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Vote: Dear Wendy Book Club

booksOne of my resolutions this year is the same it’s been for the last several years in a row: read more books. Last year, I think I read maybe three in their entirety and I started and didn’t finish an additional seven or eight. I want to be ambitious this year, but realistic; I’d be happy to double last year’s number and finish six whole books in 2014. (I should say that I do read a lot — I just read shorter things like newspaper articles and essays and magazines and websites). To help me reach my incredible goal of reading six whole books in 2014, I thought I’d bring back the Dear Wendy Book Club. This year, we’ll read a more manageable six books (Oh, what a coincidence! That’s my goal for this year!) instead of one every month. So, we’ll spend January and February reading one book and then discuss the first week of March and then spend March and April reading our second book and discuss the first week of May and so on.

Now, let’s choose our first book of the year, shall we? To begin, I selected four best-sellers that were well-reviewed, published fairly recently, and no longer than 416 pages (for those of us with especially short attention spans or limited free time to spare). Follow the links to read about the novels (yes, all novels this time) and please vote below for your choice for our first book club book of the new year. Happy reading!

1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Published: 2013; Pages: 352

2. The Fault in Our Stars
Published: 2012; Pages: 318
(Note: This is a Young Adult novel)

3. Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Published: 2013; Pages: 384

4. The Husband’s Secret
Published: 2013 Pages: 416

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avatar kerrycontrary January 7, 2014, 1:10 pm

So glad the book club is back! I’ve started going to a quarterly book club for one of my professional associations, but it’s non-fiction and sort of related to my field. I really need suggestions on what to read otherwise I’m just paralyzed by the amount of choices (and this is why I’m not a public librarian…)

katie katie January 7, 2014, 1:17 pm

yea im too scared to venture into the library. right in the front they have a small shelf of “new fiction” and thats where all my books come from.

theattack theattack January 7, 2014, 2:27 pm

Yes, it’s completely overwhelming to have so much available to us so easily. I had a small existential breakdown last night about this. I need to have no more than five options for any given thing. I don’t need thousands of recipes or careers or books or movies or laundry detergents at my finger tips. Have you ever looked at the sliced bread aisle in the grocery store? There are like 40 different types of sliced bread in my small town grocery store. What is that?!?! How am I supposed to pick one and go on with my life? Four book club options is definitely a good thing.

avatar rachel January 7, 2014, 2:32 pm

It’s like the jam thing. When customers have 5 flavors of jam to try, they are much more likely to buy jam than if they have 20.

theattack theattack January 7, 2014, 2:35 pm

That makes a lot of sense.

avatar bethany January 7, 2014, 1:20 pm

Yay for Book Club’s return!!

I recently stopped listening to a daily podcast on the train, and switched to a weekly one so that I have more time to read. This is perfect timing!

avatar Jamie January 7, 2014, 1:20 pm

I’ve already read the first two and both are fantastic books in my opinion. I couldn’t put either of them down and read both in a few days. This is impressive because 2013 seemed to be the year of starting books and never finishing them, or reading a chapter a month for me. The Fault in Our Stars will make you ugly cry, so have tissues at hand.

Amybelle Amybelle January 7, 2014, 3:12 pm

Both The Fault in Our Stars and The Husband’s Secret made me ugly cry.

GatorGirl GatorGirl January 7, 2014, 1:22 pm

I vote for the shortest one? IDK I want to participate but 416 pages sounds like UGH for me. haha.

honeybeenicki honeybeenicki January 7, 2014, 1:27 pm

I read like a maniac. I spend an awful lot of time reading. I have a 50 minute bus ride to work in the morning, a 40 minute one home, plus my breaks and lunchtime. And then I read at home. I think maybe I have a problem. I just bought a new bookshelf (to add to the three 6-7 foot ones I already have) because now that we moved my library downstairs I have more room! Anyway… one of my goals this year was to branch out in what I read. I have a few pretty specific genres/authors that I read and I only leave my comfort zone occasionally. So this will definitely help.

Lianne Lianne January 7, 2014, 1:31 pm

Me too! I love to read. I am currently reading The Interestings, which is interesting (ha!) but I am not really pulled into it. I am also re-reading the Harry Potter series. I got the full set in hardback for Christmas and it is by far my most beloved gift.

honeybeenicki honeybeenicki January 7, 2014, 2:16 pm

Right now I’m re-reading the JD Robb “In Death” series. I’m about 3/4 of the way through. And I got my friend hooked on it and she isn’t much for reading so that’s something. I have an app on my phone called Book Catalogue that I use to track my books because it got to the point that I’d go to a bookstore and buy a book just to find out I already have it. I think my last count was over 600. And that was after I thinned it out to make moving easier.

Regina Chapman Regina Chapman January 8, 2014, 3:34 am

I have two words for you: Kobo Glo. Easily my best purchase of the last…five years:).

Amybelle Amybelle January 7, 2014, 1:28 pm

I voted for Tell the Wolves because I’ve already read the other 3, but they were all excellent so I’ll be happy to jump in the discussion!

Amybelle Amybelle January 7, 2014, 3:09 pm

Oops just realized I did read Tell the Wolves I’m Home (I read like honeybeenicki!) but it was a good one too, I’ll be happy with whatever wins. So glad book club is back!

