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book club availability for May and "rules" (was Re: [python-46] resurrecting the book club)

From: Doug H.
Sent on: Thursday, April 30, 2009 11:14 AM
On Apr 30, 2009, at 10:28 AM, Ryan wrote:

> Hey Doug,
> Do you have the list of books you want people to read and review? I
> would be interested in contributing.

We have these titles available:

- Agile Testing (Addison-Wesley/Pear­son)
- Core Python Programming (Addison-Wesley/Pear­son)
- Programming in Python 3 (Addison-Wesley/Pear­son)
- livelessons: Python Fundamentals (DVD, Addison-Wesley/Pears­on)
- Expert Python Programming (Packt)

I've picked one book, and Skylar picked another (he got to pick early  
because he's going to deliver the books this month, see below).  I  
left those items off of the list.

I'm working on getting more titles from other publishers, but the  
arrangements take some time.  I think we'll be able to get another  
batch from Addison-Wesley once the reviews for this set hit the net.

If you have requests for specific titles, let me know.  So far I've  
been telling publicists "Python and general development-related  
topics", but they usually ask if we want something specific.

I'd like to propose a few ground rules to keep operations simple and  
make sure everyone has a chance to participate.

1. You must be present to win.

Books will be distributed at our monthly meetings at GTRI.  I will try  
to post titles the week before the meeting (or when I have them, if  
they come in closer than that), but don't want to mess around with  
trying to take reservations via email.  That keeps delivery relatively  
simple as I don't have to keep up with who said they wanted what book  
on the mailing list.  It also encourages attendance at the  
meetings.  :-)  Depending on the schedule for any given meeting, we'll  
either hand out books at the beginning or the end.

The exception to this rule is if you're helping out with running the  
club (delivering books, etc.), as Skylar is this month.  I'll post to  
the list when I'm going to need someone to help coordinate deliveries.

2. If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding!

We have more interested readers than books available, so we need for  
everyone to write the review for the book you have before picking  
another one.

I'm going to ask everyone to sign up for the book they've taken, so we  
can keep track of who is reading what, but mostly I think we can  
depend on the honor system for this one.  Send the link to your review  
to this list, that will clear the way for you to pick up your next book.

The exception for this rule is if you return the book unread so it can  
go to someone else.  Sometimes a book just isn't as interesting as you  
thought, and that's OK.  Maybe it will be exactly what someone else  
was looking for.

3. Punctuality Counts

The publishers are sending us free books with the expectation that  
we'll post the reviews to help with publicity.  We don't have to  
guarantee GOOD reviews, but we do need to post reliably.  Typically  
4-6 weeks should be long enough to read and write up a short piece  
with your opinions.  Again, I'm not going to come track you down and  
harass you, I just want to make expectations clear.  Rule #2 should  
take care of lapses in #3.

4. Recycle!

If you find a book especially valuable, you're welcome to keep it --  
that's explicitly part of the deal.  On the other hand, if you don't  
think a book is something you'll re-read or use as a reference,  
consider bringing it back and letting someone else have a go at it.   
This is optional, but brings good karma.

I don't think any of that is controversial, but I'm open to  
suggestions as long as they don't make managing the whole thing too  

As far as posting the reviews goes, I'm looking at some sites like  
readernaut to make sharing the reviews easy, but I think a blogged  
review is going to be preferable for most of the publishers.  Some  
have requested Amazon reviews, too, so those should be acceptable.  If  
you need some place to post and don't have a blog, send me your Google  
ID and I'll add you to the PyATL group blog.  If you have had  
experiences (good or bad) with online book club sites, let me know  
about that, too.


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