How do you choose your book club selections?

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How do you choose your book club selections?

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1mypcjen
Nov 10, 2006, 10:48pm

By nominations/votes?
With the leader choosing?

It's impossible to keep everyone happy. But in the past when we've done nominations/voting, that's backfired.

A lot of men in particular will not like the "chick lit" selections that some of our hosts do - while others who host more serious book nights with the classics have poor attendance.

2Daisyducc Primeira Mensagem
Nov 12, 2006, 3:33am

I think it's probably hard to please everyone, but the nice thing is that there are so many options out there. When I host a book club, I may choose a book that I have already read and enjoyed, so that I can share that with others, or I may pick a book that I think I will enjoy (and hopefully others who have similar literary tastes will too!)

3akenned5
Nov 12, 2006, 5:06pm

The last bookclub I was in, we had a rule that we should choose books we hadn't read. Not sure it was a good limitation or not.

4bibliobibuli
Editado: Nov 15, 2006, 5:15am

we nominate books and then have a lively discussion about which we'd like to read next. it's important to make sure everyone's voice is hear. we decided that the books chosen should already have been read by at least one member of the group after the catastrophe of choosing "soul mountain" by Gao Xingjian because the author had won the nobel - pretty much everyone hated it and found it unreadable

we try to read a variety of stuff, literary fiction and some more popular stuff, and from around the world. our tastes have broadened since we got our first regularly attending guy!

5avaland
Nov 15, 2006, 8:40am

Same as bibliobibuli above. Concensus after several nominations are proposed. Except it doesn't have to have been read by anyone before. I don't think we've ever had a book that everyone has universally disliked, but we certainly have mixed reviews!

6HelloAnnie
Nov 16, 2006, 9:26am

We don't know our books that far in advance. Our group works this way: Each month belongs to one member. For example, in October one member will bring 3-5 titles for the book group to pick from, the group takes a "vote", picks one book and then that will be the book for November. So we really only know one month at a time. It might be nice to have a little more advance notice, but myself, I wouldn't want to know the whole year in advance.

It allows both the group and the individual member some ownership over what we read. The individual member brings us some choice and they also have a vote, but the final decision is up to the group as a whole. It has allowed us to read a wide range of books- everything from classics to memoirs to the current "book club hit" that all the book clubs seem to be reading to nonfiction to young adult literature.

Here's our list from the beginning:

7/25/2005 Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
8/21/2005 Lolita
9/18/2005 Atonement
11/6/2005 Mrs. Dalloway
12/11/2005 Just a Couple of Days
1/7/2006 I Capture the Castle
2/12/2006 Pudd'nhead Wilson
3/19/2006 The Center of Everything
4/16/2006 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
5/21/2006 Big Weather by Svenfold (touchstones not working on this one)
6/18/2006 Godless by Pete Hautman, not Anne Coulter!
7/23/2006 The Stolen Child
8/20/2006 The Confessions of Max Tivoli
9/24/2006 On Beauty
10/22/2006 The Pale Blue Eye
11/19/2006 Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

7privatjokr
Nov 29, 2006, 10:54am

More often than not I pick the book. I started by choosing books that I had enjoyed that I thought other people would enjoy. When I ran out of books I felt were worthy, I changed the scope to include books that I find both interesting to me and hopefully have mass appeal to encourage others to read them as well. I have tried to poke and prod people to make suggestions in an effort to increase readership and participation, though it has not worked as well as I had hoped.

8spoonreader
Dez 2, 2006, 6:46pm

We have a small group -- 5 people. We have two guidelines. The first is that no one in the group can have read the book before. We all want to come to the book "fresh," as new readers. The other guideline is that one person picks the book each month with no input from the rest of the group. We think picking by committee tends to make the picks very mainstream and inoffensive, and we want our book picks to stay eclectic. We have read one or two clunkers, but for the most part, this system works well for us. (Interestingly, one of the clunkers was Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, which some people just adore.
I think our system works in part because we all met through an independent bookstore in town and our tastes are diverse without being totally dissimilar. We all like new literary fiction, for instance.

9BookAddictUK
Dez 3, 2006, 7:48am

Our book club is very small and very informal. Just 7 of us - and all women. (That was just the way it worked out at first - it wasn't our intention, but now we like it and have decided to keep it that way).

Each month, everyone is asked to come along with two or three suggestions for books for next month: we have a big discussion about the suggestions, and allow vetos if someone has read the book before and doesn't want to read it again; and we'll avoid books which most of us have read before because we're all keen to discover new authors. Once we've narrowed the list to four or five that in practice we're all happy to read, we take it in turns to make the final decision. We have very few rules- you don't have to read the book if you don't want to, and you don't have to finish it if you're not enjoying it (life's too short).

This might sound rather laborious, but it works for us has some real benefits: quite often someone will read a book because it was nominated and discussed at the book club even if it wasn't 'chosen' for a monthly read.