There are a great many books that are very enjoyable to read but have little to discuss, and others that are hard going, but generate good discussions. The sweet spot is to find books that are enjoyable and good to discuss. One way to increase the chances of reading the latter type of book is to make it a requirement that somebody recommending a book has to have read it first. The exception to this, perhaps, being books that are already well established as book club favorites.
There are many different ways to choose books for your book club, and there is no reason to stick with the same formula all the time. Here are a few suggestions:
Initially, it's best to choose books that have a discussion guide. A discussion guide, also known as a reading guide, is simply a list of suggested topics. Not only will the discussion guide provide interesting avenues for the conversation but it also signals that the book is likely a good choice for book clubs.
Don't feel you have to follow the guide rigidly (and don't read it until you've read the book as it will likely have spoilers), it's simply a resource to get the conversation going and to turn to if the discussion is running out of steam or going off course.
BookBrowse offers many hundreds of book club recommendations sorted by title, author and genre, time period, setting and theme - all with reading guides.
Not every book has a formal reading guide - in which case check out our DIY Discussion Guides page.
See Leading a Book Club Discussion for more about discussion guides..
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