Oh, there’s a new adaptation of a Jane Austen novels, you say? Sign me up. Like many of my friends, I’ve reread Pride & Prejudice a number of times. And while Bridget Jones’s Diary was a perfect update for the mid-90s, Eligible brings the story fully into the 21st century. Not only is there a Bachelor-style dating show (on which Chip Bingley is the bachelor), but the two youngest Bennet sisters, Kitty and Lydia, are CrossFit and Paleo diet devotees. While I’ll probably turn on the BBC miniseries the next time I need an Elizabeth/Darcy fix, I flew through this book in just two days—a sign of a great read.
I’m embarrassed to admit this is the first book I’ve read by Anna Quindlen, but I can guarantee it won’t be the last. After several months of reading depressing novels that both hit too close to home and had characters who were terrible to each other, I was delighted by Miller’s Valley. While it didn’t shy away from pain—a small town that refuses to modernize, a troubled brother who returns changed after war, an illness that stalls the main character’s future, and a family secret lost in a flood—Quindlen told all these stories with a striking empathy that fully invested me in the lives of everyone in the book.
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
I’m so glad my book club decided to tackle this Murakami title first published in English in the early 1990s. While it might not be as popular as some of his other works—The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, or his memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running—it has all the hallmarks of a classic Murakami novel. The chapters alternate between two parallel worlds, one of which reminded me so much of The Giver that I had to research which one was written first. Every time I read a new-to-me Murakami novel, I’m reminded how much I love escaping into the worlds he creates.
Because I spend so much time talking about books with friends, acquaintances, and strangers-turned-friends at Silent Book Club, my TBR list is never-ending. To help me manage that, I’ve started letting the public library dictate what I read next. Whenever I get a book recommendation, I place a hold on that book at the library and wait for it to come in.
These are just a few of the titles that have been on my list, but our monthly meet-ups see an even wider range of genres, titles, and ways of reading. For a list of all the books that have made appearances at our meet-ups, visit Silent Book Club’s website. We hope your own book club enjoys our picks!
Featured Image: Courtesy of Silent Book Club