Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks
To me a great book club pick is one that begs to be discussed. It's not necessarily a book that everyone in the book club will like, but one that each member will have something to say about nonetheless. I've focused my list on fiction, because those are the books I know best. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
The Submission by Amy Waldman: This book is heated. It's subject matter is quite controversial and extremely relevant today, exploring the trials of an American Muslim who was annoymously chosen to design a post-9/11 memorial.
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham: Maugham's writing is truly lovely and his ability to convey ideas without hitting the reader over the head with them is refreshing. This is a book about the human ability to grow and change for the better, leaving much to discuss.
Native Son by Richard Wright: This is a book that truly inspires discussion, touching on topics that include civil rights, equality and freedom.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston: Hurston's novel explores gender roles and examines race in terms of its cultural construction and how ideas of race are spread. It's also a coming of age story, but its much more than that.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: After I finished this book I wanted to talk to someone who had read it. The characters are all so memorable and fully realized I felt like I wanted to gossip about old friends, except they were really just fictional characters.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: There is SO much to talk about while reading this book because most of the characters are unreliable narrators you can't be sure who to trust or who to blame.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: Don't be scared, this novel is not super pervie, nor is it sleazy. The beauty of this novel is that Nabokov treads that fine line of portraying the abductor of a young girl as sympathetic, almost excusable. This device makes for a lot of discussion.
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss: The novel is about a fictional book The History of Love and the interconnectedness of the of the people this book has affected. Each of the multiple plot lines are creatively linked in a way that makes me think Mrs. Kauss is one sharp lady.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: This is a tough one to read in terms of subject matter; it's infuriating, exposing the dark side of human nature. But it;s a book that you'll certainly want to discuss upon completion.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton: First off, read this book in winter. Secondly, you will either love or hate this book. Guaranteed you can have a fun conversation with a group about this one. And while we are on Wharton, I'd also suggest The Age of Innocence, for fun or for book club.
Image from the movie The Jane Austen Book Club, a guilty pleasure of mine. (Leave me alone I know it's cheesy.)