Book Club Picks and Ideas for the Nightstand


The Book Club Girl shares the top ten book club picks for spring and summer. I read about The Uncommon Reader at Book Group Buzz and thought it sounded interesting, and as a fan of Susan Vreeland’s Girl in Hyacinth Blue and Life Studies: Stories, I had heard of her most recent work Luncheon of the Boating Party, but I hadn’t read it. I was lucky to be able to use Life Studies in a senior short story seminar course that I teach. This year’s class didn’t like Vreeland as much as last year’s class, interestingly enough. She was an English teacher for 30 years in San Diego, and her web site has handy information for teachers.

Stefanie at So Many Books mentions another book that looks interesting: Novel Destinations by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon. This book is a reader’s guide to literary landmarks, from the courthouse that served as the inspiration for the Maycomb County Courthouse in To Kill a Mockingbird to the moors captured so eloquently by the Brontës.

I am over 200 pages into The Book of Air and Shadows, and I suppose it is too much to hope at this late stage that any of the characters will turn out to be likable after all. However, the storyline does move. I can’t quite say it matches the dearth of characterization exhibited by Dan Brown, but one of my prerequisites for truly enjoying a book is liking a character or at least something about a character. Any character.

If you are a teacher, especially a teacher of writing, and interested in joining a professional development book club, I think we have something going. We are going to read Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle. Lisa Huff, no relation, put together a wiki where we can share our discussion. Consider yourself invited if this book looks like something that interests you.