Atheistically Speaking Book Club discussion

Book Club > Book Club Format

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message 1: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments Here are my thoughts on what the book club format/schedule should be, let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

The poll for our first book is set to end on Saturday. I think we should give everyone a week to get ahold of a copy, (or get a head start on reading) and we can officially start reading on the 15th. I think a book a month is a pretty standard pace for book clubs, but we can slow it down if we have a really long book.

What do you think about discussion formats? I've seen some groups just discuss the book as a whole once they finish, while others are more structured with set reading schedules and discussing a few chapters at a time.

message 2: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (votesaxon) | 7 comments I like the second format. I think for each chapter would be overkill, but I'd prefer breaking our discussions down into sections or themes and I think that's an easy way to do it.

message 3: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments I sent this info out as a message last weekend, but I'm going to repost it here since some new people have joined since then.

Our first book will be Pale Blue Dot. I broke the book into parts as Shannon suggested, and I'll start a discussion thread for each part. The first one is already started over here. Here's the suggested schedule to keep everyone more or less on the same page, but feel free to read ahead or fall behind as you need to.

Part 1, May 15 to May 21:
Introduction through Chapter 5

Part 2, May 22 to May 31:
Chapter 6 through Chapter 12

Part 3, June 1 to June 7:
Chapter 13 through Chapter 17

Part 4, June 8 to June 14:
Chapter 18 through Chapter 22

I also started a new poll for our next book over here. It's set to run for another week, so get your vote in before then.

message 4: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments Our book poll ended, and the winner is The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker. This book is a beast - packed with lots of data, charts, and intense descriptions of torture, violence, and human/ape brutality. The book is a little over twice the length of Pale Blue Dot at about 800 pages, so I've set it to be read over two months instead of one. Let me know what you think of this pace - should we set it at a month and a half instead? Three months?

message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben Kamal | 8 comments Danielle wrote: "I've set it to be read over two months instead of one. Let me know what you think of this pace - should we set it at a month and a half instead? "

I'd say two months at least. Any less and I suspect it would either fill out your free time or you'd just give up.

message 6: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments OK, so this book has 10 chapters, and it looks like chapters 1, 2, and 10 are significantly shorter. So here's the schedule I came up with to make discussions easier:

June 15 to June 21:
Preface through Chapter 2

June 22 to June 30:
Chapter 3

July 1 to July 7:
Chapter 4

July 8 to July 15:
Chapter 5

July 16 to July 21:
Chapter 6

July 22 to July 31:
Chapter 7

August 1 to August 7:
Chapter 8

August 8 to August 15:
Chapter 9 and 10

message 7: by Jared (new)

Jared Mackinnon | 12 comments I'm curious if any other book club members feel limited by the Goodreads forum. It seems like we're missing out on some good discussions because of the limitations of the format. Is it too late to move our group to a private Facebook or Reddit page?

message 8: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments What's the format limitation you're having?

Personally, I don't use Facebook so if we moved the group to Facebook I wouldn't be able to participate anymore because I need to be able to keep my anonymity online. I don't know how Facebook is organized compared to here. I'm not sure that Reddit is a good format either because there's no way to easily organize discussions, let everyone know what we're reading and when, and nominate/vote for books. Since Goodreads is made for all of that, that's why I suggested it.

message 9: by Jared (new)

Jared Mackinnon | 12 comments I don't like on goodreads how comments are just stacked on to each other. On other formats being able to reply to a specific commenter feels more focused and can lead to interesting discussions. I read all the new posts in our group and I'll see an interesting point That I want to explore, then when I hit the 'reply' in the corner of the comment it just opens a new block on the bottom of the stack with the previous comment pasted in. Just feels clunky to me and I find myself being more of a lurker than a participant. Thank you for all the work you do on this group. It was just a mino

message 10: by Jared (new)

Jared Mackinnon | 12 comments Just a minor grievance. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

message 11: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments Yeah I agree, It's is a dumb way to handle replies.

message 12: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Smith | 13 comments Hi everyone,

Now that we're halfway through the Steven Pinker book, it's time to get started on Free Will by Meghan Griffith for anyone who is interested. We'll work through this one over the course of the next month, two chapters per week.

July 15 - July 21
The compatibility issue

July 22 - July 30
Moral responsibility and alternative possibilities
Some current compatibilist proposals

July 31 - August 7
Some current incompatibilist proposals
Other positions

August 8 - August 15
Free will and science
Where does this leave us? Some concluding thoughts

Looking forward to it!

message 13: by Danielle (last edited Aug 29, 2015 10:29AM) (new)

Danielle | 61 comments Here's the format for our next book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements:

September 1 - September 7
Preface through Chapter V

September 8 - September 15
Chapter VI through Chapter XIII

September 16 through September 21
Chapter XIV

September 21 through September 30
Chapter XV through XVIII

message 14: by Marcel (new)

Marcel Janssens | 22 comments Is it just me or is it getting a bit quiet om the book club front?
I couldn't get a hold on the True Believer convienently so I skipped that one. But I'm still very interested to discuss the Pinker book.....

message 15: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments Yeah, I had some notes I was going to put together from what I read in the Pinker book a while back, but then my life got busy and I never managed to post them. I still haven't (re)read the last few chapters, but hopefully I'll be able to soon and re-assemble my thoughts on it.

message 16: by Jared (new)

Jared Mackinnon | 12 comments I suspect there are many lurkers (like myself) still reading posts and reading the books, but not jumping into discussions. I've avoided engaging discussions because I don't think goodreads work well with more than two people on a thread. My baby daughter was born the week we started 'Better Angels', I still managed to get through 80% before I had to return it to the library. I'm interested in hearing others thoughts on it to help me clarify my own. I was definitely on board with Pinker's thesis, but I'm a little put off by the overwhelming acceptance from the intellectuals I follow. Is there any one out there challenging his claims in a skeptical way?

message 17: by Randy (new)

Randy LaMonda | 8 comments It's still sorta kinda summer, and if others are like me, they're doing a lot outside. The weather has been nice in FL, so I've been spending time running, hiking and going to the beech. Things are still growing like mad here which means I'm battling my yard!

message 18: by Jay (new)

Jay | 8 comments I'm reading all the books on schedule. I didn't comment much on Pinker's book because there were SO many interesting ideas I didn't know where to start.

message 19: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 61 comments Here's the schedule for October's book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales:

October 1 - October 7
Preface through Chapter 4

October 8 - October 15
Chapter 5 through Chapter 14

October 16 through October 21
Part 3 - Introduction through Chapter 20

October 21 through October 31
Part 4 - Introduction through Chapter 24

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