Gransnet forums

Books/book club

Any ideas for books for a reading group please?

(39 Posts)
GrandmaH Tue 11-Sep-12 12:12:33

I have been running a reading group for my WI for about 4 years now & I am running out of ideas for new books to read.
I get the books from the local library so we don't always manage to get the most recent books although sometimes we get lucky.
I try to vary it as much as possible so we read a good variety of authors & subjects- fiction only & no poetry by popular request!
If anyone has a book that has been popular at their own group or one that they think we would like, I'd be grateful for the title.
I think the most popular so far has been The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society & I have also discovered that they like a good murder- I was amazed that Lee Childs went down very well (which we only did as it was a World Book Night choice of one of our group & she had some to give away free).The Help & also The Island were popular too & we will be discussing The Thread tonight.
So any suggestions will be very welcome.

vampirequeen Tue 11-Sep-12 18:48:16

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood. Good read and thought provoking.

baNANA Tue 11-Sep-12 20:24:52

Hello GrandmaH, you may have read some of these, but I think any of them would make good reading for a book club and are definitely among my favourite reads. Star of the Sea - Joseph O'Conner, Poisinwood Bible - Barbarba Kingsolver, Middlesex - Jeffery Eugenides, We Had It So Good - Linda Grant, The American Boy, Bleeding Heart Square - both by Andrew Taylor, Gillespie and I - Jane Harris, The Chimney Sweep's Boy - Barbara Vine. Everyone has their own idea what makes a good read and of course one man's meat etc. You might do this already, but I like to get up reviews on Amazon and Waterstones to see how books have been rated.

glitabo Tue 11-Sep-12 20:35:32

Our reading group liked
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. This is set in Ethiopia and America.
If your group liked the Kite Runner they will love this.
This month we are reading The Help.

I hope this is useful.

annodomini Tue 11-Sep-12 20:35:56

Here are two that have gone down very well with our book group, though you might have read them already.

Room by Emma Donoghue;
The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas

Could you give us an idea of some others that your group have enjoyed?

Good reading!

Grannyknot Tue 11-Sep-12 22:16:24

'Half of a Yellow Sun' by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian author) - wonderful book

MaryD Thu 13-Sep-12 17:30:09

A good read is a new book called 'Milligan and the Samurai Rebels' by Simon Alexander Collier. It's particularly good if you're interested in Japan and its history. It's a new publication but available from Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.

gracesmum Thu 13-Sep-12 17:35:11

Many of my favourites already mentioned. We also liked Me Before You because of the Dignitas link, The Observations(Jane Harris) Dissolution (C J Sansom) A Thousand Acres (Jane Smiley)I note you say fiction only, but we also enjoyed biography (Bess of Haardwick), Oh, so many books - how long have you got???

gracesmum Thu 13-Sep-12 17:35:29

Maybe "Hardwick" even!

Ariadne Thu 13-Sep-12 17:40:43

Hi GrandmaH! I have a reading list, constantly updated, compiled by me and my English teacher friends. Full of good books - not all heavy. If you PM me with your e-mail address, I'll happily send it to you. And, of course, to anyone else who fancies it! smile

Butternut Thu 13-Sep-12 17:47:42

GrandmaH - I've recently read Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingslover - an unusual but lyrical book about fauna and flora and relationships!

Ariadne - Yes please. smile

eGJ Fri 14-Sep-12 20:27:33

Grandma H I've just devoured the new Joanne Harris "Peaches for Monsieur le Curé"; Joanne Harris returns with Vianne (from Chocolat) to Lansquenet. The second on the trilogy set ion Paris didn't work as well as Chocolat. but this one is a humdinger of a book. The issues raised (it is set in Ramadan 2010 just before the French government banned the headscarves) are many and it would make for a great discussion in a Book Group!

yogagran Fri 14-Sep-12 22:48:06

You could try looking at the threads titled "What are you reading at the moment" Part 1 & part 2. Lots of ideas there

Humbertbear Fri 14-Sep-12 23:09:07

The Kommandants Girl by Pam Jenoff. Itbuts fairly easy read but it is a powerful story about the choices people have to make in their lives. Ultimately, the question is what would you have done?

JO4 Sat 15-Sep-12 09:27:39

I heard on the Today prog that there is a group of literary people trying to get us all to read Moby Dick. Apparently it is a fantastic book on many levels. Apparently.

Slightly kicking myself that I Oxfam-ed my copy after page about five.

dorsetpennt Mon 17-Sep-12 11:28:05

I joined the book club at our local library and it was a complete waste of time for me. Most of the ladies wanted to read John Grisham, Danielle Steele, Lee Childs etc etc. Any that I would term a good book I'd already read. There was a very garrulous elderly lady who was obviously a bit lonely as she could talk for England and not about books either. We heard all her personal and medical history and no matter how hard the librarion tried to get onto the topic in hand, she carried on. This seemed to set the others off and it was a Chat Club rather then a Book Club. So I left. angry

Grannyknot Mon 17-Sep-12 12:46:34

Oh dear dorset (going a bit off topic here) - I went back to my singing group last week for the first time in 6 months and a new woman standing behind me, who actually has a really good voice, started belting out the song in my left ear at such decibels and with so little inflection or nuance that I was left thinking 'how on earth can someone be blessed with a lovely voice, and be so insensitive to its use?!' Am still pondering how can this be shock.

Janoir Mon 17-Sep-12 21:26:56

I 'm new to Gransnet .This is my first ever post ! Two books come to mind . The Secret Life of Bees -Sue Monk Kidd (the film was very true to the book ) Still Alice - Lisa Genova , The story of a woman experiencing early onset Alzheimer's
Both excellent reads .

annodomini Mon 17-Sep-12 21:36:01

Thanks for your recommendations and welcome to Gransnet, Janoir. I enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees, though I haven't seen the film. I usually try to avoid films of books I've liked but it sounds as if this one might be an exception.

GrandmaH Tue 02-Oct-12 13:41:14

They loved The Help

GrandmaH Tue 02-Oct-12 13:51:53

They really liked
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society
The Island
The Thread- which I did as they had liked her first book so much
The first Peter James- can't recall the title offhand
The first Lee Childs ( I didn't like this at all)
1000 Splendid Suns
The Other Boleyn Girl
Small Island
Remains of the Day

Some of the ones I expected to be really popular (eg Behind the Scenes at a Museum & Captain Corelli's Mandolin)) did not go down so well so I know that my own personal favourites are not their taste all the time.

I can't remember more offhand & as I am stuck in my kitchen this afternoon while workmen are stripping the hall following a burst pipe in loft & I cannot get to my notebook.

I'd kill for a cuppa but the loo is the other side of the door!!

GrandmaH Tue 02-Oct-12 13:56:17

Thanks, Janoir- I loved Secret Life of Bees too -I haven't done that with them yet but I will!

jemimavic Wed 10-Oct-12 17:14:57

I have just joined Gransnet and this is my first ever post. The book I am reading now is 'The Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett - a big book. A lighthearted read is 'Pear Shaped' by Stella Newman and another good book is 'One Moment One Morning by Sarah Rayner. I joined my local library book club but didn't like it although it did introduce me to new authors. I think 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' was one of the most boring books I have ever read. However, 'each to his own' as they say.

annodomini Wed 10-Oct-12 17:42:44

There are lots already on this thread. I think the one our group most enjoyed was The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas. Of course, I think almost everyone has read The Help, but if not, then it's a 'must'

Greatnan Wed 10-Oct-12 18:29:14

The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff, is a big book, around 600 pages but a very good read. It interweaves a modern story about polygamy with a history of the Mormons.