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Most successful book club books

(25 Posts)
secondhoneymoon Wed 18-Jan-17 20:22:57

If you are a member of a book club, which books have been the best received by all or the majority of the group? Preferably around 300 pages.

Foldedtshirt Wed 18-Jan-17 20:29:45

I've "done" dozens of bookclub books hmm
The chat is usually about other things with the books being a bit meh. The only exceptions were children's books- Fault in our Stars and (admittedly years ago and pre film, so it was really fresh) His Dark Materials.The usual diaspora/ over the generations novels (Corrections, Middlesex, A Thousand Splendid Suns) don't actually lead to anything much to talk about. Julian Barnes and William Boyd have been popular.

Foldedtshirt Wed 18-Jan-17 20:31:16

And rereading old favourites have led to a good evening- Room with a View and Troubles.

secondhoneymoon Wed 18-Jan-17 20:31:55

Ha ha thank you! Expect there will be lots of non-book chat! Once the club is up and running, I think we'll take it I turns suggesting books. Just wanted to get it off to a good start with a book that had been enjoyed at other groups. Thanks

OlennasWimple Wed 18-Jan-17 20:40:56

Emily St John Mandel - Station Eleven - went down very well and led to some interesting discussions

secondhoneymoon Wed 18-Jan-17 20:56:06

That sounds good as does Troubles - thank you. Would welcome any more suggestions to help build a list

secondhoneymoon Thu 19-Jan-17 21:00:41

Any more ideas please?

BaconAndAvocado Thu 19-Jan-17 21:16:43

The Help.....can't remember author
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All provided lots of discussion (quite rare for my book group hmm ) and the last 2 are in my all time Top 10 Best Books.

secondhoneymoon Thu 19-Jan-17 21:46:22

'All the light...' sounds good, hadn't heard of that. I've read The Help - agree that would be a great book club book. The Goldfinch is too long for this group but is on my 'To read' list. Thank you

Soupswoop Fri 20-Jan-17 10:20:58

Some of the classics are quite short and can lead to a good discussion. We found Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde interesting.

Sadik Sat 21-Jan-17 10:00:28

I know my mum said that one of the most successful sessions of her bookclub (in terms of things to talk about) was when they all re-read a favourite book from their childhood & then discussed why they'd each chosen that one.

secondhoneymoon Sun 22-Jan-17 17:51:38

Thank you - classics are good and I like the idea of rereading book from childhood

JRoo Wed 25-Jan-17 18:31:33

Hi Honeymoon!

Our book group has been going over ten years now and we have all loved:

Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
Music and Silence (Rose Tremain)
Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis)
Cold Comfort Farm (Stella Gibbons)
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
Pride & Prejudice
Man at the Helm (Nina Stibbe)
Atonemont (Ian McEwan)
Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys)
The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald)
Purple Hibiscus (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

I would add Vanity Fair, Midnight's Children and Anna Karenina as a few of my favourites too, though they are offputtingly long.

secondhoneymoon Wed 25-Jan-17 22:31:08

What a great list, thank you JRoo. We've decided to go for shorter rather than longer books but also creating a list for my own reading - thanks !!

ImperialBlether Wed 25-Jan-17 22:32:47

I think the discussion around We Need to Talk About Kevin was the best I've had in a book group.

Cedar03 Thu 26-Jan-17 12:59:38

We've had good discussions around:
Nicholas Nickleby - Dickens
Shirley - Charlotte Bronte
My Antonia - Willa Cather

The books we've not liked as a group have often provoked the most discussion but I wouldn't recommend them as books to read!

secondhoneymoon Sun 29-Jan-17 10:43:11

More great ideas, thank you

crapfatbanana Sun 29-Jan-17 16:54:23

Been with my group ten years and we have read loads. Our best discussions have been:

English Passengers - Matthew Neale
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
Maps for Lost Lovers - Nadeem Aslam
The Leopard - Tomasi Giuseppe de Lampedusa
Purple Hibiscus - Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self - Clare Tomalin
The Carpenter's Pencil - Manual Rivas
White Tiger -Aravind Adiga
Blindness - Jose Saramago
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
One Day - David Nicholls
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - David Mitchell
The Vagrants - Yi Yun Li
The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England - Ian Mortimer
I Heard The Owl Call My Name - Margaret Craven
Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
Contested Will - James Shapiro
A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
The Other Hand - Chris Cleave
The House on the Strand - Daphne du Maurier
The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman - Bruce Robinson
I Am Malala - Malala Yousefzai
Stoner - John Williams
The Dead Lake - Hamid Ismailov
All The Birds Singing - Evie Wyld
Narrow Road to the Deep North - Richard Flanagan
Vertigo - WG Sebald
Do No Harm - Henry Marsh
Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
Pink Mist - Owen Sheers
Sweetland - Michael Crummey
A Strangeness in my Mind - Orhan Pamuk
Number 11 - Jonathan Coe
The Vegetarian - Han Kang
The Periodic Table - Primo Levi
Hagseed - Margaret Atwood

TheWSM Mon 30-Jan-17 16:38:43

Definitely "The Book Thief", and Owen Sheers' "Resistance" (both much better books than the films that were made of them)

TheWSM Mon 30-Jan-17 16:42:57

Oh, and my personal favourite (one I haven't suggested yet so thanks for making me think of it), Vikram Seth's "An Equal Music". One of very few books I've read and re-read, then come back to a couple of years later again. In fact, it's about time to read it again!

LifeOfBriony Mon 30-Jan-17 19:30:24

I came on to this thread to say We need to talk about Kevin too, as the book club book that provoked the best discussion.

My Dear, I wanted to tell You by Louisa Young was also very good for discussion. The book starts as though it is a romantic novel but it is much more than that. It is set in the First World War, and is about the war experiences of men and women at war, and the physical and mental effect it has on them. There is also a sequel; The Heroes' Welcome.

Small Island, Andrea Levy.

And I loved All the Light we cannot see, although I didn't read it as a book club book.

Oblomov17 Mon 30-Jan-17 19:43:22

Taking notes for which book to order next from the library.....

WhoAteMyBiscuit Mon 30-Jan-17 20:47:06

I've been in a book club for about six years and we've covered all manner of books but one of my absolute favourites was Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Was probably the best book I read in 2015 actually! Have recommended to several other friends who have all loved it too. It's really strong at giving you a sense of place and such a tense story based on true events that had my heart in my mouth right up to the last pages!

I would just add that it will be quite rare for everyone in the Club to have read the book so be prepared for some general chit chat!

Enjoy and good luck with your Book Club Honeymoon smile

Clawdy Tue 31-Jan-17 14:34:38

Another vote here for All The Light We Cannot See. We loved Burial Rites too. And Golden Hill by Francis Spufford.

secondhoneymoon Tue 31-Jan-17 22:03:47

Thanks all x I suspect it will rapidly degenerate into a drink and gossip fest but hey!!

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