It's book choosing time! Our book club has a yearly retreat in March and that's when we select our books for the next year. Many people in my book club prefer nonfiction (I'm not one of them). They tease me when I bring a nonfiction book as one of my three options to put forth for our upcoming year of reading. I always respond that if I have to read nonfiction, I want some input on choosing it.
This year, nonfiction books keep popping up on my radar. I want to read Michelle Obama's book, Becoming and Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Leadership in Turbulent Times (we heard her speak at Seattle Arts and Lectures in the fall). There are a couple of nonfiction books I've read that I would heartily recommend. Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan is a slim memoir that could be perfect for one of the busier months of the year. I Am I Am I Am by Maggie Farrell is a collection of seventeen short stories detailing her brushes with death. It's my first Maggie O'Farrell book, but maybe I want to explore something else by her. For someone who doesn't like nonfiction, that's quite a few possibilities. Could it be that my book club's preference for nonfiction is rubbing off on me?
And now it's on to fiction, my favorite genre, especially historical fiction. Our book club prefers that we've read the book before recommending it, but that is rarely the case with me. I did recommend News of the World this past year, and I reread it when it was selected. Here are a couple I've recommended before that weren't chosen - The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and By the Lake by John McGahern. Should I take them back again?
I may take The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan which I purchased on a whim at the bookstore when I fell in love with the cover. And there's this blurb on the back from Kirkus Reviews: "Old-fashioned storytelling with a sprinkling of magic." Another book I own but have yet to read is The House Girl by Tara Conklin. It's historical fiction, one of my all time favorite genres. I also own Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adidche. She spoke at NCTE and it's on my want-to-read shelf.
I recently checked out The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris from the library and I may take it. I heard a wonderful review of Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen on my favorite podcast, Modern Mrs. Darcy's What Should I Read Next. I'm also considering Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry because I've never read anything by him and Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended it as her favorite Wendell Berry book.
As you can easily see, I have more than three titles (the number of books each person gets to throw into the voting ring). But I'm sure there's another title that I've been meaning to bring that I may have forgotten. That's okay, I still have four days before we leave. And that's where you come in. Let's make this even harder for me. What have you or your book club read recently that you loved? Leave a comment with your recommendation.