Out here, where Christ lost his sandals, there are not many opportunities to join a reading group or a book club. I have missed the very few that have existed due to schedule conflicts and/or lack of enthusiasm (mine). My husband and I would often read the same mysteries during the long hot summer months. Usually he wanted me to read them first, and then he would get to discuss the book with me while he read it. I was very good at 'forgetting' the ending and the equally important red herrings so that he could still enjoy the read.
I miss a lot of things about Ed, his companionship over a good book being just one of them. But it is probably the easiest loss to overcome with a virtual book club here within the Readers & Book Lovers Group at Daily Kos. Building upon the interest expressed last week I have some questions for you below the fold. My own answers are in italics.
1. What would you like to see in a book club?
I would like to discuss, with a group of likeminded readers, the plot of a book as it unfolds. There are always questions I have about characters and their motivations. Granted, a good writer will resolve those within the story, but I miss having someone who could speculate with me about motivations. Or whether or not something is a red herring.
Logistically, I see the club meeting a half hour before the weekly Monday Murder Mystery diary is posted. A brief synopsis of the novel would make up the main body of the diary, plus any questions the diarist wishes to pose. The diarist could remain the same for the length of the mystery and would be a volunteer.
2. What type of book should our first read be? Should we start with a bestseller that will draw in the most participation or should we begin with a classic, like The Woman in White?
Personally, I would prefer a more modern mystery for our first read. I would like to see The Woman in White, on a list of future reads, but wonder if it might be easier and more fun to start with a newer novel.
3. In which sub genre should we start?
See the Poll. Finally, I have a reason for a poll! I am borrowing heavily from a pdf of Barry T Zeman'sPowerPoint Presentation for MWA New York. Please indicate any other preferences in the comments. And note that each of these sub genres includes classic and modern works. I am only using the name of modern authors to help identify the sub genre.
4. What books would you like to read as a member of a mystery book club?
Right now I am reading a wonderful novel set in modern day Cairo staring a Sudanese private investigator. The book is The Golden Scales by Parker Bilal and is currently available as an ebook for $1.99 at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The first of a trilogy (so far) I will probably review it, but that is no reason why it can't be a group read.
So let me know what you think in the comments, and I will post a summary of the results next week at 7:30pm EST. We can then decide which book will be our first.