Hello! I’m so sorry I disappeared there in December. The holidays and my trip to Colorado seemed to come upon me sooner than I expected and I didn’t write the holiday posts that I had planned – I suppose there’s always next year – onward to 2016!
My book club is going into its 4th year of existence (our anniversary is in March) and I decided that this year we needed to find a new way to choose our books. The first year we voted every month on a list of titles that I compiled, the second year I chose all the books for the year in advance, and last year we took turns choosing titles every month. This year I wanted the process to be a bit less…contentious. Perhaps that’s not the right word – anonymous is probably better. All the members of my book club are lovely people, but there have been instances of dissatisfaction, irritation and disagreement from time to time with the books we choose and the process that we’ve used to choose them. So this year I did something a little bit different.
Back in November I used Survey Monkey to solicit 3 suggestions from each member. Since we decided to focus on classics this year all suggestions needed to be published before 1970. Once I had the suggestions I compiled them and sent out another Survey Monkey link to where everyone could vote for their top choices. Everything was completely anonymous. We only chose for the first six months because I wanted to make sure this worked and I thought trying to choose 12 books might be overwhelming for our first time with this new process. After all the votes came in I made a list of the 6 books that got the most votes and those are the titles that we’re reading from now until June. What did we choose? Here are our selections:
January – Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
February – My Antonia by Willa Cather
March – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
April – Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
May – The Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
June – Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
I think this was a successful way to choose our books and that we all enjoyed the voting process and finding out which books got the most votes. Though I administered it all I was just as surprised by the selections as anyone else was. I think we have a good variety of books and I look forward to reading all of them. This method will definitely reduce the level of indecision about what to choose and the small disagreements or resentments that happened sometimes in previous years.
Have you read any of these titles? How does your book club choose books?