Q: "We recently gained a new book club member who is causing problems. She's only been to three meetings so far but she talks about herself non-stop. Every time someone makes a point about the book, she somehow relates it back to her life and tells a 10+ minute story. I've tried everything I can think - redirecting her back to the book, interrupting her, ignoring her but it's not working. She also puts people down, probably without meaning to, but still she does it. I don't think she has much of a social life outside of the club so I don't want to just tell her she can't come but she's ruining book club for the rest of the group at the moment so I need to do something. What is your advice?"
As you all know, we get a lot of book-related questions at BookBrowse. While we certainly have our own answers to these fascinating and excellent dilemmas, we love turning to our Facebook followers who always have the perfect answer - or answers! Here is their advice for addressing this sticky, tricky problem:
Q. "I am trying to get out more and decided to join a book club, in part to get over being socially awkward. I have a tendency to be outgoing, but sometimes in a silly way because of my awkwardness. Can you please provide the top ten guidelines for how one should act and speak in a book club?" - Anne
We get a lot of book-related questions at BookBrowse. Sometimes, when I'm stumped for a response I turn to our wonderful Facebook followers for answers, and they never let me down! Here is their advice for Anne:
So many books. So little time! How many times have you caught yourself saying just that? And when it comes to picking what works for your book club, it's not enough to pick just what you want to read, it has to appeal to the rest of your reading buddies as well.
We make this task-- of winnowing just the right picks -- easy for you! Many of our reviews are of books that make perfect reading choices for book clubs. Here we feature a dozen carefully selected books, all of which will publish in paperback in early 2013. To help you decide, you can browse through an excerpt and a range of review opinion for each book (and, if you're a member, BookBrowse's full review and backstory). Most also have a handy printable reading guide. I know you'll find plenty in here that will spark lively discussions in your book club.
So the only thing you have to worry about at your next discussion is -- who will bring the wine and cheese!
Davina, BookBrowse Editor
A few weeks ago I got an email from Sarah asking advice on an all too common book club problem. She wrote:
"I started a book club about a year ago which has 14 members. The members make book recommendations every six months and then we vote on what books to read. It is expected that everyone rotate being a host and a discussion leader.
One member has not attended a meeting since late 2011, and doesn't even RSVP to let us know that she won't be attending (which we agreed was something we'd all do when we formed the group). I know she is not sick or traveling. Should I try to feel her out and ask if she wants to continue as a club member? Should our club care when members are no-shows and don't participate?"
A book exchange isn't a new idea but a couple of British expats are taking things to a new level with monthly book swaps at Le Carmen, a cocktail bar in Paris which was once a popular haunt of Georges Bizet and is named after his most famous opera.