Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Book Group Book

Because I love book clubs, I was most interested in this book.
There are 46 essays describing individual book groups.
What a variety!

Some book clubs are organized around food.  One group met in a restaurant and it was not unusual for people to arrive without having read the book. In fact, at one meeting, they discovered that no one in the group had read the book- but the waitress had!

A men's group, consisting of professionals, met in a bar in Toronto.  Over the years, they decided to include women.  However, the focus changed from the consumption of alcohol to discussing good writing.  Some of the men dropped out!

"All of the books on my book club's reading lists have enriched my life twice over- once in the reading and then again in the rehashing." (quote from book).

In North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, there are groups called "Changing Lives through Literature"- for criminals.  Here, people are sentenced to literature and probation rather than prison. Hopefully, novels can touch them, teach them and give them courage to find their way out of crime.
This is a type of book club where they read and discuss books, where bonds are formed by sharing ideas and perspectives.  The judge and probation officer are even part of the discussions.
The professor who began the concept said, "I am convinced that through their reading and discussion of literature, these men are all bringing hope away from that long wooden table in our seminar room."
A similar group for women has been started in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

What a fascinating concept!

In these groups there were no quizzes, tests or written exercises.  But, still, some people chose prison over literature.

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