiti (fondly known as Titi) there really wasn't much to dicuss. It happens that way sometimes.

message 13: by Holli (new)

Holli I agree with you on that Meg. I didn't read the last two books as they just didn't seem like my thing but I did check in on the discussions about them. I like reading what you all are thinking about the books after you've read them and sometimes it confirms my decision on whether I would like them and sometimes it makes me change my mind.

message 14: by Wanda (new)

Wanda (wanda514) Would something like this work?

Vote on just one book to read for the month. Then set out the discussion in this way:

Thread #1 - Title of Book - Pages #-# - Discussed Here

Thread #2 - Title of Book - Pages #-# - Discussed Here

Thread #3 - Title of Book - Pages #-# - Discussed Here -This thread could perhaps conclude the book - So the book should be divided up over the three threads.

Thread #4- Title of Book - SPOILERS - NO PEEKING HERE OR YOU WILL RUIN THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF. If you are here, you have either previously read the book or you have reached the end of the book. You and others may place your end-of-book comments here and feel free to discuss the book in greater detail than in the previous three threads.

This method would allow for reading the book as the month progresses rather than having to have read the book beforehand. Whomever is leading the discussion can randomly insert questions/comments/anything to keep the discussion flowing.

Since the book of the month selection might not appeal to everyone, the choice of two books could still work. And, it is quite possible with so many members that neither of the books will appeal. So, if this happens, don’t be disheartened - just look at it as an opportunity to read something of your own choosing and you can still peek at the discussion threads.

This is also very similar to the War and Peace group read in how that was broken out over the reading timeline.

message 15: by Holli (new)

Holli This could work Wanda....great idea!!! What do you all think?

message 16: by Wanda (new)

Wanda (wanda514) Holli wrote: "This could work Wanda....great idea!!! What do you all think?"

Thanks, Holli. I will check back later. We are on our way to the Maryland Science Center today. Great fun!!!

message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments Where do you live Wanda? PM me? We're about 1/2 hour or so away from the MD Science Center.

I like Wanda's idea, although lately I haven't had time to participate in book discussions, or the books haven't really appealed. I've been reading books for challenges and I'm less inclined to read anything that doesn't fit too.

Besides I don't think anything could ever top Extremely Loud and Guernsey.....

message 18: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I like the format Wanda

message 19: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I added Wanda's suggestion as a 3rd option on our poll. If you have already voted you can always change your vote on the poll. There is an option for that on the poll.

message 20: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannah7299) | 303 comments I like Wanda's idea too & like Jo, I have not been able to keep up w/the discussions lately. I'm just now starting Edgar Sawtelle! However, I will still lead my June pick.

message 21: by Sydney (new)

Sydney (sydneyh) I agree with Jo and with Wanda's idea.
I want to start reading monthly selection, but it's almost impossible to keep up with the discussions with so many people reading the books ahead. I think it's GREAT that people are so eager to read the books, but it's also a little intimidating. I wanted to read Edgar Sawtelle, but by the time I got my hands on the book... the discussion was already well under way.

I also think we should not pick books so far out in advance. That too is a little overwhelming. I get that people like to map out what they read in advance, but I think this is also contributing to the books being "all discussed out" before the month is even started.

message 22: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments It doesn't matter what you all want to do but no matter if we read set pages or read the book before the month begins or not there will ALWAYS be someone who has read it early or had to get the book back to the library so trying to make everyone conform to time limits is going to be very hard.
I think, if I understand Wanda's idea that all the threads for the book/pages could be posted at the beginning of the book discussion so no matter where you are you can jump on board with the discussion. Of course whoever makes those threads is going to have to read the book ahead of time in order to come up with questions. right?
It is really just so much more fun if everyone has the book read ahead of time or at least started. IF you don't get the book that is picked before the start date you are always going to be behind. Several people have other commitments to other groups and books and library due dates so the only constant is the book start date. Thanks to Tera that is picked and posted in advance. Not sure why we just can't get on board with that, read the book on or near the date and leave the discussion question how-to's to the leader of that particular group read.

message 23: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I think I am in the same camp as KrisT. I did not participate in the discussions last year that people have mentioned as being great conversations discussed in sections over the whole month, and have only been participating basically since the beginning of this year. But for me, commiting to a time limit where I have to read certain chapters on a certain week is going to make me less likely to read the book. Life is just to unpredictable to say I will read pages 150-250 on a certain 7 day period and then comment on it on a set day. I do love the fact that the books are picked basically 2 months in advance (since we just picked June books) so that gives me a chance to get it from the library or try to find a cheap copy somewhere (lately through PBS, but sometimes it takes awhile to actually receive the book). My library is very undependable, with long wait lists, and a 3-week check out period, so being able to get a selected book for a specific time period from my library is basically impossible. But knowing the book 2 months in advance at least gives me a chance to try to get it sometime in that period from the library, or if the wait list is too long, to try to find an affordable copy elsewhere.
Reading the book ahead of time allows me to be sure I can participate.

message 24: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
Well I think this is going to be one of those times where we can't please all of the people all of the time. Hopefully we can come up with something that pleases most of the people most of the time.

