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Old 05-09-2018, 08:54 AM   #286
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Sun Surfer, I think that your ideas are excellent. I’ve always had some concerns about the lack of a more organised reading/discussion approach in the club. So I particularly like the idea of using discussion chunks. Likewise, the nomination/vote threads would benefit from your suggestion. I feel that the nature of the Literary Club means that there will generally be a variety of works of varying difficulty and length in the selections chosen. A poem or drama, for instance, might well benefit from a different discussion approach than would be appropriate for A Thousand Miles Up the Nile.

As to the use of shorter cycles, I can see the benefits of the greater flexibility that approach would provide.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:49 AM   #287
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I like the idea of shorter cycles too.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:39 PM   #288
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Thank you both for your input! And thank you fantasyfan for the encouragement and insight. I haven't responded til now to give some time for whoever all may want to respond, and to mull over the possibilities more myself.

I guess we can go one at a time and so it sounds like shorter cycles it is then. Perhaps we could start off in more or less three-month cycles and see how that goes? That would be July-September, October-December and so on, which would give us maximum flexibility to accommodate any new members, anyone dropping by and our own whims. It wouldn't be set in stone though; we can always change things if we decide some other way would be better, especially as we'll be updating things every few months. Any objections or suggestions to that?
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:26 AM   #289
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Thank you both for your input! And thank you fantasyfan for the encouragement and insight. I haven't responded til now to give some time for whoever all may want to respond, and to mull over the possibilities more myself.

I guess we can go one at a time and so it sounds like shorter cycles it is then. Perhaps we could start off in more or less three-month cycles and see how that goes? That would be July-September, October-December and so on, which would give us maximum flexibility to accommodate any new members, anyone dropping by and our own whims. It wouldn't be set in stone though; we can always change things if we decide some other way would be better, especially as we'll be updating things every few months. Any objections or suggestions to that?
Sounds good to me. 😊
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:38 PM   #290
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Great! Anyone interested feel free to comment on any of these at any time but I'm going to go to the next item now.

It also sounds like trying out discussion chunks is a go, at least for a trial. I've personally been trying it out for myself this month and I'm enjoying it. This would be on an individual preference basis so that anyone can still participate how they want, but perhaps I can list recommended discussion chunk dates in the first post, and maybe request that anyone can discuss later in the book earlier if they want but to please use spoiler quotes if they can if that's the case, though again I envision it being a very loose and forgiving request since some drop-bys might discuss later in a book without realising the recommended dates, and as well I'd prefer anyone who wants to post earlier than recommended than not at all.

To start, how do seven-day chunks sound? Of the range mentioned it seems the simplest and easiest to remember for everyone since it'd be the same day of the week each chunk. We could count based on the date the vote ends or the date the discussion thread starts, or always count based on the same day of the week every month if that would be more convenient although it would possibly give some extra days somewhere in a month (if the vote ended say on a Friday but our chosen day was Tuesday then we might either have a half-week or week and a half-week first discussion chunk). There's always the idea of changing the nominations/vote to start and end on specific days of the week as well to coordinate it all if we want.

Any input, objections or suggestions to any of that?
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:20 PM   #291
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Alright, next up would be the dynamic scheduling based on selection length/difficulty, which is the one I personally am most iffy on.

I think this would be the most dramatic change and would need to coordinate with whatever we decide on discussion-chunk segments and it would also alter how we look at cycle lengths.

If we try it we could work with either half-month or bi-weekly scheduling, meaning a chosen selection discussion would last either half a month/a month/a month and a half/etc. or two weeks/four weeks/six weeks/etc., and we could aim for a month as usual for 'normal' selections. This would give us flexibility in discussion periods while still keeping some kind of regular-ish schedule.

We would need to come together on what book length/difficulty might constitute an appropriate discussion chunk if we try this.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:31 PM   #292
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Some minor considerations, but I'm going to make a change or two to the info I post for nominations.

First is that I used to calculate the page total for a nomination by viewing its editions page on Goodreads and calculating the mean (always rounded up to the nearest whole number) of the first five (or less, if there's less than five on the first results page) different (i.e. excluding any identical results once counted) results within normal range (e.g. excluding an obviously incorrect 900 page listing for a book whose other listing are all around 200 pages, or an incorrect 45 page listing for a 600 page book) mostly English-language results (if I could tell the difference by title or if it listed language; otherwise I assumed the edition was English). I really liked this procedure because it wasn't too difficult and gave a more honest number to compare for a wide range of titles rather than taking the first result only (which if used would've sometimes resulted in very outlier lengths being used), and easier than me having to spend time thinking on which length is most appropriate to use for each title. I know I've mentioned all that before, but I wanted to describe the process again so the change will make sense.

Now I will look at the same group of five page lengths per title but instead of finding the mean, I'll just use the median (I would guess all of you know what that means, but just in case, it basically is that instead of adding the five together and then dividing by five, I'll simply choose the listed book length of the five that's in the middle when ordered lowest to highest). This will still be a good way to find average lengths of each nomination but will be slightly easier for me to do. It will usually mean no calculator necessary (yay!), unless there happen to be only four or only two results, in which cases I would have to add the middle two results together and divide by two for the median. This is just an FYI really since I don't think most would've really noticed one way or the other.

