Off the Beaten Path: 3 Unusual Book Club Picks

Everyone is reading Girl on a Train, and well, everyone should. It is exceptional.  It is also excpetional to read some random little gems that most have never hearf of, but are though-provoking, odd, and beautiful all at the same time.  Here are three unconventional choices.

My Wish List by Gregoire Delacourt 

my-wish-list-coverWhat if life was finally good, the hard waves had crashed, you got back up, and the calm waters followed? What if the arrival of such peace was so unexpected, so needed, and so relieving, protecting the peace meant keeping out the good? Our heroine lives in a small French town, her sewing shop is doing unexpectedly well thanks to the popularity of her blog. Extreme sadness has come and gone, but life is good. She is happy with her shop, and sharing the magic of arranging fabric, buttons, and ribbons into a new creation. She is happy until her dear friends convince her to purchase a lottery ticket for the mega jack-pot. When the winner is announced and does not come forward, she knows her life will never be the same.This book is exquisitely written, magical in its telling, yet devastating.  What would you do if you finally had all that money cannot buy and all the money in the world was poised to take it right back? I thought about this book, the setting, the quirky charm, and the question of true love and true happiness it raises long after it was over. A good pick if you are looking for something not everyone is reading.

To Purchase on Amazon, click here: My Wish List: A Novel

The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

untitledA broody, disgruntled librarian finds a man who has been sleeping in her assigned section overnight. She unloads her every thought, desire, and opinion upon him before the library can open and he can escape to freedom. This book is a long rambling rant from a woman you wished you never started a conversation with. However, I found it whimsical and wonderful.  I loved all 93 pages and literally read it in an hour. From this lonely librarian we learn the history of the Dewey Decimal system, her opinion on Napoleon, library politics, her love lost, and her unrequited library love, Martin. Martin reads in her section each day, and our lovable, yet neurotic protagonist has fallen in love with the back of his neck, and pines after this silent reader daily. If you are looking for something completely unusual, quietly comical, with doses of sweet but sad, this is your book. If your book club is over and done reading the beach reads and best sellers, pick up this inventive little gem. If you don’t like it, you only gave less than a day to reading it. However, my bet is you will like it.

To Purchase on Amazon, click here: The Library of Unrequited Love

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Fowler

we are all beside ourselvesThe opening of this book gives away nearly nothing.  We know the main character is Rosemary, her sister Fern is long gone, and her brother Lowell has left without a good-bye. Rosemary is struggling through college, a fact unsuccessfully hidden from her academic parents. Everyone is a bit off and doing a complicated dance of denial around something unspeakable. I was told to give this book a chance to about page 80. I will give you the same advice, and I am sorry, I will not give anything away. There is an unexpected twist in the middle. The book is not about a simple family drama as it seems at the beginning.  It is an odd story, yet it is well written.  Read it with a Book Group, as it conjures up interesting topics of conversation. It will leave you to ponder on the blend of ethics and science, animal rights and human responsibility, and the definition of family.

To Purchase on Amazon, click here:

By Karen Joy Fowler We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Pen/Faulkner Award – Fiction) (F First Edition)

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