When we first started out we actually only picked books one month in advance but a lot of chicks complained because if it was a popular book there was no time to reserve it at their library or they didn't feel they had enough time to get the book through other resources. Thats when we started doing it 6-7 weeks early.

When it comes to reading ahead or reading on a schedule that is a fine line to define. You cant stop someone from reading ahead and really no one should feel bad for doing so. If you're a library chick you get the book when you can and you read it when you are able. I understand that. I also understand those frustrated with the discussions because those who have read ahead are able to discuss all aspects of the book, when not everyone is to that point.

I like Wanda's plan of breaking down the threads to keep it fresh for those in the first few chapters (or the middle or end or done). If people can commit to not discussing portions of the book that come after those threads they are commenting on that would be great.

HOWEVER, and I really want people to think about this - like KrisT said - it will make the job of those leading the discussion a bit more involved than what it currently is. Right now they just start the discussion and can go anywhere with it. With this method they would really need to have already read the book or atleast read it ahead of time to know how to break the book down in threads for discussion.

It would create a thread for those reading through at a specified pace and those who have already read it if catagories are created to accomodate both. Some like to discuss a book all at once and some like to do it sections at a time. This would provide a way to do both but it would be more work by the leader. Not unreasonable but more than just jumping into a thread and starting a discussion.

I think the discussion going on is a good thing and will lead to the best possible solution without micromanaging the entire thing.

Keep those thoughts flowing.

message 25: by Holli (new)

Holli You are all going to think I'm nuts but this is actually tough for me. This decision I mean. The super anal organized half of my brain wants us to do this discussion thing with certain chapters designated in certain set times with new threads started for each thing (Wanda's suggestion) and then my other free flowing "let's just see what happens" half of my brain wants up to do it where we know in advance what's going on (ie which book we are reading) and then we just let the discussion flow at will.

So I'm really torn and I'm going to have to say I like it both ways and will be happy with either/or. For the sake of the poll I voted for Wanda's way but I'm happy with how we do it now too.

Boy......that just made me sound crazy didn't it? LOL

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) In this case, I really think it's best if the Chick leading the read picks what way the discussion is going to go so she's comfortable with the whole process - otherwise, it may be too overwhelming & may make some reconsider nominating any books for fear of having to deal with all of this if their book is picked.

I realize everyone reads at a different pace and some will always read the selections ahead of time (expected of course if you're leading a discussion) but when the majority reads ahead, that seems to be where we run into 2 problems: 1)The discussions petering out quickly in many instances (not all but some) and (possibly more importantly) 2)Some Chicks opting out of that month's read altogether because it appears that everyone else has read it already, therefore making some feel rushed or left behind. I realize we're a very large group now compared to when we started the monthly reads, and like Tera said, we can't please everyone, but we don't want to alienate anyone either.

message 27: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Does anyone here belong to any "in person" book clubs, or any other bookclubs, online or off? This is the only book club I belong to so I don't know how other groups do it. But for people that meet in person with other people for book clubs, is it more common to have the members read just certain chapters for each meeting, or do you read the whole book before the meeting? Or for those that may belong to another online book club, or some other book discussion group, how are things handled? Is it more common to read and discuss certain chapters/parts, or is it more common to read the whole book and discuss after finishing?

message 28: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia (cissygold) Sheila wrote: "Does anyone here belong to any "in person" book clubs, or any other bookclubs, online or off? This is the only book club I belong to so I don't know how other groups do it. But for people that mee..."

Shelia--I belong to live in person book club. We meet once a month and only discuss one book at a time. Everyone reads the whole books and we just talk about it. Nothing really formal. The person who chooses the book does not come up with discussion questions or author background. All these things just flow naturally into the conversation.

I think online book groups are a different animal all together. Everyone reads at a different pace and discussions can begin right away, sometimes as soon as the book is announced.

I think a good way to manage an online book discussion would be to keep it generic.

