Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books for Book Clubs

This weeks topic over at Top Ten Tuesday is the top ten books that would make great book club picks. Its a neat topic, it intrinsically asks for books that can be talked about, that can spark conversation, and so those at the books I’m going to aim for

1. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley – This is an amazing re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. It takes a story we know and love and weaves so many new layers in. Gives rise to discussions on changes to the original story, deemed both good and bad; as well as her interpretation of familiar and loved characters.

2. With the Light by Keiko Tobe – Some of you will know what manga is, others wont. Manga is the Japanese equivalent to a comic, vastly different then the Archie’s you might be imagining, manga spans a huge range of content and emotions, from the Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon you grew up on, to this amazing title. With the Light follows the autistic boy Hikaru and his mother and their struggles to make their way in modern Japan. This book has made me cry, and laugh, and yell. The stigmas that we associate with autism here in North America are already pretty harsh, pile on top of that the culture of perfection and conformity that is Japan and your in for an emotional roller coaster. The topics of discussion are vast, and views varied, and make an amazing read for both book clubs and individuals. The mangaka (author and writer) did an amazing amount of research and  paints a accurate, beautiful, and sad picture for us.

3. The Guests of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson – Technically a young readers title but has a great amount of detail. Evacuated from England to Canada during the second World War, Norah and Gavin must adjust to living in a foreign environment without their family. The trilogy covers the five years they live in Canada and slowly adjust, and by the last book its time for them to return home. Norah who was 10 when they left is eager to see her family and childhood home, Gavin, 5 when he left, has little memory and is hard-pressed to leave the land he’s grown to love. Differences in culture, adjusting to new surroundings, the impact of the war on children and Canadian families are all great conversations to strike up.

4. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by  J. Randy Taraborrelli – Marilyn was an icon. Whether you love her or hate her, if there’s one thing you can credit her with its never being boring. What I loved about this biography is the writers keen eye for detail and not being afraid to shock us with the truth and shine light on some of the oldest rumours, all while giving us sources and documentation along the way. Speculating on how the various influences in her life pushed her one way or another, and speculating on what could have happened if someone had just stepped in.

5. The Gurnsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer – I know this is already a book club read, but common. Just read it, WWII, letters, an author, a book club, a lovable cast, everyone read this book and talk about it. Its amazing… That is all.

6. The Thirteen Tale by Diane Setterfield – I love this book. I will be completely honest, when I first bought this book it was entirely because of how it looks… The dark beautiful cover art, the rough cut page edges. And then the story leaped out and grabbed me and never let me go. The dark and twisting tale lead me left, right and left again, ending in a way that is beautiful, subtle and completely unexpected. I’d love to book club this in parts, have everyone read half and speculate on it, then read the last half and react…

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -I am 90% sure this book is already a book club pick too, but it deserves love none-the-less. This book takes a unflinching look at a childhood spent in Germany. It introduces us to a cast of characters that you fall in love with, and a setting that is unparalleled. Not to mention a narrator like no other. This book was the second book to ever make me cry. I bawled like a baby. I think it would be interesting to see how other people react to a group of people we are told we are supposed to hate for the things they’ve done, when they find out many of them were just like us.

8. Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham – I have a huge love and respect for every title John Wyndham title I’ve read. He does science fiction in such a subtle way. I think this one would be the best of his titles for a book club as it has the strongest questions to pose. Should anyone live forever? Who has the right to share or hide such a revelation? Should only certain people be allowed ? The implications raise in this book are fascinating. Layer that on top of  Wyndham’s complex and dynamic characters and you have a recipe for success. 

9. Some Girls: My Life In a Harem by Jillian Lauren – The title jumps out at you doesn’t it? I picked up the book for just that reason. Read the back, read the first few pages and was transported. When I think of a harem, my mind goes straight to the musical The King and I and the King of Siam and his big brood. Its not a concept that had any footing in reality. So reading the book was surreal following this woman into a world of jealousy, intrigue and money. Perfect for a book club, discussing her steps leading to where she got, the relationships between the people present, all interesting topics to explore.

Hmmm, seems I can only crack out 9 for this week. I have lots of books I’d recommend in  general, and would love someone to read and squeal with, but these are really best for group discussion.

Please chime in everyone! Get on board and let me know what your Top Ten are! 😀
❤ Much Love!


Author: TheLastTriffid

A little about me you say? Well what can I tell you? I'm a lady in my 20's with a passion for life and a willingness to dive right in. I adore being creative, from crafting to writing, painting, sewing, reading singing. You know, all that fun stuff. Not saying I'm super spectacular at any of those, but i sure do love them anyway! :D

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books for Book Clubs”

    1. Try giving some of them a read! Looking over the list I’ve noticed that quite of few of the titles are a little more feminine, however The Thirteenth Tale and Trouble with Lichen are all around amazing for anyone! 😀
      Thanks for chiming in!

  1. Unsurprisingly, I’m seeing The Book Thief on a lot of lists. 🙂 I’ve only read McKinley’s Deerskin (and parts of it were tough to read), but I love her writing. I’m pretty sure Rose Daughter is on my TBR list, but I’ll definitely make sure it is now.

    1. I was really wary of putting The Book Thief on my list cause I knew so many people would, but its too amazing not to mention!
      Do check out Rose Daughter! Its one of my favorites, and McKinley is a talented writer and its such a beautiful story.
      Thanks for checking out my blog, I will be sure to check yours out too! 😀

      1. I double-checked last night; I had McKinley’s Beauty on my list, but not Rose Daughter. I’m sure they’ll both be excellent, but who writes two adaptations of the same story? 🙂

      2. From what I can tell McKinley wrote Beauty almost 20 years before so it makes sense to me to do a rewrite, also Beauty is a YA title, and while good I found it quite short. Rose Daughter is more in depth and targeted to adults, equally good (better) just different to her original. I would suggest giving both a read.

      3. Nice to know they’re targeted toward different audiences. Makes it even easier to grab them both!

  2. The Book Thief was the second book to make me cry too – well, sob is a more accurate term. It is the first book that I haven’t gone ahead and read a bit towards the end (I cannot handle suspense, apparently) and it was like a sucker punch to the gut. SO good, I have so much love for that book! I’ve heard of a few others, and I think you chose good books – can we make a book club when I get back in summer?

  3. The Book Thief is the only one I’ve read from your list, and I agree it would make a good group reading. I love your description of With the Light, sounds really good. But I wonder, do manga/graphic novels actually work as book club picks?

    1. Thanks for the compliment, With the Light is so unique and interesting I’d be happy to turn anyone onto it.
      I can see where you might think a graphic novel or manga wouldn’t work for a book club, but I think they both essentially need the same thing, good character development, decent plot and pacing. And those are the things I find I tend to discuss when talking about books anyway, unless a writers style is absolutely amazing or incredibly horrible its not something I find myself really talking to people about. Also I don’t know if a book club based entirely on graphic novels or manga would be feasible as a lot of them explore the same themes over and over again. Its once in a blue moon that something with a great and different plot rolls around that really deserves discussion. So I suppose a GN or manga as a supplement to novels would be excellent for a book club, but not as their whole basis.

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