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Question of the Week - Book Club Books

Because I'm so sick, I was not able to go to my book club last night. I'm so disappointed! This would have been my second time at the book club, and I went through a lot of trouble to finish the book--I had left it at home when we went to the inlaws, so my hubby and FIL drove 45 minutes to a nearby library to get it for me! The book was Three Junes, by Julia Glass, and it was absolutely fantastic! I was dying to talk in depth about it with other intelligent people who had read it. But I was simply too sick to venture out or be around people.

I just started going to this book club last month. Even though I'm an avid reader, I've never been part of a book club before. A woman at work had invited me to her book club last year, but I was having such a tough time with my pregnancy and the winter that I couldn't do anything extra. After having the Pookie, I realized I needed to do something for myself, something just for me to enjoy myself. I asked the woman if she was still part of the book club and if the invitation was still open. She is and it was, so I joined! The first time I went, I came home and raved to Londo about how great it was. "They used big words that I forgot existed and talked about the book and traveling and even opera!" It. was. wonderful.

So I was pretty upset to miss the book club last night. The next one isn't until January, because we are all busy around the holidays. I bemoaned this fact to Londo, who (wonderful man that he is) said that he and I should do our own book club in December! We looked through some books last night but didn't find the right one yet. We're going to the bookstore this weekend and we'll browse through and find a book. I'm really excited about reading an intelligent book and having a deep discussion with my husband, who was also an English major in college (where we met). In fact, he had a literary focus while I had a creative writing focus, so he's good at the deep thinking about books.

This week's question of the week is:
What book would you recommend as a book club book?

The one I recommended to my book club when asked at the last meeting was The Blessing Stone, by Barbara Wood. It was one of those really fascinating books that provides perspectives that you might not have otherwise thought about. Years after reading that book, I still think about it a lot.

How about you? Do you have any books that really spoke to you? Any books that you've thought about for years later? What books do you wish others had read so you could talk about it in depth?

Comments

Becoming Mommy said…
I loved the Lovely Bones and it seems "book club-ish". I also love reading the classics. Turn of the Screw is short, but really an interesting read.
Dr. Confused said…
I did a 4-person book club for a while. We were all big talkers with a lot to say, so 4 people seemed the right number.

One I loved that we did was Barbara Kingsolver's "Poisonwood Bible." It was a great book to analyse and had us all talking about our mommy issues.
paola said…
I don't tend to read a lot of fiction, but the last book (fiction) I was really excited about was Diane Setterfield's The thirteenth Tale. Not high brow in any way, but a damn good read.

My favourite book of all time ws Eco's Foucoults Pendulum which I read about 18 years ago. Before you think I'm actully being a bit of a wanker, I wouldn't have ever been able to get through it if I hadn't been simultanously reading The History of Magic. I cross referenced everything and was able to piece bits together, otherwise I think I would have given up on page 3. I'm hoping to re read it, but since I don't have The History of Magic anymore, think I'll probably only get to page 3. But , yeah, that was the literary love of my life.
paola said…
Upps, don't know what happened therw. I was going to suggest 'The thirteenth Tale' by Diane Setterfield. This is the last book (fiction ) I have been really excited about. A wonderful read.
caramama said…
paola - Blogger is being wonky when I try to publish comments. This was your original:

"I don't tend to read a lot of fiction, but the last book (fiction) I was really excited about was Diane Setterfield's The thirteenth Tale. Not high brow in any way, but a damn good read.

My favourite book of all time ws Eco's Foucoults Pendulum which I read about 18 years ago. Before you think I'm actully being a bit of a wanker, I wouldn't have ever been able to get through it if I hadn't been simultanously reading The History of Magic. I cross referenced everything and was able to piece bits together, otherwise I think I would have given up on page 3. I'm hoping to re read it, but since I don't have The History of Magic anymore, think I'll probably only get to page 3. But , yeah, that was the literary love of my life."
Jac said…
I also loved the Poisonwood Bible, and it really helped me come to terms with my relationship with my mother. I'd actually like to go read it again now that I'm a mother myself.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls was a recent and very compelling read.
Cloud said…
The Dream of Scipio, by Iain Pears- because its about what happens when the order/culture in a region falls apart (for instance, in occupied France in WWII, or at the end of the Roman era). I'm fascinated by that subject, and often wonder if I'd recognize "the end" in time to do something sensible, like leave.

