After my previous post on a few things Book Group orientated and The Riverside Readers I said that I would come back with a post on my personal top Book Group reads as well as discussing my top Book Group tips. Those two things would actually make a bit of a Bible of a post and so I will do the top books today and a few tips and my own experiences for and of Book Groups on Thursday, so hopefully you are all still interested in all things Book Group related. Could I fit the words Book Groups in these previous sentences if I tried?
After seeing Novel Insights wonderful post on her personal top twelve books a group could read in a year I thought I would have a go. This isn’t plagiarism it’s simply joining in, ha. Having been in a few book groups (in fact I am currently in two though one is rather rogue and we only do one every so often when the whim takes us) I realised that I had a list of 38 books that I could choose from. Some of the books haven’t worked (Tales of the Jazz Age – we all had different editions which all featured a different selection of short stories), some have received indifference, some have been disliked and some have been loved, more on those in my list.
Though I haven’t featured the books that were indifferent or went wrong I have included one book which I didn’t care for but caused great discussion and that’s one thing I have noticed from book groups, I might not always like a book but that in itself when lots of people do can make for a great book group read as it causes debate. So what five things do I do in order to make a book group choice now, I may not have always done this in the past mind;
- Books you wouldn’t normally read – one of the main points of a book group in my mind – but which are accessible, you don’t want to alienate your other group members.
- Books which have been received with strong reviews/thoughts both positive and negative way when they came out, this could cause great debate.
- Books that make you think and cause all sorts of discussions with yourself in your own head though you can’t always predict these in advance.
- Authors you love and admire who other people might not have tried, though don’t be precious on these as they could get ripped to shreds.
- Books that challenge and push you as a reader, if they are going to do this to you they probably will be to others.
Looking back at all the book groups I have been part of in the past which book would I recommend the most? Well after some whittling of the 38 I have read with book groups I came up with the final twelve (like Novel Insights I have chosen a years worth) that I think have caused the greatest discussion in no particular order.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
- The Bell – Iris Murdoch
- In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
- On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan (close tie with Atonement to be honest)
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
- To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
- Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
- Animal’s People – Indra Sinha
- Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (the one I didn’t like – discussion was great)
- The Book of Dave – Will Self
- Kafka on the Shore – Hariku Murakami
So there it is. You can see the full list of all 38 books now on the “new and improved” Book Group page where you can also see what the next book group read is. You may be wondering why some of the above list are in bold. Well my Gran wants a list of five books, as I mentioned on a previous post, she could put forward for her book group. I am actually going to send her a list of new books she and her group are less likely to have read along with the five above in bold. More book group musings on Thursday when I will be discussing Book Group decorum and what made me sensationally (love the drama of that word) leave a book group I started after two years! Let me know what you think of the final twelve too can you spot any themes in them? Also please do tell me of any great books you have done in a book group in the past.
P.S Sorry no picture on today’s post I am not a big fan of posts with no images, if it drives me to crazy will be the shot of The Riverside Readers again!