Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of SS Readers Corner. This post contains spoilers so kindly skim it to avoid too much information.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week there is a specific bookish topic, which will be discussed and shared among bloggers. Today’s topic excites me because my friends & I initiated a book club for a youth organisation close to our hearts. We have wonderful discussion on a particular book every month. I always look forward to our book discussion.

My choice of Ten Books I’d Love to Read with My Book Club are…

‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion

Cover by Simon & Schuster; published in 2013

I noticed this novel a couple of months ago when Sony Pictures bought the rights to adapt the novel. My interest piqued when Bill Gates posted about the book on his Facebook. I got a copy at a book sale and am looking forward to reading it next year.

Possible topics of discussion:

  • Is there any difference of writing styles between male and female romance author?
  • Can true love be found using a formula? What about matchmaking websites?
  • Don Tillman’s peculiarity

 

 

‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Cover by Scholastic; published in 2011

I enjoy reading novels with dystopia theme and ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy is one of my favourites. I believe the books need to be discussed individually. ‘Mockingjay’ is my favourite book because of its darker themes. Therefore I would love to hear other people’s views on:

  • Reality tv shows – compare them to ‘The Hunger Games’
  • Propaganda & tokenism – Katniss as a “symbol” to unite other districts
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after winning the Hunger Games – I’d love to read more about Haymitch’s point of view

 

‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell

Cover by Penguin; published in 2008

 

George Orwell’s books are popular for book club discussions and some consider this as a children’s book. So why not use this book to lure more members to come to a book discussion?

Possible topics of discussion:

  • Propaganda against communism / Russia
  • If George Orwell had used human characters instead of animals, would the novel still be influential?
  • How do young readers comprehend the political aspects of the novel? (I’m intrigued that this novel is marketed as a children’s book)

 

 

‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult

Cover by Washington Square Press; published in 2005

This novel provokes a lot of after-thoughts, such as:

  • The novel is told from many different viewpoints. What do you think if it was written in just single (Anna’s) or double viewpoints (Anna’s & Sarah’s)?
  • What do you think of designer baby? In this case, a baby was conceived to save an older sibling.
  • What do you think of the parenting style?

 

 

 

Cover by Harper Perennial, published in 2006

 

‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver

I was emotionally exhausted when I finished reading this book. Nevertheless, I would love to spend 1-2 hours talking about this book. Questions that still linger in my mind:

  • Did Kevin respect and love Eva at all?
  • Who do you blame for Kevin’s atrocious behaviour? Himself or the parents?
  • Contrast the parenting styles of Franklin and those of Eva.

 

 

‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green

Cover by Speak; published in 2006

I have only read ‘Looking for Alaska’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. I really enjoyed the former than the latter even though ‘Looking for Alaska’ is a much older work and less popular work (this might change once the movie goes into production). I like how human existence is dealt in this book. Some questions I would ask in a book discussion are:

  • John Green divided the story into two parts: ‘before’ and ‘after’. What do you think of this structure of storytelling?
  • What happened the night Alaska died? Did she kill herself or was it an accident?
  • What is the most important question human beings must answer? Choose your question wisely, and then examine how Islam, Buddhism and Christianity attempt to answer it.

 

‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote

Cover by Penguin; published in 2012

I watched ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ a couple of years ago when I was in a ‘Hepburn’ phase. After watching the movie, I assumed he wrote fluff pieces. Whoa, I was so wrong. This book was compelling – I couldn’t believe that ‘In Cold Blood’ is a true crime! There are many questions that I’d like to explore:

  • What kind of men were Richard Hickock and Perry Smith? Compare and contrast their backgrounds.
  • Do you think Mr Capote give a just/unbiased representation of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith?
  • If the murder victims weren’t as white, prosperous, or well-liked as the Clutter family, do you think this book would be well-received and adapted into a movie?

 

‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ by Neil Gaiman

Cover by Headline Publishing Group; published in 2014

 

I have only read one of the author’s work – ‘Neverwhere’. I enjoyed the depictions of London but I dislike Richard Mayhew and the pacing of the story. Nevertheless, I am keen to give Mr Gaiman another go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness 

Cover by Candlewick Press; published in 2013

 

This is another book in my ‘to-be-read’ list. I have never read Patrick Ness’s work before but I purchased this novel after reading about its book-to-movie adaptation. I’d like to recommend this book to my reading group because of (1) the adaptation and (2) the genre – we don’t have a horror book in our list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Cover by Harcourt, Inc. Published in 2000

 

My former housemate gave me a Spanish copy of ‘The Little Prince’ as a parting gift (hablo un poco español :)). I was curious about the book so I searched for it via Google. The book seems to be a favourite choice amongst book lovers. By adding this book to my book club’s reading list, I hope more members will attend the monthly discussions.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Are you part of a book club/reading group? What questions should I ask during a discussion? I would love to read your book suggestions as well as discussion questions. Please share them in the comment box below.

