Suggestions for a Book Club, Again

I love to recommend books and sometimes I know I hit home runs. I once casually suggested to a friend that she might enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo;


and she did. She didn’t just love it, she told EVERYONE (via Facebook). THAT was a stunning success, in my mind.

So, when my lovely wonderful book club [that I moved away from when we decided to live in North Carolina] still has me on the docket to choose a book one month a year, I take it seriously.

The last time, I sug’d some lovely fiction choices and they chose HEFT by Liz Moore. I highly recommend the post about the books if you click on this link HERE. There, I include other links to sway you. Here’s hoping that you also decide to read ALL of these titles and thus enjoy.

Now, I get to do it again: Care’s BOOK CLUB FIVE.

Let’s start, shall we?

  1. March marchbygb by Geraldine Brooks. Pub’d in 2005, ~300 pages. I was first introduced to Ms. Brooks when I read A Year of Wonders for a (KCMO or Omaha?) book club long long ago. I loved it! So it is rather intriguing that it has taken me so long to get to this. I have had it on my tbr forever, it seems. Here’s a very compelling review from a prolific reader I follow on gr — she has amazing book taste and reviews with polish. What is fascinating to me is that some readers have found that March RUINS their memory and fondness for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I barely remember Little Women but I know I read it. And the four sisters are cultural icons so even if you haven’t read the book, you usually know of Meg and Jo and Amy and Beth and maybe also that it is set in Concord Mass. Maybe; me for sure! Just like I know about Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights even though I don’t remember if I actually read them – I know what they are about. [And yes, not being a re-reader much, I hesitate picking these up because I hate that deja vu feeling of thinking, “I have read this already…” It bothers me, I’m sorry.] _________________________________________________
  2. The Library at Mount Char tlamcbysh by Scott Hawkins. 2015, ~400 pages. Suggesting this because it is SO DIFFERENT! and an unlikely choice for most of the clubbers, methinks. Could be fun. I would say the three things it has going for it are: kickass-female-protagonist, set in a library woo hoo!, and a wild fast read. My review is here and if you don’t already realize, book covers on this page all link to respective blurbs in goodreads. __________________________________________________
  3. Crossing to Safety ctsbyws by Wallace Stegner. 1987, 350+ pages. Just a really good, really well-written, insightful book. I think many of my clubbers would appreciate this. My review is here. ___________________________________________________
  4. A Land More Kind Than Home almkthbywc by Wiley Cash. 2012, ~300 pages. This is the only book in this edition of Care’s Five that I have yet to read. One of my book clubs will be discussing this the first week of October so if chosen, we’ll ALL be reading it and that is always fun. Set in NC, “a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all.”  <– so says the goodreads blurb which can be accessed by clicking on the book cover. __________________________________________________
  5. State of Wonder sowbyap by Ann Patchett. 2011, ~350 pages. A book I didn’t think I wanted to read but now am so glad I did — Hope Davis narrates the audiobook. It has tons of discussables; fertility, medical ethics, women in science. My review is here. I also present a video of the author explaining a bit about the book:  [Pssst – AP is my list of favorite authors…]


I almost suggested Zola’s Germinal – our September Twitter Readalong – join us! #GerminalAlong


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21 thoughts on “Suggestions for a Book Club, Again

  1. I hate to recommend books to people. I just can’t stop worrying that they’ll hate the book, and then I’ll feel like I’ve wasted valuable hours of their life. I wish I were kidding, but I really do feel that way. 😛 Doesn’t mean that I won’t tell people that I loved a book myself, of course.

    1. Aw, Debi, you can always recommend books to me. You’ll never be wasting my time. That’s the idea! Just be VERY CHOOSY with WHOM you recommend books to and you’ll be fine. 😉

  2. I always get nervous recommending books to people IRL. I even get uncomfortable discussing the books I am currently reading. I never know if someone’s taste is like mine, if I have misread their personalities in the books I want them to read, or how they are going to take any books I am reading. I can talk about books all day online, but get me in front of a real person and I shut up faster than a clam. Some habits die hard.

      1. Yeah, I’m weird. Or just have a lot of issues from being a teen back when reading was considered so very unpopular and therefore something to be mocked. Hell, my own family even made fun of me. So, I have always kept my reading habit a close-lipped secret.

