Friday, December 05, 2008

book group picks for 2009

Our book group met Tuesday night, as we do every December, to decide what books we will read for next year. Everyone suggests 1-3 titles, and we vote.

Our picks for 2009:


The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton

A Passage to India
by E.M. Forster

The Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova

The Hundred Secret Senses
by Amy Tan

Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

North and South
by Elizabeth Gaskell

Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford
by Julia Fox

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World
by Eric Weiner

Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression
by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
by Stephen Kinzer

The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
by Steven Johnson

...and the also-rans:

Animal Farm
by George Orwell

Crossing to Safety
by Wallace Stegner

A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini

The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy

Wives and Daughters
by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Chosen
by Chaim Potok

Yearning for the Living God: Reflections from the Life of F. Enzio Busche
by F. Enzio Busche

Dancing at Lughnasa: A Play
by Brian Friel

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dan Ariely

102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
by Kevin Flynn, Jim Dwyer

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good list, some of those are on my to read and to read again list. He-then, He-then! Remember, during scripture reading!
ave

Mallory said...

Those sound really good. There are a few on the "also-ran" list (which I'm assuming were books suggested but not chosen) that I'm surprised didn't make it. (Animal Farm was not one of them. That book has been ready by every living, English-reading person on the face of the earth that's under 70, and often twice. Why read it AGAIN?)

That last one though, 102 Minutes, that looks really interesting. Along with the Chaim Potok and the Gaskell one. (Wives and Daughters, I mean. Although North and South is going to be good too, I assure you.)

Gabriela said...

I love to see book lists. And yay for the Geography of Bliss!

(and I haven't read Animal Farm-should I???)

Laura Essendine said...

When you've read North and South and Wives and Daughters treat yourself to a night in front of the TV. Beg, steal or borrow the BBC adaptations of each, the first in particular is complete TV magic. Can't recommend them highly enough.

Laura Essendine
Author – The Accidental Guru
The Books Limited Blog

Calandria said...

Ave, why did we say "he-then?" I remember saying it, but not the reason behind it.

Mal, did you have to read Animal Farm for school?

Gabriela, when I get a chance, I need to post about Geography of Bliss. That was such a great book!! I'm so glad I read about it on your blog.

Laura, I've already read both Gaskells and seen the film versions, too. My favorite is North and South, though I LOVE the clothes in Wives and Daughters.

Laura Essendine said...

I think Gaskell died before finishing Wives & Daughters and the BBC gave it such a wonderful ending. Justine Waddell was just beautiful.

She was equally as good in Great Expectations also made around that time but we've not seen much of her since.

North & South is also my favourite period drama the BBC has ever done. I try to be high minded about it but, at the end of the day, I love it for the romance and Richard Armitage.

Laura Essendine

The Accidental Guru

The Books Limited Blog

Mallory said...

I really liked the film version of North and South. I've never seen Wives and Daughters... hmmmm... if I'm ever in the vicinity of my mother again maybe we'll watch that one too!

Yes, I had to read Animal Farm for 6th grade English, and again in High School, but I am not one of those people that dislikes a book because I have to read it for a class. I have read lots of books in school that have become some of my favorites. But, there are some that are just boring or pointless or overdone. I don't feel Animal Farm was that way, and although I disliked it the first time I read it, that was probably due mostly to immaturity. (6th grade? Come to find out my school was the only school to require that in 6th grade, most of my friends never read it 'til high school.) The second time I really enjoyed it and thought it was kind of clever - but that doesn't mean I would read it a THIRD time. Like I said, it's good, but it's not THAT good.

Anonymous said...

During one of Mum's scripture reading sessions, we were all sitting around the table and she was nodding off and trying to finish a chapter. She got stuck on the words "he then". She said "heathen, heathen...he then" all repeated in a slow monotone. Dtv, Link, and I were busting a gut. But did we offer to take over the task of reading? Nope. Poor Mumsy.
ave

Meg said...

Thanks for posting this! You know I would have been asking...book list addict that I am!

Ballerina Girl said...

thanks for the suggestions, they all seem so good!
happy reading in 2009~
BG

Maine Mom said...

I love your new header!

I'm glad you posted your new reading list. I love hearing about great books to read. :-)

Athena said...

are you still doing the book club with the LDSMom group that we use to belong to?

Calandria said...

Laura--I agree about the romance and Richard Armitage in North and South! He was SO good in it.

Ave--now I remember. Poor Mum. She must have been really tired to actually be drifting off while she was reading aloud!

Maine Mom--thanks for your compliment on the new header. :) That's a picture Lidia drew when she was four. I love the bellbottoms and gold ties on the wise men!

Athena--No, I don't do that group anymore, mostly because of this one I have with some friends here. It's hard enough for me to read for one book group. Not because of time, but because I'm such a finicky reader. It reminds me of when I was pregnant and suddenly I absolutely had to have coconut curry (I always wanted spicey) and turned my nose up at everything else. I'm the same way with reading. I think all the books on this list sound wonderful, but when it comes down to it, it's hard to make myself read a book for which I'm not feeling an appetite in that moment. :)