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Old 16.01.2012, 19:43
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(EF) Zurich Book Club?

Hi all,

Aside from playing with numbers, writing a cookbook, and discovering new restaurants, I greatly enjoy books. All of them - poetry, novels, fiction, etc. and my favorite of all, biographies. Actually, I just finished reading this book - outstanding. Sorry for the off topic...

Anyway, I see threads all the time on EF about book clubs in Basel, Morges, Geneva,...and I think "Darn, I would love to go!!!" so I thought why not start one in Zurich?

We could even alternate genres based on the members' interest, or, inspired by Basher's dining events, we could do "The A-Z of Reading in Zurich" and pick a different country/author each time. Since we are all busy and so forth, we could discuss frequency and day of meetings - once a month? Once every two months? On Sunday evening? One evening during the week? And so on.

So my question to you all: do you think there would be interest for such book club in Zurich? Thanks for the input!
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Old 16.01.2012, 19:47
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Good idea, I would be in favour of doing it online on the EF. A poster can propose a book, if it is seconded and thirded then that's the book selected. We could set a timeframe to read and discuss it, say a month to read it?
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Old 16.01.2012, 20:02
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

I'm game! Though I might prefer in person if only because that's a lot of the fun of a book club (that and my 's' and 'e' keys are wonky and have to be punched so typing takes a lot of effort )
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Old 16.01.2012, 20:04
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Great idea Federica! I'm going to a book club in Zurich on Weds night but it would be good if it could be something that we could do something EF. I would definitely be in if it was on a day when I'm free.

(ps loving the topical book choice )
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Old 16.01.2012, 20:10
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

I'm in!
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Old 16.01.2012, 20:19
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

yes federica, great idea, I'd be IN too (depending on the kind of books, though...)
a combination of online AND in person might be an option

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Great idea Federica! I'm going to a book club in Zurich on Weds night but it would be good if it could be something that we could do something EF. I would definitely be in if it was on a day when I'm free.

(ps loving the topical book choice )
LouisaB, do you mean this bookclub. it looks nice. I was thinking of going, then got tangled up with EF ?
http://www.meetup.com/zurichbookclub/
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Old 16.01.2012, 20:32
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

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LouisaB, do you mean this bookclub. it looks nice. I was thinking of going, then got tangled up with EF ?
http://www.meetup.com/zurichbookclub/
Yes that's the one Will be finishing Black Box tonight. They seem to have a great selection of books - covering a range of cultures and periods in history etc. I've also got Atlas Shrugged for the next meeting in Feb, but unfortunately I'm now going to be away then
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Old 16.01.2012, 20:40
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

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Yes that's the one Will be finishing Black Box tonight. They seem to have a great selection of books - covering a range of cultures and periods in history etc. I've also got Atlas Shrugged for the next meeting in Feb, but unfortunately I'm now going to be away then
I've never been in a book club, how does it work? it would be great if you or anyone else could shortly explain... thanks
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Old 16.01.2012, 20:47
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

I've never been to one either, but I'll let you know after Wednesday
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Old 16.01.2012, 22:21
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

I would be so in, depending on a day, though.
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Old 17.01.2012, 13:18
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Wonderful! Thanks to all for the replies. Let's do it!

I kind of like the "meeting in person" idea (thinking of coffee shop/quiet bar and evening book discussion - yay!) and probably once a month/once every month and a half makes sense time-wise.

I have two additional requests/questions for you all:
  1. Would you prefer during the week or weekend? I was thinking that Sunday evening might be a good time (not so much going on on Sundays anyway, and it would be an early evening event, say at 7-8pm or so, so we can all go to bed early and have a good start into the week, AND it would not conflict with weekend plans), but on the other hand an evening during the week might be a better option for people who are already in Zurich for work, and so on. I am open to wither option.
  2. I need your book suggestions to start! If everyone suggests a book or more, then we can make sure to cover everyone's taste and we have a good pool of choices to start. More choices can be picked along the way. Some additional inputs can be found at:
NY Times Best Sellers

World Book Night

100 Must Read Books

Looking forward to your inputs

P.S. My suggestion: one of my favorite books of all times, Love In The Time of Cholera, G.G. Marquez.

Last edited by BokerTov; 17.01.2012 at 19:12.
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Old 17.01.2012, 13:21
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

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I've never been in a book club, how does it work? it would be great if you or anyone else could shortly explain... thanks
Venice, the members all read the same book, then get together and, over a coffee/drink/whatever, discuss their impressions and thoughts about the book. It can be free-flow, or with set items for discussion prepared by the organizer(s). What I find a good idea is to have a small list of topics/themes so that if the discussion lags at any point, it can be revived, but I like the free-flow approach.
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Old 17.01.2012, 13:37
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

HI Federica - I think it is a good idea. I like the idea of a Sunday evening meeting - gives people time to get home from any weekend travelling/skiing and still allows for a good start to the week! My first recommendation would be "George & Arthur" by Julian Barnes.
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Old 17.01.2012, 15:07
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Great! Sunday evening would also be good for me. I have my German classes on Tues and Thurs and obv conversation group on Weds, but Monday would also be ok for me.

