“Hey, how about we start a book club”, one of us half-joked.
It was summer of 2015, and I was drinking coffee in the clubhouse with a few teammates before a game. We had all become veterans on the international baseball circuit, and had gotten over the initial honeymoon phase of passing our free time with the predictable routine – sleep till 11am, lift weights for a few hours, walk or bike around town, eat lunch, take a nap, go to practice, then dinner and/or bars with teammates, in bed around 3am, repeat. Living the dream, right?
Tired of “the trap”, someone mentioned how hard it was to find hard copy books in English where we lived (Czech Republic, Switzerland, and France), and we started sharing recommendations to each other that we could all get on Kindle or on our laptops. Most baseball players, especially American imports, can’t form sentences, let alone read books, so this was a nice change of pace from the usual conversations of favorite local beers, etc.
A day later, the closed Facebook group titled “Book Club: International Stars All-Academic Team” was born. Four of us had a Google Hangouts video call a month later to discuss our first book, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein (a novel written from a family dog’s perspective about life and how his next reincarnation will be as a human based on a documentary that he watched one day while his race-car driving owner was at work). We spent 15 minutes talking about the book (and then another two not talking about the book). For a few months, we posted recommendations (most notably another great novel called “City of Thieves” by David Benioff), but we never met again to video chat… Oh well.
We all look back at that book club with pride and don’t consider it a failure despite its short life. Its seed has lay dormant for several years, which brings us to… well, right now.
The Mission Statement
To assign one book at the beginning of each month, to have dialogue throughout the month in a closed Facebook group, and then to meet on a video chat at the end of the month to discuss themes/quotes and their real-life applications in an open conversation
Nuts and Bolts
- There is no set genre or theme for the club – no topics are off-limits as long as the majority is in favor
- Communication and discussion will be conducted via closed group on Facebook (with a monthly email reminder)
- Assigned books for the following month will be voted based on a Facebook poll at the end of each month (with links to purchase hard copies, e-books, and audiobooks via blog and Facebook posts)
- Membership is free, but is capped at 20 active members
- I have no idea how to run a book club, but by golly, we’ll do it live
Books We’ve Covered
April 2018: The Way of the Superior Man (by David Deida)
Want in? Drop me a line, tell me why, and you’re in