The Random Person's Book Club discussion

Help! Need book recommendations!

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message 1: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Christen | 3 comments Help me help me! I run a book club and we've had horrible choices the past few months - so much so that we decided to watch movies instead! I need suggestions for really good books that will get everyone back on the reading bus.

message 2: by Heidi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Heidi What kind of books have you read and liked? What's the demographic of your group (women, men, young, older)?

My group had a few stinkers, but then we made a rule that you have to have read the book before you can recommend it--it's not enough to have read another book by the same author.

I can send you an excel file of all the books we've read and recommended if you want. We're all 30-something women, and we've read a wide variety--fiction, nonfiction, classics, etc.

message 3: by Crystal (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Crystal Allen | 6 comments Hi Christen,

I have a lot of the books that we have read for our book club on my 4-my-bookclub shelf. A few of our favorites have been Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, My Sister's Keeper, The Highest Tide, Thousand Splendid Suns, Shadow of the Wind. Well check out my shelf it has them all rated there. Also another one that we all read but not for our book club was The Girls by Lori Lansens. One more that I have to throw in is Water for Elephants. Well really I could go all day. I hope those are good starts though. They are all on my shelves so take a look!



message 4: by Magdalena (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Magdalena (magdalenaball) Hi Christen, I have a list of superb literary fiction on Amazon that you might like to consider:
Even if you aren't specifically looking for literary books, these are the kind of books that everyone would love -- wonderfully written, beautifully crafted, with deep rich themes, but still fast paced, easy and racy. All the best. Maggie

message 5: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Christen | 3 comments Thanks for the suggestions so far, everyone. I tried to post the demographics of our group yesterday, but the posting function wasn't working for me.

We're a group of women, ranging from 25-55, and mostly we read fiction although we are certainly open to nonfiction. This was supposed to be our schedule, but we bottomed out with White Ghost Girls.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
We Thought You'd Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornsby
Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne
Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart
White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway
Echo Maker by Richard Powers
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Choke by Darnella Ford
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd

message 6: by Valerie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Valerie (valpal95) White Teeth by Zadie Smith was a hit at my book club.

Also, I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (who also wrote A Thousand Splendid Suns) and that seems like it would be a good book club book. Plus, my version had discussion questions at the end of the book.

message 7: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Hi Christen
My bookclub sounds similar to yours in the age range, and we also have a diverse group of careers. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was a big hit, it made for great discussion and thought over the friendships women share - beware that the Chinese custom of footbinding for women is graphically described in the first few chapters. We also read Waiting by Ha Jin, which was a lively discussion. We read a book of short stories over the year-end holidays that everyone loved - The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahari. Also The Kite Runner and The Glass Castle were very popular amongst the group. Hope this helps.

message 8: by Stephanie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Stephanie | 2 comments I always suggest anything by Jodi's hard to go wrong with any of her books. They are always topical and thought-provoking, prompting discussion on a myriad of topics.

message 9: by Jess (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:15PM) (new)

Jess | 2 comments I loved The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina Harding.

message 10: by peg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

peg (mcicutti) | 52 comments The members of my book/movie club range from 24 to over 60 yrs old. Two of the most popular books we have read that everyone has liked are Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron-Foer and The Kite Runner. As a supplement to ELIC we watched the film Everything is Illuminated, also by Foer and we plan to go see the Kite Runner when it is released.

message 11: by Jodie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:31PM) (new)

Jodie (jodiemill) Christen - don't stop yet with your list before you read - Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish - I loved that book. I think for your age range in your book group, it would appeal to everyone & it's fun. I've also read Mr. Emerson's Wife in a book group - that was a good one too.

message 12: by Karen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:32PM) (new)

Karen Christen,

Has your book club read these two? "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafron and "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers? I read Shadow and it was great. I've talked to people from early 20's to people in their 70's and everyone loved it. I haven't read the Eggers book but everyone I've talked to raved about it. It's on my long list of books to read. Thanks the Goodreads that list is growing by the minute!

You'll have to let all of us know what your group reads that you enjoyed.

message 13: by EJ (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

EJ Yeah I second Peg's recommendation for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close it is one of my all time favorite books and provided a lot of discussion for my book club. infact I am in a new book club now and I am recommending it again.

message 14: by peg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

peg (mcicutti) | 52 comments Christen, have you made a decision yet or are you more confused than ever? I would like to read several of the books mentioned:)

message 15: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:37PM) (new)

Lisa | 3 comments i need reccommendations for my seven year old. he has recently become very interested in the second world war. i am very happy that he is interested in something important. we've checked out the eyewitness world war II book (DK). it is pretty good. does anyone know any good books with a somewhat simple vocabulry? also i would like to read some age appropriate biographies of historical figures like amelia earhart, albert scheitzer, einstein, marie curie, galileo, etc. any ideas? thanks.

message 16: by peg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:37PM) (new)

peg (mcicutti) | 52 comments Lisa,
Several authors have collaborated in writing a series of books about famous Americans. It is The Childhood of Famous Americans Series. I bought several of the books when my kids were young and I probably learned more than they did by reading them.

message 17: by Jenna (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:37PM) (new)

Jenna | 3 comments I think I made a mistake coming in here ;) All of these suggestions look great. I'm new here, how's everyone doing?

message 18: by peg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:40PM) (new)

peg (mcicutti) | 52 comments Obviously, the people here are getting busy with book clubs:) Do you have any suggestions? What are you currently reading?

message 19: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:40PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Currently reading (all book club selections) -
In America by Susan Sontag; next up The Collected Stories by Grace Palsey; then Suite Francois...some great fall reading I think!

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