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your top ten novels you would recommend if starting a book club

(39 Posts)
tiredlady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:42:34

sorry if this has been done before, but I am going to start a book club, and was wondering what books you would recommend?

That's all


tiredlady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:44:49

Hmmm, maybe 10 is asking too much.

Your top five?

MaloryTowersUrbaniteLady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:46:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mazzystar Sun 27-Jul-08 22:49:18

the corrections by jonathan franzen
v entertaining and loads to talk about

MaloryTowersUrbaniteLady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:50:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pollywobbledoodle Sun 27-Jul-08 22:53:31

you could let your group make a suggestion or two each...

my faves of the last year or so

bel canto...ann pratchett
ghostwritten by the cloud atlas man
engleby...sebastien faulks
the uncommon reader...alan bennett
mother tongue...bill bryson (not a novel, abot origins of the english language)
random acts of heroic love...danny somebody
the book thief
alias grace...margaret atwood
hundred years of solitude/love in the time of cholera gabriel garcia marquez

pollywobbledoodle Sun 27-Jul-08 22:54:21

i can read but i can't countgrin

tiredlady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:55:15

Thankyou ladies. I shall bear your recommendations in mind.

Now, could someone tell me if there is such a thing as book club etiquette.

If I am starting it and inviting people to join, does that I am the boss!

UnderRated Sun 27-Jul-08 22:55:31

Cormac MacCarthy - The Road. But is not a feel-good book. Thought-provoking but a bit bleak.

bundle Sun 27-Jul-08 22:57:03

good to have a mix - some current reads and some classics

just finished Engleby, thought it was fantastic

tiredlady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:58:12

"does that MEAN I am the boss" I meant of course.

How did you all choose your members?
What happens if someone new wants to join? Is it very fluid?

MaloryTowersUrbaniteLady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:58:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiredlady Sun 27-Jul-08 22:59:35

Thankyou malory towers. Will go and check that out

MaloryTowersUrbaniteLady Sun 27-Jul-08 23:00:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bundle Sun 27-Jul-08 23:00:39

oh yes the road v good too

and The Reader

Madlentileater Sun 27-Jul-08 23:00:50

Just FYI, our public library does a good service for book groups, the group joins and they issue you with a set of books. They do have a list to choose from, but they will get stuff that's not on the list, but may take longer as they have to trawl the county for them.
Not sure about etiquette, I think they all differ. I hear otherr groups meet in people's homes and drink wine. We meet in a pub and drink beer.

pointydog Sun 27-Jul-08 23:03:05

If you're doing a count, so far I would second

The Corrections
Cloud ATlas man David Mitchell, well I like Black Swan Green

If you want something differnet with some var var funny bits in mt, try Woman's World by Graham Rawle

claudiaschiffer Sun 27-Jul-08 23:25:38

I love talking about books so I think book groups are ace, but personally I would keep it pretty chilled out - set a maximum number, there are 8 of us in our group. Which seems pretty workable. I think the woman who set my group up just invited some friends to join and over the past couple of years some have left and some others have taken their place - always keeping to round about 8 people.

I think the best way to choose books is by taking it in turns to recommend something - then you get to know your friends reading choices. I would suggest reading reasonably 'complex' books or books with a strong theme - you need something fairly meaty to discuss. But the occasional light relief can be good too. I find that non-fiction doesn't really work so well, we have read a couple of biographies but it seems that the discussions are more limited even if the books themselves are good.

Lots of wine and snacks also helps grin.

Jux Sun 27-Jul-08 23:43:42

The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
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TotalChaos Sun 27-Jul-08 23:46:27

Small Island by Andrea Levy
Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
I know why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Jux Sun 27-Jul-08 23:48:20

Oops - kitten walking on keyboard! blush She seems to have downloaded something too!
I'm going to bed - it's taken too long to type a coherent message...

QuintessentialShadows Mon 28-Jul-08 00:04:27

If on a Winters Night a traveller - Italo Calvino
The Flanders Panel - Arturo Perez-Reverte
The Third Mountain - Paulo Coehlo
Being Dead - Jim Grace
Sharks - Jens Bjornebo

MarsLady Mon 28-Jul-08 00:35:28

consider my arse here! lol

Okay.. my bookgroup has been running for over 10 years now. I love my bookgroup.

This is what we do:

Someone volunteers to host (we kinda take turns but not in any specific order... it's more a case of... "ooh I haven't hosted for a while"). The hostess provides wine and nibbles (at a recent bookgroup her husband cooked a lovely meal with a to-die-for pudding).

We all throw in suggestions for books to read and then either by dint of persuasion or shouting the loudest the book is chosen.

We try not to stick to the same genre for too long. One can only read so many traumatic childhood bravely struggling through and surviving books.

If we're ever stuck for something to read we might look at recommended books via Orange book prize, Booker prize etc, but we normally manage to find one. We're not so keen on reading what everyone else is reading (so no Richard and Judy's choice for us).

I love the women in my group. We hardly see each other in the day to day which is great because it means that we don't discuss school etc, in fact our children go to very different schools and some have finished University.

Our evening follows a pretty similar pattern. We arrive, open wine and start to nibble. Quick check on how everyone's lives are going. Start to put the world to rights then someone says "hey what about the book". So we discuss the book, what we loved, hated etc. All the time eating and drinking. When the book has been exhausted we resuming world righting until someone else says "hey what's the next book?".

We meet about once a month. We choose two books to read over the summer and/or Christmas. We read fiction, non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies, "trauma" novels, fun novels (eg Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day).

Some bookgroups like to have their choices set out for the year. Too control freaky for us. We're a bit more organic. The aim of the bookgroup is to have fun and read things that we wouldn't normally pick up in the bookshop/library. Works really well. If the chosen book is a short one we'll often have a second one in there as well.

Over the summer we're reading Sky Burial by Xiran (brilliant) and Bill Bryson's Shakespeare.

Your bookgroup is what you make it. You set the "rules" and see what works best for the people that you have in it.

We have 9 in our group. We used to have 10. 1 member died of breast cancer, another woman came along a year later and then another left because her life became to busy. We're a tight group now and I don't think that it would be easy for anyone to join us as we've been through loss, divorce, illness, career changes, new men etc. Love my group.

I think that a bookgroup might become unmanageable with more than 10 people. 8-10 seems a good number.


tiredlady Tue 29-Jul-08 22:40:53

Thankyou all.

Was interested ,marslady ,in what you said about not seeing your book club people on a daily basis.
I was planning on asking a bunch of school mums tbh (I hardly see anyone else these days)
Time to get a life methinks....

MarsLady Wed 30-Jul-08 00:04:50

Invite your school mums. Just have a rule that you don't talk about school (including the obligatory moan about the Head/secretary/Y6 teacher), then all should be fine.

If you have a few school mums and then get a couple of them to invite outside people your circle instantly grows. smile

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