Top Books for Book Groups that Like Wine and Whining


Okay, today’s Top Ten topic is supposed to be serious – suggestions for book groups that are crazy for memoirs or going through a science-fiction phase or whatever whatever… I love my book group deeply. We’ve been together for 17 years and, to be honest, reading the book is optional. However, we are consistent when it comes to laughing, having a wine (and sometimes a whine).

Here are some additions to this list of book group suggestions that I put together a few years ago. These are the books that my book group actually talked about (doesn’t mean we liked it…) –

01. Family Life by Akhil Sharma
02. Nutshell by Ian McEwan
03. The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna
04. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
05. Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
06. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
07. Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford
08. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante


18 responses

  1. The Charlotte Wood is the only one of these I’ve read, and it’s terrific. But one of my daughters wants the Ferrante series for Xmas so I guess I’ll get to read it eventually.

    • The Wood provided us with much to talk about (particularly the ending!).

      I must admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first in the Ferrante series (I had read one of her stand-alone novels and liked it a lot though). I am currently halfway through the second book – only ‘reading’ it because it was available on audio and I thought if I was to continue with the series, audio might be better. Well, it either is better as an audio book or the second book is simply better than the first (I’m enjoying the second installment quite a lot).

  2. I enjoyed all (or at least most) of the 1,682 aggregated pages of Elena Ferrante’s quartet of Neapolitan novels, including My Brilliant Friend.

    • I was the odd one out in my book group on the first in the Ferrante series – I didn’t think it was all that thrilling – perhaps my expectations were too high? Anyway, my book group pretty much all loved it.

      I’m halfway through listening to the second installment as an audio book and enjoying it a lot – perhaps because I’m listening? I might stop listening soon and switch back to reading.

    • Thanks!
      My book group loved the Shirley Barrett because it was such a departure from the usual historical fiction, both thanks to the feisty heroine and the fact that it was very funny.

  3. I haven’t read any of these. 17 years is impressive! My book groups are 5 years old. Honestly there are times I want to take a break from leading. It gets tiring trying to find books for them to vote on. My evening group takes more initiative about suggesting titles but my afternoon group only wants me to put together lists. I will have to check out your full list of suggestions.

    • That’s tricky having to pick the book all the time. For a while my book group would defer to me for suggestions but this year I’ve tried to button my lip when it comes time to choose a book because for m, the whole point of book group is to read some things I might not have otherwise selected for myself.

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