Real Life Book Club selections 2103-14

janalynNovember 9, 2013

We choose our book selections at our last meeting in June - sometimes we have already read the book. Often it is just based on what seems to be currently on the radar, due to positive reviews or topic. Or, we want to discuss a classic. I try to keep in mind what members of the group enjoy reading, which means basically, no science fiction, sadly.
Each person chooses a book btw and that is the one they research and present.

Here is our list for this year.

1. The Round House - Louise Erdich
2. The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman
3. Home - Marilynne Robinson
4. Though the Glas - Shannon Moroney
5. Ireland - Frank Delaney
6. February - Lisa Moore
7. The Outlander - Diane Gabaldon
8. The Dovekeepers - Alice Hoffman
9. The Wild - Cheryl Strayed

  1. The Monuments Men - Robert M. Edsel

Those of you who are currently in book clubs, would you kindly list your selections. I would be interested in seeing what you are all reading and possibly using one of your books for my selection for next year. I will also be posting the current montly title on the RP forum, but you don't have to do that, of course...

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In our book club each member selects one of the books to be read in the following year. Our tastes vary widely, but I see that as a good thing on the whole. Here is our most recent round. My choice is the last one, and in fact I just finished reading it. No doubt I'll have to look at it again when the time comes around to discuss it.

The Silent Wife - A.S.A. Harrison
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith
The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Stedman
The Dinner - Herman Koch
Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - Anne Fadiman
Shirley Jones: A Memoir - Shirley Jones
After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story - Michael Hainey
Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living with Joy - Susan Spencer-Wendel
The Post-Birthday World - Lionel Shriver
The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker


    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Our book group meets every 6 - 8 weeks, and each person takes turns choosing the book to be read and leading the discussion. Here's our 2012 - 2013 list:

The Devil in White City -- Erik Larsen

The Crying Tree -- Naseem Rakha

Death Comes to Pemberley -- P.D. James

The Forgotten Garden -- Kate Morton

The Art of Fielding -- Chad Harbach

Once We Were Brothers -- Ronald Balson

Unbroken -- Lauren Hillenbrand

Gone Girl -- Gillian Flynn

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand -- Helen Simonson

The Night Circus -- Erin Morgenstern

The Round House -- Louise Erdrick

The Burgess Boys -- Elizabeth Strout

The Art Forger -- B.A. Shapiro

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats -- Jan Philipp Sendker

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:23PM
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My book group does not select books by calendar years. We just select 6 or 8, then select more when we run out. Here's what we've read recently:

The Master Butchers Singing Club -- Louise Erdrich
Call the Midwife -- Jennifer Worth
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts -- Neil White
Skeletons at the Feast -- Chris Bohjalian
The Ruins of Us -- Keija Parssinen
The Call -- Yannick Murphy
The Light Between Oceans -- M. L. Stedman
The Weird Sisters -- Eleanor Brown
The Marriage Plot -- Jeffery Eugenides
Killing Lincoln -- Bill OâÂÂReilly
Turn of Mind -- Alice LaPlante
The Kitchen House -- Kathleen Grisson

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 9:37PM
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My book group's January discussion about The Master Butcher's Singing Club by Louise Erdrich was pretty interesting. I admit that I did not finish the book and so was mostly a listener. (I stopped reading during a disgusting description of an old man's filthy kitchen floor, and learned that I spared myself the surprise discovery of bodies in his basement.) The discussion sounded crazy, in my opinion - such bizarre characters and situations. And yet, a few people seemed to really like the book. So it goes at book group meetings. At the meeting we selected our next six books:

Strange Stones -- Peter Hessler (a local author)
The Dinner -- Herman Koch (my suggestion from an RP recommendation)
The Gathering -- Anne Enright
The Worst Hard Time -- Timothy Egan
Benediction -- Kent Haruf
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café -- Fannie Flagg

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:30AM
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My book group just finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Oddly enough, everyone thought it was much better than they thought it was going to be. That sounds like faint praise, but it was quite good and well-written.

Our next two will be:

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:45PM
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Paula - I just got the Golem and the Jinni, we should compare notes later. :)
Kathy - Feb 1st is coming up for Call the Midwife, looking forward to this memoir and London East End discussions!
Sheri - Let me know how your Wild discussion turns out as that is on my list for later this spring too. Hopefully it is not a terrible, 'travel and finding oneself 'memoir that Frieda referred to on the memoir thread.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 8:30PM
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Janalyn, I'm hoping Wild will be good, but having read some book reviews I'm not hopeful! We will see. We'll be discussing it sometime in April, I believe.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Our book club is a Mystery Book club. Last year we did something different, we picked a theme. We had to pick books that were either Hard-boiled detective or Medical mystery. We liked the theme idea, so this year we picked for our theme, International and Police Procedural mysteries. We don't usually pick a specific book, because there might not be enough books available at the public library for everyone. Instead we pick a series by a specific author. Last year our selections were:

Linda Fairstein - Any Alex Cooper
Any book by Elizabeth Becka/Lisa Black
Walter Mosley - Any Easy Rawlins
Michael Palmer - Any book
Raymond Chandler
Richard Stark - Any Parker novel
Tess Gerritsen - Any Rizzoli & Isles
Dashiell Hammett
Ross Pennie - Dr. Zol Szabl
Robert B. Parker - Any Spenser novel

We haven't picked all the books for this year yet. So far we have:

Michael Robotham - Say YouâÂÂre Sorry
Jussi Adler-Olson - Any
Alexander McCall Smith - No 1 Ladiesâ Detective Agency series - Any
Michael Connelly - Harry Bosch series

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 2:15PM
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I belong to two book clubs. This year's list of books for my longest-running club is:
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Calling Invisible Women - Jeanne Ray
Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
War Brides - Helen Bryan
Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake - Anna Quindlen
The Circle - Dave Eggers
Unwind - Neal Shusterman
The Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline

The other club is reading:
The Aviator's Wife - Melanie Benjamin
Two Sloughs - Sally Small
I Thought You Were Dead - Pete Nelson

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:09PM
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We choose our books one at a time. The person who is to host the next month brings three suggestions and we vote. This month we are reading The Pecan Man. Last month was The Goldfinch. Here's last year's list:

The Night Circus by Morganstern
Taming of the Shrew
Daughter of Time by Tey
The Tiger's Wife by Obreht
Enchanted April by Von Arnim
Wise Blood by O'Connor
Life After Life by Atkinson
Juliette by Fortier
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared by Jonasson
When I Found You by Hyde
Moonwalking with Einstein by Foer

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:36PM
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Merryworld, what did you think of The Goldfinch? We're considering it for our July book group book and I'm a little leery only because of the hype it has received.

I absolutely loved The Night Circus.

Janalyn, I cannot say enough good things about The Golem and the Jinni. What did you think of it?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:25AM
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Sheriz, we gave it on OK. No one absolutely loved it, but no one hated it. We all agreed it was too long and needed some editing. Too much drug stuf that could have been cut down a lot. Good plot and characters kept us turning the pages.

I loved The Night Circus and The Golem and the Jinni, too.

As a club, our favorite book has been The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson, which I think was originally published in the 1950s. It's a rollicking Viking epic that's told with a lot of wit and humor.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:45AM
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