Saturday, March 23, 2024

SOL 23/31: How does your book club select books?

 Our book club has a yearly retreat at a friend's vacation home in Leavenworth, WA. I've been a member of this book club for twenty-six years. Our retreat is usually in March, so I generally write a slice or two about it. I always have requests to share our list. 

But before I share our upcoming year of reading, I wanted to talk about our selection process. Each member of the club can suggest up to three books for the next year. We go around the room and explain our chosen titles. One of our friends creates a chart where we can list the titles each person suggests. Then each person chooses twelve titles. Early on, each person was given twelve M&Ms and we placed our M&Ms on the titles we wanted. The danger here was that you tended not to vote for a book that wasn't getting much love. Around that time, we went to a written ballot. However, we've tossed that out in recent years and now we just raise our hands for selected titles. We usually get six to eight strong titles and then have to vote again to finish filling out our calendar for the year. 

And now for this year's reading list: 

MAY - Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

JUNE  -The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

JULY - Taste by Stanley Tucci Invite a guest for dinner & discussion

AUG - Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

SEPT - Horse by Geraldine Brooks

OCT - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

NOV - Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

DEC - Howl’s Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones

JAN - More Than a Body by Lindsay Kite & Lexi Kite

FEB - Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard

MAR - Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (retreat)

APR 9 - The Women by Kristin Hannah


I'm very excited about our books for this upcoming year. Two of the titles were recommended by me. (Demon Copperhead and The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store) No, I haven't read them yet. I'm not a big fan of rereading, so I tend to read reviews and talk to trusted friends for recommendations.  Several other titles are ones I've wanted to read (HorseFinding the Mother Tree, Remarkably Bright Creatures, and The Women). Death Comes for the Archbishop is a reread for me, but it's been so long since I first read it that I look forward to reading it again. A plus for me is that there are only three nonfiction/memoir titles on the list. Some years we end up with a list that leans heavily to nonfiction. I truly prefer reading fiction. 


Share how your book club chooses titles to read. Is there a book on this list you've already read and highly recommend? Finally, is there something your book club has read recently that you loved?


  1. I love this list and how you choose books! Mrs. Dalloway ranks up there as one of my absolute favorites of all times. I just finished Demon Copperhead with my book group. It's so incredibly well written and heart wrenching. Truly a masterpiece. The Women, Heaven and Earth Grocery Store and Remarkably Bright Creatures are on my list of books to read. Great post! I love how you pick the books for a whole year.

  2. I need a book club! And a friend with a vacation home where we can hang out and choose our books!

  3. I am saving this list for future reference. I remember reading about your book club gathering last year...sounded like SO much fun! :)

  4. I always enjoy reading about your book club and often read many of your selections. Years ago I was in a book club when I lived in Augusta, GA where most of the members were much older than me… now I am the age they were back then. I need to find a book club like that with both older and younger members.

  5. That's a hefty chunk of reading! I adored Remarkably Bright Creatures and have many of the others on my TBR pile. I will say that I gave Demon C. 75 pages. While the writing was stunning, the content was very difficult for me. So I decided to move on. Happy Reading, Ramona!