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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Café Book Club - expressions of interest (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

C.J.
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There's a lotta rambling in my
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Hi all,

I know this was done a few years back, and was just wondering if it's something anyone is still interested in. The idea would be to gather interested parties for discussion on a particular Mentalism book, read a section each week, and share thoughts and ideas with one another. Depending on the size of the book, it might be read and discussed a chapter at a time, or more, or less.

My preference would be to start with some books that are likely to be on most people's bookshelves, steering away from some of the more exclusive material at this stage. I also feel that books which prioritise theory would be better for a book club discussion than something that is a compilation of effects, but having said that, a good section-by-section discussion of PME could be quite good.

Even if there is interest, I'm not sure what the best way of doing it would be. The Café's structure would make reading everyone's input quite a laborious process, and I wouldn't want to monopolise the topic listing by trying to start a new thread for each week. Group Skype would be good, but more of a challenge with regards to timezones. If it doesn't work here, there's a possibility of setting up a place elsewhere on the web specifically for this, but that comes with it's challenges as well; ie, I already read three different mentalism forums, and am not anxious to add another one to the list...

So if this goes ahead, it'll have to start as a bit of an experimental "See what happens" project. I'd also anticipate a very open membership with people able to join in or back out as their other commitments (and level of interest) allows. I think that a couple of people would take on "discussion leader" type roles and be responsible for arranging a summary and a couple of prompting questions each week to get things rolling, but there wouldn't be any real rules for restricting the conversation.

So... anyone interested in a book club? And if so, which book should we start with? Obviously, the more accessible and widely-owned the book is, the more people can participate, and thus the wider range of views and ideas will be shared. Just be aware that if we use books focused on effects and methods, we'd have to discuss it all in Inner Thoughts. Also be aware that for any given book in your library, there will be a lot of people here who don't own it, and therefore will find it hard to participate - for the first one, it would be nice to get a good number of people involved.

Who wants to play? And which book shall we start with? I'd like to suggest Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber, or we could start with something smaller and easier like an ebook, perhaps Fundamentals by Bob Cassidy.

Over to you.
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
Be fondly remembered.
mastermindreader
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V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
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Even in Inner Thoughts, do you think it's appropriate to discuss effects and methods in copyrighted books that are not in the public domain with those who don't have the book being discussed?
C.J.
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There's a lotta rambling in my
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Fair call Bob. There would need to be rules regarding exposure. Yet another reason to go with theory books.

My hope would be not to discuss "ways of achieving ends", but "ways to present". That is, if we were to for instance take PME for study, look more at what alternative presentations could be employed on some of the now-archaic effects, or discuss what underlying themes of performance and entertainment are found by reading between the lines of each effect. My concept of a book club is far more a "What do I learn from this chapter" than a "What are the details of methods and alternative methods in this chapter".

How to actually enforce that is a challenge, though...
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
Be fondly remembered.
sjrw
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I would love to be part of some book discussion, I love reading and discussing non magic/mentalism books, but all of my magic/mentalism friends don't do a lot of reading...
It would be good to be able to delve into a lot of the detail. And I imagine other readers will be able to point out things I've missed the importance/value of.


If it was set up elsewhere then you have the option of password protecting a section for each book. The password could be something that only owners of the book would know.
It occurs to me that "method" is part of "theory", and sometimes discussing and analysing method is going to be important - it would be a shame to totally rule this out.

Potentially if you didn't want to password protect the forum you could discuss anything involving methods as code (for instance, "page 19, line 32 - line 36") that would only be understood by owners of the book - you risk confusion if there are different versions though.
landmark
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You might want to look at the Genii forum for a model of how to set up a book discussion section. People have some good discussions without getting into exposure of methods.
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