Book Club 2013 Roundup

As you know I started a book club this year! Best decision ever. (Psssst I have some tips if you want to know how to start a book club!) Maybe you can make it your bookish New Year’s resolution like I did last year? I wanted to provide you with a roundup of what we read, if we liked it and if I think it’s a good book club book!

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Basics about our book club:

- There are 5 of us right now
- We are all in our mid to early thirties. Hey old lady..you know who you are. I am the second oldest at 28.
- We read YA books for book club and we all have crazy different taste. I overlap with mostly everybody since I read everything basically.
- We are not a super serious book club. We talk about the book for as long as we feel like and then chat about all the other books and random life things. We don’t discuss super literary aspects of the book — mostly how we related to it, what we liked, didn’t liked, reactions to things, etc.
- We meet monthly.
- We eat lots of snacks and alcoholic beverages. Sometimes we get crazy and it scares my husband.

 

Gayle Forman

How We Pick:

For the first two months we used the Forever Young Adult book club list but then we had a few books in a row that a bunch of us had already read so we decided to just pick our own things and it just kind of stuck. Now we basically have everyone write down their pick and then choose the order out of a hat. You’ll see we have a crazy amount of variety.

 

Our 2013 Roundup

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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
My Verdict: LOVED. A favorite I read this year! (my review of Code Name Verity)
Overall Book Club Verdict: Unanimous love.
Is it a good book club book? Absolutely! Would recommend for a teen OR adult book club.

The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
My Verdict: It was okay to good for me. (my review of Princesses of Iowa)
Overall Book Club Verdict: Super mixed!
Is it a good book club book? As much as this wasn’t an OMG LOVED IT type book this was perhaps the BEST discussion we had because we talked about the book but also shared a lot about ourselves in high school and where we fit in. Definitely lends to good discussion so I’d say yes — especially since we WERE so mixed about it so it’s not like it wasn’t good.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver **last book in a series**
My Verdict: No me gusta. (my review of Requiem)
Overall Book Club Verdict: Unanimous dislike. Rage even.
Is it a good book club book? Well obviously we chose this because we all had read the Delirium series and Requiem just came out so we wanted to read it. I think Delirium could have been an interesting book club book but the series fell flat for me after that. So I’d skip for a book club pick even though we had TONS to talk about towards our feelings about the ending.

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The Program by Suzanne Young
My Verdict: LOVED. (my review of The Program)
Overall Book Club Verdict: A win for everyone!
Is it a good book club book? We had a good discussion around this one — it was different and there was quite a bit to talk about. I say if you are down for something different, yes! Could definitely spark some interesting conversation about depression and treatment.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
My Verdict: It was just okay for me — loved The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight WAY better. (my review of This is What Happy Looks Like)
Overall Book Club Verdict: Was not a hit at all!
Is it a good book club book? Honestly there just wasn’t much to talk about past what we liked/didn’t like. It was a cute little romance that I likened to an old school Mary Kate & Ashley movie but didn’t really make a good book club book at least for us adults. Just nothing really of substance to talk about.

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
My Verdict: Really liked this one! (my review of Speechless by Hannah Harrington)
Overall Book Club Verdict: I think it was mostly positive feelings surrounding this one.
Is it a good book club book? I think so — especially for teens honestly because it’s so relevant to them. Lots to talk about like mean girls, standing up for what’s right, consequences, gossip, social hierarchy, etc.

 

book-club-picksThe Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp
My Verdict: I actually did not read this one — my one book club skip!
Overall Book Club Verdict: There was very mixed feelings on this one. Some love, some indifference, some dislike.
Is it a good book club book? From what I gathered not reading the book, yes!

Prodigy by Marie Lu ** Book 2 in series**
My Verdict: Really liked this one! (my review of Prodigy by Marie Lu)
Overall Book Club Verdict: Liked! Were dying for Champion at the end!!
Is it a good book club book? It’s a really action-y series so if you don’t mind that you’ll be talking mostly plot stuff than yes. I could see it being a good one for teens — especially a teen boy book club. My nephews LOVED this book and had so much to talk about with me we had our own mini book club basically. As adults though it just wasn’t one where I felt like we had much to talk about as much as we loved the book.


