Camille who blogs at BookMoot was at KidLitCon in Austin last weekend, and I finally got to meet her after all these years! I found out that not only does she help facilitate and advocate for books and reading among the younger set, as a substitute librarian and all-round book recommender, but she also leads a book club for seniors at her church in which they discuss the faith aspects, in particular, of the books they read together. She told me some of the books they’ve read for the book club, which includes at least one member who is over ninety years of age.
They read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel over the summer. I applaud their persistence. I tried to read Wolf Hall when it first came out, and I don’t think I made it to the end. I found myself skimming, trying to just get through it, and I don’t remember a single thing about its portrayal of Thomas Cromwell–except that I couldn’t tell who was talking or thinking half the time, nor when it was, nor where the scene was set. Camille said the key is to listen to it (audiobook), and that the narrator changes voices to indicate
Anyway, after reading Wolf Hall, Camille and the ladies thought they needed something a little lighter, so they read The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, a book I am going to read very soon. I loved Schmidt’s Okay for Now, and I’m pretty sure I’ll fall for The Wednesday Wars, too. They’ve also read The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (another book on my TBR list), and The End of Your Life Book Club, I think. But Camille said she was working hard to figure out what the books for the spring of 2014 should be. So I jumped in and said I’d send her some recommendations.
So, here are my book club recommendations:
Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Prior. My mom, my sister , and I are reading this nonfiction literary memoir right now.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.
Unbroken by Lara Hillebrand. (If they haven’t already read it. It seems everyone has and loved it just as much as I did.)
Peace Like A River by Leif Enger.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.
City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell.
Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin.
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns.
The Love Letters or The Severed Wasp by Madeleine L’Engle.
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. Russell Moore on why you should read Hannah Coulter.
As I was making this list, I came across Melissa Wiley’s post at Here in the Bonny Glen about her “imaginary book club” and the books she’d like to discuss with an imaginary group of like-minded readers. And some other bloggers chimed in with their Imaginary Book Club reading lists:
If you have a list, leave a comment here or at Melissa’s blog and I’ll add your link to the list. I love book lists, and maybe Camille will find something she can use here or there or somewhere. Camille is particularly looking for books that have some “faith aspect” or for children’s and YA books that are engaging for adults, and/or for books that would be challenging for senior adults and their season of life. However, some of the ladies asked Camille for a break from books about death and dying, since they’ve read several and many of them are dealing with the same issue in their own lives. I may also choose some of the books on someone’s list for our family book club, since I’ve actually read the ones in my list and would like to suggest books for the family book club that I haven’t read already.