"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.

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.


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


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

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

  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.

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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...

  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!


    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!

  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.

  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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