This is mainly a post about the Boulder Book Store’s book club night last night, but it’s also a post about the glory of books.  The books that bring us together in contentious knots and cast us apart and make us laugh and act silly and spend thousands of dollars.

YOU know.

I was very honored when the estimable Boulder Book Store invited me to speak to book clubs at their annual book club event.  I arrived very nervous and breathless and then listened in heaven as book reps from Hachette, Random House, and Macmillan spoke about their favorite book club picks.  The book store staff was also able to weigh in, and the list was both esoteric and completely tempting…I had to keep myself from running away immediately to bury myself in books, never to emerge again.  I reconsidered, but it was hard.  (Complete lists below)

I also had the pleasure of speaking briefly to the group and pointing out a few of my picks.  I told them about my book club guide and my standing offer to appear via Skype or in person at any book group who asks me…and I was rewarded by a really warm and lovely reception.

One of the fabulous things Mandy, the event coordinator and head of the BB’s fiction book club, was able to do was solicit anonymous questions from the crowd related to book clubs.  These included “How should our group deal with overbearing members?” (Mandy’s hint:  use humor and come to a group code of conduct) and “Should someone in the group have read each book we select?”  (Head buyer Arsen’s answer:  sometimes.  His group selects only 1/3 of their selections unread.)  I loved how the event really addressed the realities faced by book clubs before pampering them with free books and book chat galore.

On my way down, I caught a photo of something that made ME grin from ear to ear:  The Heroine’s Bookshelf in the #2 slot on the store’s list of Boulder Best Sellers!  I was told that it was at #1 for several days before falling to the #2 slot.  WOW.  Was not expecting that.  Was not expecting that at all.

The Books

Boulder’s Book Club Bestsellers:

  • Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
  • Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
  • Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
  • The Healing of America, by T.R. Reid
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
  • People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
  • Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
  • Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls

Recommendations by Randy Hickernell, Sales Representative, The Hachette Group:

  • Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
  • The Good Sister, by Drusilla Campbell
  • The Cradle, by Patrick Somerville
  • The Girl She Used To Be, by David Cristofano
  • God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
  • Girls in Trucks, by Katie Crouch

Recommendations by Ron Smith, Sales Representative, Random House:

  • Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan
  • The Bolter, by Frances Osborne
  • One Day, by David Nichols
  • After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, by Evie Wyld
  • Mr. Toppit, by Charles Elton
  • The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer

Recommendations by Jeff Cope, Sales Representative, Macmillan:

  • Wolf Hall, by Hillary Mantel
  • The Three Weissmans of Westport, by Cathleen Schine
  • One Good Dog, by Susan Wilson
  • Valeria’s Last Stand, by Marc Fitten
  • Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray
  • Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen

Recommendations by Erin Blakemore:

  • Emily of Deep Valley, by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick
  • Russian Winter, by Daphne Kalotay

Recommendations by Christine:

  • Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
  • Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin

Recommendations by Digs:

  • Storm of the i, by Tina Collen
  • Neurosis & Human Growth, by Karen Horney
  • The Republic of Plato, translated by Allen Bloom

Recommendations by Arsen:

  • The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan
  • Old Filth, by Jane Gardam
  • New World Monkeys, by Nancy Mauro

Recommendations by Mandy:

  • The Mountain Lion, by Jean Stafford
  • Undercover, by Beth Kephart
  • The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak