Book Clubs

JUNE IS AUDIOBOOK MONTH

June is Audiobook Month, so it is a good time to experiment with challenging your reading group to become a listening One For the Moneygroup. Audio can help make the most of time in today's multi-tasking world. Just think -- you can listen while you drive, exercise, cook, or clean! In addition to asking the regular book club discussion questions, you can talk about whether or not the story worked well on audio. Did it add or detract from the experience of the book? Did the narrator's voice "fit" the character or the locale? Did the choice of a male vs. a female narrator affect your listening experience? If you haven't listened to an audio book before, I recommend one of my favorite series: Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mysteries, starting with One for the Money. The story is set in New Jersey, and the accent of the narrator brings the books alive.

MFAH Invites Book Clubs to Tour

My Antonia, by Will a CatherThis summer, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Book Club is featurinPalace of Illusions by Chitra DivakaruniMy Antonia by Willa Cather and Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni in conjunction with the exhibitions in their American Art gallery and the Arts of India gallery. Discussion of the books encourages fascinating conversation with and about the artists´ works on view. Local book clubs are invited to read these literary works and make reservations to come to the MFAH for a special tour.

Why Are Book Clubs So Important?

Book clubs have been important to women throughout history. Ever wonder why? Book clubs: women and the uses of reading in everyday life by Elizabeth Long takes a look at how book clubs have evolved. She focuses on an academic study of women's book groups in Houston which makes it especially interesting for us in Harris County. You can reach out to more readers for your groups using a table top sign offered by Ingram Library services.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Black Americans have played an essential role in shaping who we are as a nation, and continue to make important contributions in many ways.  February is recognized as Black History Month in order to bring to the public's attention these achievements.  Harris County Public Library is pleased to celebrate Black History Month with a variety of events for all ages; for example, this month many branches will be reading and discussing titles which were written by and/or about African Americans, during their Book Club meetings.  Some of the selections include: 

 

MFAH ADDS NEW DIMENSION TO BOOK CLUBS

Private Lives of the ImpressionistsLydia Cassatt Reading the Morning paperThe Museum of Fine Arts has launched a new online book club to provide established book clubs with new ways to link literature to art at the museum.

Books on the Bayou 2009 - Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching GodTheir Eyes Were Watching GodThe 2009 Books on the Bayou Selection is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Books on the Bayou runs from October 1 throuch October 31.

"THIS I BELIEVE:" BOOKS ARE A PRIORITY

KUHF-Houston Public Radio (88.7 FM) sponsors a daily five-minute series entitled "This I Believe," a national project designed to engage people to write and record the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. The hallmark of this program is sharing the guiding principles of average citizens...our neighbors, our coworkers and the people with whom we worship. On Friday, August 28, 2009, the entry was submitted by a local Woodlands resident.  Carolyn Boyd is an educator, currently teaching at the John Cooper School. Among her many joys is reading. Carolyn says it's been a life-long pursuit and as she explains in her essay for KUHF's "This I Believe", books will be a priority for her, for the rest of her life.

USE THE NOVELIST DATABASE FOR BOOK DISCUSSION GUIDES

Harris County Public Library subscribes to a database entitled Novelist Plus that contains a wealth of resources for those of us who love to read.

                          Novelist Logo

One great section for book clubs is "Book Discussion Guides." To access this:

Book Clubs Bring People Together

Book clubs are a great way to bring people together. Readers of all backgrounds can share their opinions in a neutral arena, and the book selected provides common ground for discussion. A dramatic example was cited recently by the CBS Evening News. A book club in Boston was formed by a lawyer and a homeless man who happened to meet in a park. Their conversation over a period of months drifted to books, and eventually expanded to include others in the park. Today this group, called the Homeless Book Club, meets weekly at lunchtime. Read the story and watch a video about it at "A Tale with a Storybook Ending."

What If There is No Discussion Guide for Your Book Club?

It is always helpful to have some starter discussion questions ready for your book club. Often you can find these at the back of your book, on a publisher's website, or on one of the reading group sites. But what do you do if none are available? The Reading Group Guides website offers some general questions that can be adapted to a wide variety of books, from biographies to mysteries to historical fiction.

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