What Makes a Good Book Club Book?

I refreshed my “What makes a good book club book?” blog post from 2012 for the library blog. See the “What makes a good book club book?” 2016 edition.

My own book club is still forging on with a small but devoted group of us that meets monthly, give or take. Some of our recent books include:

  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (a bit longer than our usual choices, but excellent historical fiction/mythology/magic)
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende (no one read this who hadn’t already)
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (a delightful take on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice)
  • My Real Children by Jo Walton (a Sliding Doors-style split narrative, easily one of my favorite books I’ve read this year)
  • Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer (a children’s book, a song by The Cure, and a good choice for those who like historical fiction and time travel)
  • Becoming Nicole: the transformation of an American family by Amy Ellis Nutt (this was on the my library’s community read shortlist – and indeed, is the 2017 Arlington Reads Together book! – so I was reading it anyway for that committee)
  • Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (a re-read for a few of us, and most of us empathized more with protagonist Lee Fiora the first time around)
  • Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, a tale of love & fallout by Lauren Redniss (our December book, and our group’s first graphic novel)

Has a book club helped you discover any books that you might not have read otherwise? Which books have lent themselves best to discussion? What’s your best advice for book clubs?

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