To Do Lists, Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday – Books for Bookclubs

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they come up with a topic and invite whoever wants to add their own list to their own blog.

This Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks.

I’ve never been a part of a book club and I honestly don’t think I ever will be, but I think I secretly want to be part of one. Although I would never tell people I LOVE taking apart books (figuratively not actually) and exploring things about them, deciphering hidden meanings or archetypes… I’m a total literary book nerd. I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you can relate!

Before I get started I wanted to share a fun anecdote with you from my 12th grade AP English class. We were learning about static and dynamic characters while discussing Flannery O’Conner’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” If you haven’t read this, READ IT. It’s such a great story. Anywho. We were arguing whether the grandmother in the story is a static or dynamic character when I, genius that I am (ha), spoke up and said that I thought she was both. Needless to say I got 7 crazy weird looks (there were only 8 of us in the class), so I had to quickly explain myself. And what analogy did genius me use to explain how she was both static and dynamic? A slap bracelet. I said that the grandmother was like a slap bracelet, she was static, unchanging, until she was slapped and then she would curl up, becoming dynamic. Somehow, this actually seemed to make sense to a bunch of nerdy 17 year olds and for the remainder of the year (and years afterwards) we often discussed characters who might be slap bracelets.

So as you can see, a book club would be right up my alley so I could impart my literary wisdom on other people, using everyday objects to exemplify my meaning. These are a few books that I think would rock at a book club discussion:

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and The Awakening by Kate Chopin

These books would probably only work at an all women’s book club, but they’re still both prime examples of women realizing they’re more than wife and mother, leaving their oppressive worlds behind. And they’re two of my favorites, so clearly I’d love to read them both and discuss them.

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Although this really is geared towards an older children’s/middle grade group, there are so many darker adult themes that are woven through it. I think it would be interesting to discuss these themes as well as the characters and how they interact.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

We all know my throwing issues with this book, but I actually read this at the same time as a good friend and had such an interesting conversation with her about it that I think it would be perfect to discuss in a book club.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Maybe it’s just because I’m going to finally see Wicked in February, but I think this would be excellent to discuss and compare to The Wizard of Oz. I’d love to sit in on that book talk!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

There are so many points about this book that would make for very interesting discussion, but the one thing I want to discuss is what happens to Humberto. Because that shizz was awful.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

But only if we can dress like wizards, have wizard duels and drink lots and lots of butterbeer (okay I’m a total nerd for HP).

The Waltz by Dorothy Parker

Ever since my senior year when I first discovered Dorothy Parker I have had a mild obsession with her. The Waltz is one of my favorites and would be a great girl-power discussion… and we could all dress in our Roarin Twenties get ups!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

There’s not a whole lot you could discuss about this book except to discuss how awesome it is!

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

I feel like this book helped to change how I think of YA literature and opened my eyes to a lot of different themes that I really tiptoed away from. I think discussing these darker themes would be interesting and relating them to other YA works.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

As I mentioned in last Tuesday’s Top Ten I really hated this book. But honestly, I think it would be such an interesting discussion book because there are bound to be other opinions about it. I also think it would be interesting to dissect each of the sections of it, maybe analyze the different characters. I still hated this book.

Runners Up

The Hunger Games and Twilight – because what book club DOESN’T read these at least once?

Seriously, these Top Ten Tuesdays are getting harder and harder to do! I had a crazy hard time coming up with books that I think would be great book club reads. Although most of the books I read I’d love to read for a book club just so I can talk about them with people. Luckily, I have my lovely book blogging community to do just that with!

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11 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Books for Bookclubs”

  1. Haha I love the slap bracelet story – that was very clever of you!

    I considered Delirium and The Girl of Fire and Thorns and agree they are both great discussion books. And they have a Harry Potter book club at my daughter’s school – I think that would be a lot of fun to read those as a group.

    I like that you listed books that you had problems with (The Atonement) because those kinds of books make for the best discussions, don’t they?

    I agree that the book blogging community is one big book club- probably as close as I will get to a book club anyway!

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  2. Hmmm…I left you a comment earlier but I think WP ate it!

    I like that you listed books you hated like Atonement because those make for great discussions. And I was thisclose to listing Delirium and Fire & Thorns- both very topic worthy books.

    My daughter’s school has a Harry Potter book club. It would be so fun to read the HP books as a group and have special events like you suggest.

    And your slap bracelet analogy is very clever!

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    1. For some reason WP is sending all your comments to spam which bothers me because your comments are always the best! I saved them though… maybe it will stop eating them! I agree with you… sometimes I enjoy talking to people about books I hated than about books I loved because I feel like I’m able to see good and bad things a whole lot better – I sometimes get too “oh this book is soooo good!” and end up missing critical things. On the flip side, I like defending books to people who hated them. I had a great discussion about Gone with the Wind and Scarlett and Rhett with a friend a while back… I think I ended up making her hate them a little less!

      And thanks about the slap bracelet; 17 year old me was very proud of it! 🙂

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  3. OMG I loved Atonement! I mean, if for nothing else, the library scene. Get me a cigarrette (ok, not really)! My husband didn’t read it, but saw the film with me and he was totally pissed at the end. He felt taken down the line. I was laughing at his reaction and I think that the people in the theater thought we were nuts since most people aren’t laughing during that film.
    You’ve made me really curious about Girl of Fire and Thorns. I’m on the wait list for it from my library. Also, you reminded me that I need to read A Great and Terrible Beauty. I always say that and then I forget. And holy shizz, Delirium. I could spend an entire book club meeting discussing Alex. The end of that book killed me!

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    1. Okay, I will admit that library scene was mega-hot. Also, the Girl of Fire and Thorns was NOT one of my favorite reads, but it’s worth checking out. Once you read it, we’ll discuss Humberto. And like you… I could discuss Alex for hours as well as the evilness of Lauren Oliver and that ending she put us through!

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      1. Evil! We need to talk after you read Pandemonium. There is more general upsetness (it’s a word. Go with it). Once I read Girl of Fire and Thorns we will have a discussion about Humberto (you know as the first meeting of our online book club.)

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  4. There were SO MANY TIMES during my reading of your list when I was shouting excitedly in my head!! YAY! Slap bracelets! Delirium, which I also have on MY list! Wicked, which I read and loooooved! (Two side notes: One, have you read any of his other books? I’ve read some, and they were great, but they were a slog sometimes. Two, THE PLAY IS AMAZING AND WONDERFUL AND YOU WILL LOVE IT. Ahem.) Butterbeer! (I still have to try that recipe. Possibly with your recommended boozy addition.) Anna and the French Kiss! (I might be rereading that one soon, it was so stinking cute and perfect!)
    Your list makes me do happy dances. LOVE IT. 🙂

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    1. The only books by Macguire I’ve read are Wicked (which I loved) and Mirror, Mirror. Mirror, Mirror (in case you can’t tell) is a retelling of Snow White but it’s 1) mega weird and 2) mega unique. The “evil stepmother” is Lucretia Borgia, who (in case you didn’t know) is a real person (have you ever seen that show Borgia? She’s the daughter from it). Also… Wicked the play… I CANNOT WAIT to go. Try butterbeer, boozy style, and yay for happy dances!

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  5. I loved A Dolls House when I read it in high school; it blew my mind! :). Also I love your reference to Flannery OConner, her writing is amazing!

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  6. I started A Great And Terrible Beauty so long ago and never finished it–not that I didn’t love it, but I had so many book to review, I put it down for a while and never picked it back up. I bought the rest of the books in that series at a Borders sale. Thanks for reminding me to get back into it! And thanks for your visit today 🙂

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