Introducing . . . The No-Obligation Book Club.

February 24th, 2010


It’s an idea that hatched from a Twitter conversation with Tamsen McMahon and Amber Austen, based on their replies to my CareOne post about reading books to improve your attention span. Here’s the idea:

  1. I use a blog post — this one, in fact — to tell you what I’m reading.
  2. If you decide to read any of those same books, you let me know.
  3. When we’re both/all done with the book, we discuss as much or as little as we please — via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, blog comment threads, whatever.

That’s it — no big whoop, no big commitment, no set meetings, no hurt feelings, nothing.

The point is to reinforce our love of good books, but without creating yet another obligation to overload our already busy days. (If my count is correct, Tamsen, Amber, and I have a total of seven children, with another — Tamsen’s second — on the way. We’re busy enough already.)

So, here’s what’s on my nightstand, more or less in the order that I intend to finish them:

  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Snowball (biography of Warren Buffett) by Alice Schroeder
  • Mort by Terry Pratchett
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  • Delivered from Distraction by Hallowell and Ratey
  • The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald
  • Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  • Plus several back issues of Esquire and The Threepenny Review.

Care to join me?


(Photo by Nicholas Laughlin, used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.)

7 Responses to “Introducing . . . The No-Obligation Book Club.”

  1. AmberAusten Says:

    Ok,….. After I look up what all of those are I’ll let you know – lol. Cool idea :) watch out Oprah!!!

  2. Tamsen (@tamadear) Says:

    I need (NEED!) to finish “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath first, but then I’ll likely head for “To Say Nothing of the Dog,” since I know we have that one in the house. The Hubband suggests if we go that direction, we also add “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K. Jerome, which is the book it’s based on.

  3. Tim Walker Says:

    I think we’ve done good work here, ladies. I’m stoked.

  4. eddy Says:

    I’m in. I never finished Snowball, so I’ll pick that up again. BTW, I just wrote a little post about reading, and it has a link to my Shelfari page. Or I can just give it to you here. Look under the “reading” tab.

  5. Tim Walker Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Eddy. If I’m EVER gonna finish The Snowball, I’ll need a foxhole buddy to do it — I’m only ~400 pp. into it.

  6. Jennifer Says:

    Chris read The Snowball, so if you want a discussion buddy… I love the idea of reading with other folks, even if discussion is limited, since it keeps us all reading! I’m in the midst of a classical binge right now myself – working on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and then off to Canterbury Tales (of which I’ve only read smatterings). Love this idea!

  7. Tim Walker Says:

    Jen — Talk to T. about Gawain & Canterbury Tales — she loved those as an English major in college.

Leave a Reply