How to begin

Run your own group

Reading groups can be as formal or informal as you like but basically you need a 'who', a 'what' and a 'where'.

Who do you want to be in the group?
What are you going to read?
And where are you going to meet?

All you need to do is ask people you know or see regularly to get together once or twice a month to talk about a book you've organised to read. You'll probably need at least five or six people in your group but the more the merrier.

Choose books that you think will appeal to the interest of the group as a whole, are easily available and can be read in the time between meetings. You might want to designate a leader for each meeting to help the flow of discussion and it's always useful to remember that conflict and criticism are an essential part of a good reading group. Dissenting opinions about the featured book are at the heart of the best discussion and everyone should have a right to their own opinion.

Where you meet is up to you. You can meet at home, at the pub, anywhere where you'll all fit.

Reading group notes

Allen & Unwin's notes for reading groups are designed to stimulate discussion. The aim is to help you place the book in a broader context and provide insights into the author's life as well as the events behind the writing of the book.

We also include extracts from reviews and a few discussion points to help you if you get a bit stuck coming up with things to talk about.