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Your brain on politics
•leading A political book group•

This site will support you as you take on a book group leadership role - every step of the way.  You can help yourself and others to gain the political knowledge needed to influence the upcoming campaigns and elections. One step at a time. With your interest and energy, and our support to get you started, you cannot help but make a difference in the political landscape.

Book clubs have long been popular as a means to learn and discuss content and issues with others.  In today's divided political culture, it is even more important that some of the books we read make us better-informed, more understanding of the roots of multiple points of view and better able to assess the skills and policy positions of  candidates in 2018 and 2020 and beyond.  

**Back again after a busy holiday season**, and Leone and I are happy to get our minds back to our activism project again.  It’s a new year and with it have come new ways of thinking.  Initially we saw the proliferation of political book groups as a way to better inform and prepare an electorate to make positive change in the coming elections, at least in 2018 and 2020.  The focus has been on leaning- Democratic thinkers- after all, the first groups are supported by a local Democratic Committee.  And, being honest, and I always will be that, there is also perhaps a leaning-far-away-from-Trump side too.  But we are beginning to think- maybe it’s important to get people of differing political views in on the conversation as well, so you will see action in that direction as time unfolds.
 But for today, the topic is about writing (or choosing) questions for political books that suit your participants.  Yes, you will get to see their preferences quite clearly.  I analyze my group’s response to questions from the outset. I intend to learn what questions they respond to with interest and what leaves them with that deer-in-the-headlights look.  Those latter ones need change.
 Good questions keep the focus on the important concepts of the book, the takeaways you hope that your readers are heading out in the world with.  Most of the deep meaning that your participants will make from their reading experience comes in the privacy of wherever they read or listen to the book, their own innate understandings enhanced by what they are taking from the book.  Your questions just help them clarify their own thoughts to make even more sense.  I’ll make an analogy.  Attending a book discussion is like going for the weigh-in at a Weight Watcher’s meeting.  Both drive your action in the previous month.  You know you will be called on to perform and you do your homework.  If you did not have that meeting ahead of you, you won’t be as motivated to do that preparation.

We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.
— Sheryl Sandberg