Book Club Classics was designed to help book clubs be even more effective by getting the most out of their selections through great discussion questions, interesting links about the book, menu ideas, bookmarks with character descriptions, and much more.
— Author background
— Fast facts
— Discussion questions
— A bookmark with character descriptions and when they are first introduced
— Menu ideas specific to setting, mood or time period of novel
— Warm-up suggestions specific to novel
— Literary terms specific to novel
— Film information
Check out a sample kit: To Kill A Mockingbird Sample Kit
As a high school English teacher with fifteen years experience, I was frequently asked: “What classics should I have read by now?” and “Which classics would I now appreciate and enjoy more than I did when forced to read them in my youth?” I’ve also noticed that despite the variety of book club websites available, classic novels seemed woefully underrepresented.
So, I chose 10 classic American novels and 10 classic British novels that I believe reflect and define the United States or England at various points in history, and then created “kits,” or reading guides, for book clubs who wanted the challenge and reward of reading classic literature. Although intended for book clubs, the kits could also be easily adapted for classroom use.
I believe the titles I’ve chosen are not only significant with regard to our national identity, but I also chose them because they are simply great reads and some of the most alluded to novels. So far, I have finished kits (or units) on the following American classics. Click on the title to see a list of reasons you may or may not enjoy each.
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- My Antonia by Willa Cather
- The Awakening by Kate Chopin
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Barn Burning by William Faulkner
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Click on the title of each British Beauty for a list of why your book club may or may not enjoy the following classics.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
- Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.
To download a kit on any of the following contemporary hits, click HERE:
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- The Gathering by Anne Enright
- Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
- The Faith Club by by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner
- The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
- Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf
A truly great book should be read in youth,
again in maturity and once more in old age,
as a fine building should be seen by morning light,
at noon and by moonlight.
~ Robertson Davies ~
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Photo by Gallebee