Thursday, May 18, 2006

Our 1st discussion & Reading tips

Discussion for Chapters 1 - 4 will begin on 21st May 2006, Sunday evening, 6p.m.

Feel free to post entries on these 4 chapters. You may ask questions, give an insight, share a reflection, debate, summarise or criticise. You may also share a personal experience that you have found connections between life and the novel's themes. You could also pick out words, quotes, segments that was thought-provoking to you. All responses to any previously raised topic should be added as a comment to that post, rather than a new entry. i.e. 1 topic - 1 post.

I will include some more guidelines in the next entry to start us along. I don't know about you guys, but I'm real excited about our brave venture into book crusading. We even recruited a new member, Su, who was really excited to start with us on our first book. (welcome!)

Here are some tips I learnt while I was on the course. Its not rocket-science, but at least it gives us a common platform for meaningful discussion.

Make notes and mark pages as you go.

This may slow your reading, but saves time searching for important passages later. Personalise your book by using flag-tags or write notes in the margins.

Ask tough questions of yourself and the book.
These can promote in-depth conversations with your group and make the book more meaningful. (see tips given above) Most of the time, we don't need summaries, but we welcome insights and connections.

Analyze themes.
Consider the premise with which the author started.
Get to know characters. Consider their faults, strengths and motives and what it would be like to interact with them.

Notice the book's structure.
Are chapters prefaced by quotes? How many narrators tell the story? Is the book written in flashbacks? Does the order the author chose make sense to you?

Compare to other books and authors
Themes often run through an author's works. Share with members similar genre or books similar to selected book.

(adapted from NLB's 'Reading circle resource kit 2006')


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