Controversial/polarizing choices for your book groups

Here are some books that will do more than just bring spirited discussion and debate to your groups. These books will cause actual feuds. Your book group will then split up and you’ll get a break from it all, and then you can reconvene with all new members (except for you, of course; at that point, you will be the only original member.)

Here are the choices:

Nicholson Baker — The Fermata. My prediction: If you have seven people in your group, six will hate it and one will like it.

Christopher Hitchens — God Is Not Great. Slightly different split: I predict five against two. Or maybe four against three.

Sarah Waters– Tipping the Velvet. This book is a beautifully written, ribald period romp, but it’s bound to rub some people the wrong way. The leather object scene will easily take up 98 percent of the discussion.) Predicted split: Five to two.

Stanley Elkin — The Magic Kingdom. This book is a classic, but it’s bound to antagonize most of the people in your group. That’s because The Magic Kingdom is a comedy about a bunch of kids with disgusting, terminal diseases running amok at Disneyworld with a group of oversexed chaperones. Contains one of the most un-erotic love scenes in literary history. Predicted split: six against one. Or maybe seven against zero.

Let me know if these do the trick for you; if not, I’ll put up a few more six months from now.

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