You Can’t Make Me But You Might Make Me Want To…Read This

I love a good book, and Wednesday night is “Bedtime Stories” – the book club my neighbor and I started. I’m hoping the name catches on. Anyway, we will be meeting to talk about our first book, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, which I’ll blog about later. But finishing our first book means needing to have suggestions for our next book.

We aren’t book snobs – any genre will do, and a book that has already been out for a few years is preferred. That way we have a better chance of getting it for everyone through our public library system.

So, which five books would you recommend and why?


  1. Peggy E April 11, 2010

    Bee Season by Myla Goldberg (Probably one of the best fictions I’ve read in the last decade. There’s so much material for good discussion – family dynamics/dysfunction, religion, psychology, spelling bees… and the writing is read-aloud good)

    The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee (Explores the history of Chinese food in the US and makes the argument that Chinese food is more American than apple pie)

  2. Kacie April 11, 2010

    Highly recommend Wild Swans by June Chang, all the Khaled Hosseini books, and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

  3. JoannaD April 12, 2010

    I don’t know about five, but I am passionate about getting more people to read Marilynne Robinson – Housekeeping, Gilead and Home are her novels, in the order she wrote them. Gilead and Home belong together but can be read separately. Her writing is out of this world – I found myself wanting to stop and savour almost every sentence. The themes are love, faith, belonging, family – just writing about them makes me want to go and get them off my shelves to read again!

  4. paisley3 April 12, 2010

    I am #35 of a total of 90 people waiting for the audio book to be available of The Help at my local library. ARGH!! Just give me a spoiler alert!

    • Kathy Khang April 13, 2010

      Maybe it would be faster if you just called me during your commute and I could read to you aloud 😉 !

  5. Roxanne T April 12, 2010

    “Women, Food, and God” by Geneen Roth. We can talk more at book club!

  6. Becky April 13, 2010

    I hope the name catches on, too. I’ve been noodling the What Next question as well. The suggestions that have come into your blog are excellent; I’m intrigued. And I second the affirmation of Marilynne Robinson’s writing: Gilead and Home are both outstanding reads, so rich with meaning and beautifully written. (I tried to like Housekeeping, her first, but couldn’t get into it…I was surprised.) It’s also surprising to me that she isn’t more well known.

    I also have these ideas, that have come to me from friends in other book clubs:

    Peter Taylor’s A Summons to Memphis
    W. Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil (a Cook Library book club selection)
    Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth

    Something has drawn my reading from the deep south to the far east…. I have no idea how this has progressed, but I’m enjoying the ride.

    See you here! I’m so looking forward to it.

  7. Anthony G April 16, 2010

    Shogun by James Clavell – Just read this, and I loved it. A story of cross cultural experience in Feudal Japan. I think its brilliantly written and portrays colonial English and Japanese culture fairly. The Portuguese and Spanish don’t fare so well.

    Nation by Terry Pratchett – I love everything I’ve ever read by Pratchett, but this is among his best work. The story of a young boy struggling with doubt about his faith, his people, and his destiny. Funny and poignant.

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – I recently reread this and it’s positively brilliant. Amazing insight into the human mind, masterful character development.

    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – The end of the world is coming, except its being run by idiots. Love, romance, coming of age, witch-hunting, Armageddon. . . this book is beyond amazing. One of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

    Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – When vampire’s fall in love, who can resist it? I think these books are brilliant works that capture the mood of the culture and are you still paying attention because I’m totally joking and would never ever ever read this book and Meyer is the master of her art.

    One Hundred Years of Solitude – By Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One of the greatest works of Latin literature ever. This big is an epic novel covering the rise and fall of a Latin family. One of the few books I read in high school and grew to love.

    I could go on and on. . . -=]

    • Kathy Khang April 18, 2010

      Don’t hate on Twilight 😉

      I read the series in three days over winter break 2009, and then I apologized to my family for having abandoned them during that time.

      I’m neither Team Edward nor Team Jacob. There are laws against stuff like that for women my age. Ewww. I did really like Alice’s hair in the movie, though.

      • Anthony G April 20, 2010

        You read the entire series in 3 days? Man, I thought I was a voracious reader. That’s insane!

        Side bar about books I would never actually read: A friend of mine was trying to get through Lord of the Rings, but couldn’t. She said they were too boring. At the same time, she talked about how much she loved Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. As a HUGE fan of Tolkien, I was flabbergasted. So I made her a deal: If she read all four of the LOTR books, I would read all four of the Sisterhood books.

        It was. . . not the most pleasant thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m just really glad she ended up liking LOTR, otherwise my sacrifice would have been pointless. My feelings on the series are discussing more in-depth here:!/note.php?note_id=59428052972 .

        • Kathy Khang April 21, 2010

          It’s funny you would mention LOTR. Peter bought me the books several years ago. I had never read them. And I couldn’t get through the books. But I did get through, and enjoyed, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I read your FB note about your adventure with the Sisterhood. You’re right. You have to remember that you weren’t the intended audience so try to not roll your eyes with such disdain, Anthony. 😉 I enjoyed the series because it reminded me that we are all at one point in our lives angsty about something and a book can remind us we aren’t alone in the confusion while simultaneously allowing us to dream a little…because who doesn’t long for friends like Carmen, Lena, Bridget and Tibby or Frodo and Sam?

  8. Cover Photo September 21, 2014

    Cover Photo

    You Can’t Make Me But You Might Make Me Want To…Read This | More Than Serving Tea


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