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The Milwaukee Non-Fiction Book Club Message Board › One year anniversary and 100 member mark

One year anniversary and 100 member mark

Leo F.
Group Organizer
Milwaukee, WI
Dear non-fiction readers,

Last month our group reached two important landmarks: we completed one year of existence, and we reached 100 registered members. I want to thank all of you for your interest and support. I sincerely hope your expectations have been at least partially met, but if they haven't, I hope we'll be able to meet them during our second year. A special thanks to the members who have come to the discussions and contributed ideas, comments, and book suggestions. For the ones who still haven't been able to attend a meeting but remain interested, thanks for hanging around; hopefully we'll see you pretty soon in one of our upcoming meetings.

I have been thinking about ways to make our discussions more engaging, and possibly increase overall attendance. One idea is to try to keep the reading load for each discussion relatively light, maybe under 250 pages. This could be achieved by favoring shorter books or by splitting longer books over more than one discussion. Another idea would be to have someone in charge of presenting an overview of the book in the beginning of each meeting, and one other person in charge of bringing a set of questions for debate. Those two people would basically lead the discussion, trying to engage the other members. People can then volunteer ahead of time to be the "presenter" or the "debater" of a particular book. This would make the discussion interesting to everyone, including other members who weren't able to read the whole thing. We could even vote (anonymously) for the best discussion leaders, which could be rewarded at the end of the year with a gift card and a certificate of "Discussion Leader of the Year".

These are just suggestions. I would love to hear your own ideas about ways to make the book club more rewarding to you. This message is going on the group's discussion board, so you can either post replies there or email me.

Happy readings,

user 13661108
Milwaukee, WI
Post #: 17
I think splitting up discussions on books over 250 pages is a good idea.
A former member
Post #: 2
More structured discussions with a leader and a prepared list of questions definitely help move book discussions along.

I don't know about the shorter readings though. Many of the best books that this group looks at are longer. Do we not include or somehow shorten them? Have the leader pick out the chapters or sections to focus the discussion on?
A former member
Post #: 3
The length of the books has sometimes overwhelmed me. I read a lot, but I'm also concurrently reading a lot of other publications and books for my work, so I just haven't been able to tackle some of these (hello Genghis Khan's bio and the second Jared Diamond book). Dividing up discussion leader duties makes sense too. That way it's not all on Leo's shoulders!
A former member
Post #: 2
I think breaking up books into shorter sections and having discussion leaders are great ideas!
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