Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Club Books
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely folks over at The Broke and the Bookish post a top ten list topic so that book lovers like you and me can pour over our shelves and make our own lists. You can check out all the other Top Ten Tuesday‘s on their site!
This is a super idea for TTT! I love book clubs because, obviously, you get to talk about books, but I also love them because it’s a great excuse for reader buddies to get together, have some beverages, and chat. Don’t think that I’m dismissing the book aspect of book clubs, though. Sometimes one unexpected book will prompt some great conversations for any number of reasons. And always, I find that book clubs wind up cluing me into some great books. Woot! So, here’s my list of books that I think would make for some great/interesting/thought-provoking chats. I’m keeping this one to books I’ve actually read, with one exception. Also, I just want to say THANK GOODNESS that having this blog is like basically having one, huge, constantly shifting book club full of awesome people. Y’all make this THE BEST.
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Because obviously. This book has so many interesting, provocative things to discuss from the serious (exploitation of youth, reality TV culture, sacrifice…obviously scratching the surface here) to the not-so-serious (Peeta or Gale? Gale or Peeta?). This book is SO chock full of juicy stuff! (For the record: Peeta 4 life, yo!)
The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde. These books are reader-geek PORN. It’s like literary dystopia/alternate history/AWESOME, wherein there are essentially book police who can jump INTO stories–classics like Jane Eyre or Dickens–and sort out all these crazy literary crimes while interacting with characters we know and love (or hate). I think this would be fun to talk about and geek out over. Plus it’s such a clever premise! So fun to read.
Delirium, by Lauren Oliver. Mostly this is here because of the ending (WTF!!!!) but you could certainly have some talks about the society and what it would mean for love to be a disease needing eradication. But something tells me that book clubbing this one would be all, “Alex! HOLLA!” and “WTF with that ending, Oliver?!?!?!?!” Because PRIORITIES.
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. Whew. THIS BOOK. This one is a killer, but I think it would be one of those really profound books where everyone could talk about how much they cried, and how much they loved Conor, and how much of a LIVING GENIUS Patrick Ness is, and how much they cried some more, and how much the monster’s awesomeness knocked them out. Truthfully, I would make my book club read this just so that I could get more people to read it and have a “moment” you know? We wouldn’t even need to talk about it so much, so long as we all read it and knew it was amazing.
The Sky Is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson. I tried to find books to put on here that weren’t so serious or sad, but I think that there are just some times when those are the things you need to talk about the most. I couldn’t leave this book out simply because I think it’s gorgeous and I’d be curious to see what people thought of Lennie and her grief-stricken struggles, particularly her little thang with Toby. Also. THE WORDS!! They’re so pretty! I’d be curious to see what people thought of the poems; I know that those are sometimes deal-breakers.
I’ll Be There, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Oh my goodness! I can’t even begin to think about how many awesome discussions you could have about Sam and Riddle and the strength of their brotherly connection. This book was so emotional and kind of dark, and the characters were so empathetic that I can’t imagine anyone not feeling anything for them. And Riddle. RIDDLE. Riddle, you slay me and I love you.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart. My library friends and I have all read this book and had different reactions to it. I liked it a lot; they, not so much. I kind of loved that Frankie took things into her own hands and fought the man (literally, the men). But my friends thought that she was kind of unlikable and…other slightly spoilery things. Huzzah for contrariness!
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. This is the book I haven’t read yet, and I know that it’s old and probably made the book club rounds FOREVER ago when it came out. (Get thee with the times, Amy!) Maybe I’ll have a book club all by myself for this one because I want to read it and it sounds like a book that will give me THOUGHTS and FEELINGS and other ALL CAPS kind of reactions. And you all know how much I love THE CAPS.
Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer. Nonfiction in the HOUSE! Guys, Jon Krakauer writes some CRAZY good nonfiction. I’ve read some of his books, but this one is, to me, the most bananas and DEFINITELY the most polarizing and provocative. It’s about fundamentalist Mormons and murder and…it’s shocking and eye-opening and I have OPINIONS about it. I can totally picture things getting HEATED with this one. DRAMZ at book club, y’all!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. YAYAYAY!! I loved this book so much, not only because it was heart-breaking and hilarious, but because it opened my eyes to a culture that, sadly, not many Americans are so familiar with, despite its richness and longevity. Ever since I read the Little House books–which are admittedly SUPER racist about Indians–I’ve been fascinated with Native American culture, and this book is such a great window into contemporary life on reservations and the identity struggles of so many young kids there. Also, it’s brilliant. And there’s COMICS IN IT. BOOM.