What is The Book Club Project?

The Book Club Project has a very simple goal: To encourage conversation between friends about interesting books they have read.

With great books, it’s worth taking the time to discuss our thoughts and reactions to the core ideas discussed by the author(s). By sharing our literary journey with friends, we challenge our own intellectual curiosity and come to understand further why it is we do what we do and think what we think. A most illuminating path.

So in short: Read. Discuss. Share.

Some Thoughts on Reading Great Books

We often read great books. Ones that captivate the mind and challenge us to think differently. and notice things After we read these books, we find ourselves noticing things for the first time. Things that have always existed and been the case, but which we simply had never really seen or understood before.

When we come across the illuminating thought or idea at the core of a book,  we feel it immediately; it’s visceral. We sense a moment of insight and learning; of connecting this dot with that one. We know to appreciate it there and then because it’s special.

Not every read of course will be classed as such or even peak our interest, but the more widely we read, the greater is the likelihood that we’ll be struck by moments of literary greatness; and experience enlightened thinking.

By sharing and discussing our thoughts with others, we’re practicing and promoting intellectual curiosity. This creates a virtuous circle of idea-sharing; enabling ever better thoughts to roam the minds of the thinkers and doers amongst us.

Engaging a friend over coffee on your latest read is essential to driving the illuminating ideas movement.

The Aim of the Game
In the modest hope of stimulating some discussion and debate, I’ve designed a literary journey of twelve books (one for each month of the year), that each come well recommended (though I can’t promise they all fall into the greatness category for everybody!), and that tackle a wide variety of different issues (from design thinking to scarcity of the mind to individual choice). The aim of the game is to choose the reads that peak your interest the most and to commit to meeting with a friend to discuss how the core ideas in the book have affected the way in which you see and understand the world. Maybe it hasn’t in any shape or form and you didn’t enjoy the read whatsoever. That’s great too; you’ve broadened your mind by actively considering how and why it is you think the way you do. This is a brilliant thing!
The 12 Recommended Reads
I’ve prepared a recommended list of books not because we have the ideal reads for you specifically, but because I know that sometimes our “great reading plans” (cue a statement of how much we’ll read on our next holiday or break) can stumble before they even begin, and I most certainly don’t want anyone to be confounded by the paradox of choice at the first step. This is why each month has been allocated a recommended read. These suggestions are merely there to provoke literary action, and not to direct people’s reading. Making things simpler and more accessible is but a small price to pay to stimulate interesting discussions amongst friends. It is one book per month, as the small commitment to read just 10 pages per day translates to 300+ pages per month, I believe this is quite a manageable timeframe to finish one book of  average length. If the recommended reads are not to your particular taste or interest, simply select another book for the month (and if you have the time to let us know, I would love to hear from you about what you’ve chosen). The aim of the game is that easy. The power lies with you… always. So own it, and be an avid reader, thinker and discusser!
Some Final Thoughts
As you’ve most likely come to realise by this point, this book club project is pretty informal. There is little to no structure in place; you simply choose the months you want to get involved in and go from there. The only thing I do ask of you is that you commit to asking someone else to join you in your literary endeavours each month (a most reasonable ask I think!). By discussing, debating and challenging our thinking we can exponentially develop intellectual curiosity and wonder in the world. So let’s do just that. Read well, and enjoy those interesting conversations (and if you have time please get in touch with me to share your experience).