‘Book club’ idea

If you count the time spent reading, my book review posts are certainly the ones that have the most effort invested in them. Yet, they generally fail to spawn any substantive discussion. Generally, this is because most readers won’t have read most of the books in question. As a result, any discussions are based around things I happen to mention in my post, rather than the overall content of the book in question.

As a solution, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in a monthly non-fiction book club, to be operated through this and other blogs. We would choose a book per month, read it, and then all write posts and/or comments about it. That way, some substantive discussion of the material could take place. I would be most keen about books in subject areas covered on this site, but am not fundamentally averse to trying something more unusual. Even fiction might be considered, provided it is of a practical variety.

Would anyone be interested?

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

13 thoughts on “‘Book club’ idea”

  1. Excellent idea. I would be down. As long as we can vaguely vote on books ahead of time, I don’t relish reading about climate change every month ;)

  2. I would definitely like to participate. I read much more fiction and it would be good to make a better effort to read non-fiction. I also enjoy biographies.

  3. I would be interested in an “Article (s) Club” where an article or two in a subject was read and then commented on. I already participate in a fiction book club which occupies half of my monthly recreational reading. If I participated in another book club this would occupy my entire monthly recreational reading. Also be reading two article on a subject we may be able to get different views. (I am a relatively slow reader, especially in non-fiction.)

  4. Even fiction might be considered, provided it is of a practical variety.

    What constitutes practical fiction? I know we have had this discussion before, about the non-fiction and the fiction and which is more enjoyable/valuable in the long-run. It is mostly carefully constructed pieces of fiction which have changed the way we navigate in society, I think.

    If I wasn’t bored to death with talking about literature I would elaborate. But, blah blah blah Orwell.. etc.

    I hope you can garner a good book club. As for me, if I have to read one more book this semester I am going to convert to illiteracy.

  5. I’m only interested in fiction whose use is exploring new ways of thinking in narrative structure. So, not directly “applicable” to problems. Fiction which is directly applicable to problems can’t be transgressive in any kind of radical way, because if it were, it would not be immediately comprehensible enough to be “applicable”.

  6. I think it’s excellent you want to exclude impractical fiction from the book club. The most important books are those whose ideas are directly applicable onto problems which we all value, and secondarily we could value those books whose easily comprehensible (upon 1st reading) insights into narrative structures allow us to better apply those universal values which we needn’t put up for question.

    Most of all, we must not put the need for values at all up for question – this is prima facscia a human need, not to be contested.

  7. Still slogging through Trick or Treatment ATM (it really bogs down in the middle doesn’t it?). I put my request in at the library after your first post on it; 65 people later it has made its way to me, go OPL! With the buses running again, my reading time has increased substantially so I’d be up for it.

  8. If I had enough disposable income to buy monthly books, I would love to join in, but I depend on the Toronto Public Library for my recreational reading, and I don’t think I would get the books in time.

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