My book club has this policy that whoever hosts that month’s book club gets to pick the next book we read. This is a fair way to do it. The problem is that my place isn’t big enough to host (or doesn’t have enough chairs), so the odds of me getting to pick a book any time soon are slim to none. Add to that the fact that even if I did host, it would probably just be once during the year, and you can see how the books I want to read may never get picked. Ever. So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic of books I’d recommend to anyone of my choosing seemed like a good way to put some of my choices out there. I may even post it on the club’s Facebook page is what I’m saying.
I’ve only been in the club about a year, and so far, every book has been adult (mostly literary) fiction. Keeping that in mind, I think the following would all fit well given what has been read so far:
1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – This book is fun and complex. I think the group would enjoy talking about the choices of all the characters and how realistic/relatable they are. Plus, we’ve read quite a few heavy books lately, and this one has the literary merit as well as that lighter feel. So, basically, I want to read something fun and this would be excellent for that.
2. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter – Another fun book! Also, plenty to delve into here with how the past can affect one’s future and the kinds of expectations we bring to our lives. Plus, it has a variety of characters with lots of different motives.
3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – This book. Oh, man. It’s YA lit (and I’m not sure how into that the group is) that’s steeped in nostalgia. But, more importantly, there is SO MUCH to talk about here. I posted about it and chatted with a few friends about it, and I still have more to say. So. Clearly an excellent book club match.
4. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones – Another one with characters making complicated and not always noble decisions. I’m pretty sure we could spend an hour talking about the parents alone–never mind the two girls that are the point of view characters of the novel.
5. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta – More complicated family and friendship dynamics featuring heavily flawed and hurting characters that make some very interesting choices. I have not discussed this book with anyone, but I would love to hear what the group has to say about it.
6. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby – I read this book a long time ago. I remember loving it. I think that’s reason enough.
7. Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice – Since this book pretty much tells my life story, I wouldn’t mind hearing who else related to it. It provides a look at a messy mother-daughter relationship with an interesting cast of characters.
8. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – Okay, this book is insanely long, but it’s also insanely good. THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY. I feel an entire hour of a group going “OMG and then THIS PART” would be the most fun. Oh, Edmond. They did you so wrong.
9. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb – So many questions are raised in this book about life and death and family and boundaries. This is also classified as YA lit, but it has enough grown up elements that I think the club would like it.
10. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly – This book deals with gender, violence, and family expectations all in a historical fiction framework, but Maddie’s story is so just now (especially for those of us with daughters either in college or getting close to that time) that I think the group would dig it. You know, if they were into the whole YA thing. Which they may be. I don’t know.
So, those are my choices. If I ever host, I would honestly be torn between the first four because, well, those are my top four and I want to discuss them now, now, now. Everybody pray that I one day have enough seating to host the group so I get to make that difficult choice.