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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Book Club Report: Year Seven

Since beginning this series in January 2018 - exactly one year after the inception of my book club - I've been pleased to get at least a few comments each year. I'm always glad to hear from members of the club and the infrequent comments from folks who are not in the club have been a nice bonus. Thanks to all. Hope some of the rest of you will chime in this year.  

The books I selected in 2023 for the No Wine or Whiners club landed in both surprising and expected ways.  I'm slowly learning to avoid trying to anticipate how any book will land and instead adhere to my only standard for selection: Does the prose clearly show the author has spent adequate time learning their craft? Anything goes with respect to subject matter, setting, tone. The author's style, reputation, or politics - past or present - do not matter. "Classic", contemporary, or in-between = all are welcome. After noting this past year's top prize for novel and non-fiction below, if you've read something you think my club will enjoy discussing, please tell me. I'll read it. If it fits my only standard, it could end up in a future queue. If it does, thank you in advance for the suggestion. 

2023's Top Prize for Novel:  Small Things Like These - Claire Keegan (2021): The club's reaction to this tiny treasure took me by surprise. In my experience, books that whisper can easily be undervalued. I was as overjoyed as I was surprised that the club warmly embraced it. 

2023's Top Prize for Non-Fiction: Rocket Boys - Homer Hickam Jr. (1998): Although I expected this straightforward memoir to land well, I did not expect the nearly universal acclaim it garnered. In fact, it was me who had perhaps the most muted reaction to it. Can't take full credit for selecting it either; it was my wife's suggestion. I read it, found the prose sturdy and unfussy, and there you go.

See you next January.  


  1. Now I have to read these! They sound great.

    1. Anonymous; Glad I piqued your interest. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Good morning, Pat ... More to add to my list. Not that I'm complaining, though. I've enjoyed previous recommendations that I've read. If only there was more time ... Wait, I'm retired ... lol
    Be well,

    1. Bob (#2 today); Yeah, those pesky lists. I feel your pain.