Book club starter ideas

Over the past few weeks I've been asked to do a bunch of brainstorming for book club suggestions, coming up with a few suggestions and themes that could be proposed as a starting point for different reading groups.  The end result is a collection of "seeds" for book clubs that are at this point, largely unused.

The biggest challenge for me in doing this is avoiding SF/F picks, since I read so much of it.  It generally is hard to support a SF/F book club with a small population, and the standard book club population that one tends to encounter tends not to be fans of SF/F.   We also specifically avoided mystery, due to a very well established Mystery Book Club at a neighboring library that many of our patrons already attend.

So, in case anyone else needs some inspiration in coming up with book club ideas, feel free to borrow from here if any of this catches your eye.

Land far Away
  • The lacuna / Barbara Kingsolver
  • A spear of summer grass / Deanna Raybourn
  • Love in the time of cholera / Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • A thousand splendid suns / Khaled Hosseini
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad / Debra Dean

Incredible Lives, Incredible Stories (the fact that 3 of them are WWII related was accidental)
  • Unbroken / Laura Hillenbrand
  • 81 days below zero : the incredible survival story of World War II pilot in Alaska's frozen wilderness / Brian Murphy with Toula Vlahou
  • When books went to war : the stories that helped us win World War II / Molly Guptill Manning
  • Smokejumper : a memoir by one of America's most select airborne firefighters / Jason A. Ramos & Julian Smith

  • Leaving Time / Jodi Picoult
  • Fly away home / Jennifer Weiner
  • Where'd you go, Bernadette? / Maria Semple
  • Eat, pray, love / Elizabeth Gilbert

You can't go home again
  • The Shipping News / Annie Proloux
  • All the Pretty Horses / Cormac McArthy
  • Leaving Home / Anita Brookner

Growing up
  • The Cider House Rules / John Irving
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Sacred Time / Ursula Hegi

Magical Realism
  • The Golem and the Jinni / Helen Wecker
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane / Neil Gaiman
  • Forever / Pete Hamill
  • Midnight's Children / Salman Rushdie

Flavors of Life
  • Julie & Julia / Julie Powell
  • Kitchen Confidential / Anthony Bourdain
  • Tender at the Bone / Ruth Reichl
  • Blood, Bones, & Butter / Gabrielle Hamilton


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