Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wherein we discuss our best and worst reads for 2012

Last weekend, the book club members gathered once again for our annual discussion of our best and worst reads for 2012. It was a beautiful Saturday: the weather fine, the food sumptuous and plentiful, the conversation engaging, and the company perfect.

The best and worst discussion has always been interesting. It's like a show-and-tell activity, wherein we go around the group, asking each member to talk about his or her best and worst read for the past year. Yes, it's always interesting but never awkward, even though one's best read may turn out to be another's worst, which happened this year.

This year, 25 of us showed up for the discussion. And there were quite a few surprises. One, there were a few who picked Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game as their best. Another, a few gasps were heard when somebody mentioned Eat, Pray, Love as her best read. This somehow led to a lively conversation on how timing can be a big factor when choosing our favorite reads. We may be at a particular point in our lives when we find ourselves totally relating to a specific book and ultimately liking it.

Someone wrote all our best reads on a board. After everyone has had his or her turn, we were then asked to choose 3 books that interest us the most. These may be the books that we would want to read after hearing another person's thoughts about them. Results are shown below.

The winner, Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists, got 9 votes. I read this one, and I agree! It's one darn good novel told in stories. My best read, Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, was tied for 2nd with The Night Circus, which I've also read and enjoyed. My best read got 8 votes! Woot!

So now the book club has formally bid farewell to the wonderfully book-ish year of 2012. We're now all set for 2013! And this year, I'm co-moderating a discussion with R. We're tackling Stephen King's Night Shift in October.

And what was that book that most of us chose as our worst read? Well, the Fifty Shades trilogy! Sex sells, but apparently, Flippers weren't sold on the trilogy. One member did pick the trilogy as her best read though.

For a full listing of the best and worst reads of the book club, click here. And, as always, I'd like to thank R. for the awesome photos during the event.


Louize Gonzales said...

Hi Peter!
We had something like this last TFG Christmas Party. It was fun. Angus kept a list and posted it on the site.

Hmmm, your list got me curious about The Song of Achilles and Essay in Love.

Peter S. said...

Hello, Louize!

I've read Essays in Love too! Well, I'll read anything by Alain de Botton. I must say that he does come up with very readable books even though the subject (philosophy) may seem very uninteresting.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've only read two from the list: The Virgin Suicides (it's officially on my Top Five of 2012) and The Historian (unofficially on my Bottom 10). And obviously, sex really sells!

Peter S. said...

Hello, Angus! I've also read The Virgin Suicides. I enjoyed it as well. And I'm not midway into Middlesex, which I'm really, really liking!

Monique said...

Did I tell you that I will cite you as official "recommender" of Song of Achilles when I read it? If not, well then I'm telling you now. Haha! :)

Yay for The Virgin Suicides and Ender's Game! :)

Peter S. said...

LOL! I'll just keep my fingers crossed that you'll like it, Monique!

Tina said...

Lovely pictures! And I love hearing best and worst books from friends -- it helps me look out for more books to read for the year! Oh and I also agree to how timing can be a big factor in liking a book. I remember loving Eat, Pray, Love years ago, but I bet if I read it now, I doubt I'll like it as much. :)

Peter S. said...

Hi, Tina! Yup, timing is very important! That's why I have mixed feelings when I know I need to reread!