The 2009 Book Club List

Ornament made by Janelle, highlighting last year's book list

Ornament made by Janelle, highlighting a previous book list

Whoo-hoo! Our new book club list is in! I look forward to our new book club list every year. When my kids were very little, I never had time to read anything but the backs of cereal boxes and the occasional Parenting Magazine article about whether you should put your baby to sleep on her back or her belly (… it depended on the year). I’d read these random sentences while my children were in the bath, or try to hold the magazine steady while I fed the baby with my other hand, but I had “reader envy” big-time. My co-workers at the newspaper would go on and on about all the great books they were reading, and I’d listen wistfully, longing for the day when I could read two whole pages, straight through, without a small fry needing his shoes tied or a munchkin needing me to wipe the chocolate milk she just spilled across the breakfast bar. And soon — eventually — the day came! Now I read like crazy. And my book club has been a great source of joy — a seriously wonderful group of women who are smart, savvy and make me feel like a grown-up. Here’s what’s in store for 2009:

  • January: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • February: The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • March: Snow, Orham Pamuk
  • April: The Transit of Venus, Shirley Hazzard
  • May: The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb
  • June: Zorro: A Novel (P.S.), Isabel Allende
  • July: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • August: The Devil in the White City, Erik Larsen
  • September: When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris
  • October: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
  • November: A Mercy, Toni Morrison
  • December: A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Have you all read many of these? Tell me what I’m in store for. …

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8 thoughts on “The 2009 Book Club List

  1. I read non-stop and have all my life. But I’ve never been in a book club…I’ve never understood the objective. Please explain – you’re the first person I’ve had the guts to ask.

    As for your list, I’ve only read those listed for January and December. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is just simply one of the best books of all time and well, even if you’ve never read “A Christmas Carol”, you undoubtedly know the story. Dickens is not always easy to read – all the writers of that time period write in a style that requires diligence. (Ever read anything by Herman Melville – near torture!) “A Christmas Carol” is one the easier reads so it’s a good book to start with.

    As for the rest of your books on the list, never heard of any of them although I’d read any book by Toni Morrison or Isabelle Allende. I think I may borrow this list and check a few of these titles out.

  2. Hi, Jersey Girl! Yes, book clubs aren’t for everyone. Well. … they probably would be for everyone if everyone could find the exact-right mix of people to participate, but I realize that isn’t easy. And I thank my lucky stars every time I gather with my group, because I realize that the alignment of Jupiter and Mars or whatever must’ve simply just been right when we all found each other. We’ve been going on … gosh … 8 years now?? (Could that be right?) Anyway, the purpose is really just to have someone to talk to about the book you just read! You know how you often want to say, “but why did he do that?” or “can you believe how gorgeous that last paragraph was?” — well, the book club is just a bunch of people who will humor you because they all just read it, too. Of course, it helps to have great food, good wine, and a bunch of lovely people you love to spend five hours with! We do classics, nonfiction, bios sometimes, faves from our childhoods, bestsellers — just about everything. It’s really fun!

  3. You’re in for a treat in February. Jhumpa Lahiri is incredible. If you haven’t read her INTERPRETER OF MALADIES, drop everything and rush right out and get it!

  4. Hi, Nancy! Yes, Jhumpa Lahiri is on this list because she was a huge hit for the entire book club when we read her “Interpreter of Maladies”! Everyone loved her! I can’t wait to read this next one. Have you read the novel?

  5. What a fantastic list – I can’t wait to hear what you think of Edgar Sawtelle, I’ve been wanting to read that book as well. I second Nancy’s comment on Lahiri, she is an incredible writer and I loved her first collection of short stories too. I read her novel The Namesake and liked it a bit less…

  6. Thanks, verbivore! I’ll try to give brief synopses of how our club liked each of the books. I’ll let you know about Edgar Sawtelle!

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