Help please – your best books for group discussion

19 Jun

HI Everyone,

I’m running a bookgroup (so far we’ve met once).

I need some suggestions for what to read at our next session – so obviously who better to ask than a group of librarians : -)

Now it can’t just be your favourite book. Or your most controversial book.

It has to be a book you think is worth reading AND you think will generate topics of conversation.

I welcome your responses …..


14 Responses to “Help please – your best books for group discussion”

  1. Hoi June 19, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    I wonder will you read a non-fiction at a book club???

    • Ruth Baxter June 19, 2010 at 11:05 am #

      Maybe. If it’s an interesting read. As we’ve only met once probably fiction to start with though.

  2. Kathryn Greenhill June 19, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    I’d recommend A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. Find writing, gripping story but also a lot to think about…including whether the author was playing fair 🙂

  3. Kathryn Greenhill June 19, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Wikipedia URL for this book: that was stripped out of the last comment – although it may also have been stripped from this one.

    • Ruth Baxter June 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

      Thankyou. Will see if it’s on our multiple sets list.

  4. Penny June 20, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    I run a blogosphere book club on my blog Ruth – you could check out the ones we’ve read if you like. These are this year’s lot:
    The bolter / Frances Osborne
    Access Road / Maurice Gee
    Replenishing the Earth / James Belich
    Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
    The Graveyard Book / Neil Gaiman
    Wolf Hall / Hilary Mantel
    Novel about my wife / Emily Perkins
    The lacuna / Barbara Kingsolver
    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. / Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
    The road / Cormac McCarthy
    March / Geraldine Brooks
    January 2011
    Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress / Dai Sijie, Ina Rilke (trans.)

    Last year’s were: 1. February: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society/Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
    2. March: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close / Jonathan Safran Foer
    3. April: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto / Michael Pollan
    4. May: The 19th Wife / David Ebershoff
    5. June: The zookeeper’s wife / Diane Ackerman
    6. July: Letter to my daughter / Maya Angelou
    7. August: PS I love You / Cecelia Ahern
    8. September: Beautiful Boy/ David Sheeff
    9. October: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    10. November: The girl with the dragon tattoo / Stieg Larson
    11. December: Love in the time of cholera / Gabriel García Márquez ; translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
    12. January 2010: The book thief / Markus Zusak

    • Ruth Baxter June 20, 2010 at 10:56 am #

      Thanks heaps Penny. I will share this list with the group for discussion. Without knowing anything about it I already love the title “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” …

  5. justgirlwithshoes June 20, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Geez Penny’s beat me to it, but I would second the choices of:

    March/Geraldine Brooks
    The girl with the dragon tattoo/ Steig Larson (but have patience with the first third of the book)
    The Book thief/ Markus Zusak

    and would add

    The Slap/ Christos Tsiolkas
    The Tall man/ Chloe Hooper


    • Ruth Baxter June 20, 2010 at 10:57 am #

      March by Geraldine Brooks has come up from so many suggestion … must look into it.
      The Slap was awful; characters so one dimensional and all so bloody unlikeable. However it would get heaps of discussion going!

      • MissSophieMac June 21, 2010 at 2:35 am #

        I have a great little bookclub and we always read books that I wouldn’t normally. Some that have inspired great debate are:
        We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
        People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
        The White Tiger – Adiga
        A Secret History – Tartt
        Eleance of the Hedgehog – Barbary
        (there are plenty of others I won’t recommend)

        Some I’ve read that I could recommend include
        The Stone Gods – Winterson
        Household guide to dying – Adelaide
        The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao – Diaz

      • Ruth Baxter June 21, 2010 at 3:26 am #

        great – thanks for your list. We’ve only had one meeting but so far it’s been really interesting.

  6. Kate June 21, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    Would agree with A Fine Balance, Extremely loud and incredibly close, Joe Cinque’s Consolation (Helen Garner), Middlesex, In cold blood – stop me!
    I’ve been in a bg for the past 6 years or so- love it! Great, different group fo people.
    I’ve blogged on it in 2008 inlcudes our book list then and updated July 2008 list here

    We all choose a book a year. Have to say- have read soem great books that I probably wouldn’t have read by myslef. Our one rule (don’t really have rules but…)
    the main rule is “come even if you don’t finish the book” – in fact it’s probably more important that you DO come even if you haven’t even opened the book- chances are you need a night out.

    • Ruth Baxter June 21, 2010 at 3:27 am #

      That’s a great ‘guideline’. We also have a guideline that if anyone talks about their children or work, anyone else can say”Let’s get back to the book”. That way it only goes off topic if EVERYONE wants to.


  1. And still they blog! Day 19 wrap-up | Libraries Interact - June 20, 2010

    […] Ruth asked for suggestions for best book group reads […]

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