The Vose Library book club meets on the third Wednesday of each month at (unless otherwise indicated) at 1:15 pm, discussion beginning at 1:30. If you’d like some social time beforehand, please arrive a little earlier. To stay in with the other members, join our Google mailing list, email us, or view and participate in the conversation as a forum.
Some discussion guidelines
The person who suggested the book is the discussion facilitator.
The facilitator’s job is to help keep the discussion going and on track. Do not feel the need to make a presentation, although you may prepare a short one if you would like.
Take turns going around the room, allowing each member to talk about his or her experience reading the book. A one-minute or less blurb from each person before general discussion.
Members who haven’t read the book. Come anyway. Not everyone can finish every book, but non-readers may still have valuable insights.
Members who prefer to socialize: Be gentle but firm. Lead the discussion back to the book. Social time is 1:15 pm to 1:30 pm.
Dominating personalities: Never easy. “Let’s hear from some others” is one phrase for the facilitator.
Disagreements about the book. Be gracious! There is no one way to experience or interpret a book. In fact, differing opinions are good. We do not all have to agree, but we do have to respect everyone’s ideas, thoughts, and feelings about issues discussed in the book group.
Respectful discussion is a must! Do not make dismissive statements toward other people’s comments. Even if you disagree, take the conversation back to the book rather than saying “That’s ridiculous,” etc. Making people feel embarrassed or defensive is a sure way to shut down the conversation.
Do remember and respect the theory that there is no right or wrong in the art of literary interpretation. For literary analysis, your opinion(s) should be based on detail(s) from the text.
Avoid pomposity and didacticism. (Leave you egos at home! Break up fist fights!) Have fun engaging in the process of shared exploration.
This website has some helpful ideas and guidelines for discussion facilitators.
September 19, 2018: The Boston Girl (F) by Anita Diamant – Barbara F.
October 17, 2018: Wildfire Loose: the Week Maine Burned (NF) by Joyce Butler /The Stars Are Fire (F) by Anita Shreve – Anita B.
November 14, 2018**: The Alchemist (F) by Paulo Coelho – Ve N.
December 12, 2018**: Beyond All Expectations:the Story of Paige Barton (NF) by JoAnne Putnam – Jan W.
January 16, 2019 : Fly Girls (NF) by Keith O’Brien – Sybil W.
February 20, 2019: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante—Joyce Grotton
March 20, 2019: Little Paris Bookshop (F) by Nina George – Carol W.
April 17, 2019: The Red House: Being a mostly accurate account of New England’s oldest continuously lived-in house (NF) by Sarah Messer – Cindy D.
May 15, 2019: Educated: A memoir (NF) by Tara Westover – Dorothy D.
June 19, 2019: The President is Missing (F) by William Clinton & James Patterson- Linda A.
July 17, 2019: The Story of Arthur Truluv (F) by Elizabeth Berg – Marie P.
August 21, 2019: Year-end meeting when we discuss the books of the past year and choose books for the coming year.
Choosing books to read
Everyone suggests two books one month, and then everyone votes for their top choices the following month. We will choose our winter books for October to May, and our summer books for June to September. If your book is chosen, you will be the facilitator for that book’s discussion.
Do choose books which you have read or seriously looked through to gauge length and ease.
Do mix genres. A steady diet of one thing can be dull, dull, dull. Try interspersing fiction—current and classic—with nonfiction: poetry, history, or biography.
Do choose books which have been out for at least a year, so they will be readily available.
Don’t choose books which are too long or difficult to get through. For nonfiction especially, consider shorter books.
Don’t read favorites. Reading a book someone “just loves” can lead to hurt feelings—like inviting people into your home to critique your decor. Ouch. Best to stay on neutral territory.