Friday, August 26, 2011
Short Books for Book Clubs
I'm currently in the process of tweaking my book club's old rules and guidelines because we are now up from eight members to twelve! Twelve is definitely the max if we still want to have interesting discussions. We have been busily emailing and discussing ways that will allow our conversations to flow freely and yet give everyone a chance to have their say. We can all be quite passionate about our opinions and start talking on top of each other. If you have suggestions for facilitating discussions within a book club, please leave a comment below.
I also think it's important that each person gets a chance to host at least once a year. Therefore we've now decided to meet once a month (date to be chosen by the host) instead of every six weeks. We've even set a page limit of 500 pages. Inevitably there will be months where we'll only have 2 or 3 weeks to read a book, so I thought I'd compile a list of short books or novellas that would generate a lot of discussion. I need your suggestions. Please recommend books of 250 pages or less and short stories. I'll compile all your recommendations and write them up in a future post.
The short novels or stories that I can think of right now are:
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy (short story)
A Perfect Day for Banana Fish by J.D. Salinger (short story)
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Silk by Alessandro Baricco
South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
Raise the Red Lantern by Su Tong