The Hungry Hundred Book Club Message Board › Book club discussions (second try..)
This time I'm going to copy this email before I send it, just in case it ends up being blank like the last one... :)
Sunday we had another great discussion over the book, "The Fountainhead." Thanks to those of you who came out and participated, your two cents are always appreciated!
I wanted to clarify what is going on with the suggested meetups on the site. Meetup.com has re-formatted their site to allow all members of a group make a suggestion, and if 3 or more people "like" it, then it automatically becomes an official meetup. I have the option to not allow this, but I like having a platform to allow others with different interests or different schedules to discuss books as well, so for now I'm leaving it as is.
If you have an idea for a book that you would like to discuss and want to suggest it on the site, you should be prepared to set a date, time and place, and to facilitate the meetup. Some things to keep in mind when preparing to facilitate a book discussion:
1) Come prepared with questions to get the discussion going. I've found that, once rolling, I rarely have to revert to the questions I have brought with me, but I always have them prepared in case we need a little push. Many books have study notes or discussion questions that can be found online.
2) The role of a facilitator is not to lecture or share all of your ideas. The facilitator should be able to draw out what other people think, make sure there is not one person dominating the conversation, and to keep the discussion focused on the book and themes pertaining to it. Of course everyone wants to hear your thoughts and opinions as well, but the facilitator mostly needs to sit back and listen. Hopefully I've done an ok job of balancing the role of facilitating the discussion and being a part of it so far in our meetings!
3) You must be able to steer conversation away from tangents and rants, however interesting they might be. A good book will provide plenty of fodder for tangents galore, but if a meeting is about a specific book, we need to keep it that way. It is the facilitator's job to guage if a line of discussion is diving deeper into one of the themes of the book, or is going off onto another track completely.
4) No one will be able to charge any kind of organizers fee, make any kind of profit, or use any of these meetings as an attempt to sell goods or services (our sponsors excluded) for their own profit. If you see anyone violating this, please let me know immediately.
Also, please be aware that because of my schedule (I work mostly eveningsand full days on weekends), I will most likely not be able to make it to any of the other books suggested, even though I would love to come and be a part of the discussion. The only meetings you can expect to see me at are the ones that I organize, which will still be on Sunday evenings (usually the last of each month, but that sometimes varies). When I first started the Hungry Hundred, my goal was to read some of the best and most important books written, by pulling from lists like "100 Best Books of All Time" or "100 most influential books" or "100 books you must read before you die." Therefore, I'll continue to choose books along those lines for the discussions I'm organizing. If you'd like to see a partial and flexible list of those books, click on the "pages" tab on the meetup site. (BTW, the next one is "Lord of the Flies" for April 24th.)
And finally, if you would like to suggest a book but are unsure about leading a discussion, or if you would like to suggest one of the classics for me to organize, just let me know by contacting me from the meetup site.
There are some interesting books being suggested, and I'm happy to see people taking initiative to get more discussions going. My hope is that more people will be inspired to read and share with each other, and enjoy good discussions while respecting differing opinions.