Quarterly Update on Book Club Books

A look back at the books my two book clubs read for the second quarter of the year, focusing especially on how they worked as discussion titles.

April

The Deliberate Reader book club (TDR) read Dark Matter and my in-person book club, Broadened Horizons (BH) read A Gentleman in Moscow.

While completely different in style and genre, both are amazing for discussion, and I’d highly recommend both. I’m still disappointed that I had to miss the A Gentleman in Moscow discussion, as the novel had so much depth to explore. Dark Matter is almost a perfect book club title: quick and easy to read, and lots to discuss. The only caution I really have with it is the potential for spoilers, as it’s really one you want to read first without knowing what happens in it.

May

TDR read Hannah Coulter, and BH read My Antonia, an inadvertant book pairing that provided me with an interesting comparison between the two. While I enjoyed My Antonia, and it is a recommended title for book clubs by way of being a classic, it actually suffered quite a bit in comparison to Hannah Coulter, which is the one I’d really recommend for book clubs looking for that sort of novel.

June

TDR discussed Uprooted, and BH read Into Thin Air, which provided plenty of contrast between the two clubs for me, after the similarities from April.

Fantasy can be a challenging genre to recommend to those who are new to it, and I find it frequently is somewhat difficult to pick out one title for a book group to read and discuss. In part that’s because the genre seems to include so many series (usually a good thing as far as I’m concerned). However, when I’m looking for a stand-alone title it means I’m excluding many otherwise strong options. Uprooted worked as a discussion title, and if your book group is looking for a fantasy novel I’d say you should definitely consider it, but it’s not one that I’m so enthusiastic about for discussion that I insist you have to use for your group.

Into Thin Air also brings forth similar feelings from me: it has good potential as a discussion title, but it’s not so amazing as one that I’m going overboard pushing for it (as I am with April’s titles).


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