Fourteen great book club suggestions from Twitter Mums

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Books It's book club tonight! We just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and this evening we get to sip on a glass of chardonnay, munch on nibbles and rattle on. Hopefully about the book! (FYI: loved GLAPPPS, a bit predictable at times, but a very comforting read. I felt really happy after and wanted to move to Guernsey and join their society!)

Part of the fun of book club is coming up with suggestions for the next read. Being the social media whizz that I am (ahem), I put out a note on twitter (sorry, I can't bring myself to use the term "tweet") and within a FEW MINUTES I got some really good suggestions. Have a look, it's a varied list with some fab reads.

1.  A Million Little Pieces is a semi-fictional memoir by James Frey. It is story of a young alcoholic and drug user and how he deals with it in a 12-step programme. (thanks Double Trouble).

2.  The Time Traveller's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger's novel that shot her to fame. A love story about a man with a "time travel" disorder and his artistic wife who has to deal with his mysterious disappearances. I've read it, but it's the kind of novel you could read again and get a new insight each time. (via Geeky Mummy and The Mother of All Adventure).

3.  Vegemitevix suggested The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second novel in the hugely popular Millennium Trilogy by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. Perhaps we should start from the beginning, with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

4. The Space Between Us – Thrity Umrigar's poignant novel about a wealthy woman and her servant, it is a revealing look at class and gender in modern day Bombay (thanks Urban Mum).

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Nazi Germany, death, and books. A haunting combination (thanks again Urban Mum).

6. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Booker Prize 2009. Tudor England. Cromwell, Henery IIIV. Described as a "truly great English novel that crosses th intersection of individual psychology and wider politics" (courtesy of Exmoor Jane).

7. Snaffle Mummy suggests "anything by Jodi Picoult" – she writes about families, relationships and love.

8. The Dickens classic: Little Dorrit. A serial novel and satire on the shortcomings of Victorian government and society.  (It's A Small World After All)

9. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It's non-fiction, but Mumby said it might make good book club fodder. I think I have to agree with her. Described as "a cross between the Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Loveand seamlessly buttressed by insights from sources as diverse as psychological scientist, novelists, poets and philosophers, Rubin has written a book that readers will revisit again and again…"

10. Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin is a warm story of family life and friendship (via Sophie4Sophie).

11. Lindsey Kelk's I Heart Hollywood — light hearted chick lit (from and one more means four).

12.  Heaven Can Wait by Cally Taylor. About a woman that is about to marry her soul mate, then dies suddenly. Debut novel.  (Living With Kids).

13. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. A classic. Won the 2007 Pullizer Prize. About a journey taken by father and son after an unidentified apocalypse. (Living With Kids).

14.  The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes. "A mysterious visitor has just landed at 66 Star Street and big changes are on the way. Old secrets are working their way to the surface, bringing love, tragedy and an unexpected optimism. And life will be different for everyone…" (Living With Kids).

So there you have it, 14 great suggestion from women who read (and write) a lot. Print it out for your next book club (I am!)

And if you have any more suggestions for great reads, leave them below.

Photo credit: Vicky's Pics

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  1. bee
    13/05/2011 / 21:44

    thoroughly recommend the following book, touched me in so many ways:
    ”falling in love with Love” by B’lkaar Singh

  2. 27/01/2010 / 20:35

    great list. have enjoyed lots of them. scared of the tattooed dragon girl though. isn’t it supposed to be gory? report back….
    i’d add dave eggers’ what is the what. (it’s the second time i’ve recommended it today!) it’s about sudan and is NOT cheerful reading. but quite brilliant. and it’s on barack’s obligatory reading list for white house staffers. say no more!!

  3. 25/01/2010 / 20:20

    Thanks for these! I’m doing the 100 book challenge 2010 and I’ve added these to my list to take to the library.
    I’ve just read Incendiary by Chris Cleve which I adored and I’m currently reading We need to talk about Kevin which is pretty good too.
    If you can recommend any others please do! I’ve promised myself I’ll discover lots of new authors and not re-read anything I’ve read before so I’m going to need plenty of inspiration over the next 12 months!

  4. 25/01/2010 / 19:58

    Loved the Time Travelers wife too – and it did stay with me! More recently, I’ve enjoyed all three of Dara Horn’s books (what a fabulous writer), Philip Roth’s brilliant The Plot against America and just finished Olivia Lichtenstein’s Things your mother never told you which I really did enjoy and think many other mums will too…

  5. A Modern Mother
    23/01/2010 / 07:39

    THANKS so much for all these suggestions, it is a reader’s dream…

  6. Iota
    22/01/2010 / 23:22

    Yes, GLAPPS very good, but a bit predictable. Someone gave it to me, and said she thought I’d enjoy it, as the letter format is a bit like blogging! She’s right, I think.

  7. Erin
    22/01/2010 / 22:35

    I’d add these two to your list:
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley ( A 11-year-old girl obsessed with chemistry solves the mystery of a murdered man in the cucumber patch behind the family house, set in a small village in the 1950s. Hilarious and mad main character.
    Hungarian Dances by Jessica Duchen ( A young mum unearths truths about the musicians in her family from their Hungarian Gypsy roots through to an international soloist with secrets in her past. Well-researched and fascinating.

