Favorites Friday…for a Book Club

Two weeks out from NaNoWriMo, I’m trying to get back to more normal blogging, which means I need a good Friday post!  Surfing around to my usual places for bookish topics, I landed on the Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday archive.  One of their past topics was best books for a book club.  I’ve been in a book club for years, and it got me thinking…what have been our best reads?

1) The Magicians by Lev Grossman – I hated this book.  So did half the group.  The other half disagreed, generating probably our best book discussions ever.  For those of us in my half, Quentin is still a benchmark five years later for irritating characters.

2) Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang – Another one I hated.  It was so good to have a group of people to discuss it with!

3) Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – This one just wins because, I mean…Good Omens!  You can’t go wrong with Pratchett and Gaiman.

4) Night Circus by Erin Morganstern – So I confess, this one is on the list for one reason.  I mean, I liked the book–but the particular book club appeal is that devotees of the circus start wearing black and white, with long red scarfs.  So that’s what I wore to the discussion.  And that’s just a fun potential with this book.

5) Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines – Heroic magical librarian.  This was one of the books I read and started telling everyone to read, including my book club.

6) The Giver by Lois Lowry – I love this incredibly deceptively simple book.  So much scope for a book club discussion.

7) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith – No, really!  There’s a collection of very tongue-in-cheek discussion questions at the back and we had a semi-serious discussion around them.  I may have started some impassioned quoting of Winston Churchill (“We will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them in the streets, we shall never give up and we shall never surrender”) for the question about why the characters didn’t just abandon England to the zombie hordes.

8) A Game of Thrones (or whatever the first in the series is called) by George R. R. Martin – I didn’t actually read this one.  But we got so many new people out to the meeting where we discussed it.  So if your book club has a recruitment goal…

9) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Mostly I get book club picks from the library, but somehow I bought this one.  It was universally liked, and my copy made the rounds to a large number of my non-book club friends.  Always a good sign.

10) Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – This is a fun, irreverent holiday essay collection–but the real reason it’s on here at the end is to give a slightly sappy, holiday-themed end to the post, because this book holds the honor of having been under discussion at the meeting where two of my dear friends met…who have now been married for several years.  I’ve heard her say that his defense of the moral choices in this book was what first caught her eye.

Any members of a book club out there?  What have been your best reads?


3 thoughts on “Favorites Friday…for a Book Club

  1. If you liked Ready Player One, I’d recommend the audiobook; it’s read by Wil Wheaton.

    And I just saw a play adaptation of ‘The Santaland Diaries.’ Actually this is my third year going to see it. I’d also recommend that. 🙂

  2. I have a real life bookclub that I belong to at my golf club (yes, some of us read!) and also count the Book of the Month on the Goodreads Great Middle Grade Reads group as a bookclub. The real one did Night Circus and I gave up on it. It should have been wonderful but I found it very bitty and the characters mostly flat. The group had a mixed view, but mostly they didn’t like it, although the ones that finished it did! The GMGR read The Giver and loved it; I read the excerpt but couldn’t get hold of it except for a fortune. I’m still hoping to read it some time.
    I gave up on Game of Thrones a while ago, and just smile when my friends rave about it. It’s not the sort of book either bookclub would read.
    I fancy P&P and Z, but that’ll have to be me, not the clubs.
    My real club rated an Isabel Allende book, The Japanese Lover, very highly – probably the best agreed-on ratings of the year. (9/10)
    I’m not sure I enjoy talking about books after I’ve read them, especially when people say they didn’t like what happened to X, or the author should have made Y do something different. I enjoy the plot and the characters and sometimes the style, but I don’t want to criticise the author’s choice of events.

  3. dianem57

    Do you ever specifically look for books that are trying to be book club selections, that have discussion questions at the end? Do you think those are necessarily better for the group or can any book generate discussion?

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