What's in a book club?
If you’re using our book club kits, the answer is “questions.”
As group members read through the selected book, our reading guides ask them a variety of questions. Questions to startle, questions to remind, and questions to explore. We come at the text from different angles, so the questions aren’t boring or a mere reading comprehension quiz. What would be the fun in that? By answering our engaging questions while reading the book, club members will come to the meeting ready to share real insights. Awesome!
Even better? The discussion leaders have a different set of questions. Their discussion questions are in the same vein as those in the members’ reading guides but aren’t too similar. We love spontaneity and preparation in equal measure, and we believe that having coordinating (but not identical) questions will leave everyone feeling prepared but unrehearsed. How can you bond over genuine sharing when you filter out all the real stuff before the group has even assembled? Answer: you can’t. By keeping the discussion questions separate from the reading questions, we’ve left you with a safe amount of the element of surprise.
If you use our book club kits, what don’t you have to do? You don’t have to come up with insightful discussions questions. Gone are the days when you had to scour the internet and print out three lists of the same questions, only worded slightly differently. What else don’t you have to do? You don’t have to buy into the author or publisher’s premise. When you use the questions in the back of the book, you’re using materials that assume you agree with the author and their instructions for your life. Our questions assume a certain amount of receptiveness to the author’s message, but they also probe for areas where you may disagree with a book’s content. Because not every paradigm is right for every person, and we know that. Don’t be afraid to engage with the text- we sure aren’t!
What's in a book club?
In our book clubs, we have journal prompts.
People love journal prompts, and we find that journaling about self-improvement books really helps one synthesize and evaluate their message. With this in mind, we sprinkled journal prompts throughout our reading guides, for both the discussion leader and the group members.
To be clear: you do not have to share your journaling with the group. The discussion questions never ask you to share your journals, though in a particularly intimate group you may end up sharing anyway. But we ask some pretty personal, self-exploratory questions to get you really thinking about how you’re engaging with the text at hand.
Want examples? Here’s the ballpark:
What isn’t up to you? Coming up with thought-provoking journal prompts! Honestly, all book clubs should have a journaling component. By using our kits, you’re ensuring that your whole group is getting a fuller book club experience than any other. It’s ok to be pleased with yourself; we are, too.
What's in a book club?
One answer to this question, in our book club kits, is modules.
OH my bus, that is not an exciting word, “modules.” But the modules themselves are exciting. They’re what give our book clubs flexibility and thoroughness.
Most book clubs meet once a month to talk about 400-1000 pages. Unless you’re a great note-taker or have an amazing memory (hello, Mom Brain), there’s no way you remember the rich details from the beginning of the book by the end of the month.
Our modules solve that problem. Most of our kits break the book at hand into four modules. You can then meet as frequently as you like to discuss the chapters in each module. Some groups could increase their meetings to being weekly (yay, friendship!), while others could keep meeting monthly but have more in-depth talks and give people more time to prepare (yay, prep time!). The first club using one of our kits is meeting every-other-week. It’s up to you!
What isn’t up to you? You don’t have to break up the book into chapter groupings that make sense. We already did that for you. You don’t have to come up with insightful questions for group members to answer while they’re reading. We already thought of those. Nor do you have to concoct gripping, conversation-starting prompts for your meetings. We did that, too. See? Modules mean flexibility, and flexibility is awesome. Ipso facto, modules are awesome. Order one of our kits and see for yourself the magic of our modules.
Hello, dear readers!
Ariel and I have been blogging here on BusyNestNews.com for a year now (wow, that went by fast!) and we have big news! Are you ready?
We’re going to be selling book club kits! Beautiful, adaptable, personal book club kits.
You are probably most familiar with book clubs taking the shape of a once-a-month meeting to discuss some work of literary fiction that a celebrity or publisher told you was going to be huge this year. But what actually happens for many of us is that we’re too busy/tired/uninterested to really read the book (my toddler doesn’t know what a Pulitzer Prize is, sorry book club!), and so the meeting quickly dissolves into an excuse for an informal cocktail party. Why don’t we start giving wine o’clock the time it deserves and the books that challenge us the time they deserve? Socializing and relaxing are important for everyone (I know we’re big fans!), and so is diving into ideas that push us to grow wiser and happier. So what about those of us that actually want to read a book and talk it over with friends?
Ariel and I love a bit of fiction, but after becoming parents we really got on a nonfiction and self-improvement kick that sees no end in sight. If you want a better marriage, happier you, or (possibly) happier, healthier kids that the neighbors likely don’t hate, we’re here to help! We have developed gorgeous reading guides for both the discussion leader and club members. These kits will get everyone ready for the discussion while prioritizing self-exploration and personal growth. We make getting smarter and socializing easier and more fun than ever.