  8. 22/01/2010 / 22:16

    Keep picking up Guernsey and it just doesn’t grab me. My mother in law then told me the end so I probably won’t bother now.
    One brilliant book I read a few years ago is called “The Historian” by Elisabeth Kostova. It’s a vampire book but not in the Twilight etc vein and it scared the pants off me even though I know vampires aren’t real.

  9. 22/01/2010 / 22:07

    Absolutely great suggestions.
    I read The Road on a deserted beach – eerie!

  10. nappyvalleygirl
    22/01/2010 / 19:06

    Great suggestions.
    I’d recommend The Children’s Book by AS Byatt. An epic family saga set in Edwardian England among liberal/Fabian circles (and based partly, I believe, on the life of E.Nebsit).
    Also enjoyed The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher – life in 70s Yorkshire. And The Road Home by Rose Tremain – v powerful story of an immigant in London.

  11. 22/01/2010 / 15:23

    Thanks for the suggestions. Look good. I absolutely loved The Guernsey Literaty etc. but my favourite book for 2009 was The Elegange of the Hedgehog, although I wish I had read it in the French original. Love The White Tiger too. This year I started with Guernica by David Boling followed by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, both excellent. My favourite book of the last few years is “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, a true masterpiece. Didn’t like The Time Traveler’s Wife, it is one of the few books I didn’t manage to finish! Great post. Thanks. Ciao. A.

  12. 22/01/2010 / 12:53

    Sacred Country by Rose Tremain is brilliant.
    A Fine Balance by Rohan Mistry another.
    Admittedly I read them years ago…! Thanks for your posted list! I’ve read The Road – astonishing. I’ll try and get round to the others:)

  13. A Modern Mother
    22/01/2010 / 11:36

    thanks ladies, great contributions

  14. angelsandurchinsblog
    22/01/2010 / 11:35

    Cloud Atlas is that rare thing, a literary and cracking read. And I can’t imagine life without Margaret Atwood. It’s her 75th birthday this year, and Bloomsbury are launching a series of beautifully bound and slipcased books in her honour. Her latest two books, Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood are a scarily realistic vision of the not-so-distant future – I reckon they’d both be a fantastic bookclub choice.

  15. 22/01/2010 / 08:50

    Great list, some fantastic suggestions (including those in comments)! I haven’t read some of these so this is really helpful for my year ahead. I hate not having a book to read–sometimes I get the equal to writers block and I just stand in the bookshop staring at all the books not knowing what to do. I sued to work in a bookshop for a while and I remember helping the poor lost souls who were stuck. A list is fun.
    However, I am probably the only person on the planet who didnt get on with Time Travelers Wife. Its one of the few books I have never finished.

  16. A Modern Mother
    22/01/2010 / 07:14

    What a fab list of book ladies … thanks so much!
    We decided on: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hadn’t realised it was a long one (I am still sometimes intimidated by length)!

  17. 22/01/2010 / 03:24

    Oh I love this! Thanks for passing along the book club suggestions. I have read “The Road” and I just downloaded “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” I also wanted to start at the beginning lol!
    I downloaded a sample of “Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society” since those are free and can’t wait to read that too.
    I loved “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen (historical fiction) and “The Glass House by Jeannette Walls (memoir).

  18. TooManyHats
    21/01/2010 / 21:28

    I’ve read The Time Travellers Wife and enjoyed that. The Book Thief is one of my 14 year old’s favorite books – he is re-reading it for the 3rd time now – now I will have to borrow it. Jodi Piccoult is a very easy read and usually involves tissue.
    My favorite reads from last year were The Kite Runner, The Help, and The Hour I First Believed.

  19. 21/01/2010 / 20:04

    I love forming lists like these. Means I am not so ‘lost’ in a bookshop when I walk in, need a book, but have no clue where to start!
    Another recommendation: Several people I know have been read ‘The Help’ and really loved it. It’s on my list.
    The Elegance of The Hedgehog is a good one…would make for great discussion.
    And regarding The Time Traveler’s Wife… I’m the same as Jane Alexander. I enjoyed it, but didn’t stay with me. Could make for interesting discussion though! And an excuse to see Eric Bana in the film!
    I am wanting to visit Guernsey now too… 🙂

  20. 21/01/2010 / 19:55

    Have to add that Wolf Hall made me fall totally in love/lust with a fictional character – Thomas Cromwell (which is slightly perturbing on many levels). Seriously though, it’s a fabulous book and give a wonderful insight into life at Henry VIII’s court.
    Would also fully endorse The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series (one of the best fictional heroines ever – warped genius)
    And The Time Traveller’s Wife (though confess it hasn’t stayed with me)
    And The Book Thief – rather lovely crossover fiction.

  21. 21/01/2010 / 19:33

    Oh, I’ve just starting reading that book. Liking it so far but only a few chapters in.
    Books I really enjoyed last year:
    The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle (can’t remember who by)
    In the Woods by Tana French
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

  22. 21/01/2010 / 19:16

    I loved A Million Little Pieces. Loved some of the others too, but definitely that. A friend has just finished ‘Run’ by Ann Patchett in her book club and it went down well – she wrote Bel Canto which won the Orange Prize a few years ago. Enjoy your evening and your reads x

  23. A Modern Mother
    21/01/2010 / 17:54

    Thanks Heather!

  24. 21/01/2010 / 17:51

    Child 44 is a good one, don’t remember authors names.

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