Give the book its own Heading and break it down by using subheading. Something like this:

Author info/Interesting Background
Least Favorite
Subject Matter
Favorite Part of the book
Least Favorite Part
Did the book have a clear message. What was it? How could it have been better.
Did you like it. Would you do it different?
Favorite Quotes
Books with similar subjects
Would you recommend this book?
To who
Why/Why not.

I also would say, no discussion on the book until the second week of the month. This way slower readers won't give up and feel like everything they wanted to discuss as already been discussed before they have even cracked the book.

There are so many other discussions going on. It will not kill us to wait.

Also, having a generic set up would take the burden off on one person leading the discussion.

But of course this is only a suggestion, like I said, online book groups are a totally different animal a live boo group Organizing or controlling anything online is very tough.

message 29: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments OK, I have been thinking about this a while. I have gone to other groups that I belong to and it seems that participation has dwindled in all of them. I am wondering if this time of year has anything to do with it?

Also, there are some books that we read that a great reads but not ones that generate great discussion. It is hard to pick winners each month.

I for one am not good at books that we read a little each week unless it is a chunky like War and Peace, the breaking up of the book helped me a lot.

I also thought one thing that increased discussion was when we were able to invite the author to participate. That was so awesome, I am hoping we get to pick some more books where the author will do so.

I have participated in many real life book clubs. What I have found is the addition of food and drink has helped a lot and kept participation. However, in the real life clubs there was less book discussion and more food discussion. Online we obviously do not do that.

Another thing that is changing the complexion of the monthly discussions is that there are a lot of parallel discussions going on about other books and/or regions.

I am thinking that maybe two discussions is more typical unless you get that really incredible book that generates continual discussions, which is more unusual. Two week discussions is not a bad thing.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Meg, I've been thinking about the author chats too. Those were such fun! I heard from Ann (Hood, The Knitting Circle) this week & it jogged my memory of them. Breaking the reads up has also helped me to get through them too.

message 31: by Holli (new)

Holli I belong to an in person book group and what we have done is had everyone who wanted to lead a discussion and host a discussion pick a month and then that person is responsible for picking the book they want to read and then where they want to host it. The book we did for March was Suite Francaise and the lady hosting the March meeting let us know in Feb that's the book we needed to get. Our meetings are scheduled for the last Sunday of each month so we had the month of March to read the book.

At the meeting the hosting lady had a list of questions (a reader's guide and ones she had made up) to keep the conversation going about the book and it worked out great for us.

Online---totally different animal as Cecilia said. I'm not sure how to do it or what the right way is to go about it. I thought about this alot last night and I have loved the discussions were it was broken down into chapters and I've also loved the free flowing conversation ones too. The author chats are wonderful an added bonus to the chats. Since Tera is our fearless Chick leader I'm going to say its up to her. I think she is right to start this topic of conversation and to organize the poll (gathering her research) and then I think she should make the best decision and will make the best decision for the group.

Tera has shown us so far to be a very fair and strong leader and I know she'll know just the right thing to do!

No pressure Tera---- ;)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 369 comments I think that it is so hard to coordinate perfectly for everyone to read at the same time and be discussing..I generally try to start reading the book during the month in which it is supposed to start..but that doesn't always work for everyone..and like many said..its a little intimidating to jump into a discussion that has for the most part ended..but then can always start it again if someone does decide to post. I'm a moderator of a group for college students on here..and I still haven't really found a great way to go about doing this and to keep the discussion going. I really think it does have a lot to do with the book itself. We have read some books and have had amazing discussions but then other times..we have read a great book but it didn't yield as much discussion. Right now I just have a general non spoilers thread and a spoilers thread. In the beginning we tried breaking it up into chapters in different threads and it was just kind of fragmented. I think it could work though if there were like 3 threads breaking it up and then one general "if you are finished" type thread. Our discussions kind of fizzle around the same time period..but also I think that alot of it is because the group is all college students mostly and their time is limited.

message 33: by Holli (new)

Holli I'm with you Jamie in thinking that Wanda's idea of splitting it up into "chapters" and then a "spoilers-done with the book" folder will work well in accommodating most everyone. I hope there is a way to make that idea work for everyone!

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) teri, I agree completely and feel much the same way.

message 35: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Okay, the scientist in me is coming out. Since Wednesday Sisters was mentioned as being a great discussion, I went and found the old threads for that book from last September to see how the discussion went.