Maybe the organiser could be different each time and it would be their responsibility to select the book and arrange the meeting point? This way the burden is not always on the same person.

Enjoying the books suggestions so far For my book suggestions, ones that I have read and enjoyed would be:
Something AS Byatt (any of the The Frederica Quartet books (there are, ahem....4!), The Children's book or Possession)
Lost Horizon, James Hilton (the original tale of Shangri-La)
With their Backs to the World:Portraits of Serbia (by Ċsne Seierstad who wrote Bookseller of Kabul)
Lauren Bacall: By Myself (clearly autobiography of Lauren Bacall....controversial choice, but really interesting)
The Mitford Girls (biography of the 5 Mitford girls and their lives and choices before, during and after the war....also fascinating)

Or ones that I've always meant to read but never have:
Midnight's Children (Salman Rushdie)
Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
And many many others....

Your suggestions are also both on my list (although I gave George & Arthur away when I moved, despite having never read it....) and it's always great to read something you wouldn't really have normally been drawn to yourself so am happy with whatever choices people make for book number 1.

Thanks for kicking us into action Federica Woop!
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Old 17.01.2012, 15:07
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

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Venice, the members all read the same book, then get together and, over a coffee/drink/whatever, discuss their impressions and thoughts about the book. It can be free-flow, or with set items for discussion prepared by the organizer(s). What I find a good idea is to have a small list of topics/themes so that if the discussion lags at any point, it can be revived, but I like the free-flow approach.
sounds fine. what about the "reading pace": is there a reading schedule?
just curious.

for me (as probably for other family people) weekends or sunday evening is a NO GO.
better in the week (apart from wednesdays for me, but we'll get down to specific days later on, I presume)

as for the books, I'd be longing to discuss Underworld or Falling Man by Don DeLillo, as he's the last author who swept me away after James Joyce.
but I realize we're talking real literature, and NO sex, violence or gruesome details, just awesome style and BIG THEMES = boring?
anyway, in case it helps, that would be my direction.
but I do enjoy a variety of different kinds of literature, including titles from bestseller lists, although I find them often (not always) overrated and disappointing. I also enjoy a good thriller now and then, but wouldn't feel the need to spend any time to discuss it.
what I would find intriguing are somewhat unexpected titles, as the martin luther king authobiography you mentioned.
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Old 17.01.2012, 21:03
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Really great idea Federica! I'm really interested. Since it would presumably be only once a month or once every 6 weeks, Sunday night would work well for me, though I could do a weeknight as well.

To start, I would suggest reading some of the greats (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, really anything from the list of 100 Must Read Books that you posted), and then after the first few meetings seeing what genres of literature everyone likes to read or is interested in exploring.

To echo Louisa's idea of switching organizers, one thing that I liked at a book club I sat in on was that after the group had compiled a list of books they were interested in, the member who volunteered to choose the next book would also be the host for the next discussion (though meeting at a cafe also works perfectly well, especially for the first meeting).
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Old 17.01.2012, 22:19
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Sundays would work for me as well, or Mondays. I second the idea of reading the classics.
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Old 17.01.2012, 23:08
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Not sure I can make the meetings, but would be interested in what you're reading. And perhaps discussing on a "book club" thread.

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Old 18.01.2012, 09:36
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

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Not sure I can make the meetings, but would be interested in what you're reading. And perhaps discussing on a "book club" thread.

I'd try to make the meetings sunday evening if they're only like every 4 weeks. but I also think it would be nice to have a thread to allow ongoing discussion.
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Old 18.01.2012, 10:55
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Re: (EF) Zurich Book Club?

Dear all, many thanks for all the inputs. Based on the comments, I will do the following:
  • Set up an event for a Sunday evening at the end Feb/early March as a trial - as we go along, we can see whether this works or whether we want to switch to during the week. Event HERE.
  • Start a new thread labeled Zurich Book Club - The Discussion Thread where people can also discuss the books online in parallel to (or in lieu of) coming to the meetings. Thread HERE.
  • Regarding picking the books, I am very much in favor of alternating. Each member of the club will have the chance to in turn pick one book and set up the next meeting at a time/place of his/her choice. We can discuss and set up the list of "pickers" in the first meeting and in the upcoming discussion thread.
I will be first - after having seen all your suggestions, I pick a classic, historic, but also a bit intellectual/fantasy story - Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children.

Event and discussion thread links above! I have asked the mods to close this thread.

Incidentally, may I direct all of you to a great and free resource in Zurich? Zurich's Central Library, which has a very large selection of books, magazines, DVDs, etc. http://www.zb.uzh.ch/recherche/bibli.../index.html.en

Last edited by BokerTov; 18.01.2012 at 11:19.
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