It doesn't matter if your book club is starting or well established, everyone can get something out of this slim book.
It starts with an introduction by Lionel Shriver, a note from the editor and then a note from a book club member. Then it packs in about 100 books in detail and 14 top ten themes (British & American Classics; World classics; Quick Reads; Challenging Reads; Men's Books; Non-Fiction Books; Books with a Younger Persepective; Humourous Reads; War Books; Crime Books; Gay Reads; Cult Classics; Sci-Fi books and Chilling Reads).
In the detailed pages it has, the book length and year published; a non-spoilered synopsis; Reader and/or Critics opinions; Discussion points; Background info and Companion Books. The questions made me think for the ones I had read and some of them made me want to get my hands on those I haven't.
The range of choices is good, everything from Rebecca to Light a Penny Candle and it's arranged by author. The editors decided to limit themselves to one book per author but as a starting point it's an excellent resource!
This is just a brilliant idea and very well thought out. One hundred book suggestions with each title allocated a double-page spread giving a summary of the plot (without spoiling it), discussion points (extremely useful), background information including film tie-ins, and suggested companion books. The format means its easy to look at all this information at a glance. The list has been thoughtfully compiled to cover a good range of novels including classics and modern prize-winners as well as bestsellers.
Interspersed with all this are 14 "top ten" lists such as "Top Ten Chilling Reads", "Top Ten Challenging Reads" etc which are fun and provide more ideas as these are not necessarily titles that already appear in the main list.
My book group is going to find this extremely useful for the future. We each choose a book for the year ahead and I know some people struggle to come up with titles that they think will appeal to everyone, or at least provide the basis of a stimulating discussion. This goes some way to addressing those needs.
On a personal level I have already enjoyed dipping into it to see what is said about books previously read.
The discussion points might be useful for A level students who are studying any of these for English Literature exams. Someone I know is doing The Go-Between which is one of the book suggestions in this compilation, and I have passed on the discussion points which work equally well as essay titles.
Great stuff - can we have a follow-up in the not-too-distant future please?
There are many book club aids on the market - most of them American, all have their benefits but many have big draw backs. This one, with a foreward by Lionel Shriver is the best I have come across. The books are up to date, topical and would suit book clubs with wide memberships. The synopsis are great with no spoilers and there is some interesting background information. A good buy
This is certainly a useful tool for a book club that struggles to decide what to read next. We have had library recommendations then individual member suggestions, and some of the books in here have already been read, but there are still a well over 100 new ideas for us to try out. The synopses are helpful without giving away too much, and the range of material is good with both classic and more up to date material.
I bought this book as it was such a clever idea. The reality is even better, giving you a taste of hundreds of books that you'd never realised that you wanted to read/ had forgotten about. Useful not just for bookclub members but anyone with a regular commute looking for something new to read. Highly recommended.
I bought this as I struggled for suggestions at our book club. If you are short of ideas for personal reading or you are needing recommendations for book club this is for you. I can only echo what the other reviewers have said and give it 5stars. It is well worth buying.
The book I didn't know I needed but now can't imagine how I managed without! For book clubs it is a must, for anyone who wishes to broaden their reading experience it is a fantastic place to begin. A brilliant stocking filler!
An extremely useful book not just for club members, but anyone who has suffered the dreaded 'what to read next' anxiety. Succinctly written and neatly organised with recommendations that go beyond the usual bestseller fodder, this book is well worth a purchase.