Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is about books we’d like to read with a book club. I don’t belong to a traditional book club, with face-to-face get-togethers (and a few bottles of wine), although I do have an online group with a monthly book discussion. I’ll write more about why I’m not currently in a book club at another time. For now, I’m going to highlight ten books that I’d love to read with a book club — if only I had one.
For me, the best book club books are ones that generate some controversy or have interesting angles or twists to discuss — or books that are worth reading, but for whatever reason aren’t books that I’m likely to pick up without some outside prompting. So if I had a group to share with, I’d pick:
For in-depth analysis and discussion:
1) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: I know I need to read this eventually, but the one time I started it, I got distracted about midway through and never felt compelled to finish. I’d love to have this as a book group read so that I’d stay on track, as well as having a resource for discussing all of the symbolism and patterns that I might not fully explore on my own.
2) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorite books of all times, but I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s the only Dickens I’ve read, and I really should fix that. I’ve been talking about reading Great Expectations for years. A book group deadline would definitely help, and I’ve also found that it’s really great to read classics with a group, taking the time to really think about the different elements and not just rushing through for the sake of getting to the end.
3) The Bone People by Keri Hulme: This is supposed to be THE book to read about New Zealand, and I really want to read it… but I just find it kind of off-putting whenever I actually consider starting it. I think a group discussion would help me focus and would also help me appreciate it more.
For the incentive needed to actually read these books:
(It’s not that I’m not interested — I just never seem to be in the mood.)
4) We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler: I think I’ll read this book eventually, and I even have a copy. I just need some prodding to get started.
5) Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin: Or really, anything by Mark Helprin. I’ve read some short stories, but his books are just so huge that they seem daunting. I just need that book group nudge to get going, I think.
6) Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich: I’ve read later works by Louise Erdrich, but would like to read some of her earlier books as well. I don’t often make time for older books, so a bit of book group inspiration might be a good push in the right direction.
7) Enduring Love or Saturday by Ian McEwan: I’ve read a few of his books, and I always feel like I should read more, but I never seem to be in the mood to actually do it.
8) A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: Another one that feels like an important book to read, but every time I take it out from the library, I end up returning it unread.
And finally, a couple of choices that I think would just be really fun to read with a group:
9) I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I’ll read it on my own one of these days, but think it would be fun to have a group to share it with.
And, last but not least…
10) The Harry Potter series! When one of my online book friends mentioned recently that she’d never read the Harry Potter books, I tried really hard to get the group interested in a Harry Potter read-along! I still think it’s a brilliant idea, and I’m going to try again in a few months. I’ve read the series so many times, but I love the thought of reading it all over again with a group of book-loving friends, examining the series from new and different angles, and just basking in the enjoyment of spending time in that world again.
So what books would you want to read with a book group?
Share your link, and I’ll come check out your list.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out my regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!
Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!