. I am in two book clubs. Out of the 20 books I read, here are my favorites. I am basing my decision on these criteria: readability, value to me (did I learn something new?), and the discussion that the book generated. Please let me know the titles and authors of books you have used in your book clubs that meet these criteria. We are always looking for good discussion books. Thank you.
My 2012 Book Club favorites are here. Click the link.
My 2011 Book Club favorites are here. Click the link.
My 2010 Book Club favorites are here.
1. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver---I always learn something when I read Kingsolver. The theme of this book is climate change and personal politics that surround the issue. Very insightful. (HarperCollins, 2012)
2. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain---this book was the "All-Pierce County Read" book for our area. In addition to our book club discussion, we attended an author event. I became obsessed with Hemingway for a few months afterwards. (Ballantine Books, 2011)
3. Still Alice by Lisa Genova---Alice, a college professor has early onset Alzheimer's. We learned so much and had a fabulous discussion.
4. Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell---historical fiction set in the Middle East around the time of Lawrence of Arabia. I knew nothing about the events covered in this book prior to reading it. Very readable author. (Random House, 2008)
5. Saving Cee-Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman---a light read but delightful. It is about the importance of family and making connections with other people. This was a clear book club favorite. (Penguin, 2010)
6. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini---I liked this book better than others in my group which meant that we didn't have a very good discussion on it. The book group discussion questions were excellent, however. Hosseini is a very strong writer and knows how to weave a bunch of stories together. (Riverhead, 2013)
7. The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline---another book about a deplorable piece of American and Canadian history-Orphan trains. The book generated lots of discussion and we all found it an enjoyable read. (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2013)
8. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh---Victorians believed that specific flowers carried specific messages. Diffenbaugh took this theme and wove it into a fascinating story of an orphaned girl and her connections to other people and her ability to communicate best with flowers. There were lots of things that bugged me about the story but others in my group really liked the book and we had a fun discussion. (Ballantine Books, 2011)
9. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman---the consequences of our decisions can have long lasting effects. We had a lively, thoughtful discussion. (Scribner, 2012)
10. The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin---set in Central Washington around the turn of the 20th century we all fell in love with the characters and with Chopin's writing. (HarperCollins, 2012)
Noteworthy: Wesley the Owl: the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl by Stacey O'Brien---not sure why I am including this book on the list because no one really liked the book and the writing was very poor, but we had the most fun at book club with this book of any all year. We invited a veterinarian who specializes in birds to the meeting and we all learned a lot about birds of prey. It is now a topic of jokes among us. (Free Press, 2008)
I also liked: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout; A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; and Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.
Since I am in two book clubs some years one club will select a book I've read in previous years with my other club. If that is the case I did not list those books here. Look at my list from previous year favorites for information about Sarah's Key by De Rosnay, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Barbery, and Half-Broke Horses by Jannette Walls.
Please let me know titles of your favorite book club selections this past year. I'm always on the hunt for good discussion books.