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Starting a book club, first book my choice, HELP!!!

(14 Posts)
Jezabelle Sun 26-Jun-11 21:31:16

A few of my good friends have decided to start a book club. I was initially very reluctant as, although I like books, I read very little. This is partly due to the fact that I'm dyslexic and am a slow reader and reading does take lots of concentration for me. I am ashamed to say that I have not read any adult fiction since having children, (over 5 years ago! blush).

We will run our club monthly which does give me a bit of time to read the book of the month. The thing is I have volunteered to choose the first book and now I'm not sure how to go about choosing one! To get me back into reading, I'm after a fairly short book that won't require me to read for hours a day just to get it read! I really don't mind if it's a classic or more recent, (although not too well known a classic as one of our members is an secondary English teacher!)

I like books about people and their lives, (not exactly a genre description I know!) I can't stand fantasy/sci-fi type books.

Any ideas?

MaryBS Mon 27-Jun-11 07:42:22

I really liked the MN July book - Crimson China. Don't know if that is short enough for you though...

MaryBS Mon 27-Jun-11 07:42:55

Crimson China

theyoungvisiter Mon 27-Jun-11 07:50:51

Our bookgroup had a good discussion with Wide Sargasso Sea which is fairly short.

It's a modern classic, and is loosely based on Jane Eyre though you don't need to have read Jane Eyre in order to "get" it. In fact I think it could read more powerfully if you don't know Jane Eyre.

How about On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan? Very short, and about an unconsummated marriage in the sixties. Well written.

snicker Mon 27-Jun-11 08:11:39

We did wild Sargasso sea alongside Jane Eyre one Christmas (longer time between meetings) and everyone hated it. Maybe it was reading it at the same time that was the problem.

Looking at my books, these ones look thinish.

The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Breakfast at Tiffanys - Truman Capote
Brideshead revisited - Evelyn Waugh
5 people you meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller
Oranges are not the only fruit - Jeanette Winterson

TanteRose Mon 27-Jun-11 08:17:39

Room - Emma Donoghue...I read it in a day...v.good

Sewmuchtodo Mon 27-Jun-11 08:40:38

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan is well worth a read, not too long but with plenty to discuss and far from boring.

Book link

Jezabelle Mon 27-Jun-11 16:31:28

Thanks everyone! Read the Crimson China link. Sounds brilliant. I love the idea of On Chessil Beach as we live in Dorset, so this might be the front runner for that reason so far. Got lots to do just now, but I'll look into the other recomendations soon. Keep them coming!

KurriKurri Mon 27-Jun-11 21:03:41

Jezabelle, - do you listen to audiobooks? - my adult son is dyslexic, and borrows loads of these from the library, - he does read books as well, but like you say it can be quite an effort, and the audiobooks have been a great for him - he sticks them on his MP3 player and listens when he's commuting etc.

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops Mon 27-Jun-11 21:07:12

From those already recommended I'd definielty go with Room, one of the most thought-provoking books ever, you won't struggle to read it quickly (won't be able to put it down).
I found On Chesil Beach dull and a bit pointless to be honest, which is a shame as Chesil Beach is close to my heart.

Jezabelle Tue 28-Jun-11 21:48:03

OK. Have gone with Room. Texted around friends and they're all happy with that. Actually, I quite fancy reading all of the above! This thread has got me all enthusiastic about the whole thing.

Kurrikurri, the trouble with audiobooks is I'm a SAHM and always have small children with me when in the car. They prefer HSM (5 yr old) and the Wheels on the Bus (2 yr old) to Jane Eyre unfortunately. Although I am starting to go back to work a day a week, so might get some for then.

Thanks everyone. I'll come back to this thread once I've read Room and let you know what I thought. I may be gone some time!

Marlinspike Tue 28-Jun-11 21:54:23

I would suggest slightly longer than a month between meetings. By the time you've acquired the next book you can be under a bit of pressure to read it before the meeting. The book club I'm in meets about every 6-7 weeks, which seems to work fine.

Hope you enjoy room - really thought provoking, and should generate a good discussion.

Wheelybug Fri 01-Jul-11 15:43:34

OUr book club restricts choice of book to one that is under 400 pages to ensure at least some people have read it in time grin. We meet once a month - it works well for us because it is always the 1st Thursday of the month which means other halfs -- should-- have no excuse for not getting home.

The Help is another quick, interesting read.

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