• Book Groups are great fun, but with so many books to choose from and potentially so many different personalities attending the group, there are a few things to consider to ensure it all runs smoothly.



    I love reading so I thought it would be fun to join a book group, so we set one up. Well, I say a book group, it was actually a group of female work colleagues and it consisted of us eating at Podium at the Hilton (nice restaurant if you're wondering) and drinking at numerous other wine-drinking establishments around Manchester.

    Unfortunately, I can't actually say we discussed in depth, much more than the *ahem* "highlights" of Fifty Shades of Grey! That's definitely not how you organise a book group. So, where did we go wrong? Aside from the obvious fact, that we did not actually discuss the books properly as we planned.

    The main problem was the lack of suitable venue. Firstly, think about a suitable place to hold your book group. This should be somewhere quiet and where you can talk freely. It may be that a local pub works for you (ask permission first), but it won't necessarily be private. To start with, maybe take it in turns to hold the group at each others houses. 

    Think about the frequency you will meet? For this, you need to think realistically how often will people be able to attend HAVING READ THE BOOK? People lead busy lives, so it may be fine sticking to a commitment to meet weekly/fortnightly, but will everyone have really read the book? For me personally, once per month is ideal.

    What books you will read? This will be a great area for discussion, if your book group is not targeted at a specific genre. One way to organised the initial reading list, may be to each pick say 5 'wishlist books'. If there are 5 of you, then that is potentially 25 books to get you started with straight away.

    Further suggestions for books can be found at for example, The Waterstones Book Group, Goodreads, or just ask your local library as they are always keen to help.

    This was our initial reading 'wish list':
    (as you can see there are a quite a few different types of books in there)
    Anybody Out There
    Miss Garnets Angel
    The Kite Runner
    A Thousand Splendid Suns
    Round Ireland with a Fridge
    Water for Elephants
    Pigeon English
    The Time Traveler's Wife
    The Secret Life of Bees
    To Kill a Mocking Bird
    The Sense of an Ending
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
    Daughters of Shame
    The Great Gatsby
    The Lifeboat
    The Tenant of Windefell Hall
    A Place Called Somewhere
    For One More Day
    The Help
    Her Fearful Symmetry
    The Book Thief
    The Hunger Games
    Pride Prejudice and Zombies
    The Rome
    1984
    Misery
    Fifty Shades of Grey

    I hope this has provided some food for thought.

    Has anyone else had any good/bad book group experiences?

    Helen xoxo