Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.
Ten Books I’d Love to Read…If I Had A Book Club
1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
You should have seen this one coming if you’ve followed my blog for a while.
I have already read Outlander many, many times. With each re-reading, I discover something new or see something in a different light. Kind of like all the references in Disney movies you never caught as a child? I love to go back and find
my favorite parts particular passages and re-read them. I can’t say favorite parts because, well, they ALL are favorites. This is my #1 favorite book of all time and I will push on anyone and everyone. (I apologize in advance if it is not your cup of tea.)
I would love to do a book club with this book. The historical references alone could feed several book club meetings, as well as the two time periods Claire has lived in during the novel. The storytelling is a level I have seen very rarely, with quite a range of characters.
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I know this one was a popular book club selection when the film came out a few years back. I do own the book, I just have not got around to reading it.
I can only imagine the rich discussions that a book club could have about The Help. There could be discussions far after the book has been finished.
3. A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith
I read this one several years ago in college, paired with a book on the same topic. Here is the Goodreads synopsis:
Meet one of history’s alleged villains through the eyes of a captivating new heroine — the woman who was the mother of his illegitimate children, a woman who loved him for who he really was, no matter what the cost to herself.
As Kate Haute moves from her peasant roots to the luxurious palaces of England, her path is inextricably intertwined with that of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III. Although they could never marry, their young passion grows into a love that sustains them through war, personal tragedy, and the dangerous heights of political triumph.
Anne Easter Smith’s impeccable research provides the backbone of an engrossing and vibrant debut from a major new historical novelist.
4. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
I read this book last year. You can read my review here. The novel is told through a series of her notebooks, preserved by a monk and some of May Dodd’s descendants on the reservation.
This novel centers around the historical event of a peace conference in 1854, held at Ft. Laramie. A Cheyenne chief, Little Wolf, requests one thousand white women to be brides for his Cheyenne warriors, as their society is matrimonial. Children would belong to their mothers’ society – white man society. This was asked in hopes of assimilating the Cheyenne people, uniting two races, and creating peace. Of course, this request was met with a resounding no, and no white women ever were given to the Cheyennes as brides. However, Jim Fergus has written this novel and changed history: in his novel, the United States government sends the white women to marry into the Cheyenne tribes, and May Dodd is one of them. These are the first shipment of women to the Cheyenne, and quite quickly the US Government turns their back on the women sent to live in the wilds.
Again, the rich history of our country, not to mention the Cheyenne people and culture (my heritage!), would make for some fantastic discussions.
5. The Keeper of Dawn by J.B. Hickman
I read J.B. Hickman’s debut novel the first year I started book blogging. You can read my review here. Just go read it. I don’t even have the words to describe this book, even two years later.
As I referenced in my review, which is one I consider to be my very best, there are so many ways to dive into this novel, the characters and the events…especially paralleled with other literary YA books, characters and events.
6. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
I read this several years ago in my adolescent literature course, required for me to teach middle school language arts.
I didn’t like the book at first. I hated it. I didn’t understand the way Myers organized the book, or Steve’s character.
BUT THEN. Oh, but then. Things exploded. This is a leading piece of literature that can still be used with discussions about young African Americans, particularly young men, and the role of the father figure in African American families.
7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
I also read this one in my adolescent literature course, and it swiftly became a favorite.
This novel speaks volumes about the culture and pressures we are forcing onto our children as a collective, as well as teen suicide, but also suicide in general.
I am particularly interested in book club discussions revolving around Pudge and the Colonel’s driving need to retrace Alaska’s last steps, and the entire element of suicide. I know that can seem a bit morbid, but I read this book 6 months before my own cousin committed suicide. I don’t think I could have read Looking for Alaska for the first time after we lost Ricky, but since I had already read the novel, I found myself devouring particular passages in the following months.
8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
This is a book that has been on my TBR – that I did buy at the time – after seeing a review from Emily as part of her virtual book club’s Literary Wives Series.
I’ve read a few of Ernest Hemingway’s pieces in high school and college, and as part of my junior and senior research projects I ended up with quite a bit of insight into Hemingway’s life, so this book fascinates me primarily for that reason. However, a book club – like Emily’s – could incorporate all manner of things into a book club discussion over this novel.
9. The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
This is a novel I assigned to one of my student group book clubs last year for some of my lower level readers. I ended up reading a majority of the book with one of the groups in my smallest class. After finishing book club, we did watch the film. This is something I plan on doing again.
This book is set during such a controversial time in our history, an important time and turning point in our history, and this novel shows with clarity through the eyes of children what life was like in the South with Jim Crow laws.
10. BOMB: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
This is a book I purchased last year for my classroom. I read quite a bit of in-depth pieces about this topic and time in history, and quite frankly, I felt like an idiot that I’d never learned any of this before, so I’d love to see this in book club. The synopsis from Goodreads:
In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.
Most of these books are A) historical and B) re-reads for me. Did you find a similar make-up for your book club selections?
Did any of my books make your book club list? What were your choices? How many of them were some of your favorite reads?