Great Pairing For Reading Groups
Pairing a classic title with a more contemporary read can expand and enhance the reading experience. Check out these books that belong together for twice-as-nice reading—and discussing.
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa, Emma Sweeney, and Margaret Atwood
Male literary friendships are the stuff of legend; think Byron and Shelley, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But the world’s best-loved female authors are usually mythologized as solitary eccentrics or isolated geniuses.
Which is better, the book or the movie?
It’s a time-honored tradition among readers to watch in shame, delight, or horror as the books they love arrive on the big screen. For book groups, film adaptations can add another dimension to the discussion: one meeting about the book, and then a field trip to the theater for another chat. Seeing where a movie went right, better, or wrong might deepen—or change—your impressions about a book. And the outing can add a social element to the group, helping members connect outside of your usual meeting space.
Being in a book group can mean more than a monthly discussion around a living room or coffee shop table. Some groups have found ways to reach beyond the reading circle to share their love of books and literacy in the community. Curious about how? Here are some creative ideas suggested by our reading groups:
Weeding is hard for any book lover. Fortunately there are great organizations out there looking for donations. Your group can have a “donation” day to pool together your used books and deliver them to a good cause.
Emily Dickinson didn’t become a household name in poetry until long after her death, and it seems like the world is trying to catch up with its attention. Given the number of new books, exhibitions, and opportunities out there celebrating the (now) famous poet, this year might be justly called the Year of Emily.
Why the renewed attention? First, because her work is considered masterful, bold for its time in structure and subject. And then there’s her staggering output: over 1800 poems, with fewer than a dozen published during her lifetime. But above all, Dickinson is surrounded in mystery.
BACK TO SCHOOL: 13 Books to Get You Back in the Mood for School
This collection of thirteen binge-able books—including novels, long-form reportage, essay, and history—will get you back in the mood for school.
Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-Four Books That Can Change Lives By David Denby
Can teenagers be turned on to serious reading? What kind of teachers can do it, and what books? To find out, Denby sat in on a tenth-grade English class in a demanding New York public school for an entire academic year,
Maybe your book group is meeting for the first time, or maybe you’ve had new members join (and others leave), or maybe you just want to inject some fun into your next discussion. Whatever the situation, an icebreaker activity can help!
Icebreakers can put members at ease with one another, making them feel more comfortable expressing their opinions and more likely to respect the comments of others. Plus, a bit of fun and laughter reduces awkwardness and the silences that can sometimes occur, especially at the beginning of a meeting or with new members.
Here’s one idea to get your next (or first!) discussion off to a great start: The Book Group Quiz.