Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Salon: Anyone seen my blogging mojo?

I went out to hang my washing out tonight and boy it was a little chilly. In the mornings it is now dark when I get up which is another reminder that summer is starting to fade away into autumn and yet it has been such a strange season weather wise. In some ways it doesn't even feel like summer has arrived yet. I am however pretty sure that I would upset a few Northern Hemisphere peeps if I suggested that I would like summer to be extended for a few months more this year.

It is a bit strange for me to be having a blogging slump at a time other than the middle of winter, but that is what has been happening. Even the thought of doing a Teaser Tuesday post or my Library Loot post on Wednesday was all just too hard and as a consequence I ended up not posting for more than a week. I am really not even sure what had prompted this lull in blogging activity. I have however decided that I am going to push right through it and make it to the other side.

Last time I did a Sunday Salon post I mentioned that I was going to a new book club for the first time, and I haven't yet posted about the experience, despite a few people asking in the comments how it went. The short answer to that question is okay, but the jury is still out as to whether this is the right group for me.

It didn't start all that well given that I arrived a few minutes early, knocked on the door only to be told that there was no bookclub meeting there. The address was incorrect on the information sheet that we had been sent. At least I wasn't the only one to make that mistake as there was another group member also loitering with intent outside the address that I went too.

The group itself is a mix of old members who have been part of the group for more than 10 years, three new members (including me) and a couple in between. All up, there was 11 of us meeting. They all seem nice which goes along with the fact that they mostly seemed to be women of a certain age and a certain socio-economic group. I think that most of them are more serious readers of literature rather than genre fiction as well.

I am not sure if it is partly because it was the first meeting of the new year and there was lots of focus on choosing the books for the rest of the year but there seemed to be a lot of earnestness (if that's a word). I find the fact that the books are pretty much chosen for the year a little ... trying to think of the right word ... maybe inflexible. I wouldn't have minded three or four months in advance but for the whole year means that if there is a super book that we read and want to share there isn't a lot of scope for that. The book choices were also mostly limited to the bookclub kits that are held in the local library system which also leads to only certain types of books being available to be chosen. Of the list there are a couple of book that I have wanted to read previously and who knows I may find a new must read book from the other selections.

We were all asked to bring some suggestions for the group to discuss other options, and both another girl and myself suggested The Help by Katherine Stockett so the chances are that they will ask the library system to put together a book club kit and so we may get to read that later on. I also suggested Major Pettigrew's Last Stand as an option too, because it would be a fun read still with plenty to discuss in a book group setting. There seemed to be a bit of reluctance to read anything not already available as a kit, due to cost factors, but I think the majority are willing to maybe once or twice during the year.

There was one thing that I found a little surprising. I think we spent maybe a total of 10 minutes discussing the book that we had read for book club which for February was The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier. I had read it before so I just skimmed through it before the meeting to refresh my memory but I really don't think I needed to worry about that for this book at least. I am assured that normally there would be more discussion. I guess I was looking forward to more book chat, both about the book that was up for discussion and general chat about what people had read over the holiday, best books and that kind of thing.

So in a nutshell, the jury is still out on my book club experience. My intention is to go a few more times at least so I can be sure that I have given the group a fair go, and I guess a lot will depend on how the next couple of books go. The next book is by an Australian author, so if nothing else reading Sold by Brendan Gullifer will at least count for this year's Aussie Authors challenge.


  1. I would never make it in a book club, the reading plans are too structured for me as I'm always running off in another direction based on my mood.

  2. I have to agree that for some odd reson, winter is a tough blogging time. Maybe the lack of things to do. Not sure, but I know it seems much easier the rest of the year. Better luck in spring!

  3. I have been in a bit of a slump as well. Like you, I hope it passes!

    I'm creating a book club with some of my female friends, and I am nervous about how it will go. I don't know how we're going to get on in regards to picking titles and actually discussing the books. Maybe it would be better to go in without knowing anyone? I suppose I'll have to wait and see before I decide.

  4. Those choices do indeed sound very restrictive, I can understand why you're not sure about it. I've just regained my blogging mojo, it took over a month but it did resurface. Best thing is to just let it runs its course.

  5. Talk about slump. I haven't blogged in months, and I haven't read that much...But I hope that I am back now, and you are quite right in that peeps over here would be very upset if summer should continue down under and we should be missing ours.... ;o)

    Hope you have a great Sunday!

