15 May 2012

Book Club Challenges: Part IV

2 Comments Book Club Notes, New and Exciting

Reading a wonderful novel can transport you anywhere in the world….and it’s even more enjoyable when the trip is shared with friends. This is one of the main reasons book clubs thrive, despite the challenges we sometimes face.

An ongoing issue is what book to choose. There are so many approaches–some groups let the host decide; some decide as a group; some limit their reading to fiction or non-fiction; some even ‘cook the book’ and eat according to the novel’s theme.

Regardless of approach, we love reading together.

One of our book clubs picks a theme each year and decides on all of the novels at the end of our season. In the past we have read contemporary fiction, African-American and southern, and this past year we chose prize-winning authors (we always try to find balance between the genders).

We are very excited about next year’s theme: international authors. We worked hard to find eight of the best books from around the world and chose the following:

  • To The End of the Land by David Grossman (Israel)
  • Fiasco by Irme Kertesz (Hungary)
  • Hate by Tristan Garcia (France)
  • Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes(Great Britain)
  • The Messenger by Yannick Haenel (France)
  • Last Man in Tower by Arivind Adiga (India)
  • The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller (Germany)
  • A Sport of Nature by Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)

We also considered novels by Roberto Bolano (Chile), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), Tahmina Anam (Bangladesh), Haruki Murakami (Japan), Phillipe Claudel (France), and Tash Aw (Malaysia). It was difficult making our decisions since all of the authors are accomplished and worthy of our time.

Although our meetings resume in the fall, we thought we would share our list with all our smart women readers. This way you can get a head start during the summer if you’d like.

Please let us know if you’ve read any of these and have thoughts to share.

“What writers need to do is remind people of how complicated everything is. Rather than simplify as news headlines, sound bites, and political speechifiers do, our responsibility is to pose difficult questions and not take sides. Novels aren’t how-to books. The point is not to make examples out of characters, but to try to capture people’s inner lives.”– Rosellen Brown

written by
Lisa Forman Rosen is an avid reader and facilitator of book clubs in Miami, Florida. She has worked at the University of Miami since 1986, first in the Department of English Composition as a lecturer and now at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as a writer. Lisa created this site to share her love of literature with others and expand the conversation into the virtual world.

2 Comments for“Book Club Challenges: Part IV”

  1. joyce chadroff says:

    I READ