I haven’t done this before – that is, discussed my reading group in my blog – but I thought I’d share the schedule my group decided on last night for the rest of the year. Our practice is to make our selections twice a year: 6 books for the first half of the year, and 5 books for the second half. The last meeting of the year is our Christmas meeting and we’ve discovered that scheduling a book when you are going to dine (not to mention embroiled in Christmas busy-ness) just doesn’t work. There are few rules. We focus on fiction but do occasionally read non-fiction, and the books need to be readily accessible, preferably in paperback. And, of course, it goes without saying that they need to be likely to engender discussion.
The way we create our schedule is to maintain a small – regularly pruned – list of recommendations, and call for more nominations just prior to the meeting. Then, we sit around and bandy the titles around until, through some sort of consensus (which may or may not involve bullying and bribery – of the nicest kind, of course), we come up with our list. If you are not at the meeting you just have to hope that the rest are kind enough to consider your wishes!
So, here is our list for the rest of this year:
- Solar, by Ian McEwan
- Truth, by Peter Temple
- So much for that, by Lionel Shriver
- The thousand autumns of Jacob de Zoat, by David Mitchell
- Parrot and Olivier in America, by Peter Carey
I’m looking forward to it. It’s a pretty typical reading group list, though with only one woman and not one translated text, it’s a little more white male anglo-oriented than most of our schedules. However, it’s a list that should, I think, provide for some good discussion. Expect to see these books appear on the blog in coming months.
Are you a member of a reading group? How do you choose your books, and what sorts of books work well with your group?