Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Club Reads

As many of you know, I’m a member of the Association of American Women (AWA) here in Aberdeen. It’s through this organization that I participate in many of my ‘activity groups’ such as Mahjong, Hiking (well, that one is on the backburner for now…) and Book Club. I’m technically the ‘leader’ of the Evening Book Club, but we rotate hostesses so there isn’t much work to be done on my part. The biggest job I have is twice a year, when I consolidate all of the suggestions members have made on which books to read and put all of the books into a survey broken down by genre for us to vote on as a group. 

We had our first meeting of the ‘new year’ last night and it occurred to me that y’all might be interested in which books we’re reading this Fall and Winter. I know I’m always looking for new suggestions on what to read so hopefully you’ll be inspired by the following list. (All photos and descriptions taken directly from Goodreads.) 

October (Mystery/Thriller genre): Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson

(We always plan a spooky thriller type book for our October meeting in honor of Halloween. This particular book is coming to theaters near you in 2014, starring Nicole Kidman and Collin Firth.)
Goodreads synopsis:
'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...' Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love—all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

November (Historical Fiction): Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
Goodreads synopsis:  
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

January (Non-fiction/Memoir genre): The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
 Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town—and the family—Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

February (Science Fiction/Fantasy): Of Bees and Mist by Erik Setiwan 

Goodreads synopsis:  
Of Bees and Mist is an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree and places them in a mythical town where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, and prophets and clairvoyance are an everyday reality.

Meridia grows up in a lonely home until she falls in love with Daniel at age sixteen. Soon, they marry, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her charming husband’s family—unaware that they harbor dark mysteries of their own. As Meridia struggles to embrace her life as a young bride, she discovers long-kept secrets about her own past as well as shocking truths about her new family that push her love, courage, and sanity to the brink.

March (Contemporary Fiction): The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Goodreads synopsis:  
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

April (2nd Historical Fiction choice): And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Goodreads synopsis: 
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Lately from my personal reading library, I can also recommend: 
more info
More info
And at the tippy top of my ‘want to read’ list is currently: 
More info

But of course, once baby boy is born, I’m sure all of my spare reading time will be consumed with text regarding breastfeeding and sleep scheduling and child brain development. Right now, I’m rotating between these three:
more info
More info
Anyone have any great book recommendations, either of the ‘for-fun’ or ‘educational’ variety? What is your book club reading this Fall?


  1. The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. Changed our lives.

    Love these recs! I've been meaning to join the AWA and come to book club. I'm just so tired at the end of the day! Not to mention my toddler has entered the, "i'm not going to go to sleep at 7pm anymore even though I've been a great sleeper for the last 2..5 yrs..." stage. wearing me out!

  2. I just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (crime, thriller, mystery) and could not put it down! I also recently read The Observations by Jane Harris (takes place in Victorian Scotland) which was really good. Currently reading A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I read and own all of the Harry Potter series so just had to give her first adult novel a go. I am definitely going to check out some of the books you have mentioned! Thanks!

  3. Those sound fantastic! I will tell you though that Sarah's Key will be tremendously difficult to read after you have baby boy. My book club just finished The Cuckoo's Calling, it was definitely interesting :)

  4. Great book recommendations! I've noted a couple of them down :)
    Hopfully your dad is there with lots of time to spend with the baby and I hope they have the Cardinals games on tv over in Aberdeen :)