Last night was the first meeting of the book group.
At this first meeting, I felt I needed to leverage my power as Group Instigator and Generous Benefactor Of Meeting Space, to impose a vision, my vision, of how this should roll.
Without being too overbearing, but, I hope, making it clear that my continuing membership is contingent on adherence to these principles, this is what I hoped I got across:
1. I don’t want to read anything I’ve already read. And I don’t think anybody else should either. This means we have to pick something nobody has already read. Even if you say you could happily re-read something, I don’t think you should. Unless it’s something you read in your callow youth and didn’t really get when you first read it.
2. I will never bring cupcakes. Or wine. Or snacks. Ever. However if you want to bring snacks, knock yourself out. Surprise us.
3. I want to talk about ideas. I have heard of Book Groups who get together and never talk about the book. I don’t want that. There’s nothing wrong with socializing. I love it. But I want a Book Group to meet another need: a need for intellectual stim and an interesting discussion of ideas.
4. I want to to talk to people who’ve recently read a book. When we’re both still reeling from a book, our convo about it is going to be fresh, and alive, and relevant, and exciting. But if you’re still reeling, and I read it two years ago, this isn’t going to be as much fun. I’ve gone stale and you’re fresh from the oven. That’s why book groups are so fun. We’re all still fresh.
Ten people showed up last night. A whole bunch more contacted me wanting to be kept in the loop.
We picked Lincoln In The Bardo by George Saunders as our first book.
Here were the other contenders:
(someday when I have more time, I’ll link to all these, but today is NOT the day.)
The Name of the Wind
No is Not Enough
Sing Unburied Sing
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
The Great Alone
Strangers In Their Own Land
White Rose, Black Forest
The Power Within
The Woman In The Window
Guns, Germs and Steel
Thinking Fast and Slow
Putting Your Passion Into Print
All The Light We Cannot See
A Wild Sheep Chase
The Witch of Portobello
The History of Love
A Discovery of Witches
Our first meeting to talk about this book is scheduled for March 11th at 4:30 in the MSY Lounge. Plan an hour and a half. If you’re interested, and local, come.