Discussible Choices: What Are You Reading? June 2011

Congratulations to Mim and The Brunswick Library Book Club AND to Mari and The Viking Book Club for winning the random drawings for this month’s Discussible Book Choice!

We enjoy hearing from book club members who share with everyone the book choices that made for lively discussions.. Please let us know what about the book contributed to your great discussion – you may win a book-related prize for every member of your reading group!

“This month our read was The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirsten Downey. Our group felt that this book should be required reading in the schools. Only those members in their 80s had ever heard of Francis Perkins before reading the book. The others could not understand how the woman responsible for Social Security, child labor laws, the 8-hour day, workmen's compensation, unemployment insurance, the FHA and more can have been all but erased from the history of women in the U.S. They were also struck by how the issues she dealt with are the same as the ones on the front pages of today's newspapers. Everyone thought it a great and important read.”

Mim, The Brunswick Library Book Club, Knoxville, MD

“Our book club has enjoyed a large number of books this past year. One that we loved and even had the author respond to some of our member's questions was Amigoland by Oscar Casares. Mostly, this book was quite easy to relate to, since we all have family members, parents, grandparents, etc. that we all experience as they go into the sunset of their lives. WONDERFUL read.”

Mari, The Viking Book Club, Corpus Christi, TX

More Discussible Book Choices

“We have enjoyed great discussions after reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It brought up many issues that most of us had never considered about the effects of WWII on the U.S. population. For a fun read and easy discussion, we enjoyed Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith.  What great character development.”

Lauren, The Bookies, Glendale, WI

Stoner by John Williams.  Not a "happy" sort of book, but so beautifully written! Discussion started out "too sad for me;" but then we all understood the story wasn't sad for the main character, and we saw the value of this extraordinary life of a University English Professor, his colleagues and family. Will never forget this book or author. (Reading more of his books now.)”

Marty, Georgetown Ladies, Youngsville, NC

“This past month, we read Deep Down True by Juliette Fay, author of Shelter Me. It is a tale of new beginnings. The central character, Dana Stellgarten, is starting over after a divorce, her daughter is battling an eating disorder, and her niece moves in to deal with issues of her own. The women in this story grow and learn from each other through laughter, tears and honesty. Our book club members learn and grow from each other as well. We support and encourage one another. It's a fabulous group of women and one of which I'm proud to belong!”

Mo, Booktini, Raynham, MA

“Our group recently read Unbroken, and while it is not a comfortable read, we really liked the book, learned more WWII history and had a very lively discussion.  Sometimes our best discussions are about the books that weren't comfy cozy reads!”

Becky, Shannon Woods Readers, Raleigh, NC

“A light read was suggested for our June potluck luncheon, and the selection was Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg.  At first one lady thought the book was fluff, but after the discussion she changed her mind and found the book had much to say about life and living.”

Carole, AAUW Book Group, Reno, NV

City of Thieves by David Benioff.  We learned so much about the siege of Leningrad.  The host researched it more before coming to book club.  We were surprised how we missed that in history class regarding WW2.  We also loved the coming-of-age story and talked about how Lev matured in this book.  A wonderful read enjoyed by all (which doesn't happen too often!)”

Beth, Reading Between the Whines, Blair, NE

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks was an interesting selection.  We always enjoy historical fiction, and this book provided insight into a period that we were previously unfamiliar with.”

Lynn, Burnsville Book Group, Burnsville, MN

“This month we read The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar.  It was a very moving book about the relationship between an Indian maid and the upper class woman she works for. It made for a lively discussion about women, class differences, different cultures, and more. Everyone got involved in the discussion. Good choice for any reading group.”

Barbara, Dames with Wine and Proses, Plano, TX

“One of our members has a hard time narrowing down choices when we nominate books to read. She purchased a whole collection of Western-related types of books, such as Raising Steaks, The Life and Times of American Beef by Betty Fussell. Instead of everyone reading this particular non-fiction book, we each chose from the collection of books that she had, and we each reported on the book we had read. We concentrated primarily on the role the women played in each of the books. One of us had a cook book that had lots of historical notes. The meeting was at a member's house, and the food (beef, of course) was wonderful. The person that read the cookbook contributed something made from the book. It was a change to our usual way of everyone reading the same book, but great fun!”

Barbara, Sturdy Shoes Book Group, Memphis, TN

 “We're all teachers who have worked together to 25 plus years.  Reading and talking about our books are two important parts of our friendship!”

Tricia, Welby Way Teachers Bookclub, Woodland Hills, CA

“14 in our group meeting for 9 years!”

Belinda, Good Book Reading Club, San Diego, CA

“I really enjoy your website and your newsletters.  There have been a lot of great books we have chosen and discussed for your recommendations over the years.  I also have done a lot of personal reading from your recommendations!  Thank you!”

Wendy, Monday Madness, Roy, WA

“I love getting your newsletter each month!”

Diana, Tadlock Plantation Book Club, Raleigh, NC