Every book club has their own process for choosing what they will read for each meeting. And with so many genres to choose from, book clubs are never at a loss of material. We’ve put together a list of books on various topics, of lengths that are easily accomplished, but most important is to offer a list of stores that open windows into a variety of voices and experiences. No doubt these books will inspire great conversations on great topics.
What we read and why we read it is actually a pretty fascinating question, and Will Schwalbe takes on exactly that topic in his Books for Living (see page 3). We’d love to hear about what you’re reading too, and why your book club selected a particular title.
The Vegetarian, by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith. When a woman, inspired by a dream, makes the “unthinkable” choice of becoming a vegetarian, she exposes not only her own hurt, but also that of her family. This fateful choice has terrifying consequences, and exposes the challenges of an individual breaking with social custom in a world that defines itself by tradition and following the rules.
The Dinner, by Herman Koch, translated by Sam Garrett. The polite conversation between two couples over the course of a casual dinner disguises the real subject of their meeting: their 15 year-old sons have committed a heinous crime, and it’s caught on camera. The video quality is poor and it’s likely the boys will escape any punishment – but the parents know. In the space between appetizers and dessert, the two sets of parents grapple with moral obligation and love of family.
The Blue Line, Ingrid Betancourt. A young woman inherits a secret gift from her grandmother, a gift that gives her glimpses of the future. Her gift gives her the strength to survive imprisonment during Argentina’s guerra sucia (Dirty War), and helps her endure a significant betrayal. Her story of resilience is beautifully told by Betancourt in a story that is both painful and beautiful.