Books that inspire the best book group discussions

danish-girl.jpgMy book group recently had a discussion of the books that led to our best –- and most memorable –- discussions ever. It was nice not only to reflect on the many books we’ve read and discussed together, but also look at what makes a “good book club book.” About five or six titles stood out, most notably The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff, a novel that would be a nice companion with Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (another one of our favorites). Two other all-time favorites happen to be part of Seattle Reads: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. (My book club friends will be quick to point out that we read these before they were selected by Seattle Reads. And we read Middlesex before Oprah discovered it. We like to point out things like that.) A Very Long Engagement by Sebastien Japrisot and The Awakening by Kate Chopin are two we keep going back to. Memorable evenings together were inspired by Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri myyearofmeats1.jpgand My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki, although our recollections might be enhanced by the food we had (Indian and Japanese, respectively) to fuel our discussion. All in all, it was nice to reflect on the books and discussions we’ve had and to talk about how we’ve grown as readers — and how we’ve grown in the ways we connect with and talk about books. What titles have worked for your groups? What makes some books better than others when it comes to a book club discussion?

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