Friday, March 4, 2016

2016 SOLC 4/31: Time to Select Books for Next Year!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday
and for nurturing our writing lives.

Friday is our annual book club retreat.  
We are only allowed to bring three books 
to throw into the communal pot for voting.  
Help me choose!

The Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett  
because I love Ann Patchett and I love memoir!

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
because I already own it and it was chosen by Seattle Public Library as the 2016 book that the entire city reads and discusses.
The author will visit Seattle on May 20-22.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
because I love grumpy old men, and it's billed as "hysterically funny,"(Kirkus Reviews)"and a gentle reminder that life is 
sweeter when it is shared with other people." (back of book) 

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
because I love books with continuing stories 
(there are three more) and Amazon describes it as 
"a touching meditation on the nature of friendship."

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast
because I love Roz Chast, and it would be good for our book club
to explore a graphic novel, a format new for most of them.  
(I brought this one last year and they didn't choose it.
I won't tell you how many times I had to bring
The Grapes of Wrath before it made the cut.)

Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
because we own it, I liked The Glass Castle, and  
my daughter and husband liked it.   
The subtitle is A True-Life Novel.

Bettyville by George Hodgman
because I love memoir and the NYT describes it as
"A remarkable, laugh-out-loud book."

How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson
because my book club loves to read nonfiction I try 
to pick something to add to the mix and 
this book "... investigates the secret history behind the 
everyday objects of contemporary life." (back of book)

What other titles are still percolating in my mind as possibilities?
The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Oh, and we'll stop by a bookstore on our way to the retreat.  

And several more titles will worm their way into my head.
You can even muddy the water 
by making another recommendation.  
Help me choose!


  1. Oh no! Such choices. Only three?! I'd vote for one memoir (does that help?), the Roz Chast book (good to explore the different together), and hmmm...Half Broke Horses because I want to read that and it is good to love a book with your family.

  2. The Roz Chast is such a wonderful book to discuss! I assigned it in my Graphic Novels class last semester and got to discuss it with my 20-ish yr old students. So interesting to explore those issues with them!

  3. What a dilemma Ramona! Sorry I won't be helping with your choices. I'm out of the loop for adult reads. I am in such awe of the book club and the yearly retreat. How did you find this group, because I know you've written about the the diversity in ages before. Enjoy!

  4. Oh boy - many great reads here, Ramona...nut Roz Chast's book was a winner. Such an important book!

  5. I'll be honest...I haven't read any of these books (I read mostly MG & YA). I've heard great things about the Ann Patchett book though. Enjoy your retreat!!

  6. How We Got to Now is the only one I have read. It's good! Take it! I'm now intrigued -- other choices. Have fun reading!

  7. I have not read any of these either. I believe though, that Linda read A Man Called Ove because I put it on my TBR pile after I heard her talk about it. Good luck!

  8. Ramona,
    I've added to my TBR list but I'm no help either. I don't know any of these!

    Lots of luck!

  9. I almost abandoned A Man Called Ove, but I am sooooooo glad I didn't! It is now one of my all-time favorites. I just finished Silver Star by Jeanette Walls. Parts were amazing, but I was disappointed in the ending. I also loved A Constellation of Vital Phenomena--powerful writing!

  10. Elizabeth Alexander's book is gorgeous but heartbreaking. I haven't read any of the others, but love Ann Patchett, so I'd vote for The Story of a Happy Marriage. Based on the reviews I've read, I'd also take My Brilliant Friend and Roz Chast's book. Let us know which ones you pick. Have a wonderful retreat!

  11. Half Broke Horses was the first book I bought on my Kindle. Don't know if that's a good reason, but there it is.

  12. What a delicious dilemma! Good luck choosing. I would pick the ones that offer a new direction for your club, like the graphic novel.