Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Literary Gathering: all the details

Who: We have a limit of 12 members – any other interested ladies will be put on a “wait list” in the event of an opening. This is to keep the group small, intimate and committed.

When: Monthly. We try to meet the FIRST Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm, with the discussion starting promptly at 8:00.

How: We have been following the outlines used in the book “Read It and Eat” by Sarah Gardner. This is a great book covering a wide range of topic and book types. There is a theme for each month and several book choices. For each book, there are discussion questions and a selection of recipes. You do not need to buy the book as I will continue to post the discussion questions and recipes for each month on the blog.  We are running near to the end of the book, so we may simply use the themes from time to time.
         If you have a book that you like to read and discuss together, suggest it. Remember that it needs to be not just a good read, but also a good discussion topic. If there is general interest, we will schedule it several months in advance for a month where no topic really grabs our interest. If you chose a book, you are responsible for reading it in advance and posting discussion questions and recipes on the blog three weeks before the meeting.
       We also try to take advantage of the Hamilton Public Libraries book club kits... Kate posted the full list on the blog that you can check out.   This is a great option as the questions are often included and no one needs to buy a book that month.  We will try to use a library kit several times a year as well.

What: Each month we will meet for discussion and a potluck. The menu is intended to enhance the book experience by recreating a meal from the book or allowing us to sample a menu from the country/culture/time period that the book takes place in. The host provides drinks (coffee/tea/etc) and we volunteer to bring one thing from the menu each time so that no one has to work too hard. The menus range from breakfast to dinner to evening drinks and snacks.

Where: We take turns hosting the meetings in our homes, in alphabetical order, as much as possible.

Why: get our brains moving!  No special knowledge or skills are required to read a good book and talk about it… how we react, what we thought and how it impacts our lives. I could use a mind-opening, thought-challenging, brain-stimulating evening once and a while… how about you?

Communication: All communication will be done via the blog . Keep an eye on this for all new information. The only email that you will receive is the reminder email one week before the meeting from the hostess.

Joining the book club means to you commit to:
  • attending the majority of the meetings
  • reading the whole book before the meeting
  • participating in the discussion by listening, respecting others opinions and speaking in a way that is up-building to the group
  • hosting in a regular rotation. The hostess is responsible for the meeting that takes place at her home - this includes sending out a reminder email one week before the meeting and everyone will RSVP to the hostess. She will also call the people who are cooking and let them know how much food to prepare. Within a week after the meeting, the hostess will post "discussion highlights" on the blog - a short paragraph will do!
  • Rsvp-ing promptly to the hostess when you receive the reminder email
  • cooking on a regular basis (approximately every other meeting)
  • posting a book review or recommendation a minimum of once per year... this can be short and sweet and does not need to be a good book that you JUST read, but can be any book that you have previously read and enjoyed. The more of these we post, the more interesting the blog will be and the more we can encourage each other to read!
  • find/make discussion questions for any additional book that you recommend and post them on the blog three weeks before the meeting, along with a themed menu (with 3-5 items) and recipes for the menu items... this is optional, of course, as you are not obliged to recommend books outside of the book club guide.

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