BOOK CLUB: Your Next 5 Book Club Books
Who doesn’t love book club? (My boyfriend doesn't, but he doesn't count.) Wine, cheese, a great book and lively discussion - the best things in life. But, no matter what way your book club's structured, there can sometimes be - let’s be honest - duds. They might be good read, but they aren't good book club books. A good book club book challenges you and your perspective. It encourages you to see a matter from a different angle, creating interesting discussion. My favourite book club's are when everyone disagrees. There's discussion, debates, brawls, pistols, shots fired... just kidding, there's no brawls. But you get my point. This year, read some books that challenge you to consider the world, or people, differently.
Here are 5 books that do just that ‒ now all you need is the wine.
1. All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
This book had me in tears. To be fair, that’s not particularly difficult but nonetheless, it’s a heart-wrenching story of two children during WWII. Marie Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a young German boy, both take on dangerous tasks in an effort to survive. Both realising who they truly are ‒ not what they’ve been told to be.
Filled with metaphors, insightful characters, unanswered mysteries and ever present war ‒ this tear-jerker is the ideal book club book.
2. The Eye of the Sheep
by Sofie Laguna
Jimmy Flick is the way he is. People get angry at him - especially his dad - but he doesn’t know why. His mother, Paula, and his brother, Robby, are the only ones who know how to 'handle' him. But when Jimmy’s world shatters, he’s left to navigate it on his own. Not realising that he’s part of a vicious cycle, one he has to help break.
The writing in the The Eye of the Sheep is so clever. Riddled with symbolism, the writing tells the story as much as the words on the page. You will need to discuss this book with someone ‒ making it perfect for book club.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale was written in 1985, but due to the recent TV show (which you've likely heard about) it's become a discussion point again. The dystopian novel tells the story of the ‘handmaid’. A woman, who is not treated like a person, but as a child-making machine. Handmaids have no rights, no finances, no family. They're forced to obey, and produce children, in order to survive.
It's a great book club book. It will challenge your thinking and likely result in a few different interpretations - perfect for some in-depth discussion..
by Emma Donoghue
Room is an awful tale about resilience and the length's a mother will go to for her child. The story is told by Jack, who's mother was kidnapped although he doesn't know it. He and his 'ma' live in ‘Room’. 'Ma' turns 'Room' into the whole world, in order to create a safe and happy environment for her son.
You can't even imagine being in that situation, but the dark - yet funny - story is a powerful insight into trauma and resilience. Even if you've seen the movie, it's more than worth the read.
5. A House Without Windows
by Nadia Hashimi
If they’re any feminists in your book club, add this to your book club list. A House Without Windows discusses the plight of women in the Middle East through the tale of Zeba, who is charged with the murder of her husband.
You will be astounded by the discrimination women face - likely based on truth - but also the inner strength they have. The Afghan women in this book show how powerful the sisterhood really is.