Top Ten Tuesday: When Book Club Becomes Debate Club


Happy Tuesday!! I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween if you celebrate it!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is open-ended, allowing us to choose what kinds of books we would recommend to a book club. In the frustrating, bewildering spirit of the United States presidential election, I’ve decided to go with a rather contentious theme. Without further ado, here my Top Ten Books to Read If Your Book Club Likes to Debate. In some way, shape, or form, these books have sparked debate both within and beyond the book blogging community.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger converThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Some people find this book endlessly annoying due to all of Holden’s ranting, while others appreciate it for the way it portrays adolescence and the human experience. Personally, I’m in the latter camp!

we were liars coverWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The main point of contention with this short, summery book tends to be the dramatic ending. Was it obvious from the very beginning or does it actually deserve praise for being a shocking twist? Once again, I tend to side with the latter opinion– I never saw it coming!

wuthering heights coverWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I had a lot of mixed feelings about this classic novel, mostly because I was very confused by the characters’ similar names. It also came across as incredibly overdramatic… am I the only one who feels this way?

gone girl coverGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This mystery novel is certainly good, but looking back I feel as though it is a bit overrated. There are so many other amazing mystery stories out there! (*cough* And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie *cough*)

anna and the french kiss coverAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I loved this book when I first read it years ago, but I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about it since then. It seems like people either really love it or have a lot of problems with the romantic relationships in it.

eat pray loveEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Once again, I loved this book when I first read it; however, I was surprised to find that it has received a surprising number of mixed reviews. Many readers criticize Gilbert’s successful memoir for the story of a privileged, wealthy white women who travels to escape her problems. Personally, I thought it was inspiring, eye-opening, and offered a new perspective on life, happiness, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

the summer i turned pretty coverThe Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

I included this book on the list for one simple reason: sometimes it seems as though everyone loves this trilogy except for me. It wasn’t dreadful, but I disliked the main character and thought the romance was sort of lackluster overall.

allegiant coverAllegiant by Veronica Roth

Oh, the ending of this trilogy was sparked SO MUCH heated debate when it was first published. Though I understand some of the reasoning behind why it ended in the way that it did, I still don’t like it.

Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens

While reading this classic novel with my AP English class during my senior year of high school, I quickly realized that this book is pretty polarizing. My classmates tended to either empathize with Pip or think he was incredibly annoying, which made for some very interesting (and frustrating!) class discussions.

29056083Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Considering the enormous buzz surrounding this work, I think it pretty much goes without explanation. Though it saddens me to say this, I really disliked this unnecessary additional to the Harry Potter universe.

What books do you find controversial or often sparking heated discussions? What do you think of the books on my list? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions? Let me know in the comments section below!



25 Replies to “Top Ten Tuesday: When Book Club Becomes Debate Club”

  1. I agree with the ones I’ve read, definitely. Especially HP. It was such a dampener. The writing in particular. Sigh. I don’t have a book club but I shall debate these with my cousin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with your take on the ones I’ve read — the first five. Except Wuthering Heights which I did enjoy reading and didn’t find confusing, but I did find it dark enough that it’s not one I reread regularly. Have you heard the Kate Bush song? It might get you in the mood to try it again. 🙂 I gave up on the Allegiant series somewhere in the middle of the 2nd book… Great topic, especially pre-holidays maybe book debates are safer for family gatherings than politics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard the Kate Bush song, but I’ll have to listen to it the next time I’m thinking of reading Wuthering Heights. Also, I completely agree with you about bookish debates being safer than political ones, especially with my family over the holidays. Political debates can heat up pretty quickly!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That was my original thought about Cursed Child, but then I decided to just read it anyways so I could form my own opinion about it (and because I was super curious!). I don’t necessarily regret reading it, but I tend to just pretend that it doesn’t exist in terms of the original series 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish I was part of a book club! I was a member of one in middle school and absolutely loved it, but nothing like that existed in my high school. I’ve thought about starting one now that I’m in college, though I don’t think I would have the time to consistently read books other than those I’m assigned to read for my coursework. A girl can dream, though! 🙂


    1. Same!! One of my best friends HATES Great Expectations, and whenever she asks me why I love it I always reply with a rambling of “Pip and Miss Havisham and it’s just such a great coming of age story and the ending and AHH.” There’s just something about it that makes me keep thinking about the story all this time later. ❤


    1. I feel better about the ending of Allegiance now that some time has passed since I first read it, but in the moment I was furious. I didn’t think it was necessary in terms of plot, and it kind of felt like Roth threw it in there simply for the shock factor. I still have mixed feelings about it!


      1. To play devils advocate, I’m not sure I think she did it out of plot necessity. I think she did it because it happens. Death is usually unnecessary, right? And that’s exactly why I liked it.

        Liked by 2 people

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