Best Book Club Books from the Tattered Cover

I’ve noticed that I have a number of visitors from Tattered Cover via Book Club Girl, so I spent some time exploring their site and stumbled upon a wonderful resource of over 50 works of fiction and nonfiction that they particularly recommend for book clubs. 

I thought I would highlight 10 titles a week — 5 fiction and 5 nonfiction.  I have read many, and hope to read more, by the end of the year.

Here are the first 5 fiction titles, in the same order that Tattered Cover presented them.  (They didn’t specify whether the order has any significance).

Saving the World

Fiction picks:

  • Saving the World by Julia Alvarez.  This work follows a writer trying to finish a historical novel (the plot of this novel is intertwined with the primary narrative) while struggling to maintain her marriage.  I enjoyed this novel, but not as much as How the Garcia Girls Lost Thier Accents
  • Articles of War by Nick Arvin.  The setting is Normandy in WWII, but the focus is on the protagonist’s journey to accept himself and forge an identity.  Haven’t read it yet…

The Harmony Silk Factory

  • Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw.  Another WWII novel, but set in British Colonial Malaya.  The main character is a textile merchant and the story is told from the perspective of his son.
  • A Fish Full of River by Janet Bland.  The Tattered Covers’s resource describes reading this collection of short stories as similar to “an experience of fine dining.  You will want to read it slowly to enjoy every morsel.”  I think short stories are perfect book club picks at any time, but especially during the holidays when time is short…
  • Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden.  This one is set in Canada, during WWI, and explores the lives of members of the Oji-Cree tribes and their role in WWI as snipers.

Non-fiction picks:

Anton Woode: Boy Murderer

  • Anton Woode — the Boy Murderer by Dick Kreck.  Asks the question of what to do with children who commit crimes.  This specific crime occured in 1892, when an 11 year old shot a man who had stolen his watch.  The story follows his trial, time in prison, and eventual release.
  • City of Falling Angels by John Berendt.  The long-awaited follow-up to Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil that focuses on the mysterious 1996 fire that destroyed the Venice Opera House.

Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse

  • Courtroom 302 by Steve Bogira.  The Chicago Reader journalist tracks one year in Chicago’s Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the busiest felony courthouse in the country.  Sounds like a great discussion-starter!
  • The Death of Innocents by Sister Helen Prejean.  If her name sounds familiar, you may have seen Dead Man Walking, the movie based on her first book.  This work focuses on the same topic of wrongful executions.
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  If you haven’t read this one yet, do so immediately!  The story of a young girl’s experiences growing up with brilliant, eccentric parents who refuse to follow societal norms is a fast page-turner that is impossible to put down.  Great for discussion, too!

Quick question for you — do you prefer that the title link to a review or to Amazon?  I have not yet “monetized” this website yet (i.e., no advertising), but I would consider working with Amazon if this would be useful…  I did link the above titles to Amazon today, but only informally (which means I’m not getting paid to promote them).  I would love feedback on this!

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5 Responses to Best Book Club Books from the Tattered Cover

  1. Hi – I just found your site via the *self made chick* blog. It looks like a really interesting site – and a great reading resource.

    In answer to your question posed above I think if you are recommending a book then a link to amazon is useful – and that you should use their affiliate scheme to help fund developments and improvements to your site 🙂

    I’m doing a 50 book challenge this year – perhaps you’d like to read some of my reviews over at

  2. Kristen says:

    Thank you for your great idea! I think reinvesting is a wonderful plan… I checked out your reviews and really enjoyed them — So many new titles for me to add to my library list — thank you!

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