My Book Club's Selections For This Year

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My Book Club's Selections For This Year

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1Nickelini
Muokkaaja: syyskuu 11, 2007, 1:55am

My real life book club meets the first Monday after Labour Day at the local Chapters (a Canadian version of B&N) to pick our books for the year. Everyone is free to make suggestions and talk up her books, and then we all vote. These are our selections for the year:

1. The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James (we decided to read a classic this year, and this won out over Bronte's Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
2. The Secret River, by Kate Grenville
3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
4. Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, by Vincent Lam
5. Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
6. Mr. Pip, by Lloyd Jones
7. When We Were Orphans, by Kazuo Ishiguro
8. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards
9. Consumption, by Kevin Patterson

We meet 10 months of the year, and always leave one spot open just to be flexible. Several of us were also interested in The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai. If anyone has any comments about any of these books, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

I realized while we met that there are two books that I've seen discussed on the internet that I thought were one book: The Memory Keeper's Daughter and My Sister's Keeper. I wasn't particularly interested in either, so when I'd see the "Keeper" name, I would only associate with one (imaginary) book. A Memory of Keeping My Sister's Daughter, perhaps?

(edited for touchstones, some of which are incorrect, but won't let me open the "others" option. I'll try again later)

2bookmark123
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 31, 2008, 6:42pm

My Australian book club meets on the last Thursday of the month. Seven of us out of a possible nine met last night and were unanimous in our dislike of The Gathering. We have read The Secret River and while our feelings were mixed, it was certainly thought to be worth reading. I read The Inheritance of Loss individually last year and it didn't do a lot for me. I think I am starting not to trust the opinion of the Booker Prize judges very much. The group also read My Sister's Keeper last year with mixed results. I found it plot driven with a weak ending and will probably not bother to read any more books by Jodi Picoult. I have also read When We Were Orphans and quite enjoyed it.

Our selections for this year are Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel, The Broken Shore by Peter Temple, The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton, Gogo Mama by Sally Sara and Stasiland by Anna Funder. I'll add to this list once we have all the books for this year.

Hope this is helpful.

3Nickelini
helmikuu 1, 2008, 9:40pm

Thanks for all your comments, Bookmark123. It's interesting to hear what book clubs on the other side of the world are reading, and I think it's interesting that we read some of the same books. :-)

4Clueless
helmikuu 2, 2008, 1:14am

My bookclub has done My Sister's Keeper and The Inheritance of Loss. Jodi Picoult's wasn't literature or anything but it stimulated some great conversation. My definition of a great bookclub book is one that provokes ideas that you want to talk about - what a not necessarily good book can do. Based on our experience with The Inheritance of Loss I would give it a pass. No one liked it. Do Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow or When I lived in Modern Times instead. Those books were great group reads.

5Mr.Durick
helmikuu 2, 2008, 2:06am

The Sparrow captured my church's book group's attention. Most of the folk went on to read its sequel so that we could talk about it all at once. At least one has leapt on Russell's more recent work. The discussion did not run out of steam.

We discussed The Last of the Mohicans in January. We have The Folding Cliffs by W.S. Merwin coming up. In March we're discussing a crummy little narrative called Leaving Mother Lake. But then in April we are taking on Doubt: a History by Jennifer Michael Hecht. We haven't decided beyond then.

One of our outlying members has suggested scoring some poetry books from a poetry organization for discussion, the payment being a report of our discussion. I'm not sure we can do non-narrative poetry, but I'll bring it up next Wednesday.

Robert

6HelloAnnie
Muokkaaja: helmikuu 2, 2008, 11:06am

I own The Inheritance of Loss, but haven't read it yet. I'm not a big fan of Jodi Picoult. Her books are very much like Lifetime movies. You either dig them or you don't.

We only pick our books once at a time, so far we did Quarantine for January, and are doing Julie and Julia for February. At our February meeting, one member will bring 4-6 books and the group votes on them to pick our March book. I've read Julie and Julia twice now, and really love it.

7Nickelini
helmikuu 2, 2008, 6:19pm

#4 - Jodi Picoult's wasn't literature or anything but it stimulated some great conversation. My definition of a great bookclub book is one that provokes ideas that you want to talk about - what a not necessarily good book can do.

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I agree . . . it's the conversational books that make for a good meeting. With us that's usually books we have problems with, but not always. Sometimes books are really great reads, but no one has much to say about them except "yeah, I liked it a lot." Then we just move on to eating the snacks, drinking the wine, and talking about skiing or kids or something.

8miss_read
helmikuu 3, 2008, 4:54am

#7

That is my big beef with the book club I'm in. Nobody seems to care about choosing a real book club book - something meaty that people can talk about and get excited about. Last month we did Toast by Nigel Slater. I'd read it before and had enjoyed it, but it's certainly not something that's going to provoke a good debate. I mentioned that I didn't think it was a "book club book" and suffered a huge backlash from other club members saying that what should matter is that it's a good book. But I disagree. Being good isn't enough. Sorry to rant so much, but I'm a bit annoyed by it all at the moment.

In February we're doing The Catcher in the Rye, in March it's Middlesex, we haven't decided on April yet, and in May we're doing Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.

(Touchstones are playing up an awful lot today.)

9Nickelini
Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 2008, 1:51pm

#8 I'd read it before and had enjoyed it, but it's certainly not something that's going to provoke a good debate. I mentioned that I didn't think it was a "book club book" and suffered a huge backlash from other club members saying that what should matter is that it's a good book. But I disagree. Being good isn't enough. Sorry to rant so much, but I'm a bit annoyed by it all at the moment.

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Well, you need to come join my book club. We love a good discussion . . . it's just that we don't always know which book is going to give that to us (and in all honesty, sometimes we may just not be in the mood. The whole group dynamic and all). But, yeah, I'm with you--the discussion is the thing.

By the way, I think The Reader would make a great book club read, if you're looking for something conversation-provoking.

10miss_read
helmikuu 3, 2008, 4:50pm

Thanks for the recommendation, Nickelini, but it's going to be a long time before it's my turn to make a monthly selection again! Perhaps someone else will suggest The Reader. Failing that, I'd be happy to come and join your book club ... but I have a feeling it would be a very long drive. ;)