Happy New Years!


Wishing you the happiest of New Year celebrations!

In 2014, I look forward to many things:

– starting my dissertation in literature (gulp! It sounds so grown up!)
– getting married (double gulp!) to the love of my life (actually not so scary)
– continuing my journey in healing and recovering from personal health issues
– working on That's What She Read, with the aim of creating a useful, entertaining (and therefore popular) blog about reading, literature and all things bookish!


What are your hopes for the new year? Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to? Share your thoughts in our comments section!



Spicing Up a Tired Bookclub

Sometimes after a book-club has been going for a while, things can start to get a bit staid. People discussing the same things, going over similar novels…

Sometimes you need to change things up to keep them interesting

If you're wondering how you can spice your book-club up and keep things interesting, you might want to try some of my ideas:

1. Literary Quizzes

Don't make quizzes too formal - laugh and enjoy it; book clubs are for fun!

Each month, nominate a member to write a literary quiz and supply a couple of prizes (which don't have to be extravagant!). The quiz can be as involved or as simple as you like, with either individual or groups working together to come up with answers. The Internet is full of random book related trivia, or you could maybe list off well-known protagonists and ask people to name which books they are from.

2. Discussion Questions

Discussion questions can be conversational (“If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you take to keep insanity at bay?”) or you can come up with questions specific to the novel you are reading. Penguin USA offers really great reading guides to popular book-club books and I would definitely recommend that you start there.

3. Offer Food

It might sound really stupid, but people like to feel special. Wouldn't you love to feel excited about attending your book-club, like it was a party or special event? And when you feel good, you're more likely to chat and get involved – just what a dry, boring book club needs! Food doesn't have to be challenging or intricate – cupcakes or veggie sticks with dip is fine! People will just be excited that you made an effort and look forward to coming back.

How cool are these book-themed cupcakes?


Or if you're in the mood to be creative, why not theme your book-club spread to the theme of the novel you are reading? You're reading Of Mice and Men? Good hearty American food'll do! Pride and Prejudice? Why not a high tea?

4. Change It Up

Sometimes book-clubs get caught in the trap of selecting similar books and similar genres. Do some research and change it up. If you can't find something different through your favourite book blog (which is, of course, That's What She Read), check out Goodreads for something different that has been highly rated.

Sometimes, adding a new member can be the change you need. Why not put an ad on Gumtree or through your local council. When looking for new members, try to find someone from a different path than the majority of your members – different ages and backgrounds will likely introduce new opinions into your bookclub and encourage deep discussion.

5. Themed Nights

Another way of changing it up is adding themed events to your book-club. Some ideas include:

Film-Buff Night – choose a novel that had been adapted into a film, and discuss which you enjoyed better and why, what you would have done differently as the director. Normally, literary lovers have the opinion that the book is always better than the film – can your group find the anomaly to the rule?

My Childhood Favourite Night – each member has to being along the book that was their childhood favourite. Read passages (or, if short enough, the whole thing) and reminisce with each other.

Judge a Book By It's Cover – Who can make the rest of the group cringe by finding the novel with the worst cover? Or critique the next meetings book prior to reading it, just by viewing the cover alone. Will your opinions change?

Can your Bookclub find any covers worse than these?

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Do you have any interesting ideas or tips about how to spice up a boring bookclub? Share with us in the comments section


Third Sentence Thursday

Third Sentence Thursday is a meme hosted by me. To see the meme rules, the list of other blogs participating (or to join in the fun yourself), please go to the original post here. This weeks TST comes from Don’t You Want Me by India Knight (read my review here)

“I can’t very well spend my first morning at Happy Bunnies beating children up, but my goodness, I am sorely tempted.” page 27

This quote is a great example of the dry wit within Don’t You Want Me. India Knight astutely observes the inner monologue of a modern woman navigating herself through the PC world of “letting your children be, even if that means praising them for pooping on the floor”