Monday, 07 August 2006

Our Online Book Group just got selected to be Book Group of the Month on a Book Group Directory site in the UK. We got selected back in June but they don’t update the site again until August. I was really hoping we could be bgotm for July and then it would tie in with our Birthday celebration but August is good too.

So for anyone who is interested, here is the link to the ‘interview’

Bookgroup of the Month Archive

Every month we feature a different bookgroup. We’d like to hear from other bookgroups. Please email us at info@bookgroup.info and tell us about your group. If we choose it we’ll send you a book voucher for 10.

Book Addicts Book Group

Bookgroup of the Month, August 2006

Who are you?

We are an Online Book Group of friendly Book Addicts!
My name is Ellie and I run the site/book group. The Book Group is part of our overall website, which is mainly a site about books and writing. We have nearly 200 members in total on the discussion forum and about 60+ of them are active Book Group Members.
Geographically, most of our members are in the UK and USA/Canada, but we also have members in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and as far away as Israel and Australia! The membership is primarily female – we outnumber the men 5/1 so anything we can do to even that up would be great! Our members range in age from 15 to 60+ and everything in between – but we all have one thing in common – a love of books and reading!

How did you get started?

I wanted to create my own website about books, writing, art, and popular culture. Then we added a discussion forum – where members can come and hang out online and discuss books, authors, and more – we’re always open! So it made sense to start an Online Book Group since we were all such avid readers and it was something I really wanted to do. I had been trying to find a good online book group to join for some time, but found them few and far between, so I started my own!

How long have you been going?

We are celebrating our 1st birthday on July 16th 2006.

Where and how often do you meet?

We meet and talk about books 24/7 on the site, but the online book group itself holds separate book discussions during the course of each month. We set the schedule in advance, based on books suggested by the Book Group members, and then select 2-3 books for each month. Members can join in for 1, 2, or all 3 book discussions for the month, depending on what they are interested in and how many books they can read per month! We have several members who have hosted discussions and any of the book group members can volunteer to host a book discussion. We also try to encourage people to try something new or a different genre!

What sort of books do you read?

We try to offer a wide range of books, both to accommodate our members and to encourage them to try something different. We do have a lot of members who enjoy fantasy and romance, but we also offer classics, bestsellers, new releases, science fiction, 20C Fiction, children’s books, crime, thrillers and more.

We discussed 16 books from January till June this year, including:
Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling

Coming up in the second half of 2006 we have 19 books to choose from, including:
The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe – CS Lewis
Proven Guilty – Jim Butcher
Shadows of Somerset – Bob Freeman
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
Harry Potter & the half blood prince – JK Rowling
Naked in Death – JD Robb
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

City of Angels – John Berendt

We collect suggestions and recommendations from our members continually as well as checking for new books that might be of interest. Then we decide on a shortlist, look for volunteers to host the discussions, and then compile the schedule as far in advance as possible, but with some flexibility for changes and new books. We try to offer something for everyone.

Which books have provoked the best discussion?

‘Pride & Prejudice’, ‘Dead as a Doornail’ (Charlaine Harris), ‘Sunshine’ (Robin McKinley), ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ probably provoked the best discussions, although there are always lively discussions with the Harry Potter books too. ‘Sunshine’ was interesting as there were some people for whom this was a long-time favourite book, while others, including myself, just hated it. It did make for a very interesting and lively discussion, and it’s always good to see things from another point of view.

What was your worst read?

We have varied tastes so one man’s meat would be another man’s poison. My personal worst read was Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I suppose it would be fantasy with the main character, Sunshine (a baker) discovering she is a vampire slayer but it was just dull and seemed to drag on forever, with Sunshine talking endlessly about cinnamon rolls and nothing much happening. However, as I said, this book is a favourite with a lot of people who love this author’s writing. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Anything else?

Well we have a few special things to offer members:
” We have a few authors on the board who join in the discussions and answer questions and I am actively recruiting more. a writing group
” Each member of the book group gets a little ‘book group’ badge to wear on the site.
” Members who are really active in the book discussions and author boards get nominated for our Member of the Month award, which gives you a nice little badge to wear on site for a month and a gift from our Library Online Shop!
” You can also ‘adopt’ your favourite author and be responsible for keeping us all up-to-date with the latest information.
” One of our members has had his first book published and is hosting the book discussion in August this year. (Bob Freeman – Shadows over Somerset) We also arranged a special Book Group discount with the publisher for any of our members ordering the book and will be looking at further discount opportunities for our members.

We welcome all new book addict members who are 15 and over, into our friendly, fun community.

Website Address: http://empireofthecat.com or bookaddictsbookgroup.com
Just click on the Book Addicts Forum menu link to register