September 6th, 2018



It's that time of year again, when we vote on books for the AWC book group after sending in our nominations. There are around 15 or so regulars and when each of them sends 3-5 book recommendations, it makes for quite a long list. We had 35 to choose from this year and the 9 winners were announced today. We actually have one book left from last year's list, that we will be discussing next week and I just realized I'd better get going on it. I often wait until quite close to the book discussion date because if I read the book too far in advance, I can't remember the details! :D

Our book group organizer pointed out that it was a very close race this year; only two books were chosen by an overwhelming majority. The rest of the winners received a few votes each and our list is compiled of the books that each received four or more votes. We seem to be in the mood for a good story this year; only two non-fiction titles made the list, which is a bit of a change from the last couple of years. We also seem to want to read about women! In past years we've often had a person who could 'feel our pulse', and nominated several of the titles that were eventually chosen. This year, however, each book in the 'final nine' was nominated by a different person. That somehow feels very democratic!

I'm okay with the list even though only three of the books I voted for and only ONE of the books I nominated made the list because there is only one book on it that I've already read. I re-recommended a book this year that I nominated last year, which didn't make the cut either time, so I'll just have to read it on my own time.

Here is the list, in case you're interested or looking for something to read!

Key: blue=recommended/voted for by me. green=voted for by me. yellow=already read. The ones with a star in front won.
  1. * All the Single Ladies - Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
  2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  3. * Beautiful Exiles by Meg Waite Clayton
  4. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
  5. The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama
  6. The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood
  7. Carried Away - A personal selection of stories by Alice Munro
  8. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
  9. * Educated by Tara Westover
  10. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  11. The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
  12. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
  13. * The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
  14. Good Me Bad Me: A Novel by Ali Land
  15. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  16. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  17. * The Home for Unwanted Girls: The Heart-Wrenching Story of a Mother-Daughter Bond That Could Not Be Broken by Joanna Goodman
  18. Hotel Sacher: A Novel by Rodica Doehnert
  19. The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us by Diane Ackerman
  20. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  21. * Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  22. Little Nothing by Marisa Silver
  23. Making Friends with Death by Laura Pritchett
  24. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  25. * The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Ziynab Joukhadar
  26. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
  27. Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine de Vigan
  28. The Outsider, by Stephen King
  29. * The Power by Naomi Alderman
  30. * A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  31. Runaway Amish Girl: The Great Escape by Emma Gingerich
  32. Sapiens, A Brief History of Human kind by Yuval Noah Harari
  33. The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch
  34. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  35. What Unites Us by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner
Lots of good reading ahead! Now I just have to finish indulging myself with a childhood favorite (Heidi) and get going on the book for next week so I can talk intelligently about it when we meet!