Book Club Questions...Questions.

Litopia's own Book Club for all members... We meet on Zoom


Full Member
Sep 16, 2021
New England
First of all...good to see you online, Jason. Not even a category 4 hurricane could stop the soon-to-be notorious LBC :cool:

About the books we it a requirement that the chooser has not yet read the book in question? Otherwise, is it a requirement that he or she has? I really don't know how this works.

Also...I'd like to know how books are chosen. There was a discussion elsewhere that leaned toward the democratic approach. This definitely has it benefits coz everyone gets a vote. However, this can lead to a "tyranny of the majority" that could prevent hidden gems from making the cut.

We could do a roundtable of people choosing books. Each person gets to choose one - or even provide a limited selection of books for the rest of us to choose (a Representative Monarchy). I know some of you are worried that someone might get heat for choosing a stinker. Well so what? If it was me, I'd laugh it off and take whatever I earned :D

If we go full democracy, is it possible to invoke some sort of a "guiding hand" with regards to genre? You what we do on Pop-Ups. Otherwise, less popular genres may never see their day in the sun.

Of course...we could alternate between selection methods (also mentioned in another discussion). And I nominate Jason for working out the mechanics this headache :)

Thoughts? Improvements? Rotten-egg projectiles?
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I know that you have seen the post (how on God's Green Earth did this get 211 views if it's just us on this community already?) because you referenced the discussion. A hybrid has been suggested, of course.

I have no preference for whether you have read it or not already. I try to recommend things that I have read already, but that is because I am cautious and I don't want to recommend a dud. That being said, there are a few ones that I am willing to take a chance on: I have never, in my entire life, been remotely tempted to read The Kite Runner. However, everybody and his dog named Pete swear it's a great book. So if it is selected, I'll read it and prepare myself to be amazed.

How do you submit something for consideration? Currently, what I want us to do is to message me, then I will add it to the list, up to maybe twelve. You have six votes, and you can spend them on whichever ones you want. The top four get added to the rotation for the next quarter, the bottom eight can be shelved as also-ran books. That was what I was thinking, anyway. The reason I was thinking about doing it by quarter was do prevent us from being overwhelmed with voting and giving people the chance to plan ahead: for instance, if you know that you'll be busy in February, but you've always wanted to read The Kite Runner you can knock the book out earlier if you know it's going to happen, and still enjoy the conversation.

I agree with you that there are some hidden gems that simply wouldn't be selected because there is a structural bias against it. For instance, if you are going to choose between The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) and Boy Shattered (Eli Easton) I know which one will lose. Eli Easton writes gay fiction. The fact that it's a haunting book, set before, during, and after a high school shooting, and it has a realistic portrait of American society in the age of the radical right, doesn't even enter the discussion. Nobody has ever heard of Easton outside that narrow circle.

My only workaround for this is to post the blurb and picture with a personal recommendation during the voting period: Jason L. especially recommends this because... M. Dupré especially recommends this because... I would definitely have a folder called Especially Recommended for ones that failed but we still believed in it, so that if people did read this, they could reach out to me, or you, to say "I just read this book and..."

One of the things that I was considering actively was having each quarter be something slightly different. So quarter 1 could be Mainstream, Quarter 2 could be mystery, Quarter 3 could be historical fiction, Quarter 4 could be Sci-fi and fantasy, &c. This means that for three months we would be reading relatively similar fiction and can compare how they approached it. Varying every month would mean a lot of variety but few deep dives into a genre. That being said, perhaps that variety is kind of what we need.