What we're about
Do you really not judge a book by it's cover? Find out in this Meetup group. This is how it works: Books are picked at random from new releases (within certain constraints, see below). Get your book by whatever book acquisition system you use (e-book, buying the hardback, checking it out from the library, etc), and start reading at page 1 of chapter 1. Don't read the publisher's description, don't read editor's reviews, don't read user reviews (e.g. on Amazon), don't look at the blurb on the back or on the inside flap, don't read the "Acclaim For" pages, or anything -- just go to page 1 and start reading the actual story. By not knowing anything about the story until you actually read it, you can maximize the "surprise" potential. Also the idea is to form your own opinion of the story by not knowing what anybody else thinks until after you've read it.
Since you're probably wondering what the criteria is for picking the books, it is as follows: First, start with a list of new releases constrained by popularity (this is different from the movie club where movies are picked with no constraints at all -- the assumption is that since there are hundreds of books published each month, instead of a dozen or so movies that each cost millions to produce, that the risk of picking "junk" is higher so there need to be some filters to reduce the odds), second, pick a book by throwing dice (actually a random number generator on a computer, but the effect is the same), third, discard any non-fiction books, books that are the 2nd, 3rd, etc, books in a series (first book is ok), or books that are re-releases disguised as new releases (e.g. a hardback re-released as a paperback). It's important to note the book selection process does *not* filter by genre -- I was very careful to design the system so that it wouldn't -- so if there are certain genres you don't like, you might still encounter them! Though I would challenge you to be open-minded as you might discover you can like a book from that genre after all -- you never know. On the other hand if you like variety, you will like this process because it maximizes variety. By knowing nothing about the book until you actually start reading it, you will maximize the possibility of being surprised. Hopefully you will be surprised in a good way and find the story enjoyable.
(Note: the format of this group was changed from the original format, where people brought and exchanged books, with the goal of having everybody read the same book to facilitate in-depth discussions of the books.)