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Top Ten Most Eagerly-awaited Book-inspired Movies

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of SS Readers Corner. This post contains spoilers so kindly skim it if you don’t want too know in detail.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme started by The Broke and the Bookish in an effort to encourage bloggers to discuss about books. There is a new topic every Tuesday.

Today, bloggers can choose any topics that they’d like to write about. There are many book-inspired movies that will be released in 2015. Here is a list of ten book adaptations that I look forward to this year.

In the Heart of the Sea

Based on: ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ by Nathaniel Philbrick
Movie release date: 13th of March 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Cast and/or crew – This Ron Howard-directed movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson & Ben Whishaw
2. Fascinating storyline – it’s a sea adventure that involves a whale!

Watch the trailer below.

Paper Towns

Based on: ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green
Movie release date: 19th of June 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Cast and/or crew – The script is written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (the duo who wrote ‘(500) Days of Summer’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’). I also like Nat Wolff’s acting in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’.
2. John Green – I have read ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Looking for Alaska but not this (yet). I’d like to explore more of his writing so I shall borrow from a friend.

There is no trailer yet but click here to read my blog post on the movie.

Me Before You

Based on: ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes
Movie release date: 21st of August 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – a romance story involving a paralysed man. I haven’t read any of Ms Moyes’s work but this movie prompts me to put this book in my to-be-read pile.
2. Cast and/or crew – In an interview for ‘Love, Rosie’ (another book-turned-movie), Sam Claflin mentioned that he’d like to play a physically and emotionally challenged character. I look forward to seeing him in that role.

There is no trailer yet but click here to read my blog post on the movie.

Black Mass

Based on: ‘Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob’ by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’neill
Movie release date: 18th of September 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – it’s based on a true story about 2 childhood friends who end up on opposite sides of the law – one is a FBI agent while the other is a part of an Irish mob.
2. Cast and/or crew – Benedict Cumberbatch.

Victor Frankenstein

Inspired by: ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley
Movie release date: 2nd of October 2015
Reasons to watch: 
1. Fascinating storyline – Told from Igor’s perspective, movie goers will get to see how Victor Frankenstein transforms from a medical student to the man who created The Monster.
2. Cast and/or crew – Igor is played by Daniel Radcliffe while James McAvoy takes on the role of Victor Frankenstein.

Mockingjay Part 2

Based on: ‘Mockingjay’ by Suzanne Collins
Movie release date: 20th of November 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – It’s my favourite book out of the trilogy. I enjoyed reading the book because of its darker themes (war, post-traumatic stress disorder, displacement, tokenism etc.).
2. Cast and/or crew – Francis Lawrence did a great job directing ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mockingjay: Part 1’ – I dislike Gary Ross’s direction in ‘The Hunger Games’. As for the cast, I’d love to see more of Haymitch because he’s my favourite character in the book.

Macbeth

Based on: ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Cast and/or crew – Michael Fassbender. In my humble opinion, he’s the best actor in his generation.

Michael Fassbender as Macbeth

Dark Places

Based on: ‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – It’s about a woman who survived brutal killing of her parents. She meets crime enthusiasts, revisits the murder case and starts to see the case from a different angle. After reading the synopsis of the book, I am compelled to read the book. Book is now in my to-be-read list.

High-Rise

Based on: ‘High Rise’ by J.G. Ballard
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – The book has been described as ‘Lord of the Flies inside an apartment’. I’m going to read the book!
2. Cast and/or crew – Tom Hiddleston. As much as I enjoy watching him as Loki, I’d love to watch him in a meatier role.

The Secret Scripture

Based on: ‘The Secret Scripture’ by Sebastian Barry
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. The book – I started reading this book a couple of weeks ago but put it on hold to start reading another book (for my monthly book club meets). I found out about the movie when I conducted research for this blog post.
2. Cast and/or crew – I haven’t watched Jim Sheridan’s works but I know he has an impressive portfolio. Now that I know about the casting of Vanessa Redgrave (as older Roseanne) Eric Bana (as Dr William Greene), it would be much easier to be immersed in the story.


Do you have any of these movies in your watchlist? What are your book-inspired movies that you look forward to this year? Check out the links for ideas and then let me know in the comment box below.

Bookworms Unite! 20th December Book Meet by KL Book Exchange Club

All bookworms in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor…unite! KL Book Exchange Club is bring another book sale:

Date: 20th of December 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 3 – 6 pm
Location: Fuwa Fuwa Bakery Cafe, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya (click here to view map)
What to expect: book bargains galore; reading & autograph session by Tutu Dutta Yean; lucky draw prizes; Childrens’ Picture book swap

If you would like to sell books, please contact event organiser. More details at the event page.

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KL Book Exchange Club is a members-only group for individuals who want to exchange and sell books. Become a member of KL Book Exchange Club by visiting this link.

