I have been in my current book group for more than six years now. In that time we have read dozens and dozens of books. Every May we gather and choose our books for the coming year. Unfortunately, my reading is WAY down this year. I haven't updated by sidebar list for weeks and weeks and never did my 2013 reading wrap up.
Nothing like full time work to really send your priorities out of whack, I know.
Anyway, as our annual "book sell" comes up (you bring 2-3 books you think the group would like, give your pitch and then the group chooses which to read), I find myself a bit stuck. Whether by design or accident I have emerged as a leader in the group, and they usually pick what I sell. This puts enormous pressure on me to make good choices. My three picked this year were: Great Expectations (great, as expected); A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (a wonderful conversation) and The Screwtape Letters (epic fail).
Here are some of my thoughts for this year . . . though I'm looking for other recommendations too.
1. A Wrinkle in Time. One young adult book is usually chosen and I think this would be fantastic. I have tried to sell it before and it fell flat. On the other hand, several people have told me that if I did try to sell it this year they would vote for it after a very mixed reception to Tuck Everlasting. Don't you love the background intrigue?
2. The Rent Collector. I don't know anything about this except that my sister recommended it; I doubt I have time to finish it before the end of the month. I was less than enamored by the Shadow Mountain Publication (an arm of Deseret Book) because I'm skittish about LDS novels like that. Also, our group tends to like stuff they can get at the library. This would not be one of those.
3. The Poisonwood Bible. Read in my Texas book club about 10 years ago. I remember really enjoying this book but wonder if it might be too . . . edgy . . . for this current group. I know--the book isn't really edgy--but this group definitely isn't.
4. A Separate Peace. Such a weird, dark novel of unhealthy and yet necessary friendships. I loved this book once upon a time. Another young adult novel though certainly not feel-good.
5. The Chosen. Too cerebral, maybe? I don't know; it is such a lovely book with cool insights into modern Judaism.
I want to read Steinbeck but it is definitely too edgy and nobody wants to do Austen. In the past I've sold (and we read) The Help, The Potato Pie Society book with the absurdly long title, Rebecca, The Good Earth, To Kill a Mockingbird, Goose Girl, Tess of the Dubervilles, Ethan Frome, Mrs. Mike . . . there are more, but I'm trying to get YOU to do the thinking here!