Sunday, February 25, 2007

Byatt Group

The A.S. Byatt group will be meeting at the Duboce Park Cafe at 6:30 on February 28, 2007.

Here's some extra info from Marla for all of us:
"I found some interesting links on A. S. Byatt (listed below) that I wanted to share with you. The first link includes an interviews section which has some interviews with the author about the Little Black Book of Stories. The second link is her official site.

I hope the group will use this post as a place to keep in touch with each other and me.
Cynthia K

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Impromptu Autograph Session

Huge thanks to all of you who brought copies of Book Savvy to the February 21 meeting. I really enjoyed the impromptu book signing as it gave me a chance to talk individually to a few more members of the Betty's List Book Club. If your copy still isn't signed, be sure to bring it to the March 21 meeting.
Cynthia K.

Friday, February 23, 2007

History of Love Group

Cheryl is graciously hosting:

"I am also confirming that our first meeting will take place on March 20, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. at my house which is located on Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA. [Members have the address via her email] We have agreed to read “History of Love” as our first book. We are each encouraged to bring other suggestions to the next meeting for future books. We have also agreed to have the meeting as a quasi “potluck,” hopefully we will not have 6 bottles of wine and no food, but we will survive notwithstanding.

I am also confirming that we are extending an invitation to Cynthia to come to our first meeting [My plans are to join you later...thanks for the invite!] and, if she knows of others who would like to join our group, that she should put them in touch with one of us. [Will do...I expect some extra folks to turn up] Our thoughts are that we would meet on Thursday evening (I know that the first meeting is set for Tuesday, but…we are a flexible group so we are letting that be known from the start). We have agreed that we were more interested in fiction, but remain open to suggestions.

Looking forward to positive reading."

I hope you will all use this space to keep in touch with each other and me!

Can't Fail Group

Here it is in Eileen's own words:

We have picked "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton as our first book.
Since the book does not have a copyright, it is available for free from Project Gutenberg.
Click on the following link for available downloads:
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton - Project Gutenberg

Meeting Schedule:

Sunday, March 18th, 11:30 AM at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, Emeryville
Wednesday, March 21st, 6:30 PM at Duboce Park Cafe, San Francisco (Full Club Meeting)
Sunday, April 15th, 11:30 AM at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, Emeryville

Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe is located at 4081 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA, Phone: (510) 594-1221
Link to Rudys Can't Fail Cafe - The best food you can get !!!!!!!!! Considering they make a "Green Eggs and Ham" Scramble, I think that we have picked the perfect place to meet. (Thanks for the tip, Anna!) Since we are all coming from different directions, I'll let you mapquest it yourself.

Professor Cynthia, you are cordially invited. [I'm honored and will certainly attend]

I hope you folks will use this post to keep in touch with each other and me.

Dorothy Allison Group

Here's the deal, straight from your wonderful organizer Karen.

"We all decided on reading "Bastard out of Carolina" by Dorothy Allison as our first book. Our mini-group
meeting will be on Wednesday, March 14th at 6:30 PM at Duboce Cafe, one week
before our main Betty's List Book Club meeting the following week, on March

We have asked Cynthia Katona to join us and be our Discussion Leader for
this first round. (yeah!)" [I'm very honored and will certainly be there]

I hope you will use this post to keep in touch with each other and me!
Cynthia K

Burroughs Dry Group

This group picked a name which I cannot put in the title line because I would be breaking the Blog's "terms of service," so I hope they will recognize themselves by the title of their

This group will meet on Wednesday April 4th at the Duboce Park Cafe at 6:30 sharp. They will be discussing Dry by Augustine Burroughs. I hope you will use this Post as a place to keep in touch with each other and me.
Cynthia K.

February 21, 2007 Meeting Great Work. Bravo!

Betty's List Book Club members ate, talked, laughed and formed up into five book groups! If you were there...thanks for your incredible cooperation and quick wittedness. If you missed the meeting, don't worry, we have spots for new members at the next meeting (Mark your calendars for Wednesday March 21).

Lots of folks wanted their own copy of the organization they are. As Organization Facilitators check in, I'll be putting up a separate post for each group, so that you can blog with each other. Keep watching this main blog; I'll be posting more over the weekend.

Let there be (Smaller) Groups

1. Divide into groups of at least 8, but not more than 10.

2. Have a quick group discussion to select a book.
•Each person, who wants to, throws out one title, and explains quickly why they think that it would be a great choice.
•Take a vote. The book with the most votes is it.

