For those who missed it, today's #litchat conversation on Twitter discussed book groups and what books make for good discussion. Some great points were made and several titles were recommended, from current bestsellers like The Help to older titles like The Sparrow and to historical fiction like Anita Diamant's The Red Tent. The book group I was in at the time had an absolutely wonderful discussion about The Red Tent--though not all of us loved it--and I've found that historical fiction often generates some of the best conversations in my current book group: Pope Joan, The Other Boleyn Girl and Year of Wonders in particular.
Another great idea, proposed by twitterer ErinHere is for clubs to pick two linked books to read over two months like Great Expectations with Mister Pip. In that vein, RebeccaWoodhead recommended reading Jane Eyre along with Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, the latter being the story of Rochester's wife, the so-called "madwoman in the attic." If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it, it's a wonderful literary imagining of the story before Jane Eyre that really makes you think about all your assumptions about men, women and passion. Other great literary pairings include A Christmas Carol and Mr. Timothy and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Wicked.
Check out the litchat stream (or search Twitter by "#litchat") to see all that was discussed. If you're not on Twitter, you'll see what wonderful conversations are happening there. And if you're already on Twitter, you may find some smart new book people to follow!