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Topic: Book Club Recommendations?

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Subject: Book Club Recommendations?
Date Posted: 8/21/2008 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2008
Posts: 120
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A few months ago a few friends and I started an all female book club (or as I prefer to call it, a "Ladies Reading Circle"). Our first pick was "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer. Our second book (my pick) was "The Thirteenth Tale", which was great because it came with a reading group guide and there were suggestions on the website for some yummy foods to serve at the book club meeting. I believe that our third book will be "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, which I have not yet read but have heard a lot about in the past few years. The goal of the book club is to mix things up by choosing a mixture of different genres and styles of literature, everything from the borderline trashy novels to sci-fi to classic gothic lit. Nothing is really off limits. Any other suggestions for future meetings? If you are in a book club yourself, any suggestions on what we could add to the mix to make the group interesting? Thanks in advance! -Stace
Date Posted: 8/21/2008 7:42 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Bel Canto by Anne Pachett is a good, quick read. Perfect for book club!

Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Egderton is hilarious another good read!

Animal reads: Enslaved by Ducks and,Marley and Me (of course),The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood (all non-fiction)

Don't miss:Three Cups of Tea (non-fiction)

War Stories: The Zookeeper's Wfie (non-fiction) and Atonement

I have more,  just need more coffee..lol!

More serious reads: Nectar in a Sieve (quick read with The Good EArth feel toit)),  Both The Samurai's Garden andWomen of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama, I've had groups asking for The Good Earth lately. A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner both by Khaled Hosseini

Life of Pi is a great book for discussion.

Classic:Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Depending on your members I would try to keep the reads quick.  Twilight is a very ambitious read for a book club but if your members like heffers go for it!  I have found that if the reads become too long members drop off because they don't finish the books. We used to take the fatter books and read them over a longer period of time, say two months instead of one.  This was a group of busy Moms so it really depends on your members. 

I'd love to hear what you come up with for your list!  Happy Reading!

Last Edited on: 8/21/08 8:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 12:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2008
Posts: 120
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Thanks for the suggestion! I've read a few of the books your mentioned but most of them are new to me. I also like your suggestion about keeping the books shorter. We've been meeting about every 5 weeks but I am worried that some people will not be able to commit to longer books. I've heard wonderful things about "The Zookeeper's Wife". I may pick that one for the next selection.
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 3:36 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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The ladies in the book club I was in really enjoyed My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

I also got a lot of really good  suggestions for books on this thread: http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=119163

Date Posted: 8/22/2008 8:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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I almost forgot about Loving Frank, we've been getting a lot of requests for this one for book groups.

Date Posted: 8/22/2008 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I would recommend The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. I believe it won the Pulitzer Prize several years ago but regardless, it is an excellent book with gorgeous writing.
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2008
Posts: 91
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I'm seconding the recommendation of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.  We read it in our book club a few months ago and had an extremely lively discussion. An added bonus was that the author was on a speaking tour in our area and several of our members were able to attend her talk!

I've been in a book club here in our town for nearly 15 years. We have been all over the place, genre-wise!  We try to read at least 1 classic per year -- and we define classic as a book that we read (or should have read!) while in high school or college. Some of our classic reads have included: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, My Antonia by Willa Cather, the Tender is Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. (That's just a few.)

I'll look thru our list and let you know of some other favorites!

Happy Reading,



Date Posted: 8/25/2008 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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A lot of ladies in my wife's book club seem to really like Jodi Picoult's books, though my wife doesn't really like Picoult much at all.  So you might  want to try one of her books - they seem to be pretty popular with a lot of women.

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Here are a few my book club has recently read:

The Persian Pickle Club - Sandra Dallas

A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson

Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts

My Antonia - Willa Cather

Girl With A Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn - Betty Smith

Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri

The Diary of Mattie Spenser - Sandra Dallas

Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain


Date Posted: 8/27/2008 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 127
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I might suggest The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. My copy has a book club guide in the back of it. Or if you wanted to try a more classic book how about The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe?

Date Posted: 9/3/2008 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Excellent Women, Barbara Pym

Other People's Children, Joanna Trollope


Date Posted: 9/3/2008 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Favorites of my club have included The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver), The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini), and Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen).  Next week we're discussing On Beauty (Zadie Smith).  I really enjoyed it, and I'm hoping it sparks a good discussion.  For more lightweight reads, we also had good discussions on Crashing Through (non-fiction written like an extended magazine article about a man who recovers his eyesight after being blind for most of his life, written I think by Robert Kurzon (?)) and The Alexandra Link (sort of a Da Vinci Code-type political thriller, written by Steve Berry(?)).

Date Posted: 9/4/2008 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 36
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The Handmaidens Tale  (margaret Atwood) would make a great classic choice.


Date Posted: 9/5/2008 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 6,143
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For something different, I always recommend Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.   It's a science fiction classic, and out of all the people I've known that have read it (and there have been a lot), only two didn't like it.

Date Posted: 9/5/2008 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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I think a great book club book would be "Windchill Summer" by Norris Church Mailer.  It's one of my all-time favorite books!  It has a bit of everything-coming-of-age, racial issues, murder mystery, small town, secrets...it's set during the late 1960s early '70s and the Viet Nam War ends up playing a big part in the plot.  I absolutely LOVED this book.

My copy came with a Reader's Guide and Book Club questions at the end, that would be handy. 

Also a great book club classic would be "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn".