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Interested in helping host? Boston Book Group

If I were Queen of Book Group: Guidelines for a Good Time!

The Boston-based Book Group will be scheduling sessions as a hostess comes forward to host the event. Here are some guidelines for those interested! 

  1. Sign up to host a WCAB Book Group
  • Be able to accommodate up to 12 people (ok for some to sit on floor)
  • Minimum 6 weeks notice in advance of date (more notice is appreciated)
  • Specify date, location, and time to Coordinator
    • Preference of weekday evenings or weekends (no Fri/Sat evening)
    • Strong preference for T-accessibility, some preference for available parking
  • Notify of cats/dogs/ other allergy issues for guests or any other issues about the space that guests should know
  • Specify the food plan:
    • Host to provide x; guests to bring y and z 

      Each guest brings her own food and beverage

      Each guest to purchase own food and beverage (i.e. in a cafe/restaurant, specify if there is a minimum purchase for use of space)
  1. Host Chooses book(s)
  • If using our standard book club model, choose a book which is:
  • Alternately, hosts may choose an alternate format
    • Faculty book club (must be able to host up to 20 people, contact coordinator to arrange for faculty speaker)
    • Multiple book discussion (choose an author, subject, or specific type of book)
    • Book Club with an Author (if you know a local author, feel free to invite them to book club to lead a discussion/be asked questions)
    • Book adaptation (discuss a book and an adaptation of that book into another medium, can coordinate with a viewing of movie/theatre/etc)
    • Be creative!  (There must be a book involved somewhere)
  • Host must read the book(s) and lead the discussion 
  1. Coordinator Publicizes the Meeting and Coordinates RSVPs
  • E-mails date/book/general location to WCAB book club mailing list
  • Sets up event information on WCAB site, including for mailing in WCAB blast (sent 1st and 15th of each month)
  • Works with host to determine correct RSVP structure
    • Through WCAB website (requires website admin login)
    • Through coordinator directly
    • Through host directly
    • Through secondary e-mail address for WCAB book club set up to go to coordinator and host(s) (possibly multiple if overlapping coordination periods for events)
  • Reminds all RSVP’d attendees a few days prior to event and insures host has final RSVP list
  1. Host Structures and Runs the Meeting
  • Host sets schedule for eating, discussion of book, any other activities
  • Host has read the book and prepares specific book discussion topics/questions (feel free to search internet for existing book discussion guides).  Examples could be:
    • Author’s narrative choices: point of view, whose story is it and why
    • Characters – credible?  Likable? 
    • Quality of writing at level of language – voice, tone, lyrical vs. plainspoken – how do these affect story?
    • Structure – story sequencing, development of story/plot
    • Narrative tics?  Narrative arc?
    • Suspense vs confusion, predictability, etc.
  • Host tries to ensures that everyone has an opportunity to participate, to the extent desired
  1. Host Calls It Quits
  • Host sends everyone home
  1. Host is Worshipped By All
  • Thanks are given and new Victim Host is selected as volunteer