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Monthly Group Read Nominations > Nominations for book clubs - to have read or not to have read that is the question

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message 1: by John (last edited Nov 26, 2013 12:30PM) (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Starting a thread here as I only saw a reply from Susan after the thread was closed (December nominations)...

@John, I know we have discussed this nomination thing and I am going to make my point. I would never nominate a book I haven't read. Here's why: If I want to ask people to invest their time and money in a book I like to think they are going to like it. Now I would vote on books I haven't read. That's when you can experiment and try things out of your comfort zone.

Up to that point I'm just thinking... ok we have very different opinions on how book clubs might typically work, fine. But then:

I just find it common courtesy to nominate a book that you like.

Jaw dropped. Ok I'm not that hot-headed :) I'm sure you didn't mean that I'm lacking in common courtesy to nominate books that I haven't read but that's what it looked like on first read.

No one likes to spend time on a clunker that no one has read.

But "no one has read" doesn't really make sense. I nominate books that I heard were good, that had great reviews, that my friends like, that lots of people are talking about, that lots of people I know have read, that is from an author I trust, etc etc it etc etc I'm not just putting my hand blind folded into a box of books.

And maybe it's just my terrible memory but I don't know how anyone can properly discuss a book unless very recently read. I sure can't.

And to go even further, I would personally never nominate one of my favourites. I couldn't bear to see it get ripped apart by people who didn't like it.

Mardy Monday - wha? :)

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Smiles. There is a varied list John. I don't remember some of the nominations but there are a lot of books to chose from and they are nothing a alike. I see a lot of books I've never heard of. I am looking up quite a lot of them

message 3: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Yes - there's always a varied list. Always good to see. Only thing I'm pondering here is if it is more typical for a book club member to...

(1) nominate a book they have *already* read, and want to discuss after other people have read it
(2) nominate a book they *want* to read, then read it at same time as group, and discuss after

I always thought (2) was the standard for book clubs but maybe I'm wrong. (1) Seems more typical on Goodreads Ireland.

message 4: by Serf (new)

Serf I nominated secret history because I haven't read it and have heard great things about it and would like to read it with the group. From what I can see the other nominations are along the same lines John.

message 5: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Oops - my formatting on original post would have made it very hard to read properly. Fixed now.

message 6: by John (last edited Nov 25, 2013 06:41AM) (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Oh, I love a good debate, no diggety no doubt. But some books are special. And beyond debate.

Actually I often find debating why someone does or doesn't like a piece of art a futile exercise. Sometimes it either works for you or it doesn't - explaining why individual components work or don't work isn't going to change someone either loving or hating it.

And I wouldn't enjoy someone sniping away at some of my special loves!

But when you've all read the book at the same time, then it's a completely level playing field. Game on.

message 7: by I-like-to-read (new)

I-like-to-read (akakate) I’ve nominated books that I have read and liked because it’s a good excuse to read them again and get other peoples views.

I have also nominated books in my to read pile.

message 8: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments I never nominate a book i have read in the past maybe one I'm reading currently . I usually nominate a novel I really want to read or heard great things about. I want to say I'm sorry about suggesting The Fields in my defense on my return trip from Ireland in April one of my friends read at cover to cover and loved it.So I thought it had to be good ,I still plan on reading it...I bought the book .John ,I agree with you about most book clubs nominate books they want to read.

message 9: by John (last edited Nov 25, 2013 06:52AM) (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) No need to apologise to me. I know I was in the extreme minority but I quite enjoyed the Fields!

The fact is - whether you loved a book, or if your friend loved a book, that's no guarantee whatsoever that a whole group will love it.

In fact you've a much better chance of a group enjoying it, if it is recommended by a variety of sources, rather than just your own personal experience. I think.

message 10: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments John I'm so glad you liked it .I plan on reading it soon and hopefully I'll like as well .

message 11: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Last point is only in the context of a special book V one you've never read before. You can see how the two would be very different surely?

message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 25, 2013 07:26AM) (new)

I read The Secret History. I probably shouldn't have nominated it. I don't think most have read it though. As far as I know just you and me John. Maybe that's 2 too many? I don't really know the rules about book nominations.

message 13: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Yeah I know I can look at any of my favourite books on goodreads and see people hating them. That's life indeed. But it's just not the same as putting them to a group read to debate the pros and cons . I'd rather not.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

OH well, I'm OK with whatever book is chosen. I will go from there. I actually didn't read the last one. I have only read Burial Rites so far. Maybe I don't have a leg to stand on here...:)

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

You made a good point about the fact that if I like it maybe others won't. We're all different.

message 16: by Serf (new)

Serf I must say it doesn't bother me if someone nominates a book they have previously read. It means they liked it enough to read it a second time. Personally I wouldn't nominate one I've read because I have too many books that I still want to read

message 17: by Allan (new)

Allan In previous months, I've nominated both books that I haven't read-based on the same criteria you have for nominating, John ie reviews / word of mouth etc-and books that I have read-ie the likes of Eureka Street and Troubles in the Irish reads section.

I think in the latter case, I've nominated Irish books I've already read because I know I can stand by their quality-the books tend to have been very well received reviews wise outside of the group as well as by me personally, or I'd not have read them in the first place. This field in my experience tends to have fewer nominations and fewer people voting. As I'd consider myself pretty widely read Irish fiction wise in comparison to many in the group who are here to expand their reading habits in that direction, by nominating Irish books I know well, I'm hoping that others will enjoy them and be encouraged to read further as a result.