        1. You may be weird is some respects but quite lovable and admirable in others. We are all a bit ‘off’ and have our quirks. BUT SHAME on your fam for mocking you! I used to run away and hide from my cousins so I could read and BE LEFT ALONE. Ah, the memories of childhood. I was either crying because no one liked me or hiding and reading and wishing everyone would just go away.

  3. CARE, oh my gosh. You need to read at least Jane Eyre! Jane Eyre at least you should read! And then if you start it and you find you’ve already read it, you can stop. And if not, you’ll have a fabulous reading experience. It’s so good! I read it when I was but a wee lass!

  4. I didn’t get very far into March but yep . . . that’s about how I felt. It just didn’t match up with my image of the family and I couldn’t bear the thought of Little Women being ruined for all time, so I had to stop. I think maybe Mr. March was a little too close, in my mind, to the image of my own father — light-hearted and fun — and he was . . . was he a darker character in March? I didn’t get far at all, so I don’t remember.

    I’m amazed that I haven’t read any of the others. I just read Ann Patchett’s new book, Commonwealth, and absolutely loved it. In fact, I checked out State of Wonder from my library but had to take it back, unread. *Love* Wallace Stegner. I don’t know if I have Crossing to Safety. I do have a copy of A Land More Kind Than Home and loved Wiley’s second book so I’m looking forward to that, when I get to it.

    1. No, he wasn’t darker or less nice, if that’s what you mean. He was lovable and compassionate, but fallible. He was strong only when in situations he was obviously gonna lose, it seemed to me. I was quite taken with him, actually. HOWEVER, I actually think it was the mother that comes off darker than I expect Lil Women portrayed her. I’ll have to get to that soon so I can find out.

      I loved your review of Commonwealth, by the way. That silly orange…

  5. I am not that attached to Little Women, so I doubt it can be ruined for me. I think I have a copy March around here someplace. I know I have both State of Wonder and Crossing to Safety on my shelves (LOVED Bel Canto and really enjoyed Angle of Repose so these would be good follow ups). I am super intrigued by The Library at Mount Char and my library has a copy. The Wiley Cash one is the only one that is new to me so I look forward to your review. Maybe over the Christmas break when I have a week off of work I will try to do my own BkClubCare readathon! and read at least those four that are readily available. 🙂

    1. Oh Ruthiella-Dear, I think you really might be taken by Mr. March, I do! And the language and the style of the narrative is perfect. It will suit your critical literary eye, methinks.

      You’ll love Mt Char when IN the thick of it, but will then just might toss it aside as dross soon after. It’s that kind of wild ride book. So enjoy it and don’t analyze it, ok?

      (and yes, you might ask or wonder, I DID have to go look up DROSS to see if that was really the word I meant. Yea, it is. But still a fun book.)

  6. This is the second time this week that I am running into The Library at Mount Char. I wasn’t that keen on it the first time but seeing it here along with the terms “kickass-female-protagonist”, “library”, and “SO DIFFERENT” in the same paragraph makes me want to read it. Will definitely check it out.

    1. It’s fun while lasts – don’t over analyze, have a good time and then move on quickly to the next book. I ‘spect this is a great palate cleanser kind of book. 😉

  7. litandlife

    Here’s what – I wish I would have understood Bronson Alcott better before I read March. Because that man was not a saint. I would have been okay with March then, thinking of him as Alcott rather than this beloved man I had gone up idolizing. I do think it would be interesting to see if, in a group of readers, it made a difference between those who loved Little Women and those who hadn’t read it or didn’t cherish it.

    1. oh, it is an OBVIOUS distinction! Of those readers who adored the entire Little Women family, they seem to be most upset with the book March’s representation of the father. But I thought it really well done. I have no memories or no note-worthy fondness for the Lil Women story whatsoever so it was quite a compelling view of this side of the father’s HUMANITY bounced against my few memories of what Alcott told in that story long long ago.

      1. And, I keep thinking… it wasn’t black and white, sinful vs saint. March showed a lovable human guy who tried his best, in my opinion and where he strayed, he agonized and again, proved his worthiness. I very much liked the man, but he wasn’t mean awful dude. He was a struggling, nonperfect doing his best in shit-conditions guy.

  8. Pingback: Suggestions for a Book Club, 3rd Edition – Care's Books and Pie

  9. Pingback: It’s That Time! Suggestions For a Book Club, FOURTH Edition – Care's Books and Pie

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