August 02, 2009
I recently joined an online Yahoo book group, BookiesToo. I really like what they do.
Here's the skinny:
BookiesToo is a long-standing book discussion group that is friendly and welcoming. We enjoy stimulating book discussion and we love to chat about anything that is book-related! Our discussion schedule includes two books per month. We primarily discuss literary fiction but members may nominate books from any genre for discussion. We then vote from among all nominated titles to arrive at a schedule.
We are currently discussing Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
August 16 - August 31, 2009: Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
September 1 - September 15, 2009: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
September 16 - September 30, 2009: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
October 1 - October 15, 2009: The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
October 16 - October 31, 2009: The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith For more information about us, please visit our website: http://www.geocities.com/bookiestoo/.
They do have a pretty ambitious schedule (two weeks per book), so I already know that I'm not going to read each and every one of them in time.
During the discussion phase, a volunteer moderator posts questions about the book - and you can tell they do their research first. It's a group of book-loving smart folks, and they encourage lively discussion about the books they are reading.
The current selection is Olive Kitteridge. I went to the library to get a copy - guess what format I got?
A sweet little MP3 player (battery included). Just add the headset/earbuds and you're good to go! I've already listened to about half the book - the buttons are easy to understand, and the quality of the audio is good, even on my Dollar Tree headset.
Of course, this little device makes it impossible for me to excuse lack of domestic productivity due to reading. I'm still working this out in my head, but I think that's both a good and a bad thing.
I'm a bit concerned that listening to the book will make it harder for me to participate in the discussion, but I'm going to give it a shot.
I'll be browsing my library's selections online to see if I can get some of the other books they have scheduled. Thank goodness for interlibrary loan programs, and online library catalogues.
We pay $15/quarter to be able to use the county library (the closest branch is about five miles down the road). Our little town doesn't participate in the county program, so we just pay the family rate to go - it's sure worth it to us! There are three readers here, and $60 would hardly support our reading habit for a year. And they have the end of the month late fee amnesty day - bring in a canned good for every $2 you owe, and all is forgiven!
I love the internets for this kind of stuff. I think it would be cool if the group used Userplane or some other online group chatting software (audio and video) for some of the book discussions - it's so nice to put a face to the name, and you get to hear tone of voice and inflection when someone's stating their opinion (can't get THAT from email).
In other book news, I'm also still reading My Life in France, by Julia Child. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. I have a new fondness and respect for Julia Child. She loved her husband, her life, and food. And her husband Paul was a real gem, too. (If you get the book, check out the Valentine's cards they'd send to friends and family - one of the cards appears on the book cover). I'd like to finish this book by the weekend, in time to see the movie Julie and Julia. I had already read the book the movie is based on. Nora Ephron did the screenplay, so I expect lots of sarcasm and witty humor.
What book are YOU reading?