3. Pick someone to be the Organization Facilitator
•This person will FIRST collect a roster of names, phone numbers and emails from the members of the group.
•This person will lead a discussion of the time and date for the next two meetings of the individual group.
•This person will make a listserv of the members and send one email reminding everyone of what they decided about the book and date. Please include me on the email list (, so that I can set up a post on the blog through which your group can communicate. (
•At the first meeting, you will pick a Discussion Facilitator, and decide if this job will rotate, and if so, how often. This person will have skills in group dynamics and how to keep the group focused on the book (for the first hour at least), and be sensitive to making sure everyone gets a chance to express her views.
•At the first meeting, pick a name for your group. I am already calling the first group the Byatt Group because of their first choice of book

4. I will attempt to attend the first meeting of each smaller group that invites me, and be there to answer questions and help out. (

5. After tonight, I will be facilitating the Monthly Betty’s List Book Club Meeting for the entire group. At these meetings we can share our small group experiences. We will have speakers and other special book related events. These meetings will start exactly at 6:30 (or 7:00 if you decide that is more convenient). I encourage folks to come early and have dinner. The pastrami sandwich and lentil soup I had last time were outstanding.

Happy Reading,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Betty's List Book Club Join Us February 21, 2007

February 21, 2007 Meeting

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

The turnout last week was delightfully staggering. I look forward to seeing all of you and your friends this Wednesday.

This meeting will finish the process of sorting folks into smaller, more manageable groups, perhaps around certain titles (Last week I suggested Atwell’s The Robber Bride, Sontag’s Volcano Lover, and Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. On the blog, various members have suggested: Diamant’s Red Tent, Proulx’s Wyoming Stories, Geek Love, Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife, and Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies among others). Or groups can accommodate their various schedules (there is nothing sacred about Wednesday nights). I also want to talk for just a minute or two about how to make a good book club choice, and the role of the individual group facilitators. Please feel free to append your thoughts about any of these things to this blog posting prior to our meeting.

Speaking of the blog. Many thanks to those of you who wrote in and started a discussion about books in the last weeks. For a lot of us, this is our first experience with blogging. As the reading groups form up, I will post a special area for each of you to communicate with each other, as well as continue to the handle the posts for the whole of the Betty’s List Book Club.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Note to Authors/Speakers

I've been getting a lot of letters from authors generously offering to visit the Betty's List Book Club. We will certainly be featuring authors/speakers at the monthly meetings in future, once we get all the smaller reading groups formed and up and running. I am accepting review copies of books for consideration at this address:
Cynthia Lee Katona
Professor of English
Ohlone College
P.O. Box 3909
Fremont, CA 94539
All books sent will get a careful read and a personal response.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Job of Facilitator

I look forward to facilitating the Betty's List Book Club, and moderating the Book Club Blog. Please feel free to write to me and tell me if I am meeting your expectations, or if there is anything else I can do to make this a better experience for you.
Cynthia K

Thinking about Books

One precocious group has already chosen their book, A.S. Byatt's Little Black Book of Stories. They plan to meet at the Duboce Park Cafe on February 28, 2007.

This is the post where I would love it if participants would comment on the books they would like to see us tackle in the upcoming months. Please take the time to explain your choices. And everyone should feel free to respond to each other.

This virtual conversation about books we admire might help us form into smaller groups at the next meeting, where I hope to talk to all the groups about some of the book club habits which tend to work and give reading groups the staying power they need to become a really meaningful part of people's lives.

Book Savvy Women at the Launch

There were lots of Book Savvy women at the Duboce Park Cafe on January 31, 2007. I am looking forward to seeing you all again at the next meeting which is scheduled for February 21, 2007. If you couldn't make the first meeting, please feel free to join us at the next meeting, where we will be choosing up teams of readers, based on schedules, interests, and any other factors you think are important.

Thank You...All.

First, I want to post a huge thank you to all the folks who made the Betty's List Book Club Launch such a huge success. Betty is the Promotion Guru of all time...Bravo. Rachel Herbert has a wonderful new venue at Duboce Park Cafe...thanks so much to her for letting us have that as a convivial and convenient place to meet. And mostly, thanks to all the passionate readers who showed up to be a part of what looks like it is not going to be just a book club, but a book league, with more than one group, and lots of vitality! Cynthia K