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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My Verdict: This was a reread for me. This book is an all time fave! (my review of The Book Thief)
Overall Book Club Verdict: There was love from the two of us who it was a reread for but mixed for the rest of the group.
Is it a good book club book? I think so! We had a good conversation about the book honestly! Comforted each other with the feels we had. Talked about our expectations for the movie.

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
My Verdict: I really loved this one even though it’s not a genre I typically read! (my review of Something Strange & Deadly)
Overall Book Club Verdict: Very positive feelings from like to love!
Is it a good book club book? Hmm while we all loved it I don’t know that there was a TON to talk about outside of reactions to things. Being that we are in Philly and this book is set in Philly that gave us other things to talk about but that’s about it. It really depends on the book club vibe you are looking to have!

 

bookclub11I’ve heard extreme reactions about this book and so I’m excited to dive into this one. I think it will be an interesting book that we will all have opinions about!

 Let’s Talk…

 Do you have a book club? What books were wins for you this year and lent to good discussion? What are some books you think would make good book club books? I’m always looking for a good pick when it’s my turn to choose so hit me with them!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. Love this! I might be starting a book club with some friends and bloggers next year so this was fun to read! Off to read your tips for starting a book club, I could the advice!

  2. I joined up with FYA and am technically the group leader of my club … but there’s only 3 people so far, and only two of the three of us were at our first meeting. I need to be more active in putting up posters at the libraries and Chapters, but I was just too busy this fall. I WILL do this over the holidays, when hubby’s on hand to help with the little guy, and will hopefully have more luck in 2014!

  3. I always wanted to be in a book club but there aren’t any round here. I think I’m too busy to start one right now but it sounds so much fun so maybe one day!

  4. We (meaning other Dutchies and myself) just started a book club this and it’s SO FUN! Not only do I absolutely adore these girls, but it’s just so great to talk about books irl to people who you know love reading as much as you do. I’m just still amazed by the concept of book club, hahaha. We’ve only read More Than This by Patrick Ness (GREAT book club book and major mindfuck) and The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (which I actually didn’t finish because I’ve been sick), but it’s been great. We’re also reading lots of mixed genres and we’re doing one classics month! I just love The Book Thief (we wanted to reread it before the movie, but most of us already did) and I would love to read Code Name Verity for book club. I think Golden by Jessi Kirby, If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch and Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer (currently reading and LOVING) would also make great book club picks. I’m glad you started your book club and met Betty, because that meant I met Betty as well, haha. :) And then this was suddenly a novel.

  5. Book clubs always sound so much fun! I’d suggest you guys read Vicious by V. E. Schwab. It is just so good!

  6. You actually inspired me to start my book club, Jamie! I got in touch with FYA and started a chapter in the Boston suburbs. We had 3 at our first meeting, and one more joined our next one, so we’ve been a group of 4 since September. I love it!

  7. I want to join your book club! Cleveland isn’t THAT for away and it’s only once a month, so that’s not too bad . . . Right?

  8. One of my goals in life is to belong to a book club (I like to aim high). They seem like so much fun, but I’ve never had the opportunity/known people who were interested. I also love that you describe This Is What Happy Looks Like as being like a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, that is really the perfect description. It’s one of my least favorite books of 2013. Finally, Fault Line was amazing and so disturbing and I think it will be a great book club read, I wish I could join in the discussion!

  9. I do not currently have a book club, although I would love to find one.

  10. I think it’s awesome that you did a book club round-up Jamie! It’s great that you were able to form your own book club with such awesome ladies (and I think you are all so great!). You had a bunch of pretty interesting reads, with Something Strange and Deadly probably being my favorite. Glad you guys have a lot of fun together!

  11. I also started a book club this year and have been running it weekly since September during school hours. It has worked really well and I’ve enjoyed it, especially as not everyone loves books madly. The one problem is that we have a teacher watching over us so I feel a little limited and it can be quite restricting but I’m trying to work around it as much as I possibly can.

