Book Club – Help Please!

It’s my turn to host my next book club night, and I am having a difficult time choosing the book. The members of my book club are smart, funny, and completely unpretentious, and I want to choose something that most people will like; it is a lot of pressure. There are currently 12 of us in our group, and we are fortunate that this includes three men, which gives us great balance, both for the discussions and for the choices of books. Although we haven’t been formally tracking the books that we have read, I think I would like to start doing this. From my feeble memory, here are some recent books that we have read:

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Joshua Then and Now by Mordecai Richler
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
The Bishop’s Man by Linden MacIntyre
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden

Because I was having a hard time choosing a book, I turned to Twitter of course, as all good social media addicts will tend to do. Based on answers that I got from my tweeps, and some looking around on my own, I have developed the following short list of books that I would like to consider:

One Day by David Nicholls (I’m reading this now; it’s funny as all heck, but it is a bit on the light side)
Sanctuary Line by Jane Urquhart (I got this one for Christmas [Hi Mom!]. Lovely, poetic book)
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (I read this several months ago and loved it)
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (an Australian book recommended from my friend who travelled there recently)
The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou (Canada Reads nominee)

Now will you please help me choose? I am asking for you to vote for the book that you think we should read by commenting on this post or sending me an email before Sunday March 14 at midnight. If any of my book club members vote, I will be counting their votes as two.

So please vote to take some of the pressure off. Thanks!

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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19 Responses to Book Club – Help Please!

  1. Melanie says:

    The only one of those I have read is Bel Canto, but just looooved it so that gets my vote.
    Will have to check out some of these others now, too – thanks!!

  2. Laura says:

    I haven't read any of those books but I like the idea of trying a “Canada Reads” book. That alone can spark some interesting discussion.

  3. Nat says:

    I haven't read any of these but my mother adored Bel Canto.

    You'll have to let me know how the Urguart is.

  4. Alison M says:

    Haven't read any of your choices (sorry!) But 2 books I would nominate are:
    Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (although this recommendation comes with a warning – I cried for ages after reading this book!)

  5. Colin says:

    I have Bel Canto and haven't read it yet. Now it is next on my list! thanks! Can't help with the others.

  6. My vote is for The Bone Cage because it is on my list.

    Now I want to read Bel Canto which I have not heard of before. Also adding Sanctuary Line – I used to be a huge Jane Urquhart fan, but went off her for a while and am ready to try again.

    And I second the recommendation for The Glass Castle – what an amazing book.

    Hey, we should dedicate one Friday a month to blogging about books we have read….how about it? I'd love to hear what you thought of The Bishop's Man for example.

    I am currently reading The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud.

    Long post – sorry. Could talk about books all day:) Good luck with the vote.

  7. laurie says:

    Bel Canto is one of my favourite books of all time and The Slap is on on my list but I vote for the The Bone Cage.
    I think it got short shrift during Canada Reads. I'm not an athlete and I LOVED it – I could relate to the characters and could not put the book down. It was also a fascinating look into the life of an elite athlete.
    This book deserves a wider readership. Plus you'd be supporting a smaller publishing house and I've “met” the author on Twitter and she's really nice.

  8. D. Gillespie says:

    I'm reading The Bone Cage right now.

    I agree with Laurie – it is great.

    I also read The Best Laid Plans recently. Given where we live it could lead to some interesting conversations.

    Have fun.

  9. zoom says:

    I haven't read any of them, but The Slap is on my bedside table, awaiting its turn. Am currently reading Middlesex.

    How about Lullabies for Little Criminals, by Heather O'Neill. It's sad and funny and touching without being the least little bit sentimental. It's the best book I've read in several years.

  10. Angie Abdou says:

    Do I get a vote? 😉

  11. Finola says:

    Angie, Absolutely! Care to be our special guest in April? 🙂

    Thrilled to bits that you commented here. Thanks!!

  12. ezmy says:

    I vote Sanctuary Line – I heart Jane Urquhart.

    If you're looking for a novel in the future, try “The Singer's Gun” by Emily St. John Mandel. She lives in NY but she's originally from Denman Island, BC. Beautiful little book.

    And lucky you in a book club!! I've been trying to find a good book club for ages! Well done!

  13. ezmy says:

    I vote Sanctuary Line – I heart Jane Urquhart.

    If you're looking for a novel in the future, try “The Singer's Gun” by Emily St. John Mandel. She lives in NY but she's originally from Denman Island, BC. Beautiful little book.

    And lucky you in a book club!! I've been trying to find a good book club for ages! Well done!

  14. Sid. says:

    Oh, I'm so relived that there are a few other people that haven't read any of those books!

    Though this might not be helpful at all, right now I'm reading “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” by Mohsin Hamid. So far it's an interesting read and not very long which is nice since my reading time is scarce these days.

  15. Bel Canto was well received when we did it in our book club. (p.s. has anyone ever told you that you worry too much?) 🙂

  16. Finola says:

    Melanie, Thanks for stopping by! I really loved Bel Canto as well – incredible book.

    Laura, I had originally put the Canada reads winner on this short list, but it just didn't interest me as much as The Bone Cage when I read the descriptions.

    Nat, I read the Jane Urquhart book already and it's great. I love everything that she has written.

    Alison, Thanks for the other suggestions and I will add them to my To Read list!

    Colin, I'm sure you will love Bel Canto – please let me know after you've finished it.

    Denise, I really like the idea of book blogging once a month, and I would love to hear more books that you like. I just finished the Sentimentalists and I would love to know what you thought. I only found it OK.

    Laurie, We seem to have very similar tastes in books. I usually find that Canada Reads never pulls out the best book in the bunch…it seems to be a popularity contest among the presenters more than anything.

    Darcie, When I first drafted the post I had the Terry Fallis book on the list instead of the Bone Cage, but when I read up on all of the Canada Reads books, I thought the Bone Cage seemed to be a better read. I do want to read both though. Did you like the Terry Fallis's book?

    Zoom, I'm adding Lullabies to my To Read list too. Thanks for the recommendation. I think you would really like Bel Canto if you are looking for more books to read.

    Ezmy, I LOVED Sanctuary Line. It really drew me in and was so beautifully written. Did you read Away ever? It's an older one, but probably my favourite Urquhart book.

    Sid, Thanks – I will add that to my list too!

    Julie, I think eveyrone loves Bel Canto. As for worrying…um, yes, a LOT of people have told me that before, and it's something that I am working on. It's not easy.

  17. Brandee says:

    Bel Canto is excellent…definitely a good one to consider. We read Middlesex a couple of months back. It was great for discussion, although, the more conservative members of our group really did not like it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    On the lighter, even less pretentious side you might one day try something by Bill Bryson like In a Sunburned Country or At Home. Not novels so maybe they don't count but very funny and written from the male perspective.

    Thanks for the book list – I might check to see if some of these are available as e-books.

    p.s. sorry I missed your call…
    c

  19. Pauline says:

    I haven't read any of those books and am late anyways, but the first one sounds good! Humor is always great in a book! 🙂

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