Great Resources to Enhance Discussion
Reading groups and books club have always known that discussing books allows thems to share their joy of reading and to discover what others think and feel about the book. The mere fact that everyone sees a different idea, theme, and/or personal relationship with the book, is the whole concept of getting together.
Ann Donald of Times Live hits the nail on the head about reading and then discussing books.
Donald wrote an excellent article about how literary criticism and different reading organizations can enhance a book group discussion and lend more thoughts on the values of the book. You don't have to agree with the critic but there is always thoughts the critic brings up that are creative and informed.
Another resource Donald included is BBC World Book Club to help understand the ideas behind a book. Each show has an author interview and you can email questions to author before hand! Kiran Desai, John Boyd, James Ellroy, and Lionel Shriver have been some previous guest authors! These shows are recorded as podcasts so you don't have to listen live.
I find bookclubgirl to be a great resource to listen to authors and discover gems. Book groups can learn from all sources to enlight their discussion.
What's your favorite choice for finding more info about an author and their book?