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

Abe Gross argross at
Wed Jan 29 22:15:21 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.)

Melissa wrote:

> 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
> 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.


> 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
> 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.

You're right about this--and I'm very grateful to have this list to have the
interesting kinds of discussions we have and to share recommendations. Some
of the best books I've read since I joined this list have been books
recommended or discussed by its members.

I do think it would be difficult to find and put together people to be part
of a formal writing group of the sort you describe, but, having said I'm
envious of yours, I really should add that I'm not totally devoid of people
to discuss books with. I have about three friends who lend each other books
(to be honest, they mainly borrow my books, but I'm happy to do that), and
of course we often talk about them, but it's usually only on a one-to-one
basis. I don't think any of them has the time or inclination to form a
formal group...but it's something I've never put to them. Maybe I should.

I'm also lucky to be able to attend meetings of the Nova Mob, a fannish
group of people who read SF and F, and who get together once a month to hear
a paper (people take turns), but there's nothing like the kind of discussion
we have here on the list, and often the authors and books discussed aren't
to my taste at all. And as half the people present don't read the books on
which the papers are presented, discussion is pretty limited. Which is
precisely why I *am* glad to belong to this list...

> 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

Sounds like a diverse and interesting list. (Out of these, I've read the
first of the 'Wolf' books, quite a few de Lints, and the first two of


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