Librarian and veteran book group member Beverly Bryce offers the following list as a point of departure for a book group. All of these books, she says, touched the members of her group in a special way and led to "very good" discussions. Classics

Emma by Jane Austen

The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton Contemporary Fiction

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Final Payments by Mary Gordon

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul

Anya by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

The Half-Sisters by Cynthia Propper Seton

The First Circle by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler Nonfiction

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan

Pioneer Women by Joanna Stratton

The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler

Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 by Barbara Tuchman


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston

Eleanor and Franklin by Joseph P. Lash

Among contacts for Washington-area book-discussion programs:

* Jane Hirsch, coordinator of adult services, Montgomery County Public Libraries, (301) 279-1939. (Book discussions vary among libraries. A list of programs at the various branches is published monthly.)

* Margaret Thrasher, coordinator of adult services, Prince George's County Public Libraries, (301) 699-3500.

* Virginia Kahl, book discussion leader, Alexandria Public Library, (703) 838-4555.

* For information on Great Books programs, call the Great Books Foundation, (312) 332-5870 or write them at 40 E. Huron St., Chicago, Ill. 60611.