18 really good book club suggestions from mums that read (and blog)

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One dayIt's book club time again! I'm always looking for suggestions on book that are interesting and entertaining yet gritty enough to spark heated discussion. I asked my mum blogger friends for some ideas and it resulted in a plethora of good reads.

1. One Day by David Nicholls. "It's about a couple who meet each other on 15th July (their graduation) and it follows their lives on the very same day until they are older. The ending is fab and totally unexpected. They're making it into a film and Anne Hathaway plays the main female character! x" (Jo Jo Kirtley)

2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. "About the American deep south at the time when slavery was being abolished in the north. It's written from the perspective of one of the maids and is a really easy brilliant read." (Kate Takes Five)

3. Fingersmith By Sarah Waters. "By the same author as Tipping the Velvet. Victorian crime novel – lots of twist and turns in the plot and I haven't even reached the end yet…" (Kate Takes Five)

Little stranger 4. Room by Emma Donoghue. "Absolutely brilliant, compelling and heartbreaking. Written through the eyes of a 5 year old boy who has only experienced life in one room." (I Heart Motherhood

"Room is incredible – really different. I've already blogged about it!" (Not A Notting Hill Mum)

5. "And if you like Sarah Waters – try The Little Stranger – because the ending is quite ambiguous and I think it would be really interesting to hear what everyone thought had happened. And if you do PLEASE let me know as I am none the wiser!" (Not A Notting Hill Mum)

6. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. "It's an eye opener to poor media reporting (and screwing with statistics) of science and medical stories which are often presented as fact,but more closely resembles fiction. It's also very funny and a great read, Ben is very witty…" (Cheeky Wipes)

Poisonwood 7. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver "Love and survival in the Congo. Lots to talk about. And Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is lighter but with lots of class and race issues to discuss." (In a Bun Dance)

8. "My real life book group all loved 'The Book Thief' by Marcus Zusak. It is astonishing, about the redemptive power of love and is not as 'creepy' as the synopsis makes it sound!  Everyone should read it. (Not A Good Mother)

9. "And my virtual book group had massively divided opinions about  'We Were the Mulvaneys' by Joyce Carol Oates.  This is about how a family in small town America manages when the daughter is raped.  A story of massive breadth and depth, it has stayed with me for years.  I often think of it and wonder what I would do if I were in the mother's position (and thankful that I am not).  Really good read, it will  make you stay up late into the night to read it." (Not A Good Mother)

10. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. "It has just been made into a film. Very chilling and thought-provoking. Perfect for a book club discussion." (Living Abroad)

11. The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas."It really divided people in book group and was great for discussion. A lot of very bad language and some full on sexual scenes so not for the prudish. We did One Day over Christmas and our meeting to discuss is tonight! I enjoyed it but not really sure what there is to say about it."  (Eggs, Cream and Honey)

Thousand autums 12. "I just finished 'The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet' by David Mitchell  and thought that some of the writing in there was beautiful.  Great story too and keeps you going." (Mummy Squared)

13. "If you want an oldie but goodie how about Catch-22 by Joseph Heller…  everyone should read it." (Mummy Squared)

14. "I think The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins would be an amazing book for a group to talk about.  It's the first book in an amazing trilogy, but could easily stand alone for discussion purposes." (Oh Abby Really)

15. Another David Mitchell book (author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Zoet) is Cloud Atlas. Utterly brilliant. Shortlisted for Booker and a Richard and Judy winner. (Archers at the Larches)

16 and 17. "For non-fiction, I'd recommend Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and for fiction,Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarderor for something more recent, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and read it before you watch the movie that's about to come out! Our book club is reading The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa at the moment…. (Mummy Zen)

18 (again) Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell "You'll never run out of things to talk about with this extraordinary book. It's difficult to quickly explain what it's about, but it presents six separate stories and over the course of the book you realise that they are all intertwined, despite taking place hundreds of years apart. It's the sort of book you want to start reading again as soon as you've finished it. (Here Be Boys)

That should keep you bust for a while. If you need any other suggestions, check out my previous posts.

