Massachusetts Readers Advisory discussion

Book Discussion Titles

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message 1: by Molly (new)

Molly Moss | 2 comments Mod
It's time for me to work on our next 6 months of titles for a book discussion group that reads a little bit of everything. Anyone have any favorite titles that you think are especially good for book discussions?

message 2: by Jan (new)

Jan | 3 comments Mod
Hi Molly,
I think Alice Bliss is a title with a wide range of possibilities. I'm also reading Roland Merullo's Revere Beach Boulevard (for WMLA's author program in May) which provides reams of discussion possibilities as does his book Talk Funny Girl.
Does your group follow themes of any sort?

message 3: by Mary Anne (new)

Mary Anne | 1 comments Mod
Hi Molly, Our book club read "Journal of Best Practices" by David Finch. It is a memoir written by a man who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was 30 years old. It is about the challenges he faced by being neurologically different and the strategies he employed to be a better husband and father. It is a quick, interesting read with lots of food for thought and discussion. Another book with a particularly lively discussion was "Two Boys Kissing" by David Levithan. This book follows the story of two friends who are trying to set the world record for the longest kiss. There are several other teenage characters, gay, or trans, out, on the verge of coming out, and more. There is so much more to this book and I hope you will check it out for your book club.

message 4: by Leane (new)

Leane (fiictionnqueen) | 7 comments My library discussion group did both Merllo titles and they were excellent discussions. Talk Funny Girl was my favorite of the discussions because of the narrator's persepctive. A delightful surprise because its ease of entry for such a horrific topic (African genocide) was Gaile Parkin's Baking Cakes in Kilgali. Stunning writing and loads to discuss.

message 5: by Eliza (new)

Eliza | 1 comments Mod
Here are some books that I thought generated particularly good discussion:
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (lots of fun looking at pictures of all the fossils she writes about)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (a personal favorite)
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson (done with two book clubs)
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka (also done with two clubs, a good mix of humor with serious topics)
The Ghost by Robert Harris (holds the prize for Book Most Universally Liked)
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (still comes up in discussion every month or so, partly because it covered so much ground but also this)

message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary (bell7) | 1 comments Does your book group read a lot of nonfiction as well as fiction? My library book club has been about half and half, and I find many of my favorite discussions were on the nonfiction books.

Books that we read that generated fantastic discussion included:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - medicine, ethics, race... we went on 15 minutes after the library had closed!
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - the topic interested a couple of men who were not regular attenders
Woodsburner by John Pipkin - I hated it, but we had such a variety of opinions we had a fantastic discussion
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Elizabeth and Hazel by David Margolick - fascinating nonfiction about the two women in an iconic photograph during desegregation
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Quiet by Susan Cain
The Round House by Louise Erdrich - I found the details of law on a Minnesota Ojibwe reservation particularly fascinating
Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich - a completely different book about a train wreck of a marriage; we all hated it, but the discussion was great!
Irreplaceable by Stephen Lovely - I didn't love it, but the topic of organ transplants kept us talking
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

message 7: by Leane (new)

Leane (fiictionnqueen) | 7 comments My book group only reads 2 nonfiction titles a year and we are really picky. Skloot's Henrietta Lacks was an excellent discussion--especially because the au/narrator is a character in the the book and was a point we kept going back of the questions I always ask when discussing NF is "What is the au's intent in writing this book?" and the follow-up, "Is this intent realized?"

Just did Erdrich's Round house and had a very rich discussion that is still continuing in the "one more thing" fashion when I see group members.

message 8: by Molly (new)

Molly Moss | 2 comments Mod
Thanks for all the suggestions! My book group also reads about 2 nonfiction titles a year. We also had a good discussion with Round House.
Here are the books we decided on for our next 6 months:

Kindred Octavia E. Butler
The thirteenth tale : a novel Diane Setterfield
Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures With Wolf-Birds Bernd Heinrich
The Shipping News E. Annie Proulx
Fun Home Alison Bechdel
Valley of Fear Arthur Conan Doyle

message 9: by Leane (new)

Leane (fiictionnqueen) | 7 comments Molly wrote: "Thanks for all the suggestions! My book group also reads about 2 nonfiction titles a year. We also had a good discussion with Round House.
Here are the books we decided on for our next 6 months:


What an excellent eclectic mix. Setterfield will be an awesome discussion--still remains one of my very favorite Top Ten books of all time and my group's discussion was very intense. Love the inclusion of a GN. And my group did the Proulx years ago and was also an intriguing read and good discussion.

message 10: by Nanci (new)

Nanci (bookwoman3966) | 2 comments I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovitz was one of my favorite titles last year. It's a novel that covers four decades, from WWII to present day New York. It's a fictional account of a Hassidic family. I think it would provide a variety of topics for book discussions.

message 11: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Holmes | 14 comments Is anyone using Skype to talk to an author? If so, how do you find the author/book combo?

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