"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, January 30, 2012

Top Ten Book Club Selections

Top Ten Tuesday asks: "What books would make good book Club selections?

Every year I put out a list of my book club selections from the past year.  Check out my 2010 and 2011 lists.
Here are a few books that worked really well in my book clubs over the past few years in terms of the level of discussion that the book generated:

Historical Fiction
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett---Civil rights, 1960s
2. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan---the late 1940s in the deep South, racial tension
3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese---set in Ethiopia during its civil war in the late 1960s.
4. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See---during the 1800s in China, about the lives of women and foot-binding.
5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Burrows---set on the island of Guernsey which was occupied by the Nazis during WWII.
6. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan---Frank Lloyd Wright and his affair with Maima Bostwick
7. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks---A village beset by the plague in Derbyshire.
8. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant---The story of women during Biblical times.
9. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen---A traveling circus and its cast of characters.

Nonfiction
1. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan--- the beginning of the Forest Service and National Forests and a fire that nearly brought it all down.
2. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand---The great American race horse.
3. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson---The Chicago Worlds Fair at the turn of the century juxtaposed to a mass-murderer in the same area.
4. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan---The American Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.
5. American Nightingale by Bob Welsh---about the first American nurse to die in Europe after D-Day

YA/Children's Books (for Adult Book Groups!)
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak---WWII inside Germany.
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie---the divided life of an Indian on and off the reservation. Very funny and poignant.
3. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan---set during the Great Depression about the plight of Mexican laborers.


11 comments:

  1. I have been curious about Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, I will have to check it out one of these days.

    http://kristina-worldofbooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/top-10-tuesdays-9.html

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  2. Ooh I'm loving the recommendations - I want to get to The Book Thief and Part Time Indian soon.

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  3. Great list, my book group has read every single one of your historical fiction choices! Obviously, we tend toward that genre :-)

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  4. Ha ha, I have all the fiction books except for The Red Tent, though I've only read four of them so far. I loved Year of Wonders. Totally agree about The Book Thief - I had a feeling I'd see it on a lot of lists today so I didn't put it on mine. ;)

    Here's my list.

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  5. I love "The Help" (it's on my list too) and "The Book Thief". I'm a bit rubbish when it comes to non-fiction so it's always nice to have some recommendations for those!

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  6. Great list. Many of them are on my TBR list. Unfortunately, I haven't read/finished any of them. But, I do plan to.

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  7. Great list with good inspiration. I have seen The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian on so many lists now that I am going to buy it this instant :-) New follower by the way.

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  8. Great list. I actually read The Red Tent with a reading group in NY and it was a great book for discussion. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions.

    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews
    My Top Ten...

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  9. Great list, Anne! I have read almost all of these (and loved them), but I see a few to write down as ideas for my own book groups!

    Sue

    P.S. I am still unable to leave a comment on your blog unless I first click on "reply" to a previous comment and then click on "leave a comment." If I try to comment in the normal way, the dialogue box disappears when I try to type in it. Weird!

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  10. I like how you split this up, and it's cool that you actually have experience with book clubs that you can use here.

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  11. Seabiscuit was such a good book and I didn't expect to be very interested in the topic. I am listening to Unbroken now and it is incredible as well (and would make a good, but sad book club pick).

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