I’ve mentioned my book club several times on this blog but today I have an exciting announcement. Tomorrow marks our 25th book we have read together! Now I have been the only one that has read all 25 books and the club members have changed sometimes monthly but somehow I have pushed through and we are currently going strong. I am proud of our club and its success. 🙂
We even had one meeting where nobody came but I didn’t let it dissuade me because at least it kept me reading. Ironically the month nobody came was a book I hated. I’ve only disliked 2 out of the 25 books. That said, most of the selections are one’s I’ve read and have a love affair with. I admit my book club is a bit of a publicity stunt to push my favorite books and gab with my friends but as they are genuinely great reads nobody has minded much 🙂 (I always ask for other suggestions and we have done what others want such as Hunger Games or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn).
You will also notice very few fantasy/teen lit books because that isn’t my favorite genre. Again, open to reading them but if it is left up to me I am less likely to chose those books.
Over the years I’ve noticed that it is best to pick books that are around 200 pages and aren’t super challenging. It depends on the month and how busy everyone is. We have ventured into a few classics and read Jane Eyre before the movie came out. That was fun.
Certain books are better for inviting discussion but a good leader can pull questions and get the girls chatting about almost any book. Some are just easier than others. The Help is still one of the best discussions I think we have had and best turn outs. Other popular choices were Scarlet Pimpernell, The Hiding Place, A Girl Named Zippy, Screwtape Letters, Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio, The Chosen etc. We also had a great discussion with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I hated and everyone else loved. I think I stood my ground pretty well! 🙂
I also loved My Life in France not only because it is one of the most divine books ever written but because of the fun party I threw around the book. To me, it was the most fun I’ve had at book club.
Another favorite of mine was the Book Thief even though nobody else in book club got through it that month. (I must admit I was so looking forward to talking about that book. It’s so different and unique. Sigh…). Will have to pick it again sometime. Would love to read it again.
Obviously I love reading books over and over again (I’m that way with most anything in my life. Maybe that’s why I’m good at accounting. Same thing over and over again).
I feel strongly that at least someone in book club must have read the book for it to be selected. As the leader I am not going to give my friends a book to read without someone I trust endorsing it. Unless it was written by the prophet- no way :).
Its interesting because sometimes I will read a book and not be that into it until book club. Then after the discussion I am excited and interested in reading it again. I saw this most clearly in Call of the Wild. Not being a dog person, I just didn’t get it but once we discussed it I had a renewed respect for London’s writing.
In the end, I am really grateful for book club and the social and literary benefits it gives me each month. I really look forward it and am thankful to every person who has attended a meeting or read a book. If you haven’t come out but have thought about it, please do. We try to pick fun, or at least inspirational books that will leave you uplifted and happy. (I’ve been in some book clubs where all the books seemed to be such downers! Who has time for that?). I already have about 6 books I’m dying for my friends to read and look forward to rereading myself.
I would love to someday convince a man to come to book club. I’d love to get that perspective but I can see why they wouldn’t want to come. Still, it would be really interesting. Maybe I will just have to marry a reader. (which of course is my plan anyway!).
So, thanks for 25 great books. Here they are:
|Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
|The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd|
|Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy|
|My Life in France by Julia Child|
|The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom|
|The River Between Us by Richard Peck|
|Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons|
|Marriage and the Choice Made in Eden by Beverely Campbell|
|A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith|
|Hunger Games vol. 1 by Suzanne Collins|
|Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte|
|True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi|
|The Help by Kathryn Stockett|
|A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel|
|Life as we knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer|
|All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot|
|Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery|
|Book Theif by Markus Zusak|
|Little Women by Louisa May Alcott|
|Call of the Wild by Jack London|
|The Chosen by Chiam Potok|
|No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith|
|Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis|
|Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio by Terry Ryan|
|Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson|