Great Book Clubs Need Great Books
You’re convinced – you want to make sure you read great books that will lead to compelling discussions. But how do you find those books?
Well, I hope you’ll look at my suggested titles – last Friday I shared an extensive list of fiction titles, and this Friday I’ll be posting nonfiction options. Next week I’ll provide some suggestions for young adult or children’s books that are worth reading (and discussing) as an adult.
Beyond that however, there are other resources filled with lots of recommended titles.
One of my favorites is Honey for a Woman’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. It’s written from a Christian perspective, and that influences some of the selections and annotations, but even if you’re not a Christian, it’s an excellent compilation of recommended titles, with enough details on each book so you don’t have to search for more information. One chapter is focused on religious literature, but the rest of the book should be applicable to anyone. It’s also commonly available in many libraries, so you may be able to track it down and check it out before deciding if it’s going to be helpful to you.
How We Do It
My book club has made heavy use of Honey for a Woman’s Heart, and the titles we’ve gotten from that book have all been excellent for discussion. We’re continuing to make use of suggestions from it since previous ones have been such great choices.
Want a broader selection of potential titles? Check out Book Lust (and its sequels – More Book Lust, Book Lust To Go, and Book Crush) by Nancy Pearl. These fabulous titles feature annotated book lists by topic, theme, reading occasion, mood, setting – you name it, and there’s probably a reading list. Fun to browse, this may spark lots of ideas for ways to branch out of usual reading ruts if that’s an issue for you or your group. The “Too Good To Miss” sections scattered throughout the text are standouts, and worth looking for the books just for them. This is also easily available in many libraries.
Finally, for an extensive listing of book club-specific titles, try The Book Group Book by Ellen Slezak. The second half is a compilation of titles various book groups have read. Some lists are annotated, while others are not, but it’s still a helpful resource as you may be able to find particular groups whose selections fit with your group’s style. It’s not a title I’d suggest buying, but look for it at your library.
This is part of the Booked: Reading Together series. Throughout October, I’m writing all about book clubs.
Check out the archives in case you missed a post.
Previously on The Deliberate Reader
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