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Topic: Need suggestions for a book group book

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Subject: Need suggestions for a book group book
Date Posted: 6/8/2011 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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We've been discussing books once a month for 3 months now.  We read Her Fearful Symmetry, Water for Elephants, and most recently The Help.  Now we're stuck for what to read next.  Any suggestions?

Date Posted: 6/8/2011 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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If you google "best bookclub books," you'll come up with a lot of good ideas.  I think a lot of it depends on what kind of group you are.  Our book club has met for years, so the books kind of jumble in my mind, but two great discussions that I remember came from "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons" and "The Thirteenth Tale."  Oh, also "People of the book" by Geraldine Brooks -- or anything by Geraldine Brooks, for that matter. 

Date Posted: 6/8/2011 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
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I second People of the Book, or Year of Wonders by G. Brooks.  And I just finished The Thirteenth Tale and really liked it.  Another one everyone I know likes is The Forgotten Garden . My bookclub all really liked Firefly Lane - but we are not a very serious group wink

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society would be good for a book club.
Moloka'i  by: Alan Brennert was good and would be interesting to discuss in a group.
Date Posted: 6/8/2011 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Some of our best book club books:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Lee
  • Rebecca - du Maurier
  • The Distant Land of My Father - Caldwell
  • One Thousand White Women - Fergus
  • Let the Great World Spin - McCann
  • Still Alice - Genova
  • Zeitoun - Eggers
  • Loving Frank - Horan
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - See
  • The Glass Castle - Walls
  • Under the Banner of Heaven - Krakauer
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Haddon
Date Posted: 6/9/2011 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2009
Posts: 1,883
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I wanted to add another book to your list:


The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
Author: Maggie O'Farrell

Date Posted: 6/9/2011 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,573
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People of the Book, or Year of Wonders by G. Brooks     yes


ETA:    The Things that Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley is perfect for groups and discussions.



Last Edited on: 6/9/11 1:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/10/2011 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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The Book Thief!

For something fun, The Spellman Files is really cute - we had fun with that one.

Date Posted: 6/11/2011 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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Oh yeah, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and The Book Thief were great books, too!  I just finished the second book in the Spellman series -- love thoem!

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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My book club is currently reading; The Blithedale romance by Hawthorne. 

Some of our other favorites...if the book is long we ready 1/3 or 1/2 per month

Woman in White

Count of monte cristo


scarlet letter

madame bovery

river why

joy luck club

great gatsby

a tree grows in brooklyn

east of eden

gone with the wind


we have been meeting for almost 10 years now and have picked books in several ways

1.  spent hours figuring out which book to pick from a list we had compiled some point in time

2.  there are 10 of us who come normally (you can only come if you have read the book); there are about 12 total in the group.  We would take turns picking a book--if it was your turn to pick, you lead the discussion.

3.  classic one month/ modern the next

4.  everyone bring a book and share why we should read it; of course that means you have already read the book.

5.  On our 10th anniversary meeting we are going to reread the first book; Fall on your knees.





Date Posted: 6/13/2011 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,207
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I love hearing about other people's book clubs!  I started one last fall and while my group is more about the wine than the books I hope to get more serious in time.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I'm in a book club now that I'm thinking about quiting.  It's been a year and a half and I've disliked every book chosen except the one I picked and the rest of the ladies didn't like it.  If it wasn't for the wine I'd have quit long ago.

Date Posted: 6/13/2011 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Hunger Games

Spellman Files


American Gods



Date Posted: 6/13/2011 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2008
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We all loved Rebecca as well.
Date Posted: 6/13/2011 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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Donna, it really does help to have a group who likes to read similar genres.  Do you have a local, independent bookstore?  Our book club meets there and is facilitated by one of the store's (retired) employees (also the best read woman I know).  We're an extremely diverse group, but we've met for so long that we've really bonded.  Our club has met long enough that when one of us reads a book she thinks will prompt a great conversation, she suggests it.  I can't always say I've "liked" the books, but I'm always glad that I read them. 

If you're not gelling with the group you're in, have you thought about approaching your local book store about starting one up, based on the genres you like to read?  We have several groups who meet in our local store... Some mystery groups, romance group, etc., etc.  Just a thought.

I know what you mean about hating the books, though.  I have a friend who keeps getting me to join the club she's in.  I've seen their reading list.... Man, I think I'd slit my wrists if I had to read those tomes! 

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
Posts: 4,868
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Two of my book club's recent reads that we all seemed to enjoy were:

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See


Date Posted: 6/20/2011 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
Posts: 4,868
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re: book clubs and common genres... some months, it's a clear 50/50 split as to love/hate the book selection.  BUT it generates good conversation, and for me, I do book club to have one night a month to connect with a bunch of bookworm gals, eat a bunch of junk food, and chat about everything under the sun - books too!  :)

ONE great thing about book club is reading "outside my genre" once in a while.  For instance, a couple of months ago, we read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith, it seemed sci-fi to me which is so not my genre and I really didn't think I'd like it.  WELL I was wrong, I liked it a lot!!  It's good to get out of the reading comfort zone once in a while.  :)

Date Posted: 6/20/2011 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,573
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I you could get everyone to agree I think a really interesting book for discussion, and a great read, is World War Z by Max Brooks.   Truly one of the most surprisingly interesting books I have ever read.  American Gods is in the same catagory.  I don't think you need to be into SciFi at all to really get captured by these two books.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,758
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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. It struck me very much as being a British counterpart to The Help. The Brits like the Americans have put a great deal of effort into sweeping their problems with racial and religious prejudice under the carpet. This book brings them  to the forefront in a manner that is both sympathetic to those caught in the crossfire and pokes fun at those who remain foolishly constrained by outdated beliefs.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I just started a book club at work.  We met at lunch in a conference room.  The book was The Help and it went really well.  Next time we're reading Moloka'i by Alan Brennert.  Of course, we can't have wine because we're at work, but it was fun.

Date Posted: 6/28/2011 2:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon  - that was one of our favorites

Date Posted: 6/28/2011 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 402
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I would recommend either The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon or The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards.  Both are well written, not too long and should generate some lively discussion.



Date Posted: 6/28/2011 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,207
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I loved Moloka'i , but I can't get anyone in my club to read it.

I am in the middle of Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky, and I was thinking this would make an interesting discussion with a group of women.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 6/28/2011 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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You need something to really keep you occupied.  I recommend Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer (1,282 pages).

Date Posted: 7/7/2011 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
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The next one we are doing is "One Thousand White Women"

Date Posted: 7/8/2011 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,241
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"Refuge" by Dot Jackson. I just finished this book and I think there are enough provocative issues in this book for a book club discussion besides which it's just good entertainment.

I don't belong to a book club because the only one in our town is very pretentious.