I originally called this “Live from New York” since I tried to write this from New York City over ASB, but that didn’t happen because I was way too busy with everything that went on. I will try to blog about it soon, but in the meantime, I’m back in Michigan and now I’m recapping book clubs.
The different book club facilitators all chose very different readings, so the conversations took different paths. However, there were a lot of similarities between the book clubs. I felt like all of the facilitators started the conversation with a question but then let the conversation propel itself organically, only participating or introducing a new question when a particular idea or thread ran its course.
The participants brought a lot of great ideas and perspectives to our discussions of the readings. I definitely did not read things the way a lot of people did. For example, I didn’t consciously think of the gender issues in the story “The Fisherman and His Wife,” but we had a rich conversation on it, especially in trying to place the story in its original context and the gender roles at the time at which the story was written down.
Overall, I thought it was a very stimulating class period and a good practice of how to run a book club. A genuinely interested audience made it easier for us as facilitators, at least in my mind, because we had to do very little – Krista and I just had to make sure the conversation kept going (which wasn’t hard, since people had a lot to say about our readings on appropriateness and young adult literature). I know I say it a lot about the activities we do, but I really liked this activity. I know I’ll be doing book clubs in the future, and I love any chance I can to try out new questions or methods.