My friends and I have just set up a book club. We’ve tentatively decided to call it The Bodies in the Library, because we are massive Agatha Christie fans. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to stick to crime fiction. In fact, I’m encouraging everyone to bring wildly different genres!
Our oath is based on that of The Detection Club – a group of mystery writers that was set up in the 1930s. Some of its members included Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers!
Do you promise that your detectives shall well and truly detect the crimes presented to them using those wits which it may please you to bestow upon them and not placing reliance on nor making use of Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition, Mumbo Jumbo, Jiggery-Pokery, Coincidence, or Act of God?
However, other than this, we haven’t really put a plan in action. So I turn to the interwebs with questions and pleas for guidance!
What makes a book suitable for a book club?
This is terrible, but whenever I’ve worked at bookstores, I’ve found that the books picked for book clubs tend to be awfully bland. Or recent semi-literary bestsellers. I can kind-of understand why that is – you want it to appeal to everyone, on some level. My friends are 20-something, mainly LGBT+ folks, so I think they can handle something a bit controversial. (I’m very tempted to recommend some erotica, just to see what everyone thinks!)
How many times a month should we meet?
I read quickly, I know that. Is one book a month too much to ask?
I personally don’t like having pre-prepared questions or areas of discussion – this is for fun, not for university! However, I realise that not everyone is as comfortable rambling on about books as I am. Is it a good idea have themes and questions ready, especially if the discussion gets de-railed?
What do we do if someone really, really can’t get on with the book?
Do they just not show up? Spend the whole meeting ranting? I’m having horror stories play in my head about book lovers going rogue!
If you have any advice for me, please comment – I will be eternally grateful.