Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Salon: Does Your Book Club Need Help Choosing It's Next Read?

Do you belong to a book club? If you do, you're probably always looking for good books to read and discuss with them, right? I mean, there are books out there that are good fun to read but that you can't talk about beyond saying, "It was fun, right?" and "I liked it. Did you?" Now if your book club is really just an excuse to get together and drink wine and you only justify it by calling it a book club, maybe that's an okay thing for you. But if you go to book club because you like to read and want to talk about the books you've read with other people, these books aren't going to be the best option for you.

So how do you choose your next book? There are a lot of different ways to find recommendations. You can browse in your local independent bookstore and see what the booksellers recommend. You can go to your local big box store and look on the front tables. (Did you know those front table placements are, in many cases, paid for?) You can listen to the latest celebrity to start a book club. And less and less frequently, you can read the arts section of the newspaper or listen to your local NPR station. All of these are perfectly fine ways to choose a book. But what if you want to read something that's wonderful and perhaps a little out of the mainstream? What if you was different? But you still want a book that is well written, addresses timely issues, and keeps your group talking about it long after the first glass of wine is finished. If that's what you want, have I got a list for you! The Women's National Book Association puts out the Great Group Reads list for National Reading Group Month and it has something for everyone on it. It's fiction and memoir, small press and large. It's got own voices and issues we're all talking about right now. It's a great list, chosen by readers who know book clubs and know books (and I'm one of them). I think you'll be intrigued by the choices and I'd love to hear your thoughts on any you've read.

The Affairs of the Falcons by Melissa Rivero

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Death of a Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

Haben by Haben Girma

The Honey Bus by Meredith May

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

Love You Hard by Abby Maslin

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

No Good Asking by Fran Kimmel

Retablos by Octavio Solis

Southernmost by Silas House

Tomorrow's Bread by Anna Jean Mayhew

Tonic and Balm by Stephanie Allen

The Tubman Command by Elizabeth Cobbs

Unfurled by Michelle Bailat-Jones

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