The Reading Group Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Book Club / Edition 1

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Perhaps you are one of the millions who has tuned in and turned on to the hugely popular Oprah's Book Club. And perhaps by watching it, you've discovered a new, or rekindled an old, passion for reading. Now, with the guidance of Rachel W. Jacobsohn's revised and updated edition of The Reading Group Handbook, you, too, can start your own book club!

Book clubs and reading groups give fellow members the chance to break out of established reading patterns and learn adventurous approaches to creative material. With the help of The Reading Group Handbook, you'll get a definitive, step-by-step guide to starting your own book club, written by a professional reading group leader who has organized and led groups—face-to-face and even online—for over twenty years.

In this newly revised and expanded edition, you'll get information on:

  • Where to meet: homes, local bookstores, libraries, and online
  • How to select members and decide a format for the meetings
  • How to read material critically and constructively in preparation for the gathering
  • The art of the discussion
  • Over thirty-five suggested reading lists, including an expanded list of year-by-year Pulitzer Prize winners, Oprah's Book Club picks, and personal recommendations from the author and her groups' members
  • Where to go to get more information on the books you choose and on book clubs throughout the country
As reading groups have become the latest trend in socializing, anyone who wants to combine a love of literature with the opportunity to meet others will not want to be without The Reading Group Handbook.

With The Reading Group Handbook, readers will enjoy the benefits of a good book and a good book club.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Information-highway types like to predict the death of the book, but more and more books are published each year. To accommodate the crush, Jacobsohn, founder and president of the Association of Book Group Readers and Leaders, recently published what became the bible of book discussion groups, The Reading Group Handbook: Everything You Need To Know from Choosing Members to Leading Discussions (Hyperion, 1994). This newly revised edition includes updated reading lists and bibliographies plus additional suggestions on group dynamics; organizational, administrative, and logistical issues; and discussion techniques garnered from extensive surveying of book groups. Jacobsohn covers everything from cookies and coffee to how you diplomatically deal with "the rambler." Appendixes include thematic reading lists, syllabi from existing reading groups, a glossary of literary terms, and sources for reviews, criticism, and author information. Libraries with the earlier edition may want to pass, but otherwise this is highly recommended.Denise S. Sticha, Seton Hill Coll. Greensburg, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786883240
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 849,420
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel W. Jacobsohn has been a professional reading group leader for the last twenty years. She frequently leads an online discussion group that meets every second Wednesday on AOL. She is president of the Association of Book Group Readers and Leaders, and publisher of that organization's newsletter, Reverberations.

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Table of Contents

Oprah Did It
1 What Is a Book Group? 3
2 What Makes a Good Member? 15
3 Before the Real Fun Starts: Cost and Organization Details 22
4 Rachel's Rules of Order 36
5 Food! 43
6 Group Composition 54
7 The Art of Discussion 64
8 You Are What You Read 76
9 Member-Led vs. Professionally Led 103
10 Chat Room vs. Living Room 118
11 What Do We Really Talk About? 121
12 Past Fear 138
App. A Selected Reading Lists 147
App. B Syllabi from Rachel's Reading Groups 179
App. C Syllabi from Groups Around the Country 205
App. D Sources for Reviews, Criticisms, and Author Information 215
App. E Glossary of Literary Terms 225
App. F Advice from Questionnaire Respondents 233
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