A different book club meeting

I am looking for a different type of book club meeting and a friend suggested picking a theme which you suggest a few titles or people can choose their own. I quite like this idea but then worried that I couldn’t think of any themes. I can, of course, but thought I would list them here so I could return to it as the lists grow and then choose one.

Books about books – this is a relatively easy theme as I have already started collecting books about this here. This might be a good starting point. It includes books about words.

Retellings or reimaginings – I do love this type of book even if I am not overly familiar with the original, as is often the case. However, it is an area rich in pickings.

Around the World – needs no further explanation!

Prize winning – either read the short list and see if you can work out which will be the winner or read a winner from previous years. No need for everyone to read the same book.

Food – possibly as part of a memoir or a cook book that has more than just recipes

  • Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland – a children’s graphic text but suitable for adults
  • The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater – Volumes 1, II or III. or Hungry by Grace Dent.

Local Author – the only question is how local? Devon or the South West?

Laugh out Loud books – my funny may not be yours, but let’s find out.

Ways to write women out of history

Focus on one author – here we need authors who have written a lot so that there is some choice and who might have written about a range of subjects, sometimes both fiction and non-fiction and maybe even children’s literature.

  • John Boyne – The Thief of Time (2000), The Congress of Rough Riders (2001), Crippen (2004), Next of Kin (2006), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2006), Mutiny on the Bounty (2008), The Dare (2009), The House of Special Purpose (2009), Noah Barleywater Runs Away (2010), The Absolutist (2011), The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brockett (2011), Stay Where You Are and Then Leave (2013), This House is Haunted (2013), A History of Loneliness (2014), Beneath the Earth (2015), The Boy at the top of the Mountain (2015), The Heart’s Invisible Furies (2017), The Ladder to the Sky, (2018), My Brother’s Name is Jessica (2019), A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom (2020), The Echo Chamber (2021), All the Broken Places (2022). He is prolific! You may want to say books written after 2010 or before 2010 if you want to limit the list!
  • Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Recitatif (1983), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), Playing in the Dark (1992), The Dancing Mind (1996), Birth of a Nation’hood (1997), Paradise (1997), The Big Box (1999), The Book of Mean People (2002), Love (2003), The Ant or the Grasshopper? Who’s Got Game?, (2003), The Lion or The Mouse? (2003), Remember (2004), A Mercy (2008), What Moves at the Margin (2008), Home (2011), Desdemona (2012), God Help the Child (2014), The Origin of Others (2016), Race (2017), Mouth Full of Blood (2019), The Source of Self-Regard (2019)
  • Barbara Pym – Some Tame Gazelle (1950), Excellent Women (1952), Jane and Prudence (1953), Less Than Angels (1955), A Glass of Blessings (1958), No Fond Return of Love (1961), Quartet in Autumn (1977), The Sweet Dove Died (1978), A Few Green Leaves (1980), An Unsuitable Attachment (1982), A Very Private Eye: An Autobiography in Diaries and Letters (1984), Crampton Hodnet (1985), An Academic Question (1986)

By genre – now that is a never-ending list. And what about those books that defy categorisation. Not an easy one to do.

Non-fiction – this is just too big a heading so may have to be broken down somewhat.

Autobiography, biography and memoir – still quite a big group.

Choose a country – and then pick a range of books about it from all genre. Once again, everyone can choose a different book to read or the same. It doesn’t matter.

France: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Chocolat by Joanne Harris, Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks, The Red Notebook by Michel Bussi, Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland, The Cleaner of Chartres by Sally Vickers

Books about technology or the impact of technology

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