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Complete Idiot Guide To Reading Groups [Paperback]

Patrick Sauer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Dec 13 1999 Complete Idiot's Guide to
With plentiful advice on how to start a successful reading group, this beginner's guide provides advice on how to find members, choose interesting books, and scheduling meetings. Original.

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Product Description

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Reading groups, or book clubs, are a type of forum you either understand intrinsically or vaguely comprehend and certainly need help organizing. If you're familiar and comfortable with book clubs, you know that all it takes to get one going is a handful of friends or acquaintances who will commit to meeting regularly, a book that is inspiring in topic and manageable in length, and an understanding among participants that everyone will need to share the responsibilities of hosting or finding locations for the meetings and contribute to the discussions. If you're stuck on details--how to assemble a group, which book to pick, how to handle a member who never contributes to the discussion--then The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Reading Group is for you. By now, everyone is familiar with (and not offended by) various entries in the Idiot's Guide series. Ultimately, any one of these books leaves a reader either feeling as though he or she has just read a helpful 101-type introduction to a given topic or seething and wondering how the repackaging of so much common sense is worthy of the paper in a book. It's possible that this Idiot's Guide for book clubs can produce both feelings.

But this one is good about offering specific ideas. For example, after you've formed your group from a number of possible sources (recommendations include friends, family, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, people responding to an Internet post or a flyer in a bookstore), if you're stuck trying to secure a meeting place, author Patrick Sauer suggests, rotate the meetings between members' homes; secure a room in a local school, community center, or library; or use a coffee shop or bookstore. Suggested reading lists are also included for various types of groups. All women? Go for Toni Morrison's Beloved, Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, or Julia Alvarez's How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. And men's reading groups (an uncommon gathering, the author notes) may want to consider Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, or George Will's Men at Work. --John Russell


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4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best reading club book but useful . . . Nov. 20 2002
Format:Paperback
Some in the Idiot's Guides series are pretty good, some are pretty dreadful; this one falls somewhere in the middle. Not all of his advice on locating an existing reading group is sound -- library-based groups are necessarily as open to the general public as those sponsored by chain bookstores -- nor is his advice to buy multiple new copies of books rather than used ones. He's much better on what makes for a successful new group -- how to choose members, how to choose which books to read, how to pace a discussion, and how to make sure everyone is included. And most of his thematic lists of books to consider are quite reasonable, except for the very short shrift he gives science fiction. (He seems to think "genre" fiction means primarily mystery novels.) My main complaint about this book is the cutesyness common to the whole series, but if can ignore that there's some pretty good stuff here.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for college students Feb. 8 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is always hard to find different books, sometimes non traditional, to read. Besides bringing the concept of a reading group to the college campus, this book had an extensive listing of books to be read. It was humorous also which made the reading easier. The section on how to get guys interested was especially helpful. BUY IT
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imperative for any Reading Group. Feb. 2 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
At first, I thought "Oh No, not another Idiot's Guide." But, after reading this, I was able to breath new life into my reading group. The suggestions in this book are not only creative, but simple to use. And they really work!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best reading club book but useful . . . Nov. 19 2002
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Some in the Idiot's Guides series are pretty good, some are pretty dreadful; this one falls somewhere in the middle. Not all of his advice on locating an existing reading group is sound -- library-based groups are necessarily as open to the general public as those sponsored by chain bookstores -- nor is his advice to buy multiple new copies of books rather than used ones. He's much better on what makes for a successful new group -- how to choose members, how to choose which books to read, how to pace a discussion, and how to make sure everyone is included. And most of his thematic lists of books to consider are quite reasonable, except for the very short shrift he gives science fiction. (He seems to think "genre" fiction means primarily mystery novels.) My main complaint about this book is the cutesyness common to the whole series, but if can ignore that there's some pretty good stuff here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Books are children of the brain' (Jonathan Swift) Sept. 28 2007
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book caught my eye at the library a few weeks ago, and I'm pleased that it did. While it is primarily aimed at those who want to set up physical reading groups, there is plenty of good advice for those who participate in on-line discussions as well. There are some suggestions about books to consider, ways to structure groups and possible discussion points. I particularly enjoyed the quotes sprinkled through the text.

Recommended to anyone who is considering establishing a reading group. While most of the advice is particularly relevant to North America, the underlying principles apply universally.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Jan. 4 2000
By Kimberly Kurowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After reading the complete Idiots Guide To Reading Groups, I immediately gathered a group of my friends to create a book club. The ingenius ideas of having meetings and making them interesting were inventive. Reading is becoming extinct, but this guide gives great suggestions on books to lure people back in. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have suggested it to several colleagues to begin their own reading groups.
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