So that’s what we do now! We’re still going to publish articles on topics we’re passionate about on our blog, but very soon you’ll be able to buy entire, incredible book club kits to help you run the most amazing, insightful book club ever. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve got. We’re sure you’re going to love it!
Here at Busy Nest News, we try to be ready for anything. We're always thinking about contingencies and emergencies. Not in a stressed out, paranoid way (most of the time), but in a "challenge accepted!" kind of way. When disaster strikes, we want to win. That sounds a little nuts, but we've seen too many disasters (small and large) to let ourselves off the hook. This month, we're going to share some of our favorite ways to always be prepared.
In Case of Emergency (ICE)
Brianna and Ariel love to read all year, but there's something special about summer reading. This article is part three of a series about books that are perfect for summer. Using our affiliate links to purchase these books will help keep Busy Nest News going. Thanks for your continued support!
Sometimes you find an author whose works you enjoy so much that you automatically buy whatever their latest book is, as soon as it’s announced. In fact, you pre-order. I tried to pick my favorite Sophie Kinsella book, and pretty soon I had six! You might know this author for her Shopaholic or Undomestic Goddess series, but it’s her collection of stand alone novels that I can’t get enough of! I made myself pick two. If you haven’t checked out her latest yet, run, don’t walk to get them. Both of these books pair well with a towel or plane flight in paperback form, but their audiobooks are sooo great, too. Fiona Hardingham reads both, but always does an excellent job of portraying a variety of characters with a multitude of personalities and accents. You’ll think your sweetest, most optimistic best friend is telling you about her bizarre troubles, only laughing out loud won’t hurt her feelings.
Join Brianna and Ariel for another parenting book discussion. This month, we read Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps. When you buy the book through our affiliate links, a small portion comes back to Busy Nest News at no cost to you. Thanks for your continued support!
Do you ever feel as if everyone around you has it all figured out, while you’re still struggling with basic tasks? Do you wait for the less-than-friendly reminders from the utility companies before paying your bills? Or maybe you’re fiscally responsible, but you have no idea how often you should get an oil change, or you secretly don’t know what temperature to wash your clothes on, or how to cook a decent meal, or be respected at work, or, or, or. There are hundreds of skills whose mastery makes us feel like we’re competent adults; and if we’re bad at a few, we feel like terrified little kids masquerading as grown-ups.
Kelly Williams Brown’s Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps (previously 468 steps) offers to teach twenty-somethings life lessons big and small. Everything from how to pick a good apartment (make sure the outlets are real and not stickers) to why it’s a mistake to date a friend’s ex. She systematically goes through eleven areas of life with both beginner and advanced tips to take you to the next level. Along the way she shares stories which may or may not be true, but do an excellent job of illustrating her lessons.
Brianna and Ariel love to read all year, but there's something special about summer reading. This article is part two of a series about books that are perfect for summer. Using our affiliate links to purchase these books will help keep Busy Nest News going. Thanks for your continued support!
Welcome back to our summer reads series! Last time I recommended The Tetris Effect by Dan Ackerman. If you missed it, click here to see what it's all about. This week I'm turning to a series that's a bit more in line with summer reading fluff. Yes, you read that right; it's a series. So if you like the first book, you're set for a little while.
Brianna and Ariel love to read all year, but there's something special about summer reading. This article kicks off a series about books that are perfect for summer. Using our affiliate links to purchase these books will help keep Busy Nest News going. Thanks for your continued support!
Welcome to Summer Reading! We know that summer can be a very busy season for families, but every bibliophile does their best to squeeze in a little reading time while the weather is warm. Perhaps you’re at the beach, traveling, lounging on a blanket or hammock, or it’s just nap time and so you grabbed the baby monitor and snuck out onto the porch with a big hat and a cold drink.
Join Brianna and Ariel as they review and discuss the parenting book, Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic. When you use the affiliate links in this article, you're helping to keep Busy Nest News running. Thanks for your continued support.
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic, by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
For July’s parenting book, we read Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Ed. D.. Through her study of spirited children Dr. Kurcinka has developed a program to help parents manage the challenges that come with raising a spirited child. In this book, she offers concrete tips for identifying and handling situations that are likely to be met with resistance by spirited children, whether it’s an unexpected change in schedule, less than sympathetic teachers, or working through overwhelming emotions.
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
Let's keep in touch!