The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Books to Read if Your Book Club Loves x. Obviously my first thought was Agatha Christie books but I figure I've done that one enough (read Sleeping Murder, And Then There Were None, and Murder of Roger Ackroyd plus any of her short story collections if you're new to her books) plus there isn't that much new to talk about. After a lot of bouncing around I settled on children's literature. Partly because I've been in a big Middle Grade mood lately and also because there is so much to talk about with them. How they appeal to a child vs how they read to an adult, changes in how childhood is viewed and childhood freedoms, plus just the merits on the story alone! Also, in the book clubs I've been involved in in the past everyone was scrambling to finish their books so I figure there's a higher chance of finishing a book designed for children!
2. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll - Mostly I just want someone to explain this one to me. I read it expecting nonsense but expecting to enjoy it but by the end I felt like I was reading someone else tell me about a particularly long and convoluted dream. Does it help if you read it as a child? Was I just missing something?
3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - This was one of my favorite books as a child and I was surprised when I reread it as an adult by how much I enjoyed it on its own merits and not just nostalgia. Plus, that opening scene in India is absolutely horrifying. This is such a complex book that I think there could be a ton of discussion topics.
5. Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey - These were my absolute favorite books as a child and I think there would be so much to discuss with these 2 books. There's Lillian and Frank themselves who were fascinating people as well as just the family dynamics (and how the book completely skips over 12 becoming 11). There are a couple of scenes that are hilarious if squirm inducing (a run in with a woman trying to make contraceptives available in Cheaper by the Dozen and a discussion on smoking in Belles on Their Toes) and reading the story of the family evolving between the 2 books is so interesting. Plus, way more attention needs to be focused on Lillian Gilbreth and her contribution to efficiency in every aspect of life even after her husband's death in a time when women were not expected to be in the work place.
7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - I once was in a book club where the food was themed to the book and the food for this one would be AMAZING! I think you'd almost have to do a compare and contrast with the movies on this one and it could be really interesting. Not to mention the book is great in it's own right.
8. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery - Even if you don't like Anne I think you should read this book. In my opinion it's her best. It's the story of Anne's youngest - pretty, vain, and somewhat shallow Rilla - who is ready to take her place in the world of parties and boys and fun now that she's 16 but her plans are dashed as war is declared in Europe and the world turns upside down for her. It's heartbreaking, heartwarming, and a fascinating look at life on the Canadian homefront during World War I. And if you don't cry at the Dog Monday story I don't think we can be friends.
9. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner - This series is the Tornado's (age 6) current bedtime books. We're on our 4th or 5th one now and I'm trying to stick to the original books as much as possible. These were some of my absolute favorite books as a child and so I've really enjoyed revisiting them. I've been surprised by how simple the stories themselves are but how much they seem to appeal to children.
10. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott - To be honest I've found that Alcott's books seem to hold up the worst to rereading as an adult but this one was my favorite and I think there's a number of issues that could be discussed today - charity, class issues, family situations, not to mention how they make that custody situation work! It doesn't hurt that Eight Cousins is considerably shorter than Little Women which should make the reading go a bit easier!
That's my list though I probably could have easily listed 10 more that would be great book club reads. What are your favorites that I've missed?