Whether it’s a virtual meetup or an in-person get-together, book clubs are a wonderful and fulfilling reason to gather with friends, enjoy snacks and sips and discuss a truly memorable novel. And choosing a read for your next book club is about to get a whole lot easier! Keep reading for the best book club books.
We rounded up some of our favorite stories — both new and old — to read, savor and discuss with friends. From sharp family sagas to eerie psychological thrillers, sweeping romances and glamorous historical novels, we guarantee these books will spark emotion and conversation. Happy reading!
For a smartly funny and heartfelt family saga…
Try Family Family by Laurie Frankel
India Allwood grew up dreaming of being an actor. Armed with steadfast determination, she miraculously goes from awkward 16-year-old to Broadway star to TV superhero. And now, her newest movie is about adoption, but its spin is the same old tragic story. In real life, India is an adoptive mom to twin 10-year-olds and she wants everyone to know there’s real joy in families like hers. What follows is a huge media backlash, ongoing drama and family antics. A story that proves family ties — no matter how they’re formed — are always a little complicated.
What book club readers are saying: “You know those kinds of books where you are like, ‘let me just read one more chapter,’ well, it was that kind of book. So good! Laugh-out-loud funny with witty banter between the strong characters and relationships, well-paced, thought-provoking on the important topic of adoption (a refreshing viewpoint), clever and easy to read. My favorite yet by Laurie Frankel! A standing ovation from me for sure!”
For a captivating and glamorous historical tale…
Try The Spectacular by Fiona Davis
A riveting story about love, sacrifice and following your dreams unfolds in this novel by bestselling author Fiona Davis. In 1956 New York City, 19-year-old Marion should be over the moon. She is about to marry her high school sweetheart and kick off a quiet life in the suburbs. But when she starts to feel trapped, she comes across an opportunity to audition for the Radio City Rockettes — the dazzling precision-dancing troupe — and she jumps at the chance to swap her ordinary future for this exciting opportunity. After landing the job, she falls in love with the work and the glamour. Then, when a bomber shockingly attacks the theater, Marion finds herself involved in the investigation.
What book club readers are saying: “Another fabulous novel by Fiona Davis. As with all of her books, Ms. Davis brings the reader deep into the period she’s set her story with such well-developed and complicated characters. You feel like you know them and would recognize them walking down the street!”
For a sweeping, chemistry-filled romance…
In her early 20s, Fern — who aspired to open a coffee shop in the city — spent a whirlwind day with Will, an artist. They agree to chase their dreams and meet again in one year, but Will doesn’t show. Ten years later, Fern is begrudgingly running her family’s lakeside resort when Will arrives. Together, they try to find a way to move forward (both in life and in love) and rekindle the spark that never faded.
What book club readers are saying: “I enjoyed this lovely story thoroughly and read it in one sitting. The characters are well developed and the conclusion will give you pause to think about when to give up on something and when to fight for what is important and what it means to be truly vulnerable.”
For a sharp, fascinating story told from multiple perspectives…
Try Come and Get It by Kiley Reid
From the bestselling author of Such a Fun Age comes Kiley Reid’s brand-new enthralling novel. Millie Cousins is a senior resident assistant at the University of Arkansas. When professor Agatha Paul offers her a career-boosting opportunity, Millie jumps at the chance. But she finds herself having to navigate odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks and illicit intrigue. Tensions start to rise and Millie must decide what is worth sacrificing everything she’s worked for.
What book club readers are saying: “Kiley Reid definitely knows how to open a book. She follows up the fantastic Such A Fun Age with another sharply written coming-of-age story about a group of women living in and around a college campus and the micro- and macro-aggressions that inform their relationships and conflicts. It’s very character-driven, which I love!”
For a thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful novel…
Try The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Charming characters, original storylines and magically uplifting moments abound in this novel by bestselling author Matt Haig. Nora Seed finds herself in a library that contains an infinite number of books, each telling the story of her life as it could have been if she’d just made different decisions — and the librarian tells her she can go back and live in any one of them. Will she stick with the life she’s built, or make different decisions?
