“We are always looking for the book it is necessary to read next,” wrote novelist Saul Bellow. If you’re an avid fiction and memoir reader and a member of a book group, you may be the right person to join the 2012 Great Group Reads reading committee. Great Group Reads is part of National Reading Group Month, which is sponsored by the WNBA. You can see the 2011 GGR list of titles at: http://www.nationalreadinggroupmonth.org/ggr_selections.html.
Now that 2012 has arrived, we’re gearing up for the new round of reading, commenting, and voting. As chair of the Reading Committee for Great Group Reads, I had the pleasure this past year of working with 20 dedicated readers, all WNBA members, who graciously put up with the bundles of books delivered to their doors and dove into our project. Each member of the committee read at least 25-30 books between April and August, thought about whether they could recommend the books for discussion groups, and posted their thoughtful comments on our private blog. We voted in August and the list was announced in time for National Reading Group Month in October.
We are now heading into the fourth year of Great Group Reads, and interest in the program increases as publicity expands and publishers become more aware of the value of their books appearing on the list. We’re anticipating that more publishers will want to submit books and become sponsors and more media outlets will want to publicize the list.
Many of last year’s readers have indicated that they’d like to continue—a tribute to their stamina, but also to the excitement of reading and discussing good books. We would like to add some new readers to the committee.
We are looking for thoughtful readers who:
- Read widely, particularly in literary fiction and memoirs
- Can commit the time to read up to 25 books in 4-5 months
- Are currently involved in a book discussion group, and have a sense of what titles will spark discussion
- Feel comfortable expressing an opinion about what they’ve read beyond “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it” and posting it on a group blog
This is a “recommendation” and not a “review” task. We’re thoughtful readers, not literary critics.
If this sounds exciting to you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to answer questions and explain more about Great Group Reads and the reading committee.
– Rosalind Reisner
Co-Recording Secretary, WNBA-NYC