Book Club Picks

Here is a list and a short summary of the books my Real Life Book Club has read since we began meeting in March 2007:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

This amazing book was our first group selection, and the gold standard by which we measure all other books we select! Historical fiction at it’s best, this story is about the life-long friendship between two women in 19th Century China. The footbinding section is particularly gruesome, but fascinating. All members of our book club loved this book.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid

This was our 2nd selection. An easy read. Most liked it, some loved it, some thought it was just ok. Can easily imagine it as a movie. We had a great discussion about race relations and family secrets.

Eating Heaven by Jennie Shortridge

This was our 3rd selection. We had an interesting book club meeting, with the author calling in on speaker phone. Lively discussion about food, eating disorders, family ties, secrets and lies, caring for a loved one with a terminal illness. It’s all there. Great book for a book club.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Our 4th selection. Everyone in our club really enjoyed it. Set in 1931 during the depression and prohibition, an old man in a nursing home reflects on his past as a veterinarian in a travelling circus. Very well written and entertaining.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Our 5th selection. Set in Afghanistan, and in the US, and back.. it is the tale of a friendship between Amir and Hassan, a wealthy man’s son and the son of their servant, raised like brothers until a terrible twist of fate pulls them apart. We had a great discussion about loyalty, class differences, politics, love, etc. The reading guide/discussion questions at the back of the book were excellent. Even though there were a couple of very brutal scenes, this is one of my all time favorite books, a modern day classic. Can’t wait for the movie.

Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald

Sept. 2007. This book is a delightful, very quick, easy read. The parents of 27 year old Tami send her to America from Iran in the hopes of finding a husband before her visa runs out. We loved the romantic ending. Many funny, laugh out loud moments. The author got the “voice” of Tami just right. We talked about cultural differences between Iran and the US, parental expectations, marraige, OCD, stereotypes, etc. We had a fun meeting which included the author by speakerphone. Highly recommend.

1.000 White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

The jury is still out on this one. Our meeting will take place Oct. 21, 2007.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, reviewed HERE

November/December 2007–

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory, reviewed HERE

January 2008

Summer People by Brian Groh, reviewed HERE

February 2008

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, reviewed HERE

March 2008

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, reviewed (sort of) HERE

April 2008

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, discussed HERE

May 2008

The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski, reviewed HERE

June 2008

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, reviewed HERE and discussed HERE

July 2008

The Sweet Potato Queens First Big Ass Novel by Jill Conner Browne, reviewed HERE

August 2008

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, with a book club wrap-up HERE

September 2008

Three Cups of Tea:  One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace.. One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Relin, reviewed HERE

October 2008

Peony in Love by Lisa See, reviewed HERE

November 2008

Kandide and the Secret of the Mists by Diana Zimmerman

December 2008

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, reviewed HERE

January 2009

Chez Moi by Agnes Desarthe, reviewed HERE

February 2009

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, reviewed HERE

March 2009

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay  320 pages, reviewed HERE

April- Taking a break!

May 2009

The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein  336 pages, reviewed HERE

June 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini   432 pages, reviewed HERE

July 2009

Still Alice by Lisa Genova, reviewed HERE

August 2009

Life of Pi by Yann Martell

September 2009

Lottery by Patricia Wood

October 2009

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

November 2009

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

December 2009

Bold Spirit by Linda Lawrence Hunt

January 2010

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, reviewed HERE

February 2010

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

March 2010

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

April 2010

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

May 2010

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

June 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

July 2010

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

August 2010

Clapton, the Autobiography by Eric Clapton

September 2010

City of Refuge by Tom Piazza

October 2010

Honolulu by Alan Brennert

November 2010

Dracula, My Love by Syrie James

December 2010

People of the Book by Geraldine March

January 2011

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

February 2011

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

March 2011

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

April 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

May 2011

The Imperfectionists

June 2011

Wench

July 2011

Beneath a Marble Sky

August 2011

Little Bee

September 2011

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

October 2011

The Book Thief

November 2011

Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

December 2011

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

January 2012

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

February 2012

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

March 2012

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

April 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

May 2012

Faith by Jennifer Haigh

June 2012

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

July 2012

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

August 2012

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

September 2012

Mudbound by Hilary Jordan

October 2012

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

November 2012

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

December 2012

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

January 2013

The Gap Year by Sarah Bird

February 2013

Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson, reviewed HERE

March 2013

Waiting by Ha Jin, reviewed HERE

April 2013

The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

May 2013

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

June 2013

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Steadman

July 2013

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

10 Responses

  1. I love that you list your book club selections here on your blog – I may have to steal this idea!

  2. What a great idea to post your book club’s book choices on your blog! My real life book club read a lot of these titles in 2007 also. I’m on to read your 2008 picks next :)

  3. Great blog! I would like to suggest a few more books that your club might enjoy:

    The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain is terrific, as is her most recent novel, Before the Storm.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed “The Year of Fog” by Michelle Richmond.

  4. I had no idea that you read Loving Frank in the book club. I’m reading that right now.

    Did you like it?

  5. Great list! What did your group make of Life of Pi?

  6. Greetings,
    How would I go about offering or submitting a book?
    I have just completed a Bible study book so revealing, TV preachers hope you won’t read it.
    It is for sale on the book title website, Google Books, and Dightmans Bible Book Center.
    After over 5,000 readers, “LIES a preacher told me?” has been getting rave reviews, from clergy and congregations alike.
    Thank you for your help, Shalom and God bless,
    Peter Nagy

  7. I have read almost every one of these books either by my own choosing or the book clubs I belong to.

    Great idea to post them for new ideas….I see a few I need to “check” out.

    THANKS.

  8. I found several of your reviews were spot on with what our book club thought about the books! Thanks for posting the reviews. I can’t help but notice that your club reviews ended in July of 09. Will you be posting more reviews?

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