  6. Yeah, we have enough snow. I am very keen for warm weather!

    I hope the book club turns out to be a better experience than you currently believe. :)

  7. I've toyed with the idea of joining a book club, but then I remember the disastrous outcome of the last one I joined! I even started writing a novel about it, changing up the names and some of the pertinent info, of course....

    I do like blogging about books, though, so that's my book club for now.


  8. I generally don't have blogging slumps, but I don't post that often any more! I also don't have reading slumps any more because I don't read as much, either :-P

    I suppose you can always stick with the book group for a few months and see how things pan out- at least it's a way to meet new people!

  9. I can see why that bookclub might not feel right. It does sound a little inflexible and like they have a certain way of doing things that they don't deviate from very much. I will be interested in hearing how you feel about the next meeting.

    As far as the blogging slump goes, I totally hear ya. I am sort of in one myself when it comes to being creative in my reviews.

  10. It sounds as if this book club is structured along the lines of a reading course, perhaps with the idea to "improve" oneself, as opposed to a place to informally explore the love of books. Both can be rewarding of course, but thinking about your party pictures and the easy way you interact with your blog readers I am wondering if there is any reason why you could not start up your own, free-spirited book club?

  11. I still haven't joined a book club because I think I'd be terrified, lol. I hope you get out of your blogging funk soon, Marg! I can relate :/ I've been there for a while now...

  12. I've always wanted to be part of a book club, probably because a lot of my RL friends view reading as something akin to the bubonic plague! Always thought a group of people discussing a book each month sounded like heaven!

    I've never given much thought though, to how it might be hard to find a group that 'fits' you and your reading style and interests. So your post has definitely made me realise that!

    Good luck on your next couple of visits and a decision on whether or not it's the book group for you.

  13. The number one reason why I don't participate in book clubs is the picking of the books so far in advance. What if something wonderful does come up? At least you met some nice people so it wasn't a total loss.

  14. I like the idea of book clubs, I really do. My friend invited me to hers, and I enjoyed the meeting, even read most of the book before the evening of it. But like yours they were deciding most if not all of the books for the year ahead, and I find that doesn't leave room for the surprise book or two of the year that everyone wants to read at the same time. Plus, what if suddenly everyone wants to read a genre book at the same time? which is what i read most of the time, anyway......because of time constraints I never made it to another one. I do think that for me, blogging here is my book club, like another of your commenters said. I also am not good at joining big groups, I'm fairly shy unless I have something I can talk about. If you stick with the book club, please let us know how it goes!

    and as for the blogging mojo - it comes and goes these days. So much else keeps cropping up in the evenings! Enjoy the ending of your summer and please send some of the warmer air up here. We're very cold again today. I want winter to end soon!!

  15. There's no shortage of summer in WA, but it has been weird and humid due to all the cyclonic activity up north.

    I would love to belong to a book club. There's one in NYC where they only read Proust, which would be heavenly. I don't think I'd fit in with a group that wanted to read only "bookclub" books. I'd want to change it up a bit and get them out of their comfort zone. Heh!

    I hope this one works out for you. I guess you'll know whether it's right for you after another few meetings.

    Yeah, blogging mojo tends to up and disappear with mysterious regularity. I keep trying to plug away at it. My web hosting account is paid up until December. :)

  16. As I think I posted here when you first raised it, I LERVE my bookgroup. I was one of the founders. We always choose our books in two groups: the first 6 months of the year, and then we choose the last 5 (because the 6th meeting is our Xmas party). For a while we got 6 books a year from the Council of Adult Education book program in Victoria but we gave that up after a few years. Our library system didn't support bookgroups back then - we asked them - but now they do. However, we just choose our books on the basis that they are available in paperback and people then buy, or borrow from each other or libraries.

    That said, while I like choosing twice a year, I guess these books are only one a month and you can read whatever also you want the rest of the time. It will all come down I suppose to how much you enjoy discussing with the group and it does take a little while to settle in new members. Good luck.

  17. Well, as I was reading what you said about book club, I can see why you would be turned off. What's with selections for the whole year right up front? I understand the monetary thing, but having 3-4 months lead time should work.
    Mmy first inclination was to tell you to bag it, but on second thought, give it one more go and see what happens. Maye you could start a new club with the girl who had the same suggestions as you?

    Keep us posted on that front.
    As for the bloggin mojo, at times it becomes too much. We have other commitments or things going on, and the energy to blog is just not there. Believe me I know. I wish your summer could stay forever, and after the sweltering one we had, I am inclined to let you keep it. Can't we just stay in perpetual fall and spring?
    Have a fab week :)