Progressive Book Club

to the
Progressive Book Club

If you are reading this post, chances are you’re a writer. You write.
And if you’re a writer, then most likely you’re also an avid reader, perhaps even a voracious one.

Good. You read.

So why not read along with us?
Beginning January 16, 2013, and continuing on the third Wednesday of every month, I’ll be hosting discussions on books about the craft of writing.

And … every third month we’ll throw in a nice piece of fiction for good measure! All work and no play, you know.

The Progressive Book Club 

A unique blog hop that’s an online book club! Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up on the InLinkz list below.

    Click the button with the frog on it and hop through the easy step-by-step instructions. So simple, a non-writer could do it.

  2. Find the current month’s book on the schedule below, read it, and on the third Wednesday, post your article.

    With each book, pull out two or three things that taught or inspired you and discuss them, or if it moves you, write a review, then post the article on your own blog.

    Each month, I’ll add another book to this list, always providing three month’s advance notice for each book. Your suggestions are always encouraged.

  3. Display the PBC badge along with your article, linking to THE PBC PAGE of my blog.

    My PBC page is the only place that the schedule will be updated—please use the PBC page’s permalink when linking to the guidelines.

  4. After you post, choose three members (or more) from the list to visit, see how the book impacted them, and share in discussion.

    Remember that this is not only an educational endeavor, but a social one as well. It’s all about meeting people and discussing similar or conflicting thoughts and ideas.

    Mix! Mingle! Have an appetizer!

  5. Enjoy the book AND the camaraderie.

    Invite others to participate. Tell your friends. Two heads are better than one; four heads better than two; and so on, and so on, and so on.

This is an open door book club.
If anybody understands a lean wallet and hectic schedule, it’s me. Or perhaps you simply don’t have the desire one month. 
That’s fine. I’m with you there. The door is open to come and go as you please. I don’t want stress; I want fun.
If you see an upcoming book you like, add your name to the list that month. If there’s any reason you wish to opt out the following month, email me and I’ll take your name off.

It’s that simple.
Check with your library.
If you don’t have the book, check it out! That’s what I do with almost all of my books.

Most libraries have websites now and link to a loan program through Amazon that works with your e-reader (ours does and I live in a very small and rural community). If you have a Kindle, Nook, or other reader, you may want to try that first.

And always—enjoy the book. 

Savor every word. Lose yourself. And then write about it. When starting this club, I found a wonderful reference site called LitLovers that helps you do just that, if you’re unsure how to proceed.

They’ve written a short checklist to follow when reading, reviewing, and commenting that I found helpful and wanted to post for your information:

How to participate in a discussion

1. Watch your language! Try to avoid words like “awful” or “idiotic”— even “like” and “dislike.” They don’t help move discussions forward and can put others on the defensive. Instead, talk about your experience — how you felt as you read the book.

2. Don’t be dismissive. If you disagree with someone else, don’t refer to them as an ignoramus. Just say, “I’m not sure I see it that way. Here’s what I think.” Much, much nicer. 

3. Support your views. Use specific passages from the book as evidence for your ideas. This is a literary analysis technique called “close reading.”

4. Read with a pencil. Takes notes or mark passages that strike you — as signficant or funny or insightful. Talk about why you marked the passages you did. 

5. Use LitLovers for help. Check out Litlovers Resources. They’ll help you get more out of what your read and help you talk about books with greater ease.

Schedule (new book added each month)
Dates listed are the blogging dates for that book

February 20, 2013

Bird by Bird
Anne Lamott
237 pages
•  In stock at:  Amazon

March 20, 2013

Save the Cat!
Blake Snyder 
195 pages
•  In Stock at: Amazon
April 17, 2013

Will Schwalbe
336 pages
•  In Stock at: Amazon

Sign Up List

When it asks for your name, please put your BLOG’s title – the name on the header of your site – not your personal name. This will visually confirm to people that they’ve arrived at the correct spot. Thanks!


Get the InLinkz code


61 thoughts on “Progressive Book Club

  1. Yay, Ink! Sign-ups begin now. Next week is the third Wednesday and I'll announce the books for the coming months, we'll read the book in a month and make our first post in February. This post is to get things rolling and alert people.

  2. Alex, that would be absolutely fantastic if you did that! I understand about not being able to keep up with the group – goodness, you have so many commitments already. I bust my butt trying to keep up with the basics – reading, writing, blogging, commenting, and writing more. I tell you, all that spinning has me dizzy by the end of each day.Thanks for putting this out there on Friday. It will spread the word much more than I can! :o)

  3. I'll be sure to check out your article, Al. A friend of mine somehow goes through her public library to check out books (for free) through Amazon and Kindle. I think the library has to be set up for it. I just got my Kindle for Christmas, so I've not been able to look into seeing if my library participates. Unless I definitely WANT, NEED, HAVE to own the book, I've checked out all of them from the library. Thanks for stopping by! :o)

  4. Okay dork…hit the button with the frog. Right below my name. The button that says, "Add your link." Afterwards, it should bring up a window…put your website url, your blog name, and a thumbnail pic. That should do the trick. :o) Thanks! I'm getting more psyched by the moment!

  5. Swifty,I love the idea but I do not think I can add this to my schedule. With your permission, I would like to promote this on my blog. Unfortunately besides you, Egg, Jules, and Big Joe, I reach a diverse group of my mom and two kids who live in the basement. You are doing good, brother. Keep up the work and make me buy the Monty action figure for my kids next Christmas.

  6. Rob – that would be fantastic if you did that! I understand about your inability to join in the group – now – but sign ups are always open and you can join in for a book or two or three. :o)Are the kids in the basement yours or did they come with the house?