Lianne Lianne January 7, 2014, 1:29 pm

Hooray! I missed out on the last one because I was making my way through the Game of Thrones books and that took me 9 months. And I am a fast reader! I’ve read The Fault in Our Stars – really good and a fast read. But I chose something else since I already read it :)

avatar Just Max January 7, 2014, 1:33 pm

Although I already read (listened to) it, I voted for Where’d you go Bernadette? It was a fun read (listen!). Ha! ;-)

call-me-hobo call-me-hobo January 7, 2014, 1:40 pm

Oh my gah- The Fault in Our Stars made me cry like a baby. But it’s a great pick if you want a short read. It only took me a day to read.

Lyra Lyra January 7, 2014, 1:58 pm

I may join in this time around!

Related: where does one get free audiobooks? I spend a ridiculous amount of time in the car and I think it would be great to get into more books during that time.

avatar bethany January 7, 2014, 2:09 pm

Library?

katie katie January 7, 2014, 2:15 pm

yea the library has everything, basically.

also you can find them on amazon and stuff sometimes, i think. hip2save posts about free stuff like that. itunes probably does too, sometimes at least.

Lyra Lyra January 7, 2014, 2:29 pm

I didn’t realize my library had that option but they do! I’m able to download books to my iPhone! That’s awesome. I wish I had known that earlier!

katie katie January 7, 2014, 2:48 pm

yea i was so excited when i figured out how to download e books, but the tablet thingy i had didnt work with the format or something. it was a total let down. but i have an ipad now! ill have to try again!

Lyra Lyra January 7, 2014, 3:55 pm

I’m sure you’ll be able to with your iPad! The app that I downloaded for audiobooks is called OverDrive and you can set it up straight to your library. It’s great!

avatar Painted_lady January 7, 2014, 3:38 pm

Also, if your library is like mine and has a really limited collection, then a subscription to Audible isn’t prohibitively expensive – it’s less than the price of an audiobook per month, and you get a free one everytime they bill you. I used to spend at least an hour in the car each leg of my commute, so that kept me from losing my mind…but I still have the subscription and listen at the gym.

Lyra Lyra January 7, 2014, 4:43 pm

I will look into that too. Fortunately my library has a pretty good selection, but I did notice that there are a LOT that are checked out, so I’ll definitely look into Audible too.

Fabelle Fabelle January 7, 2014, 1:59 pm

I want to participate this time, so I vote for The Husband’s Secret. I like books about secre ts

Dear Wendy Wendy January 7, 2014, 2:16 pm

I just realized on the poll I have “The Husband’s Secret” listed as “The Husband’s Wife,” which is funny. I can’t go back and edit it now without erasing all the votes, so we’ll keep it as is. I trust all of you are smart enough to know what I meant anyway!

avatar bethany January 7, 2014, 2:42 pm

I voted for it and I didn’t even realize… What does that say about my reading comprehension?

Dear Wendy Wendy January 7, 2014, 3:05 pm

Ooh, I fixed it!

theattack theattack January 7, 2014, 2:31 pm

Dude, I cannot read a book about someone dying. “The Fault in Our Stars” sounds good, but loss is just not entertaining for me right now, so I think I’m going to have to steer away from it. The wolves thing might be too much for me right now too, but it sounds so good. The others all sound like really good choices for the book club though, and I’m so excited! “The Husband’s Secret” sounds especially interesting.

avatar JoanJ January 7, 2014, 3:07 pm

I haven’t read the book, but I did get to read the script for the film adaptation and it was insanely sappy and over-indulgent. It was like reading an episode of Oprah.

theattack theattack January 7, 2014, 3:12 pm

For which book? The Fault In Our Stars?

avatar scattol January 7, 2014, 6:07 pm

Those who want to cheat at “The Husband’s Secret” can get the “reading group” notes from the publishers that gives a plot summary (with spoilers) discusses the style and gives questions for discussions:

http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/resources/9781742612010-notes.pdf‎

Good marketing widget from the publishers, you learn something new every day.

Regina Chapman Regina Chapman January 8, 2014, 3:31 am

I only voted for ‘Tell the Wolves I’m Home’ because I already read ‘The Fault in our Stars’. But honestly, I’d tell you to go with TFIOS. ‘Cause it was goddarn beautiful and will make you feel all the feels (tip: keep tissue box handy).

Addie Pray Addie Pray January 8, 2014, 6:20 am

Oh fun I’m going to try to keep up with this book club this year. Last time I bought the books but didn’t crack them open. I wish we were doing non-fiction- that’s my favorite. Oh I just finished a great book that had me in tears – balling ugly tears poolside in Rio (boom!) – it’s Jon Krakauer’s “Where Men Win Glory,” about Pat Tillman and the war. So good, so interesting, so sad. I love Krakauer.

theattack theattack January 8, 2014, 11:57 am

I agree about nonfiction. It’s my favorite! Maybe we can have a nonfiction option or two at some point. Or have one month be entirely nonfiction choices?

Dear Wendy Wendy January 8, 2014, 12:39 pm

Next time will be all nonfiction!

LadyinPurpleNotRed LadyinPurpleNotRed January 8, 2014, 11:58 am

I’m in the nonfiction camp as well! Then again…I’m getting my mfa in creative writing with a focus in creative nonfiction sooooo

Dear Wendy Wendy January 8, 2014, 12:40 pm

Polls close in 20 minutes, everyone, so if you haven’t yet, get out and vote! (Or, you know, just click the title you most want to read and discuss).

avatar HmC January 8, 2014, 1:14 pm

Oh I went to vote for The Fault in Our Stars and it was too late but boom, it won so yay! Looks great. I love some quality fiction, though I tend to like old classics. So I’m happy to try out something new.

I’m suffering from some minor post-bridal blues, just feeling a bit lonely and not sure what to do with myself, so this is perfect!