Looking for another way to get oriented to popular books or ideas for book discussion? Consider dipping into Slate’s Audio Book Club, a monthly podcast of lengthy conversations about newish titles.
If book discussion groups were an English Lit. class they would be something like Slate’s podcast. Three interested and invested readers – armed with copious notes – gather to discuss a book in full detail, spoilers included. Participants tend to be picky, and even with books they enjoy are never shy about pointing out weaknesses.
Sometimes the conversation also veers into larger topics. This month the three reviewers took up the subject of genre as they discussed Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (RH/Knopf; RH & BOT Audio; Thorndike; OverDrive Sample).
For all those increasingly confused and frustrated by genre borders it makes for interesting listening. The Slate readers conclude that Mandel intentionally plays around with genre, winking at conventions as she does so (despite her contention that she writes literary fiction).
Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman is up next, in August.
(Note: it is called an audio book club because the conversations are delivered via podcast. They do not discuss audiobooks).