    Books like The Hunger Games seem to come up loads because it’s something everyone has in common. I really want to read The Program so am pleased you all liked it! :D

  12. Great post; I loved hearing what you all chose and how the group liked each one. My book club just celebrated our 5 year anniversary this summer. (We are old! Well, 32. Which feels old.) We changed up the way we picked this year – with each person submitting 3 titles and the we voted on the top 12. Our favorite pick this year was We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I would NEVER have picked it up on my own – too depressing! And it WAS dark, but so, so beautifully written and so much to discuss as a group (especially as most of us are parents). Other good ones from the year A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg – a love story/memoir/cookbook. Totally perfect for a book club who likes to eat! (We made several of the recipes for our meeting, and it was the best food of the whole year.) Also How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran…lots of mixed reactions, but SUCH a good discussion. Lots and lots to talk about. I’m just realizing now that none of these are YA and you said that’s what you all read. Well…some choices if you want to switch things up a little!

  13. I started the book club at my workplace (medical lab in a hospital) and we’ve been going for just over a year. There are 7 of us, soon to be six again cause someone is moving (sad!). Someone also had to resign from the club after a year due to her busy life but someone wanted to join at the same time. We have a blast, tons of good food and wine, different themes for each meeting and read all kinds of genres. Some hits and misses but even so we have fun talking about the books we read. I love my book club and coworkers!

  14. Are you going to see the movie for The Book Thief?

    That’s a good list of books read this year.

    Jamie

  15. Valencia J says:

    I think that this is awesome. My friends and I were thinking about starting a book club. I read a few of these books, but there are some interesting ones that I plan on reading.

  16. My sister has a monthly book club with the ladies in her church congregation, and I went with her one time last spring when they were discussing Matched by Ally Condie. I have not been back since.

    1. They don’t read much ya, and I’m just not into the books they pick. They’re all weird (the books, I mean).

    2. For the most part, these women were totally rude and unaccepting of others’ opinions. I have heard stories from other book club nights, and it was not exclusive to that particular discussion (after hosting my sister’s baby shower, I determined this is unfortunately not a habit exclusive to book club either because they were all jerks at the party and I wanted to throw them out there too). During the discussion–I don’t know how or why it got dragged in–someone brought up immunizations for children, and it just opened this huge argument to the point where my sister was yelling, “TIME OUT” to get the other women to stop screaming at one other. It was a cluster, if you catch my drift.

    So my one foray into book clubbing kind of put me off it. I’m happy with the books I read, but I don’t appreciate the looks I get from people when they find out I read 95% ya. I have no interest in seeing that look on a regular basis from supposed friends. I prefer my book clubbing to be less formal, like commenting on a blog or having massive twitter discussions or in a facebook group for a street team or something like that. I know internet people are supposed to be MORE judgmental than they would be IRL because of the anonymity, but the online book community is 1000 times more accepting than most book “lovers” I know in real life.

    Anyway, I’m really glad your book club is awesome. If I had a supportive group like that, I would be more likely to participate in a RL club as well! I recommend Winger by Andrew Smith for your club. It’s male pov, which is different from most of your picks thus far, and it has the added bonus of illustration! Also, it is simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking. You will laugh until your stomach aches and cry until your eyes burn. It’s delicious!

  17. Your book club sounds awesome! I like how you guys quickly settled into your own way of doing things and made it your own. What I’ve always loved about book clubs is how they can get you reading things you may not have picked up otherwise.

    Fault Line is a really emotionally heavy book given how short it is. I think you’ll have a lot to discuss, and I could see it being a really emotional discussion.

    Great round-up!

Trackbacks

  1. […] piggybacking off of a great post I saw at The Perpetual Page Turner’s blog this week, and posting our book club year in review! Now, due to some weird scheduling, this is […]

  2. […] about being non-judgmental about what people read. – Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner shares her book club roundup for this year. – Kelly @ Effortlessly Reading admits she needs to go on a book buying ban. – Bekka […]

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