Quarterly Update on Book Club Selections

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

October

The Deliberate Reader book club (TDR) read Funny in Farsi and my in-person book club, Broadened Horizons (BH) had our annual book flight (multiple books related to a theme; in this case Jane Eyre).

Funny in Farsi was entertaining and worked well enough as a discussion title. Most of us seemed to want a little more from it than she gave, but the potential to talk about the book and broader themes are definitely there. And it can be hard to find that in lighter memoirs, so this is one worth keeping in mind as a possibility.

Jane Eyre was the theme for our book flight, and we read it and then the modern retelling The Madwoman Upstairs, and the nonfiction title Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart. The Madwoman Upstairs was fantastic as a read-along (read-after?) to Jane Eyre, and the biography did make me appreciate Bronte’s accomplishments all the more. If you remember me posting about this, you might have noted that the modern adaptation switched from Jane Steele to The Madwoman Upstairs. We ended up changing our minds on which one we wanted to group together. 🙂

November

TDR read Ordinary Grace, and BH read At Home in the World

Ordinary Grace was FANTASTIC. Not only was it a terrific book, but it supported a great discussion as well. Highly recommended as a book club choice (or to read even if you don’t have a book club).

At Home in the World worked well as a discussion title, although not as well as I had hoped it would. Or really the discussion was fine; the book itself wasn’t as great as I wanted it to be. It does lend itself to many discussion possibilities, so if your group reads nonfiction this is one to consider.

December

TDR discussed Swear on This Life, and we did not have an official book for my local bookclub. Instead we asked everyone to come prepared to talk about their favorite reads for the year! (I’ve already shared mine).

Swear on This Life was disappointing, but I did enjoy the discussion much more than the book itself. Still, I wouldn’t recommend it for any book clubs, as I think there are better options.


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