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January 28, 2011

Share Your 2010 Picks!

Posted by Dana
51k5YJ6Y8CL._SL500_AA300_.jpgIn support of Reading Group’s Share Your 2010 Picks campaign, I thought I would share recent picks of our book group along with the next upcoming six titles! (We just selected new books Wednesday night so this is big news!) In preparation for selection, I ask the group for any suggestions they may have and then add them to a list I have been keeping ‘on the side’. I take a few days to look at all the books- checking reviews, reading a few chapters and culling the list down to twelve nominees. I then email a list to all of our members, along with a brief summary, review or excerpt for each title and wait. Each member gets to vote for six books and when the votes are tabulated the top six vote-getters become our next list.
Recent reads have been:
The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver- our discussion of this was last night and pretty much the book got two big thumbs up. There is a lot to talk about- from the exotic Mexican setting of the first part of the book, to Kingsolver’s writing style and format (letters/diaries) to dissections of historical events and whether they could happen again (McCarthyism) to the art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. A great book for reading groups with lots of discussion questions available!
Truesight, David Stahler. A selection from the YA shelves and thus fairly elementary but a good science fiction read and one that brings up a lot of questions about individuality, perfection, group mentality, etc. For the most part the group liked it.
Ford County: Stories, John Grisham. Reminds us that sometimes an author becomes so powerful that a publisher lets him/her do whatever they want. Group as a whole found most of the characters extremely unlikeable, the stories unmoving. In short, we just didn’t care about anybody or anything in the book.
This Is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper. Most of our group really enjoyed this intimate look at a dysfunctional family as they mourn their patriarch. A lot of hilarious scenes and we all hope it makes it to the big screen. A lot of discussion material in the form of interfamilial relationship studies.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski. We all wanted a Sawtelle dog but many in our group were very unhappy with the ending, especially considering the commitment the book required. Most definitely a unique story but somewhat unbelievable?
Our next six titles are…. Cleopatra: A Life (Schiff),  The Slap (Tsiolkas), The Forgotten Garden (Morton), The Crying Tree (Rakha), American Uprising (Rasmussen) and Mudbound (Jordan). What’s up next for your book club?
-- Jamie Layton, Regular Contributor