Our host over at Should Be Reading poses a question every week. Something we can reflect about and respond to in our posts.
If your book club asked you to bring two (2) suggestions for group read to your next book club meeting, what two books would you suggest? Why?
The Good Daughters, by Joyce Maynard, would be one of the books because of the opportunities to explore ideas that a book by this author brings. The story is multi-layered and full of family secrets. I think readers would enjoy speculating as we go along, and then when the secrets unfold, there could be a lively discussion of what we didn’t see coming—as well as what we did.
Blonde, by Joyce Carol Oates, is probably one of the more intriguing of her books, in my opinion. Just as she has done in some of her other books, she has taken real-life people and events and fictionalized them for the purpose of her exploration. Because the exploration delves into all kinds of family and social issues, I imagine the discussion to be lively and possibly provocative.
Here’s a snippet from Amazon that shines a light on the subject:
Dramatic, provocative and unsettlingly suggestive, Blonde is as much a bombshell as its protagonist, the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Writing in highly charged, impressionistic prose, Oates creates a striking and poignant portrait of the mythic star and the society that made and failed her. In a five-part narrative corresponding to the stages of Monroe’s life, Oates renders the squalid circumstances of Norma Jeane’s upbringing: the damage inflicted by a psychotic mother and the absence of an unknown (and perpetually yearned for) father, and the desolation of four years in an orphanage and betrayal in a foster home. She reviews the young Monroe’s rocky road to stardom, involving sexual favors to studio chiefs who thought her sluttish, untalented and stupid, while they reaped millions from her movies; she conveys the essence of Monroe’s three marriages and credibly establishes Monroe’s insatiable need for security and love. To a remarkable extent, she captures Monroe’s breathy voice and vulnerable stutter, and the almost schizoid personality that produced her mercurial behavior. (Emotionally volatile, fey, self-absorbed, and frightened, Monroe could also be tough, outspoken, vulgar–her notorious perfectionism a shield against the ridicule and failure that Oates claims she continually feared.)
What two books would you suggest? I hope you’ll stop by and share.