Quarterly Update on Book Club Books

3rd quarter 2017 book club book selections

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

July

The Deliberate Reader book club (TDR) read True Grit and my in-person book club, Broadened Horizons (BH) read A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

True Grit was surprisingly enjoyable (to me) and lent itself well to a discussion. I never did manage to watch either of the movie adaptations, but that would be another way to extend a discussion on it: comparing the book to the movie(s). As Westerns aren’t the stereotypical book club choice, I especially liked branching out a bit in our reading genres by including it.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is, of course, a classic choice – Shakespeare always is. I missed the performance of it my book club attended, but I heard it was well done.

August

TDR read The Diamond Age, and BH read Lost in Shangri-La

The Diamond Club does provide a lot to talk about, but I can’t recommend it to a general-interest book club. the book is too long wasn’t worth the hefty reading investment it required. However, if you have a book club that emphasizes science fiction, you almost certainly want to read something by Stephenson, and this one is quite discussable. That’s probably the only time I might suggest this one, as it was not at all what I wanted it to be.

Lost in Shangri-La worked fairly well as a discussion title if your group is looking for discussable nonfiction. It’s also easier to read than many history books, and it covers a less-familiar setting. While the time-period (World War II) is covered in many books, this one doesn’t really “feel” much like other ones set in that era, because of the different geographical location and events. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one even if your group has recently read other World War II books.

September

TDR discussed Plainsong, and BH read Garden Spells

Plainsongis very discussable literary fiction, but I’d be sure not to read it soon after Hannah Coulter The feel was a little too similar to fully appreciate Haruf’s book, after finishing Hannah Coulter so recently earlier in the year.

Garden Spells is also discussable, but in the light-and-fluffy fiction realm. That’s not meant as a criticism, just wanting to help your book club know if it’s the right sort of read for you.


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Comments

  1. Oh they look great. I’ve never read any of them but I’ll check them out. Thanks for sharing. 😁

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