At the reference desk we often receive requests from book club members to recommend books for their group. While there are many wonderful books published each year, not every good book makes for a great book discussion. In fact, some of the books that make for the most vibrant discussions are the ones that cause disagreement among members. Here are a few books I have read that I think would make for lively discussions:
"Faith: A Novel" by Jennifer Haigh: In 2002 there is a scandal brewing in Boston -- priests all over the city are being accused of pedophilia and it has shocked the Catholic community. Father Arthur Breen, who has been quietly and loyally serving his South Boston parishioners for more than 20 years, is accused of molesting a young boy with whom he shared a close friendship. His sister Shelia immediately comes to his side to defend him, even when he will not defend himself. Haigh explores many themes of faith, loyalty and family in this poignant story.
"Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles: This book begins on the last night of 1937 in a Greenwich Village, N.Y., jazz bar, where Katey Kontent and her boardinghouse roommate Eve happen to befriend the handsome and wealthy Tinker Grey. The story follows Katey through her whirlwind year as she moves from a Wall Street secretary to the glittering world of New York's elite. Determined to make a better life for herself, Katey enters the orbit of Manhattan's high society and sees firsthand the benefits that wealth and privilege can bring, but also the insecurities and disloyalties that lurk below the surface. Reminiscent of books by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton, this book is a gem.
"The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern: The enchanting Le Cirque des R
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