Book club books

When I was living in Rotorua, I joined the local book club at McLeods. It was a great way to meet people, being new to town, and I thought it would be a good way to make me step out of the genre that I was otherwise mostly reading (SciFi/Fantasy). The book club would choose two books every two months, and we could read one or both of the books. I did successfully read at least one book every time since I joined in mid-2018, until I moved to Wellington in late 2019. The plan was to keep up with book club, and time my visits back to Rotorua on the weekends that we discussed the books and picked the next two. Yeah, that didn’t work out very well. Covid was a big disturber of plans to travel back (between lock downs and being unable to travel if I were the slightest bit unwell), as was getting someone to stay with Shadow (one spectacular fail resulted in cancelling the trip two days before due to the cat sitter breaking her ankle). And my reading in general took a nosedive in mid 2020, until this month.

So in addition to all the other books I’ve been buying and not reading, I have a stack of book club books on my shelves that are waiting to be read, or in some cases finished. I’d really like to try to work my way through them as I’m sure there will be some gems amongst them. So from December, I’m going to try to read/finish one book every 1-2 months. To assist with this, I’ve collated a list of all the book club picks dating all the way back to the start of 2019. It’s as far back as I have any record of what the books picked were, but as the problem didn’t raise it’s ugly head until Aug/Sept 2019, I think that’s ok.

Here’s the key that I’m using to annotate the list to show which one(s) I chose to read, and what my progress to date on each of them is.

  • ✔️ = chosen (✔️* = chosen but don’t have the book for reasons)
  • 📖 = started (still plan to finish – eventually)
  • 📗 = finished
  • 📕 = abandoned

Here’s the list, starting from the most recent.

  • Oct/Nov 2022 – Note: I was eyeing up both of these before they were selected, but I chose not to officially select one this time due to my reading slump, and knowing I wouldn’t make it to the Dec meeting
    • This is Happiness by Niall Williams
    • Haven by Emma Donoghue
  • Aug/Sept 2022
    • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin ✔️
    • Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro
    • The Girl from Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher
  • June/July 2022
    • The Dance Tree by Kiran Millwood Hargrave ✔️*
    • Gallant by V.E. Schwabb ✔️📗
  • Apr/May 2022
    • The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw
    • Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson ✔️📗
  • Feb/Mar 2022
    • To the Sea by Nikki Crutchley ✔️📗
    • Pandora by Susan Stokes Chapman ✔️
  • Dec 2021/Jan 2022
    • The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
    • Fox & I: an uncommon friendship by Catherine Raven ✔️📖
  • Oct/Nov 2021
    • Tenderness by Alison Macleod
    • Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy ✔️📗
  • Aug/Sept 2021
    • Catch Us the Foxes by Nicola West ✔️
    • The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas ✔️
  • June/July 2021
    • Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura ✔️
    • Before You Knew my Name by Jacqueline Bublitz ✔️📗
  • Apr/May 2021
    • Ariadne by Jennifer Saint ✔️📕
    • House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
  • Feb/Mar 2021
    • All our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton
    • The Liminal Space by Jacquie McRae ✔️
  • Dec 2020/Jan 2021
    • Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
    • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ✔️
  • Oct/Nov 2020
    • D by Michael Faber
    • The Survivors by Jane Harper ✔️📖
  • Aug/Sept 2020
    • Goldilocks by Laura Lam ✔️
    • The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle ✔️📗
  • June/July 2020
    • The Glass Woman by Caroline Lee ✔️
    • Things I Learned From Falling by Claire Nelson ✔️
  • Apr/May 2020
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    • The Ninth Child by Sally Magnusson ✔️📗
  • Jan – Mar 2020
    • Pursuit by Joyce Carol Oates ✔️📗
    • The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes ✔️*
  • Nov/Dec 2019
    • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow ✔️*
    • Sliver by Chris Hammer
  • Sept/Oct 2019
    • Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar ✔️
    • The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier
  • Jul/Aug 2019
    • The Overstory by Richard Powers ✔️📖
    • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes ✔️📗
    • A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
  • May/Jun 2019
    • Circe by Madeline Miller ✔️📗
    • The van Apfel Girls are Gone by Felicity McLean ✔️📗
  • Mar/Apr 2019
    • Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens
    • The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff ✔️📗
  • Jan/Feb 2019
    • Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield ✔️📗
    • Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare ✔️📗

So there you have it. Three books still to finish and a whole lot more to start. I’d like to revisit this list in 6 months to see both how I am going with keeping up with my book club reads and also how I’m going with reading the back catalogue.

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