I mean, who'd have lifted Eureka Street, probably my all time favourite book, had I not nominated it? It's an Irish Classic, but would it ever have come to most people's notice without someone having read and loved it? It had a great reaction, but I wouldn't have been offended if it wasn't up someone's street. Another case in point was Strumpet City. I'm not sure who nominated it, as I had just joined the group, but I'm sure, given its age, that they weren't coming fresh to it. I'd never have read it otherwise, but was delighted to have the opportunity to do so.

As regards other groups, I'm not part of any physical book groups, but I know in No Alibis in October, they had chosen a book that was a group favourite to read-To Kill a Mockingbird. They're getting onto their feet as a group I know, but I'm sure most would already have read. I know there are many on here who are members of physical groups, that might be able to tell us how their books are chosen.

As regards on here, I doubt there's a hard or fast rule. Nominate a book you've read if you want, or a book you haven't read if you want. At the end of the day, your vote counts the same as anyone else's, and it's a group decision. I've actually, in monthly reads, ended up voting for other books than those I've nominated anyway, and will probably do so again this month.

And at the end of the day, if a book doesn't take anyone's fancy after the voting is closed, it's not compulsory to read the book!

Sorry for my ramblings-I hope this makes sense!

message 18: by Allan (new)

Allan Lol, LMM, thanks, it was great to get back-it was an involuntary absence as I've said elsewhere-there's no way I'd have left such a great group of my own accord!

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I think if The Secret History wins there will be some debate. Since I have already read it I already have the plusses and minuses in my head.

message 20: by John (last edited Nov 25, 2013 01:35PM) (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Thanks for the feedback y'all. Just to clarify, I'm definitely not talking about rules. I've no intention of dictating people's nomination criteria in the slightest. I just always had my own assumptions about book clubs, and was curious about others. I think about these things too much sometimes, you'd think I have better things to do.

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

No problem John. I actually think what you said makes sense. As I said I have only participated in one group read. It was fun! I'm fine with whatever the vote is.

message 22: by Barbara (last edited Nov 26, 2013 11:17AM) (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments John wrote: "Starting a thread here as I only saw a reply from Barbara after the thread was closed (December nominations)...

@John, I know we have discussed this nomination thing and I am going to mak..."

John - that isn't me you're quoting. It was another member adding to my comment. I think my comment was more along the lines that I may nominate something I've read because I think others in the group would like it OR I may nominate something that I want to read that I think has a wide enough appeal.

No offense taken on my part as I sometimes it hard to follow these threads, and which thread I read something in.

Editing to add - I believe that some of the most widely appealing films and books are not necessarily the best works. There is something that happens in the process of creating something that is liked by many which may dull the edges of more challenging work. This is something I haven't worked out well enough to explain in writing here, but in general if something is too popular, I don't expect it to be one of my all time favorites. We are unique in the experiences and perspectives we bring to our reading and viewing.

message 23: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Whoops! Sorry Barbara!

Have edited.

message 24: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) Barbara (for realz) wrote: "- I believe that some of the most widely appealing films and books are not necessarily the best works. There is something that happens in the process of creating something that is liked by many which may dull the edges of more challenging work."

Oh absolutely. Charts are the worst place to pick books from. The most popular books on Goodreads, Amazon, Audible etc look awful to me. Most popular is no indication of quality. I think the only good barometer is friends, reviewers and bloggers etc that have similar tastes to you.

But to repeat what we often say, I do love the randomness of book clubs and reading books you would never have chosen, or even know about, as Allan pointed out.

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Last I checked there's a 4way tie on the group read poll. WOW!

message 26: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Jamielynn wrote: "Last I checked there's a 4way tie on the group read poll. WOW!"

Just looked - don't remember when it closes.

message 27: by Allan (new)

Allan It was due to close at midnight last night but hasn't yet. I haven't voted, as I'm not positive that I'm going to have time to participate...

message 28: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Allan wrote: "It was due to close at midnight last night but hasn't yet. I haven't voted, as I'm not positive that I'm going to have time to participate..."

That is very "honorable" of you. I understand about time. Not only is it that time of year - the holidays- but you have a big event and trip!

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

The poll is due to close tonight. I'm not looking forward to selecting a winner from four books, but it may have to be done.

message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry, I had intended to close the poll tonight, but after reading Allan's comment I checked the message I'd sent out and it does say November 25.

Apologies for this. I'll close it shortly.

message 31: by John (new)

John Braine (trontsephore) @declan, relieve yourself of the stress and roll a dice :)

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

That's a good idea, John. I'll chew on it for a while and use this as a last resort.

There is one book I'm leaning towards but when there are five (not four any more) there may be one that's better for the group.

message 33: by Allan (new)

Allan Busyness, a teetering TBR pile, and the desire to get stuck into 'Troubles' are all having influence on me possibly skipping this one, Barbara, at least pre Christmas anyway.

I'll look on with interest though to see what has been chosen! :)

message 34: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I am glad the sci-fi fans have a book for them. I will also skip this one. I have a pile of Christmas books to read, and have 2/3rds of my book for my Saturday am book groups to read - The New Jim Crow. Non-fiction takes me longer to digest. And finding it hard to put down the Pete Hamill.

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