The Monogamous Book Club

Last week Alan Levine blogged about how infuriating it is that the U.S. has all but ignored the real plight going on currently in Puerto Rico. That U.S. Territory (a status defined by a history of imperialism) has recently been devastated by two hurricanes, and by all accounts little has been done to help. It’s shameful, but given how chock full of shameful the U.S. has been as of late, it’s getting harder to keep track or take notice. Alan has tried to frame the call for support as a bridge built around personal notes of support on postcards to the students and faculty at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon—a place filled with great people I’ve been lucky enough to visit several times over the last 8 years. It’s a good thing to simply remind folks some of us care.

That post (and the subsequent Daily Create that asked folks to send post cards to Sagrado) led Chris Lott to point back to an online book club he ran using postcards back in 2010. It was a pretty impressive endeavor, and he even linked to a Flickr group with pictures of some of those post cards. I was a fan of the Motley Read project, and I responded to Chris saying as much.

And as Chris often does in a very special way (I owe my most memorable presentation (OpenEd 2011 [tent,occupy] to him), he inspired me. I have been toying with a podcast idea, and when I he linked back to Motely Reads it encouraged me to try and spell it out. It’s actually quite simple:

It’s a one-on-one book discussion, it actually isn’t all that novel (#budumbump), as a podcast. Whoever is interested recommends a book and we schedule a time to talk about it for roughly an hour. It can be anything, a novel, a short story, a poem, a manual, whatever. Also, we both have to blog about it. Part of the  reason for this is terribly practical. I want to read more, but I am bad about it. I found a read that most when I was teaching and I had too, but I have not taught for near on 3 years, so I find I’m out of practice. I figured if anyone took me up on this, it would be good practice. Books always come to life for me in conversation. As it turns out, I already got quite  few takers before I even nailed down what exactly it is. Not to mention a logo thanks to Ron:

So, the idea is simple. If you also want a reason to set a deadline for yourself to discuss something you’ve been wanting to read, this is your opportunity. Just fill out the following form with your name, proposed book, and email. After that I’ll get back to you and we’ll schedule a time to chat live on the radio and it will soon after be a “podcast.” Easy! Use the following form or just put it in the blog comments.

Also, if you choose to let me decide on a book, I promise you it will be a doozy. Just answer the third question with “You Choose,” and oh will I ever—just remember you let me choose!

Are you in? I hope this is clear, because I think I somehow confused Sarah Honeychurch on Twitter 🙂

Anyway, like everything done in this spirit, we’ll see where it leads. I actually have the first episode lined up for tomorrow afternoon. I speak with Paul Bond tomorrow about The Twenty Days of Turin, which is something I have been wanting to do for weeks. In fact, Paul had a post today that reminded me we kinda have been doing this for one and off for awhile. Last year we had a book discussion about Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and he noted that discussion has been viewed more than 800 times. How bizarre. So, here is to reading monogamously with all you freaks and geeks.

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10 Responses to The Monogamous Book Club

  1. Maha Bali says:

    Monogamous? Book? Club? Podcast? Conversation?
    I mean, u had me at all of these words (yes, the word monogamous attracts me, even coming from this culture).

    And a hint – I will notice if you only interview men. I will notice if you only read books by men. And I will hunt u down 😉

    Just kidding. Can we recommend people/books and you can have small groups discussing the books? Autumm Caines used to.

    So I’m imagining having Chris Gilliard, Audrey Watters and danah boyd discussing Cathy O’Neill’s Weapons of Math Destruction. Or just any one of those people and that book (which I’ve read but don’t feel qualified enough to discuss)

    Anyway! Er what’s the podcast called?

  2. Chris L says:

    [tent, occupy] is your [picnic, lightning].

    Now, I must choose very carefully…

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