Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

National Reading Group Month, How to Start a Reading Group, and Some Great Books for Your Group!

October is National Reading Group Month...
Grab a book & a friend and start reading!

National Reading Group Month is "an initiative of the Women's National Book Association (WNBA). Founded in 1917, WNBA promotes literacy, a love of reading, and women's roles in the community of the book." National Reading Group Month (NRGM) is the celebration of reading groups....

Have you ever read a book and were dying to talk to someone about it?! That's what motivated me to start my reading group. I didn't want to wait to discuss the book after lending it to someone! I wanted to talk about it NOW! And so my reading group, Chicks with Books (and Steve) became the place I could share some of the books I loved and wanted to discuss! It was also the place I read books I normally wouldn't choose for myself because as other people started choosing books we saw how everyone in the group loved to read, but not necessarily the same kind of books...

So how do you start a reading group? All you need are a group of people who enjoy to read! I found those people at work, but it could be a family get together or a group of mothers whose children play together, neighbors... Some of the things to think about are... Where you will meet? Someone's home, a library, bookstore... How often? Once a month, every other month... What type of books do you want to read? Fiction, non-fiction, mysteries...

There are some good books to help you get started such as, The Reading Group Handbook: Everything You Need to Know from Choosing Members to Leading Discussions,by Rachel W. Jacobsohn, that helps you understand the "Nuts and Bolts" of a Reading Group and what makes a good one. There are some great sites to help you along too, such as Reading Group Choices, a site that highlights books for reading groups with descriptions, conversation starters and author interviews. And there are a lot of wonderful new books to read about, featured books and even a search engine to look for past recommendations! You can find a whole section HERE for starting your own reading group, the where, when and what kinds of books to read, and tips to make your group even better with tips for making your discussions better and ways to add some creativity to your meetings! Another place to find some great book club suggestions is my favorite podcast Books on the Nightstand! Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman are friends and colleagues who work in the publishing industry, they have a blog, Books on the Nightstand, AND a weekly podcast available directly from their blog or from iTunes. Books on the Nightstand has always been a favorite podcast of mine and they have great suggestions for books every week! Already have a book and would like some discussion help? that has a large selection of reading guides (which are questions that make for a good discussions) for books arranged by book title, author or a list of other categories. They also have a great selection of recommended books for reading groups!

And speaking of suggestions, there is a selection committee involved with with NRGM (National Reading Group Month) and the 2009 Great Group Reads include:

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, An absorbing three-generation saga of two families, forever intertwined in fateful ways as the politics of India, Pakistan, and the U.S. play havoc with their lives and beliefs from the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki to 9/11. I'm reading Burnt Shadows now and am loving it! The writing is wonderful, and I can see how it would make a perfect group read with plenty of discussion material.

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist, Set in a dystopian world where childless men and women over a certain age are considered dispensable and used for
organ harvesting, Holmqvist's unusual story forces us to think about some complex ethical and moral questions.

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz, When Metz's husband dies unexpectedly, she uncovers a trail of infidelities, exposing years of manipulation and self-deception. Her anger and obsession to uncover the truth make this an unusually candid and courageous memoir.

You can find the complete list HERE at the National Reading Group Month website.

So this month let's celebrate National Reading Group Month together! It's a great way to promote the love of reading and form lasting friendships! Here is the LINK to Women's National Book Association's website for National Reading Group Month. Share something about your book club here! Are you a member of a book club? What's your book club called? What kinds of books do you read? What fun things do you do in your meeting? Stop by all this month to read about Book Clubs and 'The Stuff' that makes them GREAT! (And that includes food- and a great recipe book perfect for book club dinners & a giveaway for a copy!)

*P.S. Burnt Shadows, The Unit, & Perfection are all Kindle Ready!


Michael Kindness said...

Thank you so much for your very kind words about Books on the Nightstand!!

stpand said...

I bought "The Unit" after listening to Books on the Nightstand's review. Although I read it on my own it is definitely a great book for discussions!

Suzanne Yester said...

HI Michael!
You are most welcome! I just love Books on The Nightstand! It's a great resource, and you two are so much fun to listen to!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi stpand!
Thanks for letting us know what a great book The Unit would be for a group discussion! I know you liked the book! Now I'm going to have to borrow it!!

Anonymous said...

TNX for the podcast link! Always on the lookout for great podscasts and will definitely check this one out :)

One of my favs is Book Reviews with Simon Mayo.

I would like to be in a real life book group but starting one myself is a bit too much responsibility! Maybe one day...

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Gnoe! I listen to Book Reviews with Simon Mayo too! One other you may like is the World Book Club, they have a book talk with an audience in a bookstore. Here's that link:

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