This week: Gatherings of book lovers, choosing books for your reading groups, Peter Clines’ Ex-Heroes and Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove.
Create your own Booktopia!
A few weeks ago we received a voicemail from some friends who had met at Booktopia Oxford last year. They were calling from Jackson, Mississippi, home of their “Unofficial Booktopia” gathering. We were jealous, but thrilled that we helped to create new friendships, and thrilled that they had planned this get-together, complete with read-along (A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano, a novel about Flannery O’Connor). Thanks, ladies, for thinking of us during your weekend!
We want to encourage all of you to use our Goodreads group to connect with other BOTNS readers and listeners in your area. We currently have several local threads, including people from Boston, Seattle/Tacoma, Portland, Chicago, Lower Mainland BC, Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia. If your city is not there, feel free to start a post. We recommend a first meeting in conjunction with an author event at a local bookstore, or other literary gathering.
Choosing books for your book club (06:46)
A few weeks ago I spoke on a panel at The Big Book Club Getaway. My topic was “How to choose good books for your book club.” Since I had done a lot of prep and had pages of notes, I thought I’d share some of the ideas here.
1. Know your book club. What do you *really* discuss? Is it the book itself — the writing, structure, use of language, stye? Or do you discuss the material around the book? For instance, much of my book group’s discussion about Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone was about the food and history of Ethiopia beyond the details that the author included in the novel.