11 June 2019

10 on Tuesday {Book Club Reads}

Hey y'all,

This year marks six years of my book club! It is crazy to think we have been meeting monthly for so long. When we started none of the members were married and now we have five married friends, one engaged, and three book club babies with one on the way!

Today I thought I would share ten of my favorites from the past 5.5 years. How our book club runs is each member selects a book and hosts one month of the year. We go based on birthdays and for those months like January where we have two members birthdays, one moves to another month of the year where we don't have a birthday, October. I have held the January spot for a few years but last year swapped with Christie for the October slot. So if you have any ideas for my October pick add them to the comments.

We have a Facebook group for everyone to share the title of the book and the doodle poll to select the day book club will fall that month. We tend to not select the new, shiny books as we are all big library fans but it has happened some months where we all were too far on the holds list. Books tend to be around the 300 pg mark and can be any genre. Sometimes the host has previously read the book while other times it is a surprise to all of us. We also keep a file in our Facebook group of all the books we have read in the past which is a lot of fun.

Here are eleven of my favorite book club reads that other members picked from the last six and a half years since I couldn't pick just 10. I also decided to write when we read each novel.

Set on the coast of Australia, Tom Sherbourne takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. This isolated island only receives supplies once a season and Tom brings his young wife Isabel to the island. After years of struggling with infertility, Isabel hears a baby's cry on the wind. A boat has washed up with a dead man and a living baby. Tom wants to report the child immediately, however, Isabel views the baby as a gift from God. After raising the child as their own, they arrive back on the mainland years later and deal with the choice that their adoption brings to others.

The Kite Runner - February 2015
In Afghanistan, the Kite Runner, is a story of friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant. The story deals with the ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the Afghan monarchy and caste system.

What Alice Forgot - March 2015
My first Liane Moriarty novel, I have since read Big Little Lies, and a few others. This novel begins with Alice falling off her bike in a spin class and losing her memory from the last ten years. She's getting divorced, has three kids, her sister won't talk to her, and does not remember any of this. Alice struggles with wanting to remember or viewing forgetting as a way to start over.

The Martian - September 2015
One of our only science fiction reads, the Martian follows astronaut Mark Watney after a dust storm nearly kills him following his walk on Mars. His crew evacuates the planet thinking him dead. Mark details his attempts to survive on Mars while waiting to see if he can communicate back to Earth for a rescue to occur. Get excited to root for potatoes to grow in this novel.

Unbroken - July 2016
This is a WWII biography on the life of Louis Zamperini. Zamperini as a boy was a running star and even made it to the Olympics but when the war breaks out, he becomes an airman and during his service, his plane crashes and he is stuck on a raft. It's heartbreaking, joyful, and filled with hope. I still have not watched the film but have heard great things!

Defending Jacob - April 2017
This novel of family drama involves an assistant district attorney whose 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. It was an interesting mystery/thriller with a lot of courtroom drama mixed in with the family drama. If you enjoy a good Law and Order episode I would recommend grabbing this book at the library next.

Wonder - July 2017
We have read a couple YA books but Wonder is one of our only elementary books. It's the story of August "Auggie" who was born with severe facial differences that even after surgeries have isolated him, until now. Auggie is starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep and wants to be treated as an ordinary kid. The book is told through multiple perspectives including Auggie's sister, his classmates, and a few others. It was a great book, but warning, if you choose the audio, the voice can be a bit distracting. Also, I cried through the movie on a plane.

Small Great Things - August 2017
Ruth is a labor and delivery nurse but during a routine checkup on a newborn, she is told that she has been reassigned to other patients. The parents of the newborn are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, an African American, to touch their child. However, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery, does she obey the hospital orders or does she intervene? The rest of the novel involves the trial as Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and is charged with a crime. The novel is filled with empathy, discussions on race, privilege, and prejudice. Get ready for a lot of discussion in your group if you pick this as your next read.

In a Dark, Dark Wood - October 2017
I love a good thriller and Christie picked this one around Halloween and it was a perfect choice. The story begins when Leonora is invited on a hen weekend (bachelorette) for a childhood friend but the weekend does not go as planned.

Born a Crime - March 2018
This is Trevor Noah's memoir and I loved it as an audiobook since it is read by Trevor Noah. Trevor's birth is considered a crime in South Africa as his father is a white Swiss man from and his mother is a black Xhosa woman and is punishable by five years in prison. This details his childhood in South Africa and the struggles of living under the government and being hidden from many by the fear of being stolen away. It details Trevor's struggles, family relationships, and dealing with a damaged world.

The Sound of Gravel - September 2018
A memoir about a woman reflecting on her childhood in a fundamentalist Morman compound in Mexico. Ruth details the violence, familial loyalty, and her hope for a better life. This one was hard and sparked a lot of conversation and sympathy for Ruth. Her cousin actually has also penned a memoir called The Polygamist's Daughter.

Also, my favorite book that I picked for book club has been Madame Tussaud.
Madame Tussaud is a historical fiction novel based on the life of the woman who would become known around the world for wax sculpting. The book spans from the beginning of the French revolution through the Reign of Terror all while wandering the line between the rich and the poor as she is introduced into the life of court after her museum of figures gains notoriety.

Are you in a book club? Favorite recent read?

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