One-Minute Book Reviews

March 6, 2007

Reading Group Guides With a Difference

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Libraries,Reading,Totally Unauthorized Reading Group Guides — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 10:28 pm

Why the Totally Unauthorized Reading Group Guides on One-Minute Book Reviews Are Different From Others

Most reading group guides are designed to sell books. They come from publishers or Web sites that accept advertising from them. The guides many contain many thoughtful questions. But their primary purpose is to promote books. They do not encourage you to examine the strengths and weaknesses of an author’s work. They are marketing tools for publishers.

The new reading group guides on One-Minute Book Reviews are different. They are designed for intelligent readers who know that not all books are good or deserve only praise. They encourage you to explore both the faults and virtues of books. They do this in many ways, including by citing negative reviews or obvious defects in an author’s writing when appropriate. They also come from a site that doesn’t accept free books or advertising from publishers and, for that reason, never faces pressures to slant a guide in the direction most favorable to a book.

Some guides on One-Minute Book Reviews are stand-alone lists of discussion questions and supporting material. Others supplement guides you may find elsewhere. All reflect the deep literary experience and perspective of Janice Harayda, an award-winning journalist and novelist who has been book editor of the Plain Dealer and vice-president for awards of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find them in the “Totally Unauthorized Reading Groups” category on this site, which includes guides to The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival, by Stanley Alpert; The Higher Power of Lucky, the 2007 Newbery Medal Winner by Susan Patron; and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah.

If the discussions at your reading are dull or uninspired, you may want to bookmark this site or forward a link to members of your club. Thank you for visiting One-Minute Book Reviews.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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