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woman who reads too much

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08:28 pm: cringe factor
So the book group that is hosted by the library meets in August to choose books for the year. Everyone who attends that meeting gets to propose a book; then everyone writes down their top six choices, and we read the ones that get the most votes. I did not attend last August, so I didn't witness the selection, but we are going to read a book that was written by a member of the book club. He is also going to facilitate the discussion, since it is the custom for the person who proposes the book to be the facilitator, although one can ask the librarian who runs the book group to facilitate in one's stead.

I think this is a terrible idea.

Also I have no idea how to talk about a book in front of its author, even if I don't care about the author, which is not the case here, even if I like the book, which hmmm. I have developed a little skill at beta-reading, but that is different: there, you are criticizing only what the author wants criticized, in order to improve the work before she publishes it. Here, I don't know what he wants from the discussion but I don't think he's going to get it.

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/284974.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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Comments

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From:beaq
Date:March 9th, 2016 03:56 am (UTC)
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OMG. D:
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From:boxofdelights
Date:March 9th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Yep. That face.
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From:lcohen
Date:March 9th, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
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i would develop an illness or a meeting i could not miss to avoid this train wreck.
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From:boxofdelights
Date:March 9th, 2016 08:13 pm (UTC)
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And yet... I am insatiably curious.
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From:pennski
Date:March 9th, 2016 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Yes absolutely. "I'm sorry but I have a subsequent engagement".
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From:malnpudl
Date:March 10th, 2016 01:37 am (UTC)
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Oh, dear. Oh dear oh dear.

That's what writing groups are for.

Book clubs are an entirely different animal. He's putting the rest of you in an unfair position, and it's kind of crappy of him.

I hope someone asks him up front -- before you even start into reading his book, much less discussing it -- exactly what scope of discussion and feedback he expects, and whether or not there are boundaries.
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From:asakiyume
Date:March 10th, 2016 12:43 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that sounds like a terrible idea. A couple of times we read local authors at our book group and had them attend, and it basically meant we couldn't have a frank discussion. Having the guy lead the discussion makes it exponentially worse, IMO.

Readers are supposed to be free to react to the book without worrying about the author's sensibilities. If you love a book and want to write the author and tell them so, that's different (or, if you're mortally offended by a book and want to write an author and tell them that, I guess you could do that, too), but I think readers should be free to react without relation to the author.

Oh oh, and I missed the part where he's a member of your book group D: Man, he must have a bit of an ego? I wrote a book, but I would never in a million years suggest to my book group that we/they read it, for the reasons given above (and personal shyness). (When they suggested it, I said no, I didn't think it would be a good idea. Some of them did read it on their own time, but that's different! I don't have to know if a bunch read it and got bored and dropped it; it's up to them if they want to mention it to me.)

Edited at 2016-03-10 12:46 pm (UTC)
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