Making the best book marketing campaigns for UK readers

Have you ever wondered the best way to market a book? The slideshow below reveals the most effective strategy for book promotion:


 

The slidewhow briefly describes the methodology used to collate data. It also gives insights on different types of book  buyers: 1) adult fiction, 2) young adult (YA) fiction, and 3) adult non-fiction.

If you would like to market an adult fiction for example ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn, target 1) bestseller list, 2) places of work/study, and/or 3) reading group. Adult fiction readers are more likely to discover the book through those methods.

YA fiction readers are, in general, avid users of social media e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads. Therefore optimise the use of social media when you promote a YA fiction book. Research has also shown that YA fiction readers are more likely to discover the books through film, television and/or radio adaptation.

Are you trying to attract older women who lives in the country/rural areas to buy adult non-fiction books? The best way to reach them is via printed newspapers.

If you are author/bookseller/publisher, it might be best to invest in these book consumer data. For more details, visit Nielsen Market Research‘s online store.

American Association of Malaysia (AAM) Book Club: November 2014 meetup

Members of American Association of Malaysia (AAM) Book Club meet again end of November. This time around, the club has chosen ‘Bento Box in the Heartland‘ by Linda Furiya. Here is a synopsis of the book:

While growing up in Versailles, an Indiana farm community, Linda Furiya tried to balance the outside world of Midwestern America with the Japanese traditions of her home life. As the only Asian family in a tiny township, Furiya’s life revolved around Japanese food and the extraordinary lengths her parents went to in order to gather the ingredients needed to prepare it.
As immigrants, her parents approached the challenges of living in America, and maintaining their Japanese diets, with optimism and gusto. Furiva, meanwhile, was acutely aware of how food set her apart from her peers: She spent her first day of school hiding in the girls’ restroom, examining her rice balls and chopsticks, and longing for a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.

The cover of ‘Bento Box in the Heartland’ by Linda Furiyia

Here are details of the book discussion:

Date: 21st of October 2014
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Ambiance Coffee Café
Ambiance Ampang, 379A 4 Jalan Ampang,
First Floor (near Ampang Grocers)
Kuala Lumpur
Cost of drinks/food: Individual
RSVP: kindly appreciated but not necessary.

Please be informed that non-members are welcomed to join the event as a guest for the first two visits only. They will have to be a member of AAM if they would like to participate after the complimentary visits have been used.

To get the latest information on the book club, visit their weblink or email to them.

@Penguinusa Twitter Book Club: Chat with Anaïs Bordier & Samantha Futerman

Penguin USA Twitter Book Club has chosen an interesting book for this month’s discussion: ‘Separated @ Birth: The Story of Identical Twin Sisters Who Grew Up an Ocean Apart Until Social Media Connected Them’ by Anaïs Bordier & Samantha Futerman. Here is a glimpse of the story:

It all began when design student Anaïs Bordier viewed a YouTube video and saw her own face staring back. After some research, Anaïs found that the Los Angeles actress Samantha Futerman was born in a South Korean port city called Busan on November 19, 1987—the exact same location and day that Anaïs was born. This propelled her to make contact—via Facebook. One message later, both girls wondered: Could they be twins?

Thus begins their remarkable journey to build a relationship as sisters, continents apart. Over Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, they learned that they shared much more than a strikingly similar appearance. Eventually, they traveled to Korea together to discover more about the land of their separation. Separated @ Birth is a story that spans the world and peels back some of the complex and emotional layers of foreign adoption.

‘Separated @ Birth: The Story of Identical Twin Sisters Who Grew Up an Ocean Apart Until Social Media Connected Them’

Want to chat with Anaïs Bordier & Samantha Futerman? @penguinUSA has organised 2 Twitter chat sessions with @samfuterman and @AnaisFBordier on these dates:

  • Tuesday, 4th of November
    3 – 4 PM USA Eastern Standard Time (4 am to 5 am Wednesday for those in Malaysia)
  • Tuesday, 18th of November
    3 – 4 PM USA Eastern Standard Time (4 am to 5 am Wednesday for those in Malaysia)

Make sure to include hashtag #readpenguin in your tweet(s) to @penguinUSA.

For more details on the book club, please visit this page and/or Twitter.

American Association of Malaysia (AAM) Book Club: October 2014 meetup

A new month means a new book for discussion. For the month of October, American Association of Malaysia (AAM) Book Club has chosen ‘Midnight in Peking’ by Paul French. Here is the synopsis:

Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner’s body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits? With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives—one British and one Chinese—race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever. Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade?

‘Midnight in Peking’ by Paul French

If you are keen to discuss the book, join this event:

Date: 21st of October 2014
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Ambiance Coffee Café
Ambiance Ampang, 379A 4 Jalan Ampang,
First Floor (near Ampang Grocers)
Kuala Lumpur
Cost of drinks/food: Individual

Please be informed that non-members are welcomed to join the event as a guest for the first two visits only. They will have to be a member of AAM if they would like to participate after the complimentary visits have been used.

RSVP is kindly appreciated but not necessary. To get the latest information on the book club, visit their weblink or email to them.