A Good Read – Discussion themes
Sharing a favourite (recent) read
Each participant talks for up to 10 minutes about a book they think others would enjoy reading and, through what they got from the book, inspire others to consider reading it too.
Explore specific genres
Discuss particular genres and whether they appeal or repel and why. Again each participant starts with a short statement of their views on the topic being discussed. Examples of genres are Historical novels, fantasy novels, (auto)biographies, contemporary political novels, short stories, thrillers/spy novels, Cookery/Household guides etc.
Explore range of works of a specific author
How versatile is an author? Discuss works of a selected author (or similar authors for comparative purposes) ; how original is each work, are they written to a standard formula or is each unique; can an author write in different genres and how successful.
Revisit the classics from the past with today’s perspectives
Re-look at classics encountered e.g. at school/uni from today’s perspective.
Explore how some literature reflected the politics or societal conventions of the time (eg Shakespeare’s plays set in Tudor era, Jane Austin’s novels about women in society), or contributed to changes in society or new trends in literary styles.
Readings of favourite passages from literature
Each participant reads short passages (couple of minutes max) of their own choosing from books, speeches or poems, and explains why it is so striking for them —> literary style, moving words, beautiful prose/poetry.
Option for consideration: choose in advance what types of passages so that there is some common thread in the discussion.
Book or Film – contrast or complimentary
Explore what value films of successful books bring to or take away from the original. Some people would never watch a film of a book they have enjoyed, others will watch the film as well. Discussion would explore these ideas with reference to specific books (more than one possible but similar in genre) with participants preferably having either read the book or seen the film and hopefully someone who has done both. “Films” can include TV dramatisations both as single episodes or serialised (e.g. Pride and Prejudice which, as it has also been done as a film, gives scope to compare 3 different art forms).
Discuss single book read by all
Normal book club format, single book chosen for all to read (or make an attempt to) and discussion is on the one book only. For this theme, books need to be chosen at least 2 months in advance and available in both print & ebook format.
Lost in translation or not?
How faithfully is a novel’s literary quality/value in the original translated into English. This theme requires that at least one participant has read both versions (original and English translation) and that most of the others will have read at least one version.
New reads (for possible inclusion towards end of meeting)
What new releases and their reviews have appeared? What looks interesting or to be avoided? List where reviews can be found.