The main reading of that book was broken down into 4 sections, and then there was a live chat session held on one specific morning with the author. Here is how the discussion went:

Chapters 1-12: 12 people discussed these chapters with a total of 34 posts being made. Broken down into Holli (8 posts), Cindy (4 posts), Anastasia (4 posts), Leslie (4 posts), Meg (4 posts), Jo (3 posts), Laura (2 posts), and then the following all made 1 post - Katie, Teri, Therese, Tish, Susan.

Chapters 13-24: 6 people discussed these chapters with a total of 13 posts being made. Broken down into Holli (5 posts), Meg (3 posts), Laura (2 posts), and the following all made 1 post - Teri, Tish, Kim.

Chapters 25-36: 2 people discussed these chapters with a total of 6 posts being made. Holli made 4 posts, Meg made 2 posts.

Chapters 37-end: Only one post was made by Holli for this section of the book.

It appears the most popular part of this book was a live discussion which was held on the morning of Sept 29th with author Meg Waite. Five people (Holli, Teri, Amanda, Laura, Tera) joined this discussion with the author for over an hour, and 117 posts were made during the discussion, then Karey added one post after the discussion was finished.

So it seems that the "live" discussion with the author was the most discussed part of this with 118 posts, as the book chapters themselves only generated 54 posts total, with 34 of those being for the very first chapters of the book, and with only 1 person posting other than the group leader for the last 2 sections of the book.

Thoughts? Was the author being involved what made this discussion a favorite, as I also noticed that The Gargoyle seemed to have a big discussion (I didn't read that one) and I also notice the author of that book participated too.

message 36: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I think it's always fun when you can chat with the author. However, not all authors are available to talk with. The two books that you mention Wednesday Sisters and Gargoyle the author really took part in the discussion. Andrew was part of the discussion from the word go and it was awesome. You could see the book was a labor of love for him and it made you find that love for it too. Meg also has become part of the group. She talked about her book and the discussion was wonderful for the insight and depth that she gave it.

I think both of those discussions that you mentioned are favorites of those that took part in them because of the author but also because there are so many layers to each of those books.

Holli broke Wednesday Sisters down. KrisT didn't break down Gargoyle. Both discussions were awesome.

Here is another thing I hate to see any of us put limits on participating. I had not read Wednesday Sisters during that month. I couldn't find it at my library or my local bookstore. I made a request for my library and found it there recently and read it. So, I didn't take part of the monthly discussion but what a treat it was for me to go back through the archives and read through them. I could have bumped up that thread at anytime and I'm certain some of the women that read it then would have discussed it with me further.

Gargoyle, I didn't start reading until about the middle of the month. Much later than when the discussion started. I got so wrapped up in the book and so excited about the conversation taking place that it didn't matter to me that others had read it and were ahead of me. I loved getting into it when I did and discussing my thoughts or seeing others that had already read where I was to see how they thought of a portion of the book.

Both discussions were awesome! One I didn't take part in until months later. One I didn't start until well into the month. I got great things out of both of them.

I am hearing some of you say you feel discouraged from reading the book when others are ahead of you or if you arent done by the beginning or even the end of the month. I would say don't do that to yourself. Really, why let a date or someone elses reading stop you from picking up the book and jumping into the discussion? I am glad I didn't with both of those discussions because I found a love for each book that I would have missed out on if I had given up on it because I wasn't where everyone else was.

message 37: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments I think the discussion comes down to whether a book is good or great for a discussion. No matter how much you liked the latest murder thriller, there is not much to discuss if you know the killer and how he did it. :)
The other factor is the kind of questions the leader and the group feed off each other and come up with.
While many readers might like generic questions, I do not consider them great discussion material. In a live book group they work to stimulate conversation and then hopefully someone gets to the 'meat' of the book. But I think the leader of the group can choose how they want to do it anyway. :)
2 weeks will probably work for most books but some will spill over longer. The books are posted when their start date is so why not try to be ready with something when that date comes around?

message 38: by Wanda (new)

Wanda (wanda514) Tera wrote: "I think it's always fun when you can chat with the author. However, not all authors are available to talk with. The two books that you mention Wednesday Sisters and Gargoyle the author really too..."

That's what happened to me - I became discouraged when everyone seemed to have read the book ahead of time and I had not. I felt that I would not be able to actively participate.

message 39: by LinBee (new)

LinBee I found it a major bummer that I didn't finish The Gargoyle in time to truly be involved in the discussion. Then the discussion for Nefertiti, the first book I finished on time and was ready for the discussion fizzled so fast. I have got to get my timing down... Breaking it down might help.

message 40: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
LinBee wrote: "I found it a major bummer that I didn't finish The Gargoyle in time to truly be involved in the discussion. Then the discussion for Nefertiti, the first book I finished on time and was ready for t..."

