Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s Top Ten theme is: Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks
Now I've decided to imagine I'm picking ten books for my own imaginary book club. I'd probably pick books I've loved or hated, or books which I responded to differently than the vast majority. Or maybe books I could talk a lot about.
As always in no particular order. Let's see...
I wish I had a local book group as there are so many books I love. But then, that's why I started blogging! That way, the whole world is my book club oyster! So here would be five books I would most love to talk about with others over a nice glass of red.
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
I suppose this was on a lot of book club lists this year. I have this on audiobook and I've listened to it four times and yes, it's the unabridged version! I kept telling people to go and buy this book so that I could talk to them about it. At this stage, I think I'm owed a share of the profits!
The Shining - Stephen King
I think this would make a great book club read as so many people would have preconceptions given the Stanley Kubrick movie adaptation. I've always preferred the book as Jack Torrance's decline is so much more creepy. In my opinion (and I'm sure plenty will disagree with it) Jack Nicholson seems unhinged from the very beginning of Kubrick's movie. The decline of the family and the effects of alcoholism are the real monsters in this narrative.
I'd love to discuss the original story with people who would both agree and disagree with my views on it.
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
I think books which deal with the topics we find "hard to talk about" are actually great for discussion. This can be a tough topic for a lot of people and individuals tend to come down on one side or the other of debates such as the justification of suicide. The discussion of the suitability of such themes within the YA genre would be fun enough in itself!
Note of Madness - Tabitha Suzuma
When I made my mother read this she was surprised by the idea that it is often shelved as a YA novel. It deals with a young male college student who is bipolar. Suzuma handles the protagonist with unflinching reality and sensitivity. This is another where the debate around the book's appropriateness for its audience would be as interesting as the narrative itself.
Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma
I was reluctant to put two books by the same author on the list, but what can I say? Suzuma writes great books for discussion. If we're talking about taboos, then they don't come more controversial than the issue of incest. The love described in this book is uncomfortable in its sweetness. The audience can't help but wish for the couple to find their happy ending somehow, even though the outcome seems so inevitable. I'd love to know what others thought of this darkly, disturbingly beautiful book.
Some of the books I've loved are a little bit different to the traditional fare of book clubs, so I've chosen three of these to add to my list this week.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
A silent movie in book form? Weird eh? And yet this book will drag you in and have you admiring the stunning artistic beauty of both the artwork and the story. Given the recent release of the movie (I've not seen it yet. Any good?) this would be a great book for a group to talk about. Would others admire it as much as I did, or would they think it wasn't really a "story" at all?
The Vision of Escaflowne Vol. 1 - Katsu Aki
I watched the series on Cartoon Network when I was a kid and adored it. However, I was re-introduced to the tale in the original Japanese as an adult and found it far more compelling. The print version is astounding. I'd love to know what others thought of a traditional manga book. For starters, how would they cope with the whole reading backwards thing?!
I'm sure it'd be an adventure into new and unexplored territory for many readers.
The Walking Dead Vol. 1 - Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
A buddy introduced me to these before they were made into a TV series and I'm forever thankful. This is perhaps my favourite graphic novel series. I'm a sucker for a good zombie story and this series is one of the best. It's dark and gruesome and I adore the artwork and characterisation. Best of all it's truly unpredictable in ways that TV shows and movies just can't be.
I'd love to introduce a few traditionalists to this style of book.
There aren't many, but I have encountered a few books that I just...can't...stand. I've included two of these to finish up my top ten.
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
This book is always going to remind me of the time my kidney stopped working. I was reading this book as a part of my university course and my ailing kidney led to blood poisoning which, in turn, led to some trippy hallucination in which I was on a damned boat crying "The horror!" at the various ghosties and ghoolies and long leggedy beasties my mind dreamt up. Sounds funny? It wasn't! It'd take a whole lot of book clubbers to convince me this is anything other than dull.
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
It's amazing what one bad teacher can do. They can sour you on entire aspects of literature. I read this book when I was in the 6th form and although I'd like to blame my hatred on the teacher, I think part of the problem was that this book is just boring! I understand the subtlety, I do. I get the nuances of the relationships and the poetry of the prose. Nonetheless, it is completely snooze-worthy. Even writing about it here makes ... me... zzzzzzzzzzzz
So there you have it! My top ten book club reads! Let me know what you think! Lx