What are your Book Clubs Reading??

May 28th, 2006, 04:57 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,303
Hello Twiggy,

Have you heard of First Certificate or TOEFL levels? FCE is British and TOEFL is American. That would be the upper-intermediate level.

After FCE comes Advanced and then Proficiency.

Or, for the sake of another comparison, books that are at the Sydney Sheldon and Danielle Steel levels. However, my male students wouldn't enjoy Danielle Steel at all.

kleeblatt is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 439
Guete Daag schuler - LOL you've got that one right....maybe if you'd supply them with a Kaffi Zwätschgge!

Lots of great suggestions above.
Our group also loved "The Kite Runner" and "To Dance with the White Dog" by Terry Kay.
PS. Is your long weekend rained out?? It looks miserable in Basel.
waggis is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 06:28 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,303
Hi Waggis! Are you an English teacher in Basel? Do you go to the ETAS meetings? Maybe I've met you somewhere. Thanks for the book recommendations.

It's just started to rain. Yesterday was a shopping day and today a TV day. We might even get a few snowflakes this week... not my favourite weather in May.
kleeblatt is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 439
No schuler. I was born and raised in Basel but live now in Florida. While living in CT, I was a Literacy Volunteer and loved every minute of it. Most students were from Brasil.

Here's a book which may appeal to both genders: "A Land Remembered" by Patrick Smith. The novel takes place in Central Florida starting before the Civil War to about the 1930s. It depicts the struggle of early settlers - very well written by a former teacher and is of a managable size.

On a personal note, let me tell you how very much I appreciate your frequent postings. You keep me connected to my homeland! You seem to visit my favorite places from long ago - Ticino & skiing in Central Switzerland. You're a great contributor and a wonderful source of information to all of us out here in cyberspace! Thank you!
e Basler Bebbi in sunny Florida
waggis is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 08:29 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 53
i dont belong to a book club, but wanted to share a book i adored. has anyone read it?

the usual rules, by joyce maynard


the "canada reads" book is -

a complicated kindness, by miriam toews


oh, and one more i want to read -

the girls, by lori lansens


as a mother of identical twins, the subject of conjoined twins hits close to home. any identical twins could be born conjoined, if the egg doesnt separate completely.
xplors is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,481
Hi kismetchimera,
Leonardo's Swans sounds intriguing.- spicy even. Karen Essex is the author ( I went to Amazon.) Thanks for the tip.
L84SKY is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 09:51 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,303
Thanks waggis. By the way, do you play jass (swiss cards?) Bluewin has a free on-line jass game. Highly recommended.

We've got free roaming cows in our fields and you've got the alligators. Too bad they don't wear bells.
kleeblatt is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 439
You're welcome, schuler. I've been an admirer of yours for a long time!
Regrettably, I don't "Jasse" - was young and busy persuing other interests when I lived there, if you know what I mean ;-)

As you must have heard, we've had a very active 'gator season. While they're mating they're a lot more aggressive and showing up in areas one doesn't normally see them.

As to your cows, I have a cousin who used to be a farmer in a small village in Baselland. He would graze a few cows in an enclosed area at the edge of his village. With the arrival of people who left the cities, such as Basel, construction of single dwellings abound near his enclosure, and wouldn't you know they complained about the "noise" of the cowbells.... Mind you, this was not in a suburb but a small village tucked away on a high plateau, so to speak. It never ceases to amaze me

waggis is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 09:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 350
I really love Fodors. So many interesting remarks and I'm amazed at all the responses from people from
all over the world.
Has anyone heard of Rashi's Daughters?
I saw it at Barnes and Noble and was saving to show my book club when my husband picked it up( he normally doesn't read historical fiction or any fiction for that matter(now he can't put it down. natjgc
natjgc is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229

I can't believe no one else picked up on your comment about "A Million Little Pieces". You gave me a good laugh this morning.
julies is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,253
In using these lists to get the few I had not read, I've realized that I have sometimes "missed" a much earlier title from some of my favorite authors.

This happened with Lisa See. I discovered a different time period, different type of novel by her from an earlier period and style.

Check out "Flower Net" by Lisa See. It's two continents in multi-level modern. Not just a who-dun-it, but especially interesting for travelers. The primaries go back and forth between China and USA and you can feel the jet lag with them. Very much in two worlds, and in modern Chinese thought- for those of you who enjoyed Secret Fan- check out the modern Chinese women in this one. The Chinese men aren't basically much different hundreds of years later, IMHO.

My taste runs to the books the men like more than those that the women like. I solved part of my problem (majority of the time disliking the books picked) by getting into a book club that held more males than females. I love non-fiction.

DeSilva has always be under valued, IMHO.

