Monday, September 7, 2009

Top picks for reading groups

Here's the Spring/Summer 2009 top ten list of suggested titles for book clubs from IndieBound (formerly BookSense):

1. People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks

"Geraldine Brooks uses the Sarajevo Haggadah as the centerpiece for another brilliant historical novel. The history of the beautifully illustrated book is the basis for a journey through multiple eras, portraying the trials and travails of European Jews through the centuries. A must for lovers of books and great fiction." --Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

2. The White Tiger: A Novel by Aravind Adiga

"Balram Halwai, living in contemporary India, is a man with aspirations and dreams he fears will never be realized considering his current position as a chauffeur and servant of the wealthy in a society with an absurdly large gap between rich and poor. As he takes it upon himself to rise above the muck in a series of unethical and criminal actions, The White Tiger will challenge your concepts of right and wrong and make you feel guilty for laughing along the way." --Jon Stich, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Oakland, CA

3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

"By the third page of this wonderful epistolary novel of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, I was captivated by its characters, especially the charming, self-effacing author, Juliet Ashton, and her emerging friendship, conducted by post, with the recently liberated islanders. The whole novel is an homage to books and bibliophiles, and a moving reflection on the horrors of war." --Cheryl McKeon, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson (trans.)

"This novel of two remarkable characters, set in an elegant Paris apartment building, is wonderfully written and translated! I loved the philosophical discussions and artistic descriptions -- my reading group talked about this book for hours." --Mary K. Cowen, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL

5. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

"Set in the Connecticut suburbs of 1955, Revolutionary Road portrays the essential, continuing, now exacerbated American dilemma: How a young person might well live in America without conforming to the tedium of upward mobility and suburban family life. Nothing I have ever been told could have prepared me for this book's brilliance." --Richard Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

6. City of Thieves: A Novel by David Benioff

"During the siege of Leningrad in WWII, two young men are sent on an improbable errand. The horror of war is only heightened by the lightness with which Benioff handles their evolving friendship and the grim task that evolves from their mission. Great characters and authentic historical background make this a surprisingly winning novel." --Russ Lawrence, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT

7. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

"Sarah's Key is the story of Sarah, a 12-year-old girl swept up by the police in the Vel D'Hiv roundup in occupied France, and of journalist Julia Jarmond, who is writing about the event 60 years later. This hauntingly powerful story will remain with you long after the last page is turned." --Linda Walonen, Bay Books, San Ramon, CA

8. The God of War: A Novel by Marisa Silver

"Twelve-year-old Ares Ramirez lives in a trailer on the desolate shores of California's Salton Sea, where he tries to take care of his handicapped brother. Silver is a gifted writer whose story of a young man struggling with the burden of responsibility takes us to places both in the landscape and in the heart that enrich us as readers and make us grateful for such storytellers." --Marian Nielsen, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA

9. Couch by Benjamin Parzybok

"Couch follows the quirky journey of Thom, Erik, and Tree as they venture into the unknown at the behest of a magical, orange couch, which has its own plan for their previously boring lives. Parzybok's colorful characters, striking humor, and eccentric magical realism offer up an adventuresome read." --Christian Crider, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

10. The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel by Garth Stein

"Sometimes, if you are very lucky, fate gives you a special friend. Denny's friend Enzo will stand by him through some of the best and worst times of his life, his faith in Denny bone deep. Enzo is a dog, a dog with a very old soul. Denny is a race driver with natural talent, but sometimes life gets in the way of natural talent, and the road can have sharp bends. Suffused with humor, love, pain, and valor, this should be one of the year's best books!" --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

Click here for the rest of the list.

1 comment:

Joy said...

I have 3 and 7 on our library book discussion list for 2010 so far.