OK, so some of you feel like you’ve got homework, right?
Well, John P., the Spanish Inquisitor, made a suggestion this week which I’ll share with you. Please comment so we can shape our little club.
John recommended a different format from the one I’d originally proposed, and I’d be happy to go along with it if enough of you like it better.
My original proposal, you’ll recall, was for us to write a series of independent essays (not book reviews or summaries) based on ideas suggested by the book we’ve read. We’d “launch” on a given date (September 15 in this case) and, eventually, perhaps, I’d collect all essays into a carnival. I hadn’t thought about responses we might have to one another’s essays; I suppose I just assumed we’d either leave comments on the essayists’ blogs, or, if our reactions were complex and long enough, post again.
John posits an ongoing blogversation instead. He proposes that I alone start with an essay, and that others post responses to it, and then we all post reactions to one another, leading to more feedback, etc. Personally, I think his idea is a bit unwieldy because (1) we’d each have to decide whether to respond via comments or posts and (2) when do we stop? Also, it has the topical limitation of jumping off from just one person’s take on the book. (Last, I’m concerned that some of you may already have written or planned your independent essays, and will feel “betrayed” by a sudden change of format.)
On the other hand, John’s recommendation does have the tremendous advantage of being a genuinely interactive event, rather than merely a simultaneous series of interrelated ones.
Frankly, I’m torn. But I haven’t written my essay yet. If we follow my original plan, I’ll try to fashion my commentary to be self-contained, thoughtful, and only mildly outrageous. If we follow John’s plan, I’ll probably craft my essay to be downright provocative and argumentative — in order to engender a hotter level of dialogue.
I’m comfortable with either approach here. You folks decide. The “voting” is open to all members, including our two newest: vjack at Atheist Revolution and Darren (both of whom said they won’t be taking part in the Julian discussion but will hop on board for the second book.)
[By the way, John P. was the quickest person to respond to my original post. Since that made him the first member, I thought he should select our next read. Tentatively, he has — something lighter and shorter than Julian. That’s a relief, eh? Watch here for the announcement some time in the next week or so.]