Friday, August 10, 2007

What should I suggest that my book club read in the coming year?

In September, our book club picks new books to read for the year. Last year I came prepared for Selection Night like I always did in my book club in Minnesota-- with a whole tote bag full of books that I'd read over the previous couple of years and a lawyer's attitude, with a case to make for each book in the bag. In Minnesota, our book club was pretty big-- we could expect ten or twelve people to come out each time, so I'd be lucky to have one of the books in my bag chosen on Selection Night.

But here in Texas, the book club thing hasn't caught on with the same fervor. There are five or six of us who are regulars, but I was the only one who showed up at Selection Night 2006 with a whole tote bag full of books. As a result, a lot of my books got chosen for the lineup. While it made me feel good to feel like I represented my books well and got them chosen, it's made for sort of boring reading (or non-reading) for me this last year. Of the twelve books in the 2006-2007 lineup, I had read all but three of them before. I know, I know, I read more than just about anyone, but it was hard for me to get excited about reading the books when I felt like I had just read them.

So.... I need your help. Hit me with your best books. I still want to bring a tote bag full of books for Selection Night in a few weeks, but I want it to be filled with great books I haven't read yet. You know everything I've read in the last two years. Wow me, surprise me, impress me. Whatever. Don't be nervous that I won't like your suggestions-- I'll read anything. The book club is comprised of LDS women, but only the cool ones come, so while anything X-rated is probably out, PG-13 is definitely ok. Our suburb of 80,000+ is finally getting its first bookstore in the next month or two (that says something about the state of literacy around here, I'm afraid) and I'll even be able to buy some of the books without having to drive for half an hour to do it!

11 comments:

Alissa said...

i'm going to be of no use to you here...
1. i get my book suggestions from you
2. the book club here: all LDS books ... GAG ME.

FoxyJ said...

I am trying to join our bookclub here, but they are fairly secretive about when they meet. But here are some that I think could work well for a book group:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Falling Through the Earth by Danielle Trussoni (I seem to remember some strong language, but I don't remember how much or how strong)

Strange Piece of Paradise by Terri Jentz

Blue Skin of the Sea by Graham Salisbury

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery

Heresies of Nature by Margaret Blair Young

Shelah said...

thank you!!! I'm particularly excited about looking you Maggie Young's book. I was her husband's TA at the BYU London Centre one semester, so I know her and their family really well.

Terina said...

have you read any of Fannie Flaggs books? she wrote Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and she has some other books that are just awesome.
also, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio is a great true story, written by the daughter of the woman the story is about. (did that make any sense?) the auther is Terry Ryan.
French by Heart is by Rebecca S. Ramsey, and is the story of her family spending four years in France.
Me & Emma is an amazing book. its by Elizabeth Flock.
I have also recently read Angelas Ashes, and the one that comes after 'Tis, by Frank McCourt. really liked those books.
i'm also going to attempt to read one of Irene Nemirovskys books in its original french. but i doubt anyone where you are could do the same. as no one else in my ward could either. i have lots more books, so as i read them, i will let you know!! i've actually read your blog on and off for a while. finally commenting....

Shelah said...

Thanks, Terina!

We read Fannie Flagg's latest (Can't Wait to get to Heaven) last year. It was one of the three I hadn't read. I loved Fried Green Tomatoes, of course. We also read Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio for book group last year.

The French memoir sounds awesome. I definitely have to check it out.

Have you read Suite Francaise? I love it. I don't think I could manage it in French anymore (it's been a while, but I minored in French back in college).

Me and Emma sounds very promising too. I need to set up my reserve list for the library now. Thanks!

Terina said...

i did read suite francais. i really liked it. if i come across any other ones i will let you know. i do like the historical fiction ones about past kings and queens. i am currently reading a book called Words in a French Life. she is an expat american married to a french man, and each chapter is about a different word. i really like it. the author is Kristin Espinasse. she actually has a blog too, French word a day..i need to put a link up for that one on my blogroll....

Lei said...

I'm suggesting Freedom Writers and The Elephant in the Playroom...

frugalmom said...

I read the Friday Night Knitting Club and it is a great book about sisterhood. Even if you don't knit you will love it, and if you don't knit, you will want to learn. There are a couple times that there is some bad language, though, but it's not too many that I put the book down.

Shelah said...

thanks! See, I knew if I left this one up long enough, I'd get some good comments!

Lucy said...

I have never known anyone who reads as much as you. I got one thing (although I'm surprised you haven't read Me & Emma. I loved it). My mother-in-law just gave me a book called, The Hemingway BookClub of Kosovo by Paula Huntley. She liked it. I'm about to start it.

Anonymous said...

Isabel Allende...I tend to read a lot of the same books you do, so I don't know if you've read her already but if you haven't I know you would enjoy them all. It's a series so be sure to start at the beginning.