- I like reading books.
- I sometimes get ideas from books.
- I enjoy discussing books I’ve read.
- I’m curious to know what other people think about books I’ve read.
- I’m not afraid to voice my opinions.
- I have a blog, or I comment on blogs, or both.
(Disclaimer: Probably not, though. But read it anyway. You never know.)
About eight months ago, I proposed forming a new group to be called the Nonbelieving Literati. My idea was that many of us in the Atheosphere are inveterate readers, and that we might enjoy sharing with one another our thoughts about a book that we'd read together. Or maybe just arguing about it. In any case, we’d have an extended conversation that would leap from blog to blog, in both posts and comment threads.
I'm proud to say that the group is going strong. And you're invited to take part in the thought-provoking fun.
Here’s the way it works. One of us recommends a book. The only no-nos for recommendations are atheist diatribes, best-selling or otherwise. We all read enough of those, don't we? Any other book is fair game, although some atheist or free-thinking angle is expected. We set a target date about a month and a half in the future. That’s a long enough time for even the slowest readers, or those with the least amount of hours to spare, to be able to participate. Members take turns making book suggestions.
On the target date, we begin publishing our posts about the book. The date is just a suggestion, though; any member is free to post on the book at any time thereafter. I'll warn you that most of us veteran NL-ers do like to get our punches in pretty quickly. However, in fairness to everyone, no one publishes before the target date.
Originally, I thought the ideal posts would be essayistic rambles, ruminations triggered by ideas the book suggested to each blogger. Not everyone, though — including myself — was feeling introspective each month. Instead, we've had an intellectual free-for-all. Some of us have written essays, some of us reviews. A few people have even written great diatribes about why they couldn’t bring themselves to finish one of the books.
In other words, whether you like the selected book or not, you should use it as an entry point to your own thoughts. Those thoughts might be about the book itself, or its theme, or its characters, or ... just about anything, as long as there’s some hook back to what we’ve been reading.
You can see the list of current members in my sidebar. New feature: Clicking on the asterisked links will take you directly to that blog's post about the latest book.
If you're interested in joining, leave a comment here, or drop me an email, or just blog about the book on the next target date and let us know that your post is published.
[H/T to Evo for urging me to update the NL introductory post.]