Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Book Club Bible (various contributors)

Title: The Book Club Bible: The Definitive Guide That Every BookClub Member Needs
Author: Various contributors
ISBN: 9781843172697
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books
No. of pages: 224
Rating: 10/10

Synopsis(from Amazon):
Every book-club member has felt the pressure to pick out a new title for the whole group to read and enjoy. Wouldn't it be great if there was a book that helped you to make that all-important decision and maintain your place of respect in the book club? Fear no more, "The Book Club Bible" is here to help, shining an illuminating light on to the treasures of the literary world, from "Pride and Prejudice" to the modern classic "The Inheritance of Loss". Containing a diverse selection of books to choose from, the guide explains why titles are book-club worthy, and includes interesting discussion points and facts, and potential partner books. From chart-toppers to old favourites, every literary taste is catered for and you'll be sure to make an informed and popular choice. Above all, "The Book Club Bible" suggests some damn good reads. Compiled by a range of English literature experts and avid readers, this informative and enthusiastic guide is guaranteed to inspire.

When I was handed this book to try, I was immediately over the moon, as it seemed to be the answer to every book club member's prayers - a guide to books, both classic and contemporary, that are each and every one perfect choices for discussion in reading circles.

The foreword is written by acclaimed author Lionel Shriver (who wrote We Need to Talk About Kevin, which has itself become a book club classic over recent years), who describes this as " that one trustworthy friend upon whose taste you can pretty much rely." And she's not wrong!

Between the covers are no fewer than 100 books, each with a spoiler-free synopsis, a short note on what the critics said about it, a handful of suggested discussion points, a little background information, and several suggested companion books to try. Each book is given only a two-page spread, but this is exactly the right amount - there's just enough information to grab your attention and whet your appetite without negating the need to read the suggested titles.

On top of that, there is a smattering of Top Ten lists, covering Classics, Sci-Fi, Thrillers, Crime Fiction, and Foreign Authors to name but a few (and upon which I may base a future reading challenge!).

Whether you're new to book clubs or are a reading circle veteran, this is the book for you! It does exactly what it says on the tin and will leave your wish-list even linger than before as you discover books and authors you might not have considered beforehand. I've been frantically scribbling down notes for future reading and will certainly refer to it time and again.

This really is a must-have book for readers of all ages!


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