LGBTQA Group Books discussion

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message 1: by Troy (new)

Troy | 73 comments Mod
If you have comments, suggestions, problems, etc., this is the place to be heard. Let's make this a truly pleasurable experience for as many members as possible.

message 2: by Ted (new)

Ted (efcorson) Troy, I don't understand. Where's the list of the 3 January finalsts and where are th 9 notes cast? I see the "Suggestions" but not the nominees.

message 3: by Ted (new)

Ted (efcorson) sory, votes*

message 4: by Whitaker (new)

Whitaker (lechatquilit) Ted, I think it's under "polls" on the right hand side.

message 5: by Ted (new)

Ted (efcorson) Sorry, had no idea that was even there.

message 6: by Rob (new)

Rob (rob_kvidt) | 15 comments Regarding The Mayor of Castro Street, I see the lowest price on Amazon for a used copy is $10.54 without shipping. Did anyone find a better deal? Thanks--Rob

message 7: by Troy (new)

Troy | 73 comments Mod
Should we select only one book every two months? I noticed that the winners don't even receive the number of comments they should based on the number of people who voted for them. The Milk book seems to have worked out a little better, but The Swimming-Pool Library and (especially) The Brothers Bishop don't seem to be posted on very much. Maybe we're just moving on too quickly? Thoughts?

message 8: by Ted (new)

Ted (efcorson) Yes, Troy. I think there are a couple of things going on here. One is that people apparently need more time to acquire the book. Second, there are those members (myself included) who are well-intentioned and excited by the project but who for whatever reason don't read or finish reading the book. Perhaps bi-monthly would be better, but with the proviso that people actually read the books! (Maybe you can exercise some Obama-like rhetoric?)


message 9: by Whitaker (new)

Whitaker (lechatquilit) Well, I think there are several things going on here.

I agree with Ted about the time needed to acquire the books. I think people need a longer heads-up period. At Constant Reader, a six-month list goes up a couple of months before the start. That allows people time to get the books they want to read, and allows those who need more time to read the luxury of starting early if they need to.

There is also the fact that people may be too busy to read. Giving an early heads-up helps, as does having a book once every two months. However, reading a book can be a commitment that people may not have time for. Some additional areas people might want to consider for those with time pressures would be short stories, plays and poems. There are a number of anthologies out there. Once acquired, you can read from that anthology over a two-year period (assuming discussions every two months). Perhaps even alternate that with the books. So, say, one month book, one month short story.

With most groups, usually only a small number of people become regular posters. The regularly active group of posters is usually less than 10% of the group. This is consistent with what is happening here: except for book suggestions, 2–3 persons post out of a group of 37. That’s not quite enough to sustain a conversation, although it’s nice to note that the number of lurkers on some threads does indicate a healthy level of interest.

I'd humbly suggest that you and Ted may want to consider folding this group into the Gay Fiction/Non-Fiction group. It could be a separate folder inside there. Also, it expands the reach of the discussion as existing members of Gay Fiction/Non-Fiction could end up being attracted to participate over time. And there is a base group of 150+ members over there already.

Even if you decide not to go that route, you might want to consider doing something like what Rambling Reader did over at Gay Fiction / Non-Fiction. Encouraging a regular conversation is useful regardless of the topic because that helps to make people feel part of a group, and gets them into the habit of participating there. That's critical right now because you need to build a regular core of active participants.

Finally, for each book, I think it's useful to have someone champion a discussion, not simply to split a book into parts. It usually helps have someone who will try to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling, usually by raising questions and points for people to discuss.

Just some ideas for you to think about. :-)

message 10: by Whitaker (new)

Whitaker (lechatquilit) I like every single one of Cody's ideas. Constant Reader has people submit three (I think) each. Then the entire list is put up and people vote. The top six on the list are the books for the next six months.

Yes, I agree that there should be some equity. Again, my experience with Constant Reader is that they have a Classic section and a Reading List section. You can nominate in both or either. We could do a lesbian section and a gay section, and then alternate.

And, yes, having the questions is an excellent idea. Actually, if we simply chose discussion leaders, they could use that as a default fallback and add whatever it is they want.

message 11: by Scott (new)

Scott (scottmillerdc) I would like to have longer than a month. Swimming Pool Library was excellent, but intense. I started in December with the intention of finishing by the end of January, but didn't really get the time until January. (I got a Wii for Christmas). I didn't post anything in the discussions b/c the group had moved on to Milk. More time would be nice, especially for longer books - for example, if At Swim Two Boys is choosen, that is quite a hunk of book.

message 12: by Whitaker (new)

Whitaker (lechatquilit) Scott wrote: "I would like to have longer than a month. Swimming Pool Library was excellent, but intense."

Scott, would a longer heads-up period before the discussion help? Or are you thinking of just having a longer period between books? Or both?

message 13: by Troy (new)

Troy | 73 comments Mod
These are all great ideas. I think the most helpful one would be to assign a discussion leader to get something started in each section. That could be the person who nominated the book. Personally, I like a more open discussion, but I can see how it would be a good spark for many of you to have a clear place to begin. The discussion questions at the end of books are sometimes good, but not every book has them.

As for the male bias of the choices, I'm not really sure what to say. I can't just force the group to read something there isn't that much interest in. That would defeat the purpose of the group, which above all, is simply to have some fun. The choices are reflecting the current membership. But maybe a poll would be in order just to find out how many of us are willing to step outside our usual reading zones.

I can sympathize with all of you who have good intentions but don't end up reading. Like I said, I get wrapped up in my work for school, so I often neglect outside reading. I think one selection every two months is probably a better idea. Then we'll have more time to read and more time to acquire the books.

message 14: by Danny (new)

Danny (Danny_Mercury) | 6 comments I would like it if we extended the reading per selection to two months. I also think picking a selection for May now would be good. In terms of women writers, Patricia Nell Warren's "The Front Runner", would be my pick.

message 15: by Troy (new)

Troy | 73 comments Mod
Cody wrote: "When I mentioned the lack of equity for women in the group, I didn't mean books by women about gay men. I was meaning books with lesbian storylines.

THE FRONT RUNNER is a wonderful book but it ..."

Yes, I know what you meant, and my response is the same. The choices of the group reflect its current membership. Please recruit more women in order to balance the choices, but I don't have the power to change the interests of our current membership. Keep in mind you may have more luck creating a group dedicated to lesbian literature. I wanted to keep this group open to all kinds of people, but if it's a voting group, lesbian storylines will be outvoted until more people interested in them join the group.

message 16: by Tom (new)

Tom (beachcombert) | 11 comments Re lesbian-themed books, I'd be glad to try one or two of the classics in that category if our women members care to nominate them.

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