Choose December's Reading group book: Family

More than any other month, December belongs to kinfolks – so they're the focus of our next Reading group. Which family is up to you

Since 'tis the season to be seasonal, I thought we should do something related to Christmas this month on the Reading group – even if obliquely. This is a time of year when, traditionally, Hollywood and American sitcoms ask us to think about family, and we could do the same. Families, as Philip Larkin tells us, are always emotionally interesting – and ripe sources for fictional intrigue.

The first book that sprang to my mind is Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections and the unholy mess surrounding Enid Lambert's attempts to bring her family together for "one last Christmas". But there's no need to keep it festive. The next text that occurred to me was Hamlet. Macbeth might do the trick too. And on a different note, how about The Godfather? Another brilliant suggestion came from the Guardian books desk: Gerard Woodward's I'll Go To Bed At Noon. Reading group regulars will be pleased to note that this is a book that references Under The Volcano. As well as the joys and terrors of family at close quarters, it also features plenty of pubs, which may tie it nicely to December.

That reference to irregular bedtimes made me also wonder if we might revisit Proust, and his grandmother, following the joy he gave us earlier this year. There's something very pleasing about the thought of book-ending 2013 with the divine Marcel. But that may possibly be too much of a (very) good thing. And as usual, I realise, I'm starting to get caught up in the fun of trotting out titles when really that's your job. So let's hear about your favourite books about families? I'll draw the nominations out of a hat in a few days' time …

In the meantime, watch this space for an interview with Albert Camus translator Sandra Smith.

Contributor

Sam Jordison

The GuardianTramp

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