I’ve mentioned my book group previously. I love them all dearly but they’re not flash at reading the book. That would drive some people mental but, after 15 years, I’m okay with it. On the upside, whenever my book group actually does talk about the book for more than a few minutes, the book was obviously a good pick.
Over the last month or so, two of my Twitter buddies have asked for book group recommendations. Here’s what I suggested (all being books that got my book group really talking) –
- Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and Tweak by Nic Sheff. Half of us read David’s book first, the other half read Nic’s. And then we swapped. This is tough, challenging reading.
- The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell – because you need to discuss the ending.
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – my group’s favourite for 2013.
- Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman – some of the women in my book group have kids, some don’t. This book generates lots of discussion around the role of mothers.
- On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – some members of my group loved it. Some hated it. A division in opinion is always a conversation starter.
- The Reader by Bernhard Schlink – so many themes.
- Atonement by Ian McEwan – my group has a bit of a thing for McEwan but this one was the universal favourite. The twist! The twist!
- The First Stone by Helen Garner and most recently, her latest, This House of Grief.
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – can’t recall specifically why we all loved this book but we did.
- We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver – it’s probably the Ultimate Book Club Book, isn’t it? If your group hasn’t read it yet, block out a long session and make sure there’s plenty of wine. Intense.
- Loving Frank by Nancy Horan – prepare to be shell-shocked.
- Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead – we all had a lot to say about the main character. A lot.
- Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett – again, so many themes, so many characters that you need to dissect. And the ending…
- What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt – we hated her most recent book but really loved this one (a favourite the year that we read it).
- Bee Season by Myla Goldberg – the twist! The twist!
- The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff – the religious and cultural components of the book are fascinating (and it’s a ripping story).
- Perfume by Patrick Suskind – an oldie but a really, really goodie.
- Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin – a favourite the year we read it.
- Red Dog by Louis De Berni’res – even the cat-only-lovers were reduced to tears.
- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas – if We Need to Talk About Kevin is the Ultimate Book Club Book, then this is the Second Ultimate Book Club Book
- The Dinner by Herman Koch – and this is the Third Ultimate Book Club Book
What books have been winners with your book group?