Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books I Loved Reading with Book Club (plus some I wish I had)
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish This feature gives a weekly Top Ten list. We all love lists, right? This week’s theme:
Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club — like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.)
It’s late on Tuesday, but when I saw the theme, I decided I had to do the list. I’ve been running the book clubs at Fantasy Faction for a couple of years, and I help organize the Book of the Month for r/Fantasy’s Goodreads group, so when it comes to book club choices, yes! I have an opinion, and yes! I can make some lists!!
I decided to break this one up though and do two sets of 5. The first was going to be my 5 favorite book club choices that I have already done, the other is 5 books I have read, but would have LOVED to do with a book club. But I got carried away with my first list, and decided to make it 10, but then wound up with 11. If I look at it any longer, I think the list will grow, so I’ll keep it at this:
Favorite Past Books Club Choices
- The Folding Knife by K.J. Parker – I adored this book. There’s not much in the way of fantastical elements. Really, there’s pretty much nothing (which prompted a discussion of what constitutes fantasy? Consensus was: this is not in our world, there for it is fantasy). There were many tie ins to current day politics as well. I absolutely have to read more Parker.
- The Black Company by Glen Cook – There will be a theme here. I love divisive books for book club discussion. I love books where there are differing opinions and reactions to the story and style. This is just the first of many that fit this. I did not love this book, but I could appreciate the elements that made others love it. And overall, I really did enjoy it.
- Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson – Another divisive one. I had no problems getting hooked into this story (as opposed to many other readers). It’s a go with the flow type book, and just really worked for me. I really need to read the next one (which I bought immediately after finishing GotM).
- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie – There’s so many interesting things going on in this one. I’ll admit, it didn’t get the participation I had hoped for, but it was still an excellent choice. With the gender blindness and hive mind aspects of this, there was plenty to discuss.
- The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan – I loved this book! My book club did not! It is yet again another divisive book. It is incredibly dark and gory, too much so for some readers (that felt it was just to get a reaction from the reader). I actually quite disagree and felt it was very well done. It also a gay male protagonist and features sex scenes with his lover. I felt this was another good point for discussions because some readers seemed to have a lower tolerance for the scenes than if they had been heterosexual.
- I am Legend by Richard Matheson – This is just an amazing book that I feel deserves its status as a classic.
- Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley – Mirror Worlds, where females are the dominant sex. Also lots of violence and very interesting magic (and deadly semi-sentient trees). Lots of opportunities for discussions!
- Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer – I just really enjoyed this book and was happy to read it with a group.
- The Lions of Al Rassan (and Tigana) by Guy Gavriel Kay – What can I say? I loved these books! And I read Lions of Al-Rassan with both book clubs. It’s not at all what I expected. Quite dark and violent, but absolutely beautiful prose. Kay also has a tendency to include themes that are quite relevant to our current day world.
- Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig – This book was just incredibly fun, and was my introduction to BOTH participating in an online book club and Wendig. I couldn’t not mention it.
- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin – This was quite interesting, a bit different, but in a really good way. There’s some very cool things going on with the Gods in this one, and I really enjoyed the discussions that went along with it.
Top Seven Books I have read that I think would make excellent book club choices:
(this list was 5, but as I was adding the covers, I picked one more. And now it’s up again. and I have a feeling I could pick several more!)
- The Just City by Jo Walton – There is so much going on here to discuss!! And so relevant to today. I’ve never studied philosophy, but now I really kind of wish I had!
- Broken Monsters (or The Shining Girls) by Lauren Beukes – This is a new favorite author of mine. Both of these books are just so intriguing as you try to figure out what is going on. I particularly like that in Broken Monsters, you get the POV of the antagonist and are not real sure if he is insane or if there is a super natural element going on. You also get the POV of the bad guy in The Shining Girls. I love this, but not everyone does. I think there could be some interesting discussions (and speculation) with these books.
- The Three by Sarah Lotz – This is a great story, but what makes me pick it here is the format it is told in. It’s a collection of journal entries, news pieces, social media updates. I felt it mimicked the manner in which we follow actual news events today. It worked so well and was so different, would love to hear a group reaction to it.
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman – This is such a marmite book. Love it or hate it, people tend to have an opinion, and differing opinions help feed discussions!
- Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman – I know few people that have read this, but I loved it! It had such an authentic historical fiction feel, but also some strong horror elements and amazing prose. I’m just curious to see how other would react.
- The Martian by Andy Weir – Just because, FUN!
- A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin – Do I need to explain? Have you met me??