[Edit-For comparison, here's the list of this month's nominations with the mean listed first and the median second:

Tales of the Tikongs (2 Listings)
Mean- 099 Pages / Median- 099 Pages

The Daughter (2 Listings)
Mean- 221 Pages / Median- 221 Pages

Half of a Yellow Sun (5 Listings)
Mean- 506 Pages / Median- 543 Pages

Snow Country (5 Listings)
Mean- 191 Pages / Median- 175 Pages

Sunset Song (5 Listings)
Mean- 280 Pages / Median- 275 Pages

Resistance (5 Listings)
Mean- 328 Pages / Median- 320 Pages

Petals of Blood (5 Listings)
Mean- 384 Pages / Median- 368 Pages

Kokoro (5 Listings)
Mean- 258 Pages / Median- 248 Pages]


Second is that I'm considering adding in year published and country the writer is from for every nomination. I've already been doing this for the Region months (country) and the Time Period months (year) and I really like it, and since I usually go to Goodreads for each nomination anyway to get page lengths, this info is often right there as well and would be even easier to collect than page lengths. It might not be perfect; I don't want to spend a lot of time researching to make sure I have the most correct year or country in iffy cases, but it will still suffice to give a nice general idea and usually be correct, and anyone can always offer corrections if they notice something awry. My main hesitancy on it is not clogging the nomination list up too much.

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Old 06-19-2018, 12:33 AM   #293
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Sounds great to me, sun surfer! I'm not too picky about page numbers. I like the idea to add the year published. Thanks for sharing your thought process!
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:18 PM   #294
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Sounds great to me, sun surfer! I'm not too picky about page numbers. I like the idea to add the year published. Thanks for sharing your thought process!
I agree!
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:48 PM   #295
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Thanks both of you!

Sounds like a go ahead to try pretty much all of everything mentioned so far, except maybe holding off on the 'dynamic scheduling' of shorter/longer periods depending on selection length for a few months while we implement everything else here, mainly because I'm not sure I have my head wrapped around how to specifically best go about that just yet (and if anyone has any opinions on that or anything else in the next few months then feel free to post them!). Luckily with not doing things on a stricter yearly basis anymore, we can change or fine tune things as we go along and see fit.

So, the only thing left now is the inconsequential little matter of categories! Heh.

To begin we'll be looking at the next few months of July, August and September. That will be our 'summer' season (I had labelled my 2017 reading challenge 3-month chunks by seasons in the exact same way and it seemed a good way to do it) despite the southern hemisphere being closer to winter; I hope anyone from that side of the world is okay with that for simplicity's sake! (And if not we can always discuss other season name options)

I've considered whether to make a new thread for category ideas but for now I think we'll probably be okay just discussing that here in this thread since I don't foresee any long discussions on the matter. However we can always make a separate thread if needed.

One thing about any new category ideas is that I'd like them to be 'simple'. This means requiring no extra work/oversight to run those categories. Some examples of previous more complex categories that wouldn't fit 'simple' are Region and Time Period (the pre-nominations vote to decide on specifics those months) as well as Journey around the World. That doesn't mean we can't have similar categories now, only that they'd need to be in a simpler form now. For example, instead of 'Region', we might just have a category of a specific region like 'Southeast Asia' from the get-go (and any suggestions on that front can be any region/whatever the suggester prefers whether it matches one from our previous Region category or not).

Also, for now I suppose it's a good idea to set Rotating months aside as a regular addition. We still have the option of returning to them if we want sometime, and anyone *can* still suggest a rotating month for themselves if they like as a stand-alone.

Beyond that though, categories can be just about anything! Well, anything that would work for literary writings, heh. They can be more 'regular' type ones like many or our previous categories; they can be more 'theme' type ones like many of our rotating months have had over the years and like the general club is using now; they can be something else you've thought of. They can be just a suggestion of a self-explanatory category name, or they can be accompanied with a short description of what the category is about.

Having read over different member's comments here and there over the last year or so, I would hope we may go in a slightly more contemporary and even perhaps less esoteric direction moving forward. This isn't a comment on any of our recent selections but rather just our nominations and selections as a whole over the years, and the hope is to possibly open our club up slightly more. But that doesn't mean foregoing anything difficult, old or obscure, just perhaps hoping for more of a new balance between it all. I welcome any discussion on this though as it's just an observation I've had and not any mandatory direction, and personally I like all types of lit club books old or new, and I'm not even sure how closely I myself will think about this when nominating books.

Right, so you can make suggestions in two ways:

-The first would be to offer general 'suggestions' just to put them out there/discuss them/bat them around, with no specific date or implementation in mind.

-The second would be to make a more formal 'nomination' for *one* particular category for the upcoming season; you can do this by requesting it for a particular month in the season or just suggest the category and I'll slot it in. If you want to make a more formal suggestion like this, please make that clear by using the word(s) 'nominate/nomination/nominating' so I'll know.