So many books, so little time. But another aspect of that oft-quoted musing, is that "too little time to finish a book that doesn't hold the quality, feeling, or interest for ME."

I no longer plod through the ones I don't like. I give it only up to the exact middle and then dump.

Also there are some authors, like Barbara Kingsolver, who I read to the end- but WISH WISH WISH they would stick to the story instead of side tracking to their own political ideology sermons constantly. And I wouldn't mind as much if the sermon didn't end up being 1/3rd of the entire.

I felt that same way about Ayn Rand. I loved her stories, but hated all her political belief system sermons, as well.

Opposite political philosophies but the same problem with both of their crafts.

Please have tolerance for those who like what you don't. There wouldn't be all those great books out there if only just a few authors sold.

I'm finding overall that the last 5 years have some very poor writing by formerly good authors. And I'm not talking Danielle Steel or Patterson type stuff either.

For instance I thought "Saturday" was not at the same level as "The Atonement". Ian McEwan's "Atonement" is close to a masterpiece. So English too.

JJ5 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,942
Has anyone read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" ? I keep hearing it is good, and am thinking of reading it next.

A highly recommend The Book of Ruth. Absolutely a page turner!
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
Casa Rossa by Francesca Marciano would make an AWESOME bookclub choice!

I am starting Middlesex-- very good so far.
Viajero2 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,253
I first read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" when I was a girl, MANY moons ago. It was old then. It's a good read.

"Middlesex" is so good. I love when a intriguing and original personal story is told with wit and style- and YET the historical aspects of the surroundings still seem to come to the fore. "Middlesex" did it.

This is a book which holds some detail of Detroit's history. A totally under-developed area of study in any written form, IMHO.

There is a great chronicler of the history of the huge migrations from the Southern USA to the industrial Midwest out there somewhere, there has to be, but I haven't perused them yet. Where are you author? Does anyone have knowledge? I'm not talking James Baldwin, although he is very good.

Someone with a greater historic perspective? Who wrote Spike Lee's script for "Do the Right Thing"?

I bet he or she is too busy commuting etc. to write- LOL!
JJ5 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,995
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West and Portrait of a Marriage by her son, Nigel Nicholson.
grandmere is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 777
Our book group, which has been going for almost 6 years now, has a web site where all our selections are listed:

About three years ago, we started rating the books, 1 to 5 stars, and posting a summary of our discussions.

One book I would like to recommend, which hasn't gotten a lot of press because it's a first novel by someone without a great PR machine, is "Mr. Emerson's Wife" by Amy Belding Brown. It just came out in paperback and is beautifully written, as well as an excellent book for discussion. Amy came to our book group to talk about the book, and she would be willing to do phone chats with groups outside her home area (west of Boston). You can contact her via her web site at

We have had several meetings where authors came to talk about their books or did phone chats with us -- great experiences.
nonnafelice is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 61
I have enjoyed this post immensely. I don't belong to a book club, however, the first of June each year I compile a summer reading list for a group of women friends who all like to read. Our list this year is once again diverse, including
The Last Days of Dog Town by Anita Diamant, A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve, A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby, Fiona Range by Marry Morris, Mercy by Jodi Piccfoult, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, plus more. It's good to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust!
janier is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 277
Re: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" - my group is reading it right now. It's a lovely book, but not quick moving. A good summer read. I think if I weren't so busy right now I'd enjoy it more - it's the sort of book that is very nice, but also too easy to put down. But again, a lovely book. Maybe the more I get into it the harder it will be to put it down.
suspire is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 277
Another suggestion: "The Sparrow" by Mary Russell. See amazon or other for a summary, as I'm not good at those. But as I recall, the author is/was an anthropologist, and wrote this around the time of the 500 year celebration of Columbus's "discovery" of America. She wondered about the premise of whether one culture could encounter another without affecting it in any way. She decided there really isn't a culture on earth anymore that hasn't been affected by modern culture, so she took her premise to outer space - and thus this book.

Note that the sequel, "Children of God" is really more like Part II than a wholly separate book.

We did not all expect to like The Sparrow in our group, but most were pleasantly surprised. Some good points for discussion.
suspire is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 03:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,113
Our book club is made up of married couples. We sometimes have trouble finding a middle ground between "men's" and "women's" books. Cold Mountain was a good one for pleasing both sexes, and of course there are tons of others. For a number of months, though, it seemed we were reading overly macho or male-centric stuff like Catch 22. Then when the women rebelled it swung towards the sentimental, almost Chick Lit (Secret Life of Bees an example, in my opinion) as a concession to the wives. If it were up to me, literary reactionary that I am, we'd stick with classics and avoid a lot of the problem.

How do your groups deal with this?

stokebailey is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:20 PM.