Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Picks


January 31, 2012 by Heidi

Top Ten Tuesday banner by The Broke and the BookishTop Ten Tuesday is a weakly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  They love lists as much as I do, so it’s only fair to tip my hat.

I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t ever been in a real official book club before, but I’ve just found a likely bunch and we’re having our first meeting in a couple of weeks making this a timely topic!  Here are my picks in no particular order:

Book cover of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Book cover of When She Woke by Hillary Jordan Book cover of The Giver by Lois Lowry Book cover of World War Z by Max Brooks Book cover of 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

1) The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater:  This is the book we’re currently reading for my book club, and I have to say I was quite happy with its selection!  I haven’t started it yet, but since it made just about every YA Top 10 list I saw for 2011, and just won a Printz Honor, I reckon it’s gotta be good.

2) When She Woke – Hillary Jordan:  It’s a lovely and powerful futuristic book that offers discussion points on our penal system, abortion, religion, love, all in a retelling of the familiar Scarlet Letter.

3) The Giver – Lois Lowry:  Some of us were assigned to read this in elementary school.  Most of us probably read it for fun anyway.  This book introduced me to dystopians, and I think would be fantastic to revisit as an adult.  

4) World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars – Max Brooks:  I read this last year and it pretty much blew my mind.  I still boggle at all of the intricacies and situations accounted for in this book.  Brooks thought of so many aspects of what might happen in a zombie apocalypse, and as a book that’s currently in production for the big screen, I think it’d make a good choice.

5) 84, Charring Cross Road – Helene Hanff: What better choice for book lovers than a book about book lovers and the powerful bonds of friendship that can be forged from a relationship with books?

6) Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson: A good choice for groups who won’t shy away from topics of sex, Written on the Body really made me think about stereotypes and question my own patterned way of thinking through a love affair with a character whose gender is never revealed.

7) Frankenstein – Mary Shelley: You can’t go wrong with a classic!  Frankenstein poses some powerful questions about humanity and nature, and is certainly required reading for a reason.  Plus, having been written by a woman, and one so young, I personally always found this book inspirational.

8) The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde: Another classic, and one of my personal favorites.  Wilde creates a very dark tale with a wry witticism that I adore.  It’s a nice quick read, and can foster some interesting thoughts on youth, immortality, and morality.

9) Illusions – Richard Bach: I know most people go in for Johnathan Livingston Seagull, but I personally felt that Illusions was the more powerful and thought provoking book.  It brings up some very interesting thoughts about religion and one’s life philosophy.

10) A Long, Long Sleep – Anna Sheehan: I wanted to add another YA title, and I just loved this book so much I’d love to share it with others!  It was a wonderful reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, and had some wonderful insight to relationships and personal strength.

Book cover of Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson Book cover of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Book cover of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Book cover of Illusions by Richard Bach Book cover of A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

That’s my 10 cents for the week, what are your book club picks?


If you liked that you might like this:


  1. Julie says:

    About number 5 on your list – The Charring Cross book…Is it set in England? Because I'm pretty sure Charring cross is a street in London, or a tube station, or maybe both.Anyway, I like your list. Here's mine:

  2. Kristina says:

    I need to get A Long Long Sleep, I love retellings and I'm so curious about this version.

  3. I've read and enjoyed a couple – I'll have to check out some of those others – they look great!My Tuesday Memes post

  4. World War Z is a brilliant choice! Great list!My Top Ten

  5. Alyssa says:

    I want to read half of these books and I put Dracula on my instead of Frankenstein but both are good choices!

  6. I just finished The Scorpio Races last night, staying up later than I should have to done so, and it was EXCELLENT. I'm not sure how much you could discuss with it…but it is a really great book!

  7. We actually did Frankenstein in our book club… it did make for interesting discussion, but no one really liked it! I adore Illusions and think that everyone should read it!Great List! Here is my Top Ten. I hope you stop by!

  8. So many though-provoking, discussion-worthy books! I actually haven't read many of them, but I would for a book club discussion based on your reasoning. World War Z and Written on the Body look particularly intriguing. I saw Max Brooks speak once, and I've always wanted to read one of his books!

  9. GREAT list! Written on the Body sounds amazing. I'll have to get my hands on it.

  10. Amanda says:

    I haven't read of these! I'm trying to catch up on all the classics this year and talking about them in a book club would really help with that! Great list!Here's my Top Ten

  11. FABR Steph says:

    Great list. I love the variety of discussion topics available. -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviewsMy Top Ten…

  12. Heidi says:

    It's a correspondence between a woman in the states with a bookstore on Charring Cross Road in London. It's a cool story, they send her rare books that she's unable to acquire locally, and she sends them things they're unable to get locally due to the rationing from WWII.

  13. Heidi says:

    Yes! I loved A Long, Long Sleep, it was one of my favorite reads of 2011. It's definitely inspired by Sleeping Beauty, but it's not as strict of a retelling as say Cinder.

  14. Heidi says:

    Haha, I'm not sure yet how it'll work as a book club book either! Maybe we'll just end up gushing about it. But sometimes that's okay too. =)

  15. Heidi says:

    I would love to see him speak, did you know he's Mel Brooks son? I highly recommend both World War Z and Written on the Body, I'd never been into zombies, but World War Z wasn't just about zombies–it was about the political infrastructures of our globe, human nature, and how things could possibly fall in a catastrophic situation.

  16. Heidi says:

    Yay! I'm glad to find someone else who loves Illusions as much as I do. It was probably the first book I ever reread within a matter of months of first reading it, and is covered in all sorts of annotations and highlighting.

  17. Heidi says:

    Yes! It is. We read it in a gender and culture studies course in college, and it has stuck with me to this day. "It's the cliches that cause all the trouble" is an oft repeated line from the book that I took to heart.

  18. Heidi says:

    It would! I always try to read a couple a year, last year I finally read Dorian Grey and Jekyl and Hyde, and loved them both.

  19. Heidi says:

    Yes, I definitely think it's important to have some good discussion topics for a book club choice, otherwise what's the point?

  20. Heidi says:

    I'll admit I haven't read Dracula! Maybe that'll be one of my classics for the year.

  21. Heidi says:

    Thanks! Yeah I figured since I read it like six months ago and I still think about it often, it's worth talking about.

  22. Heidi says:

    Thanks! I enjoyed all of these, and feel like there's some good topics to talk about.

  23. Nomes says:

    oh, i have seen the cover of 'when she woke'around but never bothred to investigate what it is about.also, i have wanted to read 'a long, long sleep' for a while now…love this post :)

  24. Heidi says:

    Thanks! When She Woke was a wonderful retelling! Very reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale as well. For me, "When she woke, she was red." was the best first line of 2011 (to be fair, I hadn't read Chime yet!).

  25. I would have discussing The Giver when I was in school! Here is my Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks. And I hope you will sign up for my February Giveaway! Win All Kinds of Kisses or a $25 Amazon gift card!

  26. The only book on here that I've read is The Giver and I would love to revisit that now that I understand what it's about/will be able to comprehend it better. I also want to read all of the rest because they sound fantastic. Especially When She Woke and A Long, Long Sleep.

  27. Heidi says:

    From what I've read of your blog, April, I really think that When She Woke and A Long, Long Sleep are the two on this list I'd most recommend to you! Both were excellent reads.

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