Help me choose a book for my book club...

(32 Posts)
FionaVonTrumpton Wed 13-Mar-13 06:48:17

Now I love my book club <waves as some of them are mnettrrs> but they keep making us read the most unrelenting stream of misery. If I'm not being torn apart by war I am being harrowed and tragic and I can't take any more <stamps foot>

I need something happy, something funny but not so fluffy that it doesn't warrant any discussion.

I have threatened them with 'I love you, Blue Kangaroo' or if I am feeling edgy then 'Dogger' or perhaps to fill their tragedy quotient 'Goodbye Mog' wink

I think everyone has read 'The Help'. I don't like non-fiction and one of us hates fantasy so those two genre are out. I'm all out of ideas!

Please does anyone have any suggestions ?
Thanks <and breathes>

notnowImreading Wed 13-Mar-13 07:04:43

I recommend 'The Paris Wife' by Paula McLain. It is about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife living in Paris in the 1920s and so far it is lovely. I am just getting to the tragedy bit, though, I think.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 13-Mar-13 08:05:35

I'd second The Paris Wife. It was good. How about The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, or The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, anything by F Scott Fitzgerald or Daphne Du Maurier?

outtolunchagain Wed 13-Mar-13 08:08:38

We have just read the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Does have some sadness but also some humour and is charming.

outtolunchagain Wed 13-Mar-13 08:16:20

I also loved the Paris Wife or for something really light , what about A Year of Doing Good by Judith Reilly

highlandcoo Wed 13-Mar-13 08:47:41

How about Iain Banks - either Crow Road or Espedair Street .. NOT The Wasp Factory! Great characters, the odd sad bit but dry humour too.

Or Restless by William Boyd. Story of a woman spy in WW2.

Also second the Daphne du Maurier suggestion. Especially My Cousin Rachel and Frenchman's Creek.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 13-Mar-13 08:52:06

It's ok to pull out some classics isn't it?

How about some Tom Wolfe?

Bonfire of the Vanities
A Man in Full

Very clever and laced with humour.

Read the 100 year man who climbed out the window.... definitely funny, and quite unusual.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 13-Mar-13 10:28:02

The 100 year old man is quirky and very funny, I thought. Very enjoyable read.

FionaVonTrumpton Wed 13-Mar-13 10:51:24

Thanks all.

100yr old man is being read by several of us at the mo (me included) so that won't work [grinw

I'm going to have a look at some of the other suggestions, thanks thanks

staticlunge Wed 13-Mar-13 17:32:52

100 year man is currently 20p on Kindle smile

BaconAndAvocado Wed 13-Mar-13 21:47:10

Would recommend Rules of Civility. A divine read, both very very funny and very very warm.

Parisbanana Wed 13-Mar-13 22:02:02

How about "The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals" by Wendy Jones.
It was the only book our book club read last year where every member loved it (and to be honest the majority wouldn't have picked it up in a bookshop)
A truly lovely book.

Roseformeplease Wed 13-Mar-13 22:05:22

I am absolutely loving "Capital" by John Lanchester- funny, clever and lots to talk about as it is the story of several different people / types on a South London street during the financial crash. Brilliantly clever but not about money.

kikidee Thu 14-Mar-13 14:28:53

The Paris Wife and Rules of Civility have been read and enjoyed by our book group. Capital is very good too. We're currently reading Heft by Liz Moore which I found very uplifting.

Rules of Civility is a really good read. I found it a little "try too hard" perhaps, but that's being uber critical and due to the fact, I think, that I read it very soon after re-reading The Great Gatsby - you'll get my drift if you read it!

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 12:08:26

Capital is a great book imo.

HarderToKidnap Wed 20-Mar-13 14:28:36

I really enjoyed Major Pettigrew's Last Stand for gentle humour, uplifting, slightly weepy goodness.

bedmonster Wed 20-Mar-13 21:51:41

Some succesful, enjoyed-by-all (non harrowing/war/misery) choices in our Book Club have been...

Escape, Carolyn Jessop (which is a shocking non fiction story but such a great read)
Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, Daphne Du Maurier
Rules of Civility, Amor Towles (didn't enjoy it that much personally, but still worth a read, lovely desriptions)
Pigeon English, Stephen Kelman (humourous yet touching, although last 20 lines a bit of a shock)
We are All Made of Glue, Marina Lewka (mixed reviews but generally liked and funny)

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 20-Mar-13 22:02:59

Am I the only one who didn't like the Paris wife then?

SkaterGrrrrl Thu 21-Mar-13 22:18:54

My book club loved How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. Very very funny.

bedmonster Fri 22-Mar-13 11:57:29

I really hated that book Skater! It felt so forced and over the top, really couldn't get on with it at all - but the rest of my book club loved it! I think it might just be me!

awaynboilyurheid Fri 22-Mar-13 12:38:35

I would recommend Starter for Ten by David Nicholls lighthearted but good if you all need a break from tragic novels,its based around the years at uni and relationships .

SkaterGrrrrl Fri 22-Mar-13 15:44:05

Must just be you :-)

Book club would be boring if we all liked the same thing;

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 22-Mar-13 19:14:53

Just really didnt like Paris Wife much at all, but then the longer I'm in our book club the more I'm beginning to realise that I have no interest in women who just need to "sort themselves out". smile

Cremolafoam Fri 22-Mar-13 19:20:09

No Jilted I hated The Paris Wife too.

I frequently recommend this:
The History Of Love by Nicole Krauss

It is wonderful.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 22-Mar-13 19:38:47

The history of love looks good, might add that to my list. Have ordered a sample of we are all made of glue as I think our book group needs an amusing book too. Our last book was the Lighthouse and while I think its a great book, its not exactly got the feel good factor.

One book our group loved was Tiger Hill by Sarita Mandanna. It doesn't exactly fit your criteria but may be worth looking at for another time smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 22-Mar-13 19:50:27

Forgot to say, those of you who liked Capital, do you live in London? Do you think the book would be as enjoyable if you lived in a small town in the north west stuck in the 1950s?

valiumredhead Mon 25-Mar-13 11:53:01

jilted I honestly think it would be boring if you didn't know London very well, it's a book I'd describe as 'a book about London for Londoners' iyswim?

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 25-Mar-13 12:24:55

That's what I sort of thought from the blurb. Thank you for clarifying smile

BigRedBox Mon 25-Mar-13 12:35:41

I loved "Heft" by Liz Moore. Some sad bits but I think a good option for discussing.

Cooroo Tue 26-Mar-13 13:54:22

If you want a good classy laugh, choose Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. One of my favourites, which went down very well with the book group (except one member, a slightly mad woman, who didn't realise it was supposed to be funny!)

One of my all-time favourites, with the bonus of an excellent film (or was it TV?) adaptation with Rufus Sewell.

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