Sunday, March 5, 2017

Book Club Experience

Book Club: Killer Thrillers Book Club at the Nashville Public Library

For this book club, we read The Holy Thief by William Ryan. This is, apparently, going to be a series of books about a Russian criminal investigator named Alexei Korolev. I took a combination approach between participant and observer. Just like my Secret Shopper experience, no one knew my true motives. Muahahaha...

Who is asking the questions, is there a leader or do people take turns? 

This particular book club meeting was facilitated by a library employee named Bryan. He is ultimately the person in charge, but once the group discussion got going he didn't need to say much to elicit opinions, only to pose the next question on his sheet.

If there is a leader, does the leader answer the questions as well or let the attendees respond first? 

Bryan lets the attendees respond first, but did throw in his two cents a few times. Since this book is super heavy on the Russian elements (it's pretty annoying how characters address each other with first and middle names regularly), it was nice to have someone there to help us decipher it all if we needed it.

What type of questions are asked? Any involving just yes or no answers? 

All of the questions that were asked were open ended in nature. They were the "what did you think about _____?" or "Did you notice the connection between A and B, what did you think of that?" variety. The whole point of the discussion questions were to get people talking, not just have them say yes or no. As someone who hasn't read a lot of mysteries, the questions were a unique way for me to learn about the common elements of the genre.

Do all attendees actively participate? 

That depends on your definition of active. I technically participated on a few questions, but mostly I just listened to the other attendees. It was a larger group that I was anticipating (about 15 people) but most people had at least one or two things to share.

Do any attendees swoop in and steal all the spotlight? 

Sort of? Any group is going to have their more vocal participants and this was no exception. There was one person in particular that had to share their opinion on every question. It was okay though because they weren't hogging all the time. Other people were able to speak and get their thoughts in as well.

What is the atmosphere of the discussion, where is it taking place at? 

This particular book club meets on the third floor of the main library in one of their program rooms, which is, as you can imagine, just a room with chairs and tables.

Are any snacks or drinks provided? 

No. No food or drinks are allowed in the library, but I did see a few people bring their own water.

What types of books does this book club normally discuss? 

With a name like Killer Thrillers, I'm sure you can figure that one out! They discuss mysteries and thrillers and meet once a month.

Even though I didn't really care for the book that we read, the book club experience was pretty fun. It's always nice to discuss what you read with others. Lots of different views and opinions and that just added to my understanding of the book that we read. I think I took more away from the experience with that input than if I didn't have it at all.


  1. I love the name of the book club, it is totally one that I would be interested in being a part of.

  2. Hi Laura,

    I really like your breakdown of listening to other people discuss books, “lots of different views and opinions and that just added to my understanding of the book that we read. I think I took more away from the experience with that input than if I didn't have it at all.”

    I totally agree with you. I find discussing a book with my friends and fellow colleagues have helped me see the book from different points of view that I would not have thought about. Sometimes I agree with other people’s interpretations of a story and other times I disagree, but in the end it may me think of the story in a new way.

    Thanks for posting.

  3. Laura, I have to agree with Jenny, I love the name of the book club. I also think hearing other people's input is helpful in understanding a book. Everybody brings different experiences and backgrounds to the table and the way they interpret it, while it might differ from someone else's opinion is quite frankly, a refreshing new way to look at a topic.

  4. I like that you formatted this analysis by answering questions, which helps for the flow and organization of the assignment. I also really liked the visual of the cover page of The Holy Thief because it looks like an interesting thriller. I'll have to put this title on my GoodReads because I'm starting to like this genre, as I read The Beggar King by Oliver Potzsch a couple weeks ago. It's good to read that you approached this discussion as a participant and observer so that you could offer some helpful input about the novel. I'm also glad to hear that everyone had the chance to offer input, as well, because it's helpful when everyone has the opportunity to add to the discussion.

  5. This sounds like a fun book club! I'm curious, was it all women or a mixture of genders? It seems like most of the book club experiences I've been reading about are mostly female...

  6. Fantastic observations and write up! I'm glad you had such a pleasant experience! Also, I really do love the book club name as well!