Book Clubs’ Best Reads
Local book clubs share their most recent reads and how they chose them.
Looking for a great book recommendation? Look no further than local active readers—the ones who go to their book-group meetings having actually read the books, not just to socialize. We rounded up a few local book groups and teased out what their recent choices were and, since we’re always curious as to how they come to a consensus, why those books were chosen.
“Our next book is Finny by Justin Kramon. Justin got in touch with us about reading his book, and I am so glad he did because it’s funny, original, and heart-warming. He will be coming to the meeting. That will be followed by two mysteries with local settings, Sudden Death and Dead Ball, by Michael Balkind. Michael will also be joining us for that meeting, so we are lucky to have two authors in a row joining us.”
—Steve Scholle, Organizer, the Westchester Weekend Book Club, Meetup.com
“The Warner Book Club is reading Restless by William Boyd. It was recommended by a book club member who read this in a Booklist review: ‘If an espionage thriller with terror tentacles reaching from pre-World War II to the present can be called a cozy, this is it.’ Our next book is Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler.”
—Maureen Petry, Director, the Warner Library, Tarrytown
“We have two adult book groups. Fort the first, we choose the books as a group based on recommendations from participants and we try to vary between fiction and non-fiction. Next time, we will be discussing I Thought You Were Dead: A Love Story by Peter Nelson. Nelson called and offered to come to the book group to discuss his book and we thought it would be fun to have an author present. Our second book group is led by John Steele Gordon, a North Salem resident and well-known historian and columnist. It is called ‘Four Giants of Modern Times’ and is based on biographies from the Penguin Lives Series. John chose four leaders during times of war: Napoleon, Lincoln, Wilson, and Churchill. These biographies are short and extremely well written. This group is very popular and John Steele Gordon is an excellent leader.”
—Carolyn Reznick, Director, the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, North Salem
“Our most recent books were The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee, and Emma by Jane Austen. The organizers post a poll with four or five choices for the members to vote on about six weeks in advance of the discussion meeting. We take suggestions from the members or we choose books based on a theme or genre. Our choices are typically fiction and must be readily available from the public library systems in order to keep costs down for our members who do not wish to buy the book. Therefore, as a group, we do not read new releases.”
—Connie Luis, Co-organizer, Westchester Women’s Book Club, Meetup.com