I've yet to get my book club to read this, though, probably because I have to admit that it is a bit of a downer of a book. But oh so interesting!

My favorite book that we've done in book club was Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. Unfortunately, if I tell you why it is my favorite, I'll ruin it, so I won't.

We're currently reading Wolf Hall, this year's Booker Prize winner, for my book club. We do both fiction and non-fiction. I tend to gravitate to non-fiction if left to my own devices, so I like to have book club to push me to read fiction.
caramama said…
This is fun! We should talk books more often!

@Becoming Mommy - I have heard that Lovely Bones is a good book. I keep meaning to get it, and I will definitely have to read it soon.

@Dr. Confused & Jac - I've always loved Barbara Kingsolver and read a bunch of her books, but not the Poisinwood Bible. Actually, I'm pretty sure I bought it and it's on my shelf of books that I still have to read. Hearing that it's about mommy issues is making me want to pull it out and read it next, now that I'm a mom.

@paola - The Thirteenth Tale is another one I bought because people raved about it, yet I just haven't gotten to it yet. I think I'm going to suggest it to Londo for our read.

@Cloud - I LOVED The Dream of Scipio! What a fantastic book that was! You should definitely talk your book club into reading it. The Life of Pi, however, was one I started and just couldn't finish. There are certain things I just can't read about, and a major theme in that book was one of them. I heard it was good, but I just don't think it is one for me.
Cloud said…
OK, since you tried Life of Pi, I'll tell you why I liked it: it has to do with the twist at the very end, which completely changed how I viewed the story. To me, the twist turned it into a story about why people believe in religions, and I found that really interesting and thought about it for a long time.

Maybe I'll try again on Dream of Scipio, since I now know of at least one other person who liked it!
paola said…
@cloud

I also loved 'The Dream of Scipio'. Would love to join a book club here, but Italians don't have time to read, apparently and certainly would not have time to go to book club. Oh well. Oh, and my last purchase ( sitting in my bookshelf) is 'Wolf Hall'. Can't wait to start it but am currently slogging thru Daniel Coleman's Ecological Intelligence which is a bit disappointing (too repetitive). I mean he could have said the same sftuff in half the pages.
-goofydaddy said…
you could always go seasonal and read A Christmas Carol by Dickens! then you could compare and contrast to all the movie/TV versions over the years!

I'm still trying to finish the Wheel of Time series so I can read book 12. I haven't even cracked it. :-( I'm on book 8, so I guess I'll be finishing 12 by the time 13 comes out...
Burgh Baby said…
I'm very weird about books. I don't like to talk about them. It's like I want them to be all mine, little secrets that I keep to myself. I don't like to read reviews of plot summaries or anything, I just want to read a book and hold it in my mind.
MommyEm said…
@Burgh Baby - Thank you for posting that comment. I have often felt the same way and it is heartening to read that someone else does as well. I also do not read movie reviews for the same reason. I want to have the experience without the thoughts of others tumbling around in my head.

I wish that I could offer some thought provoking NY Times book for your list, but I have always been a mystery reader. It has only been recently that I have branched out into other genres. With that said, the only non-mystery book that I have read multiple times, is "English Class" by Maeve Binchy. The book spoke to me due to my parents slow dive into divorce which began in high school and finally ended while I was in graduate school. Three of the characters oddly mirrored my parents and my step-mother and reading it before and after proved cathartic.
mom2boys said…
The Dream of Scipio - just treated myself to my first new fiction book in about a year. So far I really like it!
I read Three Junes and Poisonwood Bible - liked both.
I also read a lot of mysteries. James Lee Burke is the best escapist, mystery fiction writer! I also like Reginald Hill for an over the pond setting.
OneTiredEma said…
I love Ruth Ozeki's novels--My Year of Meats and All Over Creation. Really funny and quirky and serious all at the same time, and really not formulaic.
(That's my objection to a lot of the Oprah-book-club books, is that no matter how well written they are or how interesting the setting, it's all about Overcoming Adversity.)

And I loved The Time Traveler's Wife. I am itching for her new one to come out in paperback so I can get someone to bring it to me.

What else did I love in my book clubs...hmm...The Known World by Edward P. Jones. The March by EL Doctorow. Disgrace by JM Coetzee.

Happy reading :)

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