Do you belong to a book group and could you help with my research, please?
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Hope it's appropiate to post this - and I'd be so grateful if you could repost or share with anyone you think might be able to help!
Do you run a book group or belong to one? Would you be willing to try reading an Iris Murdoch novel and fill in a short questionnaire for me? I'm conducting a research project on whether Iris Murdoch's novel "The Bell" is a good book group read, and I need as many groups as possible to read it! Please share and ask people to contact me via lyzzybee AT googlemail DOT com - thank you!
It doesn't matter where in the world you are. I am piloting the questionnaire at the moment and envisage starting working with book groups on this in the next few months (hopefully giving them time to slot the book into their schedule). All personal information will be anonymous and all group information anonymised. I am not part of an academic institution (although I have an English lit degree) but the Iris Murdoch Society, of which I am a member, have expressed an interest in seeing the results of my study, and I may be able to ask to present about it at their next Conference, if all goes well.
Any questions, plesae feel free to ask, although I am at an early stage in the research project at the moment!
Thanks and regards,
My Book Club has already chosen it's next read. Do you have a deadline for us on this?
I read The Bell a long time ago, but I am willing to give it another shot.
Hi Belva - there isn't a tight deadline at all - a) because I'm still only half way through researching my theoretical underpinnings (oo-er!) and, more importantly, b) because I know some book groups choose their next reads months in advance. If you can get to it within the next 6 months, that would be wonderful.
Mme Urania - if you're in a book group and willing to give it a go, that would be great. I have a question in the questionnaire about whether people have read any Murdoch before - the way my research is heading is seeing if IM is a good book group read, if that makes sense.
Thanks ladies! I knew you'd reply before the librarians!
I am not currently in a book group. If some of us formed an online book group would that count?
LyzzyBee, could we sponsor a group read here on LT? Would that count? We could sponsor via this group, the Girlybooks group, the 75 Books Challenge group, or the Monthly Author Reads group (owned by Christina/christiguc).
I'm planning to read all of Murdoch's Booker shortlisted works this year. It would be fun to read one of them as a group read!
I don't see why not - I want to use online book groups as well as f-2-f ones. I have to sort my questionnaire out (currently in pilot testing stage) so wouldn't want you to read it until May at the earliest...
>#s 5 & 6:
Count me in if this is a go. I would love to be involved.
OK, I think we have a group read forming here! Two questions: when, and what?
For when, it sounds like May at the earliest. Would May be OK for everybody?
As for what book to read ... We could use a nomination & voting process similar to the Monthly Author Reads group. Each person can nominate up to two titles, and "second" as many nominees as you like. Those that are "seconded" will be put in a poll. The title with the most votes would be the group read. If it's close we could have two reads going at the same time.
Other suggestions welcome, but if we do choose to nominate / vote I'll set up a separate thread for it.
>12: oh, oops, I missed that part of the message! I thought it was Murdoch in general. No problem ... I've already read The Bell myself, but it was not long ago and I will still happily join the discussion!
I read The Bell a few years ago, but would be happy to read it again and would love to join in a discussion group here!
Yes, it needs to be The Bell. It's going to be odd filling in the group leader's questionnaire on why and when the group formed, but that's fine! (feel free to start an IM reading group!)
What I'll need to do is NOT look at the discussions or take part - so we can avoid interviewer bias, i.e. you all say you like it more so as not to upset me (not that you would, but I have to be clear on this). And then one of you reports back at the end. Is that OK?
And if people are members of Real Life reading groups too, please do suggest it to them too!
Um, no it won't (hopefully) because my questionnaire allows for a) how and why a book group formed and b) if you've read the book or IM books before. So I can screen this group out of certain results if I need to. The only thing I'm worried about is the demographic questions (age, gender, level of education, ethnicity, employment status) which I need in order to differentiate between groups and to see if there are differences, but my ethical statement says these are anonymous. I could have one of you gather the info by setting up a googledoc you could all contribut anonymously to - would that work? More info on the project here btw:
and also, if you are in RL book groups or know someone who is, or want to email out to lists you're on, pls feel free to use the original text I had on here at the top and this link and pass it on!
I haven't participated for years but know several online reading groups who might be worth asking on yahoogroups - perhaps the best is bookgrouplist
Oh, and do you know newbooksmag and their website? They target reading groups and it might be a good way to get in touch with lots of them.
>18: My dear departed mother was A Severed Head fan
It's a good thing you used a touchstone because without it, that's hilarious.
I really liked A Severed Head, too!
20 & 21 thanks elkiedee - will follow those up! I think my project is going viral, as they say, as I've had visitors to the web page from all over and noticed people have posted about it on various forums etc. There's one on Penguin too, heading over there now...
I'm only getting groups slowly and need to push it up a gear - if anyone is willing to paste my original email and the link into an email and send it to all their friends / 10 friends / some random people / whatever, I'd be so grateful. My RL friends are doing this too!
Hi everyone, just wondering if anyone is interested in getting reading groups they know of helping me with this. I am blogging about the research at http://libroediting.wordpress.com
I have quite a few book groups already so this research will definitely be going ahead, but I would like more!
I'll have my questionnaires sorted out and ready soon, so then you all can get reading - does someone want to nominate themselves as group leader?
Thanks for reading,
OK, there are two ways we can do this:
1. you all read the book separately and review it and send me your reviews as well as posting them here, and I use that to inform the bit where I talk about general readers' responses.
2. you do it as a reading group, but I need a group leader with an email address to send the questionnaires to and I'll need them to get you to send in some very vague demographic info, however I'm guessing the leader will have to know what you say there. I know we have people on here who we don't mind sending our addresses to... all I will need is gender, age (range), ethnicity, employment status and highest level of education. And then discuss the book based on my questionnaire while I look away.
I have several groups reading the book in April/May so it might be nice to fit in with that. But if I could know when you were going to read it, it would help.
Also, please, if you know anyone who might be interested in their book group helping too, could you let them know about it? I have several groups doing this now, so it will go ahead whatever happens, but I'd like enough groups to be able to get statistics...
So do we have a group/date for reading this? I will be finishing my current read in the next day or so and don't want to start something else if there's a group read of The Bell this month.
Thanks for mentioning, Leseratte - I would love to see some results from this soon! I need someone to agree to run the discussion and post the questions / collect the data for me, as it can't be me (and I won't look till you tell me you've finished!)
One last go at this: a lot of my groups are now reading the book so it would be good to collect as many responses as I can at this stage. Is there actually any interest in doing this, or shall I leave it?
Thank you! Would you be OK to fill in my questionnaire summarising the discussion (you can use the questions as questions for the discussion to make it easier?) and gather a small amount of anonymous info on age, gender, education from the participants too? (this is to make it match the other groups in the study)
Oh sure, I'm happy to do that as well. Should I start a discussion thread here or elsewhere? I won't be able to start for at least a few days, since I have to get the book from the library; but I just recently read it so it won't take me long to re-read.
I'll join in on the discussion. My review was probably not very helpful to Lyzzy's research, but specific questions will prompt me to reread and be more analytical.
kcdavis - I don't mind, might be better to start a new thread. I won't read it and people need to know I'm not reading it, so as not to bring in researcher bias (I don't sit in on the face-to-face groups that are discsussing it).
Leseratte - what you produced is super-helpful for my thread on the differences between "ordinary people"'s responses to the book as opposed to critics'. The questionnaire is more about the book as a book group read, so you will probably have different things to say about that. You don't need to reread it or do a close textual analysis though (unless you want to!)
Maybe keep this thread for anything I might want to see and start a new non-Liz one for the discussion!
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