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May 14, 2008

Book Club Candy

Posted by carol
Selecting books is an important task for any book club, and lists of recommended titles can make it easier. In this post, our regular contributor Jennifer Hart shares highlights from a list of reading selections nominated by independent booksellers across the country. It's like having a plethora of personal recommendations --- each book on the list includes a note from a bookseller on why he or she picked that title.

Nothing is more like candy to a book club girl than a list of great books. As book groups determine what to read each and every month, a list provides inspiration and guidance --- surely the next great book we're going to read can be found here! Book Sense, the marketing arm of independent bookstores nationwide, has released its list of Spring/Summer 2008 Reading Group Picks, and I was so pleased to find books on here that I haven't read.

The top ten (with links to one of the country's best independent booksellers, Powell's in Portland, Oregon) are:
#1 Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
#2 The Gathering by Anne Enright
#3 The Tenderness of Wolves: A Novel by Stef Penney
#4 Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland
#5 Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
#6 Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson
#7 The Uncommon Reader: A Novella by Alan Bennett
#8 A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
#9 Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
#10 The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood

Following the top ten is a list of more than 50 more books organized in eclectic categories like "The Impact of War," which includes Dave Eggers' What is the What; "Compelling Portraits," which includes Debra Dean's The Madonnas of Leningrad; and "Faith and Works," which includes Anne Lamott's Grace (Eventually). I can personally recommend the "Lively Account" Truck by Michael Perry, and I really look forward to putting forth The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood the next time it's my turn to nominate books. (For how we do that, check out my earlier post on the topic).

Check out Book Sense's full list here, and note the handy "email to a friend" option way at the bottom --- forward it to everyone in your book group!

---Jennifer Hart,

To read Debra Dean's blog post, click here. And for Ann Hood's post, click here.