  7. Sounds like a great idea. I hope I can keep up. I've got my own novels to get done and a few shorts to finish and a list of books to read 10 miles long. but for you, I'll try. 🙂

  8. I hope I can keep up. I've got about the same thing going on. Novels, shorts, articles, and building a platform! And people think writing is easy.It's a matter of thinking, "I've wanted to read that book anyway…may as well read it with my peeps." And writing a review or critique on the book can also go towards a Goodreads review. I think it's a wonderful way to start building clips on reviews, expand your writing knowledge, and building friendships with peers.I don't see your link. I didn't know if you thought I added them, but I'll go ahead and do it. If you've changed your mind, let me know and I'll take it off.It'll all fit in! :o)

  9. That's fine, Lyn. Make a mention and I''ll be thrilled. I know how hectic all of our schedules are.I have a very relaxed attitude towards it. If you see a book we''ll be reading and want to join in for the month, that's fine. Skip the next. Over low pressure. More a way to visit and discuss the same book."Over" low pressure? Should be "very" low pressure. I' m on my kindle and it corrected it as I typed it – incorrectly, might I add.

  10. Mike, I love your initiative, love your excitement, and love the idea of it. Not loving it's a blog hop type of thing, though. I'm so sorry but I know I'm not able to add it to my already over-extended schedule. But you know I'll do back flips for ya. And I'll also promote it on my blog to help you build members. And whatever else I can do to help you succeed in this endeavor.

  11. Tis fine, D. If you see an upcoming book that you'd like to participate in, put your name in the mix. If the next month you can't, we can take it off…I'm stretched in my hopping, too, so I'm keeping the visiting down low…3-5 blogs. It'd be nice if people visit on posting day, but you know what? I visit who I can, when I can…I'm still visiting IWSG people from last week.It's a matter of killing as many of those birds as I can with one stone. I try to look for educational, marketing hints, social media posts, publishing, etc…blogs to read, so I try to see if an IWSG person is writing about it. I go read, comment. I've knocked two things off my list.So…if you ever change your mind, the door is always open. I love your back flips anyway! Sexy, sassy, savvy you!

  12. Okay Mike, a quick question about the content of the reading material. What is it? Aw never mind. Forget it. I'm in, which means I'm about to follow your directions. If you don't hear from me, assume I got lost in the Ether. Tell my wife and my mother and my stepsons and my bulldog that I love them.

  13. Well I stuffed that up. How do I replace the thumbnail? Oh never mind.Ditto what Joseph said… except I don't have a wife, stepsons or bulldog.

  14. It would surprise me if libraries in Mexico are in Amazon, but I'll check. Another possible option is that when you choose a free book, I can join you in the discussions (?)

  15. Al, I really want you to be a part of this. This is what I figure…if you have the book we'll be doing, sign up and join in. If you can't do it the following month, drop out. If the next month you can, sign up again. I run a very open club.This is what I want you to do (and I'll post all this next week, too, for the others). What's on your "to read" list? Craft book-wise. List them for me, and I'll see what I can do to put them in the mix.

  16. Looks like you survived the ether! Good. The bulldog took over your chair already, though, and he ain't giving it up. Yes, ain't. I have to throw some dialect in every now and then, to keep me real and humble.

  17. What's the matter with the thumbnail? I think it's beautiful. So mesmerizing. But I can change it if you'd like.Joe's bulldog is probably looking for a new owner…he felt abandoned.

  18. This is one reason (out of about 100,000) that I wish I could retire early – I'd have more time to read! I know you said you don't have to read everything, but I think it would just be senseless for me to try. It's a great idea, and if one day that early retirement comes along, I'm there!

  19. Yes, about writing. Odd in a way. I kept hearing "craft," and, coming from a mother who crafts (sews, makes things), my mind kept thinking along those lines. It took me awhile to associate, much less use in language, craft books as writing books.And remember, we'll be reading a fiction book on a quarterly basis.Any suggestions for either? Feel free to bring them to the table. :o)

  20. Tis okay, Robyn on both counts (the club and the name).If ever you see a book you want to join in on, I'd love to have you.Thanks for that box. It's already up. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to click it and highlight everything in the box.

  21. This is an effort for me to make sure I fit my own reading in. Lead a group! There's always room for you if you want to join in one month, Nancy. Thanks for wanting to!

  22. sounds like a nice blog hop for book lovers! Wishing lots of fun to all who will participate. And if someone's serving food with books too, I'm there….

  23. Hahaha, funny. I thought on the same. Craft = papier mache, painting, etc. First Suggestion: How to Write Scary Scenes by Rayne Hall. It's for all genres and I think it is good.

  24. There's always food at any occasion that's worth a damn. :o)Remember we'll be reading something fictional every quarter, so if you see a month that interests you, join in the group for the month.I'm an entertainment junkie…of sorts. Not star-struck, but I like to keep up with the beautiful people. Bright lights, big city. Love your site.

  25. Hey Suze! Thanks for coming over. I looked at OSC's website to see which book on craft you're referring. I couldn't find one…was going to try to see about throwing it in the mix if you wanted to hold off reading until we get to it. Let me know what it's called. I did like his site, though, although I'm not into sci-fi. He has wonderful articles on writing.

  26. Charmaine – Woo hoo! So glad you could make it.Truth told, this is a nudge to get my butt in gear, too. I'm notorious about buying them and never getting around to fully reading them, myself. I need that group effort to keep me focused. I usually read about half the book and then move on. I figure leading a group will surely make me finish my books! Thanks again for joining. I'm really, really glad you're a part of it. I realize I don't know you that well, but what I've seen, I like. Getting some good people in the group!Mike

  27. Thanks, Julie! This will be fun. From your twitter profile, looks like you're a left-at-home fisherman's wife. That's fine…we won't leave you hanging hook, line, and sinker.And thanks for plugging it!

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