What My Book Club Would Read (If I Had One)

Part of the reason I love The Broke and the Bookish weekly Top Ten Tuesday meme is because I adore getting book recommendations from other readers. And book clubs are another great source for challenging or unexpected reads. This week’s TTT topic is about the top ten books you would have in your book club line up, if you had a book club that is.

I do participate in two book clubs through Goodreads–Bookworm Bitches and The Life of a Book Addict–but I use these online book clubs primarily to keep up with what’s new and exciting in the book world. I rarely read the books when I’m supposed to, but I also enjoy the list challenges these groups have on the discussion boards (i.e. I’m participating in the A-Z title challenge right now).

But if I were in charge of my own book club, here’s what it might look like…

*As usual, all links and pictures are sourced from Goodreads*

Don't Breathe a Word

1. Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon

All of the books on this list will be books I haven’t read yet, because that’s what I think book clubs are all about–new and exciting reads. Don’t Breathe a Word has elements of a thriller and the paranormal, which I think would appeal to a diverse group of readers and lead to an engaging discussion.

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

2. Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

I think every book club should try to tackle at least one work of non-fiction. This memoir follows Maya as she tries to survive high school by following a 1950’s popularity guide written by a former teen model. There’s a lot to be said about the perils of high school, beauty standards, and the modern woman even without reading this book, so I think it would be a rich read for a book club.

Damned (Damned #1)

3. Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Palahniuk is one of those modern authors that you should read at least once just to have an opinion. His novels are often odd and slightly dark but manage to reveal much about humanity in the midst of his own ridiculous scenarios. In Damned, a thirteen year old girl finds herself in hell. Without knowing how long her stay will be, she decides to make the best of her situation.


4. Havisham by Ronald Frame

This novel is supposed to be a prequel of sorts to Dickens’ Great Expectations as it explores the trauma that creates the tattered, Gothic figure of Miss Havisham. I think these classic-adjacent novels that have become increasingly popular are great reads for a book club since you get to look at parallels between the two books.

Cloud Atlas

5. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

This book’s premise seems complex and I think that’s what makes it a good book club read. Others might catch details you missed or connect threads in an intriguing way. Some books are just better to read with group effort, and I suspect Cloud Atlas would be one of those books.

Gone with the Wind

6. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Book clubs are also great for tackling classics; as much for motivational reasons as discussion reasons. I’ve always wanted to read this dense classic and think a book club would be a great place to make it happen.

Man in the Empty Suit

7. Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell

A man with the ability to time travel spends his birthday every year with various versions of himself. When his forty-year old self turns up at the party dead, the younger versions implore the thirty-nine year old man to figure out what happens before it’s too late for all of them.


8. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I wanted to include at least one YA novel on this list because I think book clubs should cover a little bit of everything. I liked Attachments and would like to read more of Rowell. Fangirl would be a light and fun addition to a book club roster.

Bad Feminist: Essays

9. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

This is a collection of essays that covers everything from politics to pop culture to, yes, feminism. It would be another chance to really have some personal and deep discussions with a group of friends, which is what would make it a great book club selection.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

10. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

A mysterious bookstore owned by a mysterious man; let’s face it, if you’re in a book club, you’re up for reading a book about books. This particular novel sounds quirky and enjoyable, particularly if you’re a book lover.

There you have it: my reading list for my hypothetical book club. What do you think?

Thanks for popping in!

Making My Way From A-Z

It dawned on me recently that I have not done a legitimate book post in a while outside of my occasional Top Ten Tuesday ramblings. Reading has always been a passion of mine and a tried and true method of relaxation. I usually read a little bit every night before bed, which can backfire on me when the book is too good and I cannot make myself stop turning the pages.

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Goodreads.com because it allows me to keep track of what I’ve read and what I want to read. About a year ago I joined one of the many online book clubs on Goodreads in order to get more current/trendy recommendations. The name of the group is called Bookworm Bitches (ladies only if you couldn’t tell) and I love that it allows me the freedom to interact with other readers without making it a requirement. The minute something becomes required, it becomes somewhat tedious for me. A weird quirk of mine, I know. A great example of this oddity was when I read Jane Eyre on my own and enjoyed it more because I read it for myself and not in a classroom. I’m just stubborn that way.

One of my favorite things that Bookworm Bitches does is host challenges for group members to participate in. There’s no real prize, except for self-satisfaction. This year I decided to participate in one of the timed challenges; the A-Z Title Challenge. The rules are pretty straight forward…

  • You have until the end of 2014 to complete your challenge
  • Include the date you completed the book next to your entry
  • Books can be fiction or nonfiction
  • Articles like “A” or “The” can be ignored when placing entries to easier get the right letters
  • The only exception is the letter X: a book with x anywhere in the title can count

So far I have completed eleven of my entries. I’ve really enjoyed completing parts of this challenge and am now constantly aware of what letters have yet to be filled in. Here is where I am right now. I’m also going to rate the books I’ve read thus far with one to five hearts to give you a sense of how I felt about my selections.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin (3/2) ♥♥
Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon (2/16) ♥♥♥
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (1/15) ♥♥♥♥

Eleanor, Eleanor, Not Your Real Name by Kathryn Cowles (3/9) ♥♥♥
Freakonomics Revised and Expanded by Steven D. Levitt (2/8) ♥♥♥
Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame by Ty Burr (3/28) ♥♥♥♥

Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman Currently Reading 

Skin Trade by Laurell K Hamilton (1/08) ♥♥♥
The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas Currently Reading 

The Vampire’s Bride by Gena Showalter (3/16) ♥♥♥
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (1/28) ♥♥♥

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (4/7) ♥♥♥♥
Zinnia by Jayne Castle (3/8) ♥

It’s such a fun challenge that I couldn’t help but share. And  I think my list reflects my reading habits rather honestly: a mix of romance, nonfiction, and lit. Obviously, I’m not near completion yet but it feels good to see the spots filled in. For all my readers out there this is a challenge I would encourage you to take on!

Any suggestions for what I should read for the missing letters?