Reading Groups (was Re: What I've read lately)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Jan 29 12:27:29 EST 2003


On Wed, 29 Jan 2003 17:42:16 +1100, Abe Gross wrote:

>You're incredibly lucky to belong to a book club that
>actually reads SF and F. (I don't know of any.)

It's all they do read.  They were disgusted by the large group they were in,
which only ever read tearjerker emotional claptrap and never actually let
anyone but a few select people choose the books they read, so they dropped
out.  That was seventeen years ago.  This month we are reading _The Phoenix
Guards_.  Woohoo!

Anyway, the lesson I learned from this is that sometimes you just have to
make your own group, if you can't find one you like.  Of course, saying that
so easily overlooks a lot of complexities, like: finding people you can
stand to be around; finding people whose opinions are more complex than "I
hated it so it sucks"; finding people who are willing to come every month.
And I think, as with a good writing group, it shouldn't be so big that
people get lost.  I feel very fortunate to have joined the one I'm in.

What else have we read...

Tanith Lee's _Wolf Tower_ and _Wolf Star_ (my rec)
Lots of Charles De Lint
_Alien Taste_ and _Tainted Trail_ by Wen Spencer...interesting but flawed
_Little, Big_ by John Crowley
the new Ender series books
Carol Berg's first two books

I used to have a better list, but it was erased when my Palm Pilot died the
final death and was resurrected with no memory of its former life.  (The
cradle has something wrong with it and hasn't been able to hotsync for
almost a year.  Right now the whole set is little more than an expensive
paperweight that lights up.)

We read a pretty good balance of popcorn books and serious books.  Two of
our members are diametrically opposed in taste, which makes for interesting
conversations.  And I get a lot of really good suggestions from this group,
particularly the Jane Whitefield thrillers by Thomas Perry.

But you know what else?  THIS LIST is a book club.  Not in the traditional
sense where everyone reads a book at the same time (though we do that
sometimes) but when one person has read a book, there are usually others who
want to talk about it.  Or that person convinced other people to read the
book--I think this year I will keep track of who recommended the books I
read, and I'll bet you money in any currency you like that the majority of
those recs come from the people here.

Melissa Proffitt

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