Ten Years of Great Books

How many people can say their book club has been meeting for over ten years? And that they STILL talk about books when they meet?

I want to write the grandest of grand love letters to my book club, and to its place of origin, Well Fed Head bookstore. But I honestly don’t think I could do it justice. Just the fact that our club has been meeting for so long is proof that it’s a great thing.

My book club, founded by Beth B. of local indie bookstore fame, Well Fed Head, started meeting in 2004. Since its inception, we have met at two different book store locations, coffee houses, lounges, and peoples’ homes. My first visit wasn’t until November 2005, but I feel this is a pretty impressive track record for a Book Club. For years, going to book club was the only night out I would have to look forward to (this was when I owned my own business and worked a ridiculous 80-hour work week). It’s still a priority on my monthly social calendar, and I have developed some amazing friendships through our regular meetings.

As 2014 draws to a close, the archivist in me goes crazy and wants to create lists upon lists. So let’s start the year-end lists with the best one: Roughly 100 books read over the past 10 years.

(legend: Bold are the ones I’ve read, Italicized are some of my favorites; initials before each book are the month we read them.)



  1. N/D: The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  2. O: Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
  3. S: Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
  4. A: One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling by Hanan al-Shaykh / The Storyteller of Marrakesh by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
  5. J: Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  6. M: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  7. A: Tenth of December by George Saunders
  8. M: Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  9. F: Dear Life by Alice Munro
  10. J: The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum



  • D: Serena by Ron Rash
  • O: Some Kinds of Love by Steve Yates
  • S: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by
  • A: Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway / The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  • J: Moveable Feast / The Paris Wife
  • J:The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • M: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
  • A:We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • M: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • F: Give Us a Kiss by Daniel Woodrell
  • J: The Snow Man by Jo Nesbo



  •  N/D: The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
  • O: Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • S: The State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • J/A: Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz / Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • J: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  • M: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
  • A: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
  • M: The Sister’s Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  • F: The Girl Who Fell Through The Sky by Heidi Durrow
  • J: The Sherlockian by Graham Moore



  • N/D: One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni
  • O: Swamplandia by Karen Russell
  • S: The Personal History of Rachel Dupree by Ann Weisgarber
  • A: All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque / Optional – A Very Long Engagement or Maisie Dobbs
  • J: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • J: Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
  • M: no meeting?
  • A: Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  • M: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
  • F: One Day by David Nicholls
  • J: Packing for Mars by Mary Roach



  •  N/D: Far North by Marcel Theroux
  • O: Tinkers by Paul Harding
  • S: Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  • A: Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
  • J: no meeting?
  • J: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  • A/M: no meetings – break
  • M: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • F: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • J: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak



  •  N/D: The Outlander
  • O: A Mercy by Toni Morrison
  • S: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • J/A: Jane Eyre / The Eyre Affair
  • J: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • M: City of Thieves
  • A: The Bean Trees
  • M: Olive Kitteridge
  • F: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
  • J: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery



  • D: The White Tiger
  • N: The White Tiger
  • O: The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao
  • S: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • A: To Kill a Mockingbird (1st at new location)
  • June/July: no meetings, bookstore moving
  • M: Animal / Vegetable / Miracle and Omnivore’s Dilemma
  • A: The Wild Trees
  • M: The Road
  • F: Persepolis I & II
  • J: Water for Elephants



  •  N/D: Best American Short Stories
  • O: Suite Francaise
  • S: Talk Talk
  • A: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
  • J: LIttle Women / March
  • J: LIttle Women / March
  • M: Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
  • A: The Namesake
  • M: The Children of Men
  • F: Year of Wonders
  • J: Travels with Charley



  •  N/D: The Hummingbird’s Daughter
  • O: Shadow of the Wind
  • S: HIstory of Love
  • A: An Inconvenient Truth
  • J: Assassination Vacation
  • J: Aftermath by Brian Shawver
  • M: The Ha Ha
  • A: The Dew Breaker
  • M: A Thread of Grace
  • F: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • J: Mirror Mirror



  •  D: skipped?
  • N: Everything is Illuminated (November 29)
  • O:  Their Eyes by Hurston or Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi?
  • S:   Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • A: Fluke by Christopher Moore
  • July: Norwegian Wood (Tuesday, July 12)
  • M: Slaughterhouse-Five (Tuesday, May 3)
  • A:  Their Eyes or Persepolis? (Tuesday, April 5)
  • M: skipped? I think we were still just meeting once every 6-8 weeks
  • F: The Kite Runner (Feb. 1)
  • J: skipped



  • N: Fortress of Solitude (Tuesday, Nov. 30)
  • October: Pride and Prejudice (Tuesday, Oct. 5)
  • Aug: Reading Lolita in Tehran (Tuesday, Aug 3)
  • June: Oryx and Crake (Tuesday, June 22)
  • A: Life of Pi (Tuesday, April 20)

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