I was a bit disappointed in this book. It was a bit light on content.
The book started off with a definition of a reading group, goals and what to expect. Then discussed member types, what they contribute, what to expect, and potential conflicts. Then it gets into organizational details, selecting locations, issues of food, rules of order, focus, leadership, and such.
These elements are good and I had hoped Rachel would delve into these a bit deeper. But she spends a lot of time on the value of reading and reading groups, which I think is unnecessary given that the reader has selected this book.
Another problem I had is that the book had a very strong focus on women’s reading groups. This wasn’t apparent from the cover or the little research I did. I have doubts about a lot of the material and how much it can be generalized. The reading list, for instance, has a strong slant toward women authors and women’s issues.
The author is a professional book group leader. She spends a chapter on why you should have a professional leader, and lists a few other professional leaders in other areas of the country. This portion just felt like an ad, I couldn’t accept it as real advice since she seemed to be pushing her services a little too much. She does discuss a reading list newsletter she offers – for a fee, for instance.
Almost half the book is appendices. These list book suggestions in several categories, syllabi from several reading groups, and a glossary of literary terms, among a few others.
I don’t feel the book was a waste of time, but there are undoubtedly better books out there.