I would totally encourage you to read through that thread and add your thoughts. That was one of our best discussed books and I know those that read it loved it and love to talk about it. Andrew (the author) also checks in on the thread from time to time and I am sure would answer your questions or thoughts.

Like I said don't let the discussions pace stop you.

KrisT I think you have a really good point. Some books we love but doesn't mean there is much to discuss. I loved Nefertiti but there wasn't a lot of meat to it. Doesn't make it a bad book or a bad discussion leader it just is a pretty cut and dry book.

The more I read this thread the more I am seeing there isn't going to be a one size answer fits all.

I think there are certainly some tweeks we can make but I think we may be expecting too much to think this can run the same way an 'in person' group can run.

message 41: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Well, we had some really great discussions with
1. the Knitting Club, it hit a lot of us personally and the discussion evolving around this book bonded us a group. No author involvement.

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - there was author involvement at the end, but the discussion was good and rich

I really do believe that a lot of discussions and length of discussions last depending on the themes within the book. I also think we have to give ourselves permission to have books that only last a few weeks in discussion, while others last longer. I don't think every book has to be a month long discussion to be successful.

I am one that goes with the majority vote. At times there are books that I don't like or care to read, but that is going to happen no matter what the format is. I am glad that we are all honest enough with ourselves that we have the choice of not participating when we choose not to.

I love our groups and at this point I think everything is working well.

message 42: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
Okay I have read through all the comments here and te results of the poll.
I think we are going to try changing things up a bit. Nothing is set in stone and if after a couple of tries this way it's not working out then we can come back to the drawing board.

1) The book's threads will be broken down to 3 threads - the First half of the book, the second half, and a spoilers thread. Those that are reading during the month will be able to find/start discussion in those threads that correspond with their topic as well as those that have already read it. Discussions shouldn't move beyond those points in the book to avoid spoilers.
- 1.1 According to the group leader they may break the discussions down even further. For example if you are leading the discussion and feel the book naturally breaks down into 4 parts you may start 4 discussion threads for it not including the spoilers thread.
2) We will continue to do two books a month but stagger the discussions to one book the first two weeks and one book the second. If discussion is still going strong when the two weeks are up I will leave that discussion thread current for one to two weeks more depending on how strong it is.
- 2.1 The book with the most votes will start out the month the 2nd most votes will begin at the half way mark.
3) I think often great books are nominated but that doesn't insure great discussion. "I liked that too" leaves something to be desired. Within a live book group a theme often emerges and becomes the meat of the conversation with tangents and personal stories shooting off from that themes discussion. I am encouraging book leaders (and readers) to find a 'theme' within their books. Let's make a thread for that theme. For example this month a theme that came to my mind for both books was obtaining love. I started a thread for it and we had some good discussion. What is a theme or lesson from your book that can be discussed. Spoilers will likely come from that so it will be a thread for those that are comfortable with that.

Let's try this for a couple of months and take it tweak it from there.

Thanks for all your input it was so valuable.

message 43: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Thanx Tera, it sounds great!

message 44: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 553 comments That sounds wonderful Tera, good job!

message 45: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I like this way of doing things too. Well done Tera! And since school is almost over, I am definitely looking forward to reading with the group. Are we starting this way of doing things with May or June?

message 46: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Sounds like a good plan Tera. :o)
Are we going to do Lolita at the beginning of May then, and start House of Spirits half way through the month?
Also, if Kelly Jo is leading House of Spirits, and feels more confortable with and would prefer just two threads (instead of three) that should be okay, right? Tera did say this new plan wasn't set in stone, and if someone is willing to take on the challenge of leading a discussion they should have some flexibility on how they run it.
I'm hoping to participate in both discussions this coming month!

Elizabeth (Alaska) I have ordered House of Spirits from Better World Books, which, I believe, ships media mail. It won't hurt my feelings if we start this book late, because that's when I'm going to get it - late!

message 48: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I think its too short of notice for May, so we will officially do this in June.
And yes if the group leader feels the book breaks down in a better way just let us know and go with it however it breaks down best. The thing I am looking for is some sort of a break down that allows the reading and the read to both have a spot to discuss.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Meg, while Ann (Hood, "The Knitting Circle") didn't particiapte in our on going discussion of the book (she was on a book tour for "Comfort"), I did arrange for an author chat with her which we did - the thread should be there in the archives someplace!

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Kelly Jo, I like your idea of 2 threads and agree that it may be more manageable for the read leader!

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