Whenever I make a list of book club suggestions, I’m sure to point out how valuable I find disagreement. We all want to read books we love, but I see book club as a way to branch out from regular reading and dig deep into a title, whether it’s good or bad.
Gushing Can Get Old
It’s an amazing feeling to read a book you adore and come together with other people who love it, too, but there’s only so much discussion that can happen around something that is universally loved. Unless your group has someone who is seriously willing to play devil’s advocate, the talk can only go so far. Gushing is fantastic, but it fizzles quickly without a spark.
Disagreement Fuels Conversation
The best spark? Disagreement! I don’t mean cutting down each other’s opinions (we need to find a new group if you’re worried that will happen), but using your time together to point out a book’s highs and lows. Hearing opposing opinion can be incredibly valuable, whether you loved a book or couldn’t wait for it to end.
Seek Out Controversy
Don’t be afraid to go for a book with mixed reviews, especially if they’re super polarized. If you asked ten book bloggers how they felt about Jill Alexander Essbaum’s Hausfrau, you’d likely get five scowls and five swoons. Goodreads feels the same—the book has almost an equal number of five and two star ratings. But books like that make for the best discussions. They’re discussions that are challenging and interesting and everything a book club is supposed to be.
Have you found that disagreement can fuel your book club discussions?