Book clubs take many forms. Some focus on the content of the book, while others only use the book as a catalyst to bring together a group to talk about life in general. The books typically recommended for book clubs tend to be the most popular and palatable. There is nothing wrong with these types of books (or any type of book!), but my favourite book club titles are the kind of stories that force your attention to centre on the book. The most interesting conversations come from discussing books that challenge how you see the world and where you fit into it.
The following books have elements of the unexpected, are sometimes strange, and absolutely wonderful. I also love to read and suggest cookbooks and food memoirs for book clubs, because recipes and cooking always spark lively conversations, particularly about family and culture, and sharing a meal is the best way to tell stories about ourselves and our community. (It helps that good food is key to a successful book club meet-up!) I know your book club will have lots to say about these titles!
Amanda Arbuthnot is the Service Design Lead for Reader’s Services at Calgary Public Library. Her role is to create innovative programs to encourage reading and storytelling across genres and formats. Her work is grounded in the idea that we are all readers, and all reading should be celebrated. While completing an MLIS at the University of Alberta, Arbuthnot took an interest in inclusive services for neurodivergent patrons. With this background, she works to find unique ways to meet the needs and interests of all Calgarians.