Happy (book) clubbing!






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  1. 03/07/2012 / 11:42

    How do I get Mums to read and review my children’s books? Looking at the reviews on this page it seems Mums generally read only adult books. I am self-published and do not have the resources available to mainstream publishers with their professional reviewers. If any Mum could review my books/eBooks it would be greatly appreciated. There are 5 titles so far in a series entitled,” The Jumbalees in…” by Chris Evans. Friends and family love them but they might be biased. They are available at Amazon. The first 3 can be seen on my website.

  2. 11/12/2011 / 20:59

    I’ve been reading it since September, but I am loving One Day!

  3. 19/11/2011 / 23:20

    I love One Day, haven’t got round to seeing the film yet, though bit worried that it’ll be a disappointment!
    Will check out the others.

  4. 18/11/2011 / 08:23

    Great list.
    Just finished Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt. Very, very good.
    Embarking on The Road by Cormac McCarthy next (Distopian and harsh but brilliant, or so I’ve heard – will report back)

  5. 04/05/2011 / 16:22

    wow thanks for this. I live in Guatemala and make it back to UK once a year to see family and friends and do my shopping!!!! I always preorder my Amazon stuff on line – you have given me lots of ideas.
    so you have any suggestions for boys 5 and 6? maybe a previous post? I don´t know where to begin but usually hit the great second hand shops

  6. Tiffany
    08/04/2011 / 21:01

    Wonderful list. The Poisonwood Bible is one of my all time favorites. I Just finished You Never Know by Lilian Duval. A friend recommended the book to me and I couldn’t put it down. I think it would make a good book club pick because there is to much to discuss post-reading. Although she is a lesser known author I found some reviews here http://www.lilianduval.com/what-they-say. Happy Friday!

  7. 07/03/2011 / 01:47

    Super, thanks, of to amazon used books I go! Of the ones listed here that I have read, I loved them all (never let me go, the david mitchells, gladwell, poisonwood bible) so I will def. look into the rest. Just read “When we were orphans” also by Ishiguro, and loved that too. Am also a big Maggie O Farrell fan, just read “the vanishing act of Esme Lennox, which was fab.

  8. 17/02/2011 / 00:44

    This is a great list, thanks for including my suggestion!
    Sadly, I’ve read most of these, but Cloud Atlas has been moved up my to-read list! x

  9. 16/02/2011 / 02:17

    Love this post! Our bookclub (here in California) really enjoyed The Help, about a typical Southern town and all the underlying rascism. It wasn’t the best book every written but bought out some amazing stories from three of the women, all of whom I have known for eight years and are very private people. I’ve realised with book discussions it’s not always the most beautifully written books that provoke the best discussions, it’s the topics

  10. 15/02/2011 / 14:21

    Great list, Susanna. Thanks for including me as well. I’ve just finished “Started Early, Took My Dog” by Kate Atkinson. Great book. I’m a big Kate Atkinson’s fan as she writes so well and is full irony and social criticism too. Ciao. A.

  11. Ive heard a few of these recommended before, have not read any of these and am really excited to have such an interesting list to refer to! If only there were more hours in the day…

  12. 15/02/2011 / 01:56

    One day was such a great book — couldn’t put it down. Looks like a great list.

  13. MumsRock
    14/02/2011 / 19:44

    We totally loved One Day so will def. check out many of the other suggestions. Great idea Susannah

  14. 14/02/2011 / 18:40

    Great list. I will refer to it the next time it’s my turn to choose.

  15. 14/02/2011 / 17:45

    Fabulous ideas Susanna. I’ve read many of these and others are on my list, esp Room. Thanks for sharing-I plan on sharing it as well!
    Delia Lloyd

  16. Heather Davis
    14/02/2011 / 17:12

    Great selection of books. It is my pick for the book club I am in next month and I think this list will come in handy. Very tempted by Room as I’ve heard so many good things about it. If only there was more time to read!!

  17. Mandy
    14/02/2011 / 16:51

    Thaaaank you! I’v been searching for a good book and now I have a list of them!xx