January PBC Takes Flight with Bird by Bird

After what seemed like The Week That Time Stood Still, we’re finally having the first official meeting of the Progressive Book Club!

Thanks to all of you who signed up to participate this month. I’m virtually walking around the room, refreshing drinks and passing around a tray of cheese, crackers, and other nosh. Enjoy!

At the time of this posting, there were eleven of you fine folks who were joining together to read:

Bird by Bird
Anne Lamott
237 pages
•  In stock at:  Amazon
I purposefully chose this book as our first because the world of writing can move rather fast at times and be quite overwhelming. What to do? Where to turn?
That’s where my life is at – an avalanche of information, projects, opportunities coming all at once.
So let’s take it one bird at a time, shall we?
First and foremost, 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.
Check with your library first.
If you don’t have the book, check it out! That’s what I do with almost all of my books. Your library should have a loan program through Amazon that works with your e-reader (ours does and I live in a very small and rural community). Most libraries have websites now and link to this program. It’s great. I just checked out our non-crafting book to discuss in April, all through my Kindle.
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 that month. If you don’t want to read the following month’s pick, email me and I’ll take your name off.
I’ve chosen the first three books so we’ll have some foreknowledge of the upcoming titles. However, your suggestions are always encouraged. I’ve received a couple of good ones already and am hoping for enough to present and take a poll when it’s time to decide on our fourth book.
LitLovers gave 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.

Relax. Grab your favorite beverage. Enjoy the book.
•  Feb. 20th – write your article for Bird by Bird and post, along with your PBC badge, on your blog.
•  Feb. 20 – Mar. 20 (posting date), our book will be:
Save the Cat!
Blake Snyder
195 pages
•  In Stock at: Amazon

•  Mar. 20 – Apr. 17 (posting date), our non-craft book:

Will Schwalbe
336 pages
•  In Stock at: Amazon

A New York Times bestseller, this one promises to be excellent! I’m psyched to do this with all of you, and hope that everyone reading will be able to participate in at least a few of these.
MLWhen 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


45 thoughts on “January PBC Takes Flight with Bird by Bird

  1. That would be great, Alex! Just add your name to the list after Feb. 20th's post on Bird by Bird. :o)Oh, thanks for explaining A-Z. I tried to comment on your blog today, but it wouldn't load the comment box.

  2. I hope you can find it. I originally checked it out of the library (the regular way, not through Kindle), so there's a possibility you may have it. Also…I was quite surprised that my library did the Amazon program. We are a VERY small town with a VERY small library. I know you're in Mexico, but Amazon is worldwide. They're infiltrating everything!Thanks for trying so hard to do this with us, Al.

  3. It does seem to have wings! I'm excited about this. Even with a "revolving" door policy, I'm hoping it catches on enough to have at least this many readers each month. Someone leaves, someone else comes in. That would be swell. Thanks for participating, Jules. :o)

  4. I'm quite excited about them all, Julie. Thanks for the retweet today and being such a strong advocate for the group. I have to get off the computer for the time being, but I'll make sure to check out your post!Good idea about Will Schwalbe! Thanks. I never think of those things. Instant contact with people like that is still new to me. Not used to Twitter yet!

  5. Posted up about the club and included the linky tool. Just wanted to let you know your linky on the sidebar does not work and maybe you could link the sidebar picture or title to the post where peeps can sign up? Or include a link to the original post with the sign up in this post.Got my book, so I'll start reading today. I'll be interested to see what others think of it.Cheers!

  6. Thanks for bringing my attention to that. I've added the list to the post. I put it on the sidebar and it worked at first. I don't know what happened to it. I have it on the sidebars of the "On Crafting" and "Quotes and Reflections" and it works fine. I'll figure out what's going on. It's the same html code. This blog sort of messes up on me. It acts weird. Wide sometimes and more narrow at others.Cheers!

  7. I'll do my best but I'll be winging it (ha ha, ho boy).Unfortunately my current local library has nooo money. Much of the collection still has those plain, green or blue hardcovers. If there are any rich, altruistic writers out there who want to lend a hand, I'd love to hear about it. General ideas about how to help are appreciated, too.

  8. Great first choices, ML! These are all on my want-to-read list and I think it will be a blast to share thoughts and ideas through an online readers group/book club. Fabulous idea and awesome book choices.I won't have the first book read the 20th, but I hope to be progressing quickly through it by then.

  9. Role reversal time for me, so I get to play the part of student in Mr. Swift's class. Which of these comments do you prefer? a) Aw, do I hafta do this? b) Mr. Swift, that is a handsome tweed jacket you're wearing. Can I polish your apple?c) Mr. Swift, I would like you to meet my lawyer. And this is your subpeona. See you in court, a@@hole!d) zzzzzzzzz

  10. When I become rich, you'll get your copy of any book you want. Bird by Bird will probably be a classic by that time. :o)I don't know how altruistic I'll be, though. It might only be the one book you get!

  11. Isn't there always an e) none of the above?Thanks for joining the group. I can tell we're going to have a lot of trouble out of you…there's your spot…no, facing the corner.Don't make me take names. :o)

  12. I've never tried borrowing ebooks from the library. I only borrow hardcopies. I don't even know how to borrow ebooks for there. :)Great choice on STC. It's one of my favorite writing books.

  13. Making note to self: remind Elise about STC. Anything else? Pick up your dry-cleaning? ;o)I'll definitely make sure to let you know. I want you to be a part of it!!

  14. Misha, thanks for dropping in!You have the option of joining in whenever you can. And if you can't do it the following month, that's okay. We'll leave a seat open for you.

  15. I just found out myself. Google your library and see if they have a website. If they do, there might be a widget or something that says, "Download ebooks. Now available. Click the link to go to our e catalog." Then, it takes you to that catalog through Amazon.Re-read and join us in March. Would love to have you!

  16. This sounds like a great idea, Michael!I've heard sooooo much about Save The Cat…I don't think I'll have enough time to be involved in this project, but I'll watch this space closely, and pop in from time to time…

Leave a Reply to M.L. Swift Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s