Invite an author to chat with you at your next meeting! It’s surprisingly easy and adds another interesting dimension to your discussions.
Predictions & Outcomes
This is a reading group activity that can be loads of fun but needs to be planned ahead of time.
We never approach a book with a totally blank mind. The cover art, the description on the back, things we’ve heard word of mouth, and publisher marketing all influence our impression of the book before we even read the first sentence. This activity asks book group members to explore their perceptions of the book before reading it, at some set point in the middle, and after they’ve completed it.
1). After purchasing the book but before starting it, each person should take a few minutes to make some predictions. What will the book be about? Who will the main characters be? Where will the book take place? What kind of conflict or plot will be involved? Why did the author write this book? Are you going to like it? Are you going to learn from it? What do you already know about the ending? What other predictions can you make?
2). At some point in the middle, revisit these questions and your answers to them. How have your predictions played out? Ask yourself similar questions about the second half of the book. What are the important relationships? What are the points of contention? How do you see this book ending? Will you be satisfied with your experience?
3). After finishing the book, take a few minutes to write and reflect on these predictions. In what ways were you surprised by the book? In what ways were your predictions confirmed?
In your book group, discuss these three stages of engagement. See how the predictions compared to each other and what aspects of the book different people focused on. Is there anything the group would change about the marketing of the book? The description on the back? What would you tell someone who has yet to read it?
Source: Bookshop Santa Cruz
Sounds silly, but it’s lots of fun. Divide into 2 teams on either side of the room. Hand everyone an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper on which to write a question from the book.
Crumple the sheets into “snowballs” and, at a signal, throw them across the room to the other team. Give the teams 5-10 minutes to come up with their answers; using the book was fine but no internet searching is allowed. When the time is up, the teams take turns reading their questions and answers. Discussion is encouraged from both teams.
The team who correctly answers the most snowballs wins.
2 points—to a team for each correct answer
1 point— to the other team for each incorrect answer.