30 Jan 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books For the Book Club!

Today we are looking at the Top Ten Books That I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks. If you are new to the Top Ten Tuesday concept head over to The Broke and The Bookish and explore.

10) "The Bröntes Went to Woolworths" by Rachel Ferguson
A short, sweet book that reminded me a lot of "Anne of Green Gables". The main question of this book is whether or not you can have too much imagination and whether dreaming can be dangerous.
Perfect for a January night discussion over a cup of tea.

9) "The Crimson Petal and the White" by Michel Faber
A different story to the Victorian novels you know. This one features a prostitute called Sugar who changes her life for several reasons, some of which are obvious and some that do no reveal themselves until the very last moment. A modern classic with lots to talk about.

8) "Lucky" by Alice Sebold
This one will probably be a difficult one to discuss so it should probably only be used in book clubs where you know each other well and where discussing difficult topics is not an issue. "Lucky" deals with rape that Sebold suffers as a teenager and with her fight to get her life back. For a non-fiction book club, this would be a great pick but it is not for the faint-hearted.

7) "Snobs" by Julian Fellowes 
This one is great for a book club because the main character Edith is someone who would probably divide people. Either you will think her a golddigging scheming woman with no morals or you will think her a product of her upbringing. It should be good for a heated discussion about values and morals.

6) "I Am Charlotte Simmons" by Tom Wolfe
This book deals with some of the really difficult parts of being a teenager: being an outsider, being new, not fitting in, being a geek, being a virgin, being poorer than the others. It is the story of village wonder Charlotte who wins a scholarship to an elite university where she is no longer a prodigy but a nobody.

5) "Valley of the Dolls" by Jacqueline Susann
This is another modern classic. Written in 1966 it is the predecessor of "Sex and the City", a book about young women struggling with love, careers and finding the right dresses in New York. A great book for a girls' book club.


3) "The Privileges" by Jonathan Dee
Each chapter is like a little short story and there is lots to discuss. In these "Occupy" times, this book raises some interesting questions about wealth, capitalism and love.

2) "Purge" by Sofi Oksanen
If you don't know anything about the recent history of Estonia (which I don't), this book will give you something to think about. It raises significant questions about loyalty, love and the human nature and it is a must-read if you have any interest in eastern European countries or human trafficking.

1) "We Need to Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver
This one is perfect for book club. The topic is nature versus nurture and Eva, the main character, will give alienate some and find the pity of others. It is a long book and could be difficult for some but it is also a must-read (if you ask me) and I would have loved to have shared the reading experience with others. Plus, you can follow up by watching the movie together.


  1. This would be one interesting book club! I haven't read all these books - but the covers and/ or the summaries make them all sound so good.

  2. I love both The Crimson Petal and The White and Purge. Purge would make for fantastic discussion, there are so many issues to talk about, let alone the characters.

  3. @Tanya: Thanks :-)

    @SAm: I agree with you, Purge would be great for a book club because there is so much to talk about.

  4. ok seriously? We Need to Talk About Kevin - this book is on every list around blogosphere today and I've never heard of? Odd. I should really pick it up, becuase I just feel like I've been living on Mars for not knowing this book EVERYONE know of. lol :P :) Awesome pick Willa :)

  5. Thanks Nea, you have to check it out. It is not for everyone but I absolutely loved it.

  6. I haven't thought about The Valley of the Dolls in a long time. Thanks for the reminder, I will have to pick it up and give it another read.
    We Need to Talk About Kevin has caught my eye today and will have to give it a try.
    Thank you for all of your club suggestions.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews
    My Top Ten...

  7. A book that reminds me of Privelage is Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad. I just finished Goon Squad, and it was excellent! Egan masters the every-chapter-a-little-short-story format wonderfully, just as Susann must do.

    PS: I hope you can take the time to check out my Totally Top Ten Tuesday Post here. Thanks!

  8. Great idea for a post - and nice to see Rachel Ferguson there. My book group is reading PG Wodehouse (Right Ho, Jeeves) which is a great example of a book which is wonderful, but which I think will be very difficult to discuss...