Category nominations will more or less be on a first come/first served basis per season. You can make suggestions for any categories and any seasons at any time, but should only nominate a category for the current upcoming season (so that we don't get ahead of ourselves by filling up categories/months for later seasons which defeats the purpose of only taking things every few months at a time). Though it will generally be first come/first served all else being equal, we also encourage anyone to suggest or nominate categories if they plan on participating, and if someone new/returning or someone who hasn't nominated something as recently nominates a category then perhaps preference could be given to them, but it will be a collaborative decision if that issue comes up (there's no hard or fast guideline either way on the matter).

Because of our smaller membership I expect probably only a few of us to be regularly nominating categories for the most part, but welcome any new or returning posters to do so as often as possible so long as they plan to participate for that month.

Our Summer season (and entire soft reset of the club) is very shortly upcoming- less than two days away! As such, if there aren't any category nominations for July by then we can start with an Open month, but any other nominations for July (even if it's just to formally nominate 'Open', heh) are welcome! (And also any general Summer category nominations or specifically for August or September)

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Old 06-29-2018, 03:01 PM   #296
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Not to throw too much out here at once but there's two other things I want to mention before the first of July.

The first is number of book nominations allowed per person each month. Do any of you have any thoughts on the possibility of each person returning to having three nominations instead of two? When we stopped requiring seconds/thirds we narrowed the nominations from three to two per person to prevent too many overall nominations per month, but at this point I don't see that as much of a problem. We could also always go back to two per person in the future if it ever does become a problem as well, but my instinct is that three per person might be a better limit for the present.

The second is that, though I don't think anyone looks at it, I still like to upkeep the Goodreads lit club page (though I haven't in awhile, but I'll get to it!). However, I'd like to make that upkeep simpler. Since it was started, I've been keeping a separate section for 'Currently Reading' and (already) 'Read'. This requires that each time I update it I move the 'Currently Reading' to 'Read' then add new 'Currently Reading'. Now, I am going to eliminate Currently Reading and just keep all books, even current selections, as 'Read'. That way all I'll have to do is add each new selection once and be done with it.
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:08 PM   #297
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I’m ok with either 2 or 3 nominations per person. Thank you for keeping the Goodreads page up to date!
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Old 06-29-2018, 03:13 PM   #298
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And not to triple post (but I am ), but I'll go ahead and throw some category suggestions out:

-Mystery (this would be literary mystery, not necessarily something from the mystery genre but something that somehow relates to a mystery, and could even be a non-fiction with a mystery)

-Romance (the same as Mystery; I'm allergic to most 'popular' romance books but love a good literary drama book with a great romance in it)

-Melancholia (this would be a book either focusing on or with a heavy atmosphere of melancholy or ennui)

-Contemporary Cross Continental (I know I could've said intercontinental but I like the alliteration; this would be a contemporary book, from the last say 20, 30 or 40 years, that takes place on at least two continents and/or far-away islands/places)

-World Exploration (this would be a book focusing on some type of physical exploration, perhaps like an adventure or journey; I would've just called it 'Exploration' but I wanted to distinguish it so that it wouldn't be construed as inner self-exploration, and I also would prefer it to be Earth exploration and not sci-fi space/moon exploration)


If any of these appeal to anyone, let me know and I'll nominate it for my Summer nomination.


Edit-Thanks for the reply, Bookworm_Girl, and you also prevented me from the dreaded triple-posting, heh.

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Old 07-01-2018, 06:48 AM   #299
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I'm going to throw in a last-minute curve-ball and nominate a category for July that I just thought of as I was preparing the nomination thread. I normally wouldn't nominate a category just before putting up the nomination thread, but there's been no other category nomination for this month and this was too good to pass up and pertinent to this month in particular with our soft reset and the club starting something a new era, as it is.

The category is: New Beginnings and Uncharted Waters. This would be selections that have something to do with any of new beginnings, big changes, second chances, exploration, venturing into uncharted territory, or however else you may interpret the category.

This means I've now used my category nomination up for our Summer season of July, August and September, and we still have August and September available to nominate categories for, which anyone can do at any time.

Also, last night I was in a place overlooking a lake, and all the sudden all these beautiful fireworks starting going off across the water! They were for the 4th of July holiday; I hadn't expected it because I suppose I was out of the loop and hadn't thought about it and really it was still June anyway, but with the holiday landing mid-week fireworks must've been scheduled for the weekend before. It was a treat to be able to suddenly watch an (impromptu to me) half-hour-long fireworks show over the water, and I couldn't help but think of the restart of the lit club just about to happen and how it seems a serendipitous omen for it.

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I’m ok with either 2 or 3 nominations per person. Thank you for keeping the Goodreads page up to date!
We'll try it with three per person then and see how it goes.
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:40 PM   #300
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Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
I like your category ideas. I have been thinking about some to add.

What a lovely surprise to see fireworks over the lake. Sounds like a relaxing way to spend the weekend.
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