Books were my first love.
I was the kid who used to get in trouble for reading when I should have been doing other things, like walking or listening to my mother or eating my food. I’m still a little bit that kid, and I know some of you are too, so I thought it might be fun to get ourselves on the same page (see what I did there?) by hosting a little Spring/Summer Read Along.
I don’t have time for actual book clubs, so the plan is to do an online, lazy person’s (or busy person’s, I suppose) club. We’ll choose four books and give them two months each. The first month, I’ll do a little post on my thoughts so far, and we can all chat in the comments about what we love and hate about the first half of the book. The second month, I’ll post a review, and you can all share yours in the comments. In-between blog posts, there will be random chats on Facebook and Twitter. We will try to keep spoilers to a minimum, or paint them neon, or something.
I’ve narrowed it down to 15 books for us to choose from, all of which are on my list for one reason or another. There’s a one-sentence explanation of each choice below. Please vote for your top four by commenting on this post – and may the best book win. Or may the odds be ever in your favor. Or the force be with you. Whatever.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes: Two strangers come together in an unlikely relationship that seems to leave everyone who reads about it doing ridiculous ugly cry. 4.34 star rating on Goodreads.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter: Epic story (many characters, different timelines, death, love, life) set on the Italian coast (swoon). 3.72 stars.
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy: Classic, I’ve never read it, and the movie is coming out this year. Also, I had this as “Maddening Crowd” early, because that makes more sense. Must read to find out what a madding crowd is. 3.86 stars.
Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro: A group of 30-somethings get together at a beach house with their kids, and everyone who reads about it gives it tons of stars. 4.5 stars.
Thirty Girls by Susan Minot: About a young girl in the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army. 3.72 stars.
All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior: Wildly loved and hated look at the effect of parenting on, um, parents – I’m curious what all the fuss is about. 3.99 stars.
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver: Poetry. I really need to read more poetry. 4.15 stars.
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch: “In The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch expertly moves the reader through issues of gender, sexuality, violence, and the family from the point of view of a lifelong swimmer turned artist.” — there you have it. 4.16 stars.
The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald: See explanation for Far From the Maddening Crowd. 3.83 stars.
California by Edan Lepucki: Post-apocalyptic story of marriage and survival and people are FREAKING OUT about it. Whopping 4.53 stars. Granted, it isn’t actually out yet.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn: Still don’t know if I loved or hated Gone Girl, but I’d read Gillian again, and this movie will also come out this year. 3.89 stars.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Haven’t read it since high school – that’s a shame. Who cares how many stars – it’s Pride and Prejudice.
Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman: A novel about snatched babies that will become a movie this year (the novel, not the babies), like everything else, apparently. 3.55 stars.
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue: Donoghue’s Room is one of my favorite books ever, and she wrote another one. 3.67 stars.
Family Life by Akhil Sharma: Highly anticipate novel about an Indian family, due out this spring. 4.5 stars from the people chosen to review it so far (so, ya know, his friends dig it)
What’s your vote? Hate all these choices? Feel free to nominate your own! If a book gets enough nods, I’ll add it to the list!