Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Making a list

I am a few weeks away from having to present my bookclub with a list of three books to vote on, the winner of which will be discussed at my home in 2008. We all look forward to seeing what everyone suggests each October.

The only book I know will definitely be on my list is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I just loved this when I read it a few years ago, but hope it is not too similar to my book choice in 2006, Up From Orchard Street by Eleanor Widmer.

I am also considering:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - I really loved reading this book. A friend I recommended it to said "Thank you. It was everything I wanted in a book." The only downside is that my bookclub seems somewhat resistant to books about other cultures - the ones I've suggested have generally not been chosen.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie - I've been hearing so much about this since it won the Orange Prize. Same downside as Snow Flower - but this is very close to being on my definite list.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - I'm just nuts about this though I know there is at least one person that would dislike it.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser - I have not read this - though I've read lots of books in the same vein. I doubt this would be a popular choice for an number of reasons.

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas - This was written about most beautifully by Kay and I've been considering it.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini- This sounds really good and I think there would be a good discussion. Downsides include being available only in hardcover for the time being and my suspicion that someone else will suggest it.

That's all I have so far. I am often disappointed in the bookclub's choices. It sometimes seems as though people don't put much thought into their suggestions while I tend to mull it over quite a bit. So often, I have already read the books that are chosen and in my opinion we've read too many 'silly' books that aren't worth discussing. We have been together for seven years and I like all the members very much so that keeps me active in the group.

I am open to suggestions!


lazy cow said...

We had a very good discussion after reading The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. One of our first books was Cold Mountain (which I never would have read, but thoroughly enjoyed). We even got together to watch the movie version of it, at which we pretty much laughed the way through!
We try and choose books that aren't too light, but I get frustrated when we don't have long, in depth discussions. My bookgroup consists of 4 good friends, so we talk of personal things, and spend a lot of time choosing the next restaurant/cafe we're going to!
Good luck with your choices, I love A tree grows in Brookly and Fingersmith.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment about my review of Tallgrass. I still think it is a fabulous book and, for me, will probably be my top read of the year. And I loved Thousand Splendid Suns as well. But, I also love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I haven't read any of the others. Good luck with your choices!

heather (errantdreams) said...

These all sound like fascinating reads!

Tara said...

Lazycow, thanks for the suggestions - I'm going to look into The End of the Affair. I've actually read Cold Mountain, and I'm pretty sure it's been brought up before but not voted in. Your bookclub sounds like lots of fun - similar to mine in that you discuss personal things and go the restaurants.

Kay, You are welcome, your review really stayed with me.

Heather, thanks!

Unknown said...

I'll put in a good word for Sandra Dallas as one of the candidates. I haven't read Tallgrass but I've read other works by her and enjoyed them immensely. I think there is some real discussion possible with her.

Tara said...

Jill, I thank you for comment on Tallgrass. It is good to know there would be much to discuss, based on her other books.

Lotus Reads said...

What a great list you've put together, Tara! "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", "Half of a Yellow Sun" "Snowflower" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" are all EXCELLENT let us know which three books you end up selecting and which book gets the most votes!

Tara said...

Anjali, I will definitely let you know what I've selected and our itinerary. Thanks for the positive feedback.

LisaMM said...

What did you decide to suggest to your book club? How did it go over?

Tara said...

LisaMM, I recommended A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Tallgrass. I was going to suggest Snow Flower.. but someone beat me to it! We will vote this Thursday and I'll post our reading list afterwards! Thanks for asking.