What book club members are saying: “A wonderful story with a spiritual twist. I found it uplifting and providing hope that any of us can live a good life with positive impacts on those who touch our lives. It gives everyone something profound to think about!”
For an honest, funny and relatable memoir…
Try Everyone but Myself by Julie Chavez
Debut author Julie Chaves’ new memoir, Everyone But Myself, chronicles her busy life as a librarian, mom of two, wife and book lover living with anxiety. Chavez opens up about the trials and tribulations of navigating life when everything feels unmanageable. What follows is a hopeful, honest account of love and loss, a husband who can’t read minds, chaotic family outings and — despite all odds — finding a path toward peace and joy.
What book club readers are saying: “I loved this book — my friend chose it for our January book club and it had me laughing and crying as I read! Not only was Julie’s storytelling so real and vivid, but I also saw my own mental health journey reflected in her story. I highly recommend this very relatable read!”
For a gripping and unforgettable psychological thriller…
From the outside, Alicia and her husband seem to have it all: She’s a famous painter married to a fashion photographer and she lives in a beautiful house with windows overlooking a park in London. But one evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot and Alicia shoots him five times. Then, she never speaks another word. She’s put into a psychiatric facility until criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber is arrives to try to unravel the puzzling murder…which threatens to consume him.
What book club readers are saying: “I have been wanting that book “that you just couldn’t put down until the end” for a very long time! This is the story. I started reading out one morning and hours later…. I couldn’t put it down, I had to know the ending. The whole time I couldn’t believe Alicia could have killed anyone. You learned more and more about how messed up she was chapter by chapter, but I still liked her! I also thought Theo was a decent person. But in the last few pages, this all changed!”
For a spellbinding 1950s historical set in Hollywood…
Glitz, glamour and intrigue abound in this bestselling novel by beloved author Taylor Jenkins Reid. Journalist Monique Grant is taken aback when she gets called by name to write a story for the famous actress Evelyn Hugo. When she meets Evelyn, Monique learns that the actress wants her to ghostwrite her biography. As Evelyn details her fame in the mid-to late-1900s, she talks about each of her seven marriages. But it becomes clear that Evelyn is trying to hide something. A ravishing story of love, fame, old Hollywood and secrets.
What book club members are saying: “This is one of the best books I’ve ever had the privilege to read. It is probably in the top five for best books I’ve ever read in my entire life. I have been looking for a book like this my entire life, and no combination of words I’m about to type, and you’re about to read, is going to do this masterpiece justice.”
For a beautifully written story with a unique premise…
Try Shark Heart by Emily Habeck
A surprisingly romantic, lyrical story unfolds in this daring debut novel by Emily Habeck. A few weeks after Lewis and Wren’s wedding, they are faced with an unfathomable turn of events. Lewis receives a rare diagnosis: He will retain most of his consciousness, memories and intellect, but his physical body will slowly turn into a great white shark. As Lewis develops the features and impulses of a shark, his complex artist’s heart struggles to make peace with his unfulfilled dreams. Will Wren be able to stay with Lewis or will she leave? How can she make this impossible choice?
What book club readers are saying: “I can honestly say I’ve never read a book like this. The format, which in some parts reads like a script or play and other parts a poem, flows perfectly. Then we have the synopsis, which is a woman’s husband mutates into a great white shark. Yes, you read that correctly. Hear me out though! I couldn’t stop reading it. The prose is poetic and beautiful and it contains a multitude of love stories — between husband and wife and mother and daughter. This book is perfect for a book club. It definitely would stir up some dialogue!”
For an enthralling and picturesque women’s fiction…
Try 5-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand
Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand is beloved for her captivating sagas set in beach towns — and this novel features beautiful Nantucket. Hollis Shaw’s life falls apart after she loses her husband. So when she hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend,” she hosts her own on Nantucket, inviting a friend from each decade of her life to gather for the weekend. What follows is a dramatic yet healing weekend with best friends from all the different phases of her life.
What book club members are saying: “I could not put this book down! It was so amazing to consider how special people in our lives can be interwoven together. I loved the idea of a Five Star weekend and the realization that everyone needs the bond of true friendships. My book club read this last month and there was a lot to discuss!”
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