Thanks as always to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting the meme.
So this week’s pick is an interesting one. I’ve never belonged to a book club. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try – I love talking about books with people, but I don’t have a ton of people to talk about them with! My boyfriend and I have a fair amount of crossover in our tastes, but he doesn’t read YA, so I never get to talk about that with him. My mum and I also share tastes, but there is a pretty big gulf of things we just don’t cross over on. My best friend loves YA and contemporary fiction. So I do get to chat about a lot of the things I love. However, I simply read in greater volume than anyone else I know, so a lot of books I’ve read are things they haven’t got round to yet. I’m not tooting my own horn, I just don’t have a lot in the way of other interest 😉
Anyway, that’s why I’d like a book club. Now! I am the book club overlord. So what are we reading? I’m going to pick five books I have read, and five that I haven’t.
- Cloud Atlas – this novel is weird and multi-layered and I’d love to get other people’s take on it. I loved it, but I can’t decide whether the structure was sort of gimmick-y or not. I’d also like to hear which part other people liked best.
- Bring Up the Bodies – this is a long book, but I think it would be beneficial to discuss this one in the context that obviously it’s based on things that actually happened – I’d love to talk to someone who knows more about that period of history than I do about this book.
- Oryx and Crake – this book is just so good and well written and brings up so many interesting ethical issues. I don’t necessarily completely agree with Atwood’s stance on everything in this novel, but I think it would be great for creating a discussion around the issues it references. Also it’s just plain fantastic and I want to reread it already.
- The Joy Luck Club – this just seems like the quintessential book club book and I’ve been meaning to have a go at it soon. It sounds like the kind of thing I’d like to discuss with other women in order to gauge their opinion on the portrayal of women in it.
- A Streetcar Named Desire – I just had the hardest time with the drama. I was left in shock by what happens between Blanche and Stanley near the end. On one hand, Stanley is clearly a violent man, and this, in itself, was sadly not unusual behaviour at the time of writing. On the other hand, I’m not sure I like what was implied about working class people in general in this play – I’m not sure if I was reading it right, but it felt a bit fatalistic and maybe a little one-sided. I’d love to get the opinion of others on this.
- In the Woods – Tana French’s books have been getting such an amazing write up, and I love a good murder-mystery, so I think it would be great to discuss this book. I’ve also not read many books set in Ireland, so this would be a good addition to round out that area of my reading.
- Persuasion – mostly because I want to know if everyone loves this book as much as I do. It often feels a little neglected, compared to Austen’s more famous works, but it might just be my absolute favourite. It’s a little more reserved and austere, much like its heroine, but I absolutely adore it. Plus, reading it for a book club would just give it more attention, which I feel like it totally deserves.
- The Martian – so. Much. Hype. It really does sound like my kind of thing, though, so I’d be interested to see whether it’s universally popular or not.
- The Knife of Never Letting Go – mostly just for reactions to that one bad thing that happens. Plus, I think this is a really good book for the YA-skeptical (of which I am often one!) as it combines a strong narrative voice with an (imo) excellent plot.
- Invisible Cities – because it’s bound to be a bit of a mindfuck, and differing interpretations of these kinds of work are always fun.
Are any of you in a book club? What would your picks be?