Best Book Club Books: 2024 Edition

Updated on

| by

What makes for a great book club book? Based upon what’s been popular this past year, that would be cherry orchards, romantasy, horse races and race, a multi-gen curse, publishing industry creeps, the magical power of words in translation and the perennial favorite — fraught family relationships.

These books have a lot to offer, and choosing any of them for your reading group will guarantee you a beefy conversation, which you can get started using our guide featuring 101 handy book club questions.

That said, this book list does not represent long-standing, classic book club reads.

Rather, we’ve curated this list of the best book club books from recent years, choosing those that are great reads and which have also been very popular with book clubs. We’ve selected 12 books each from the past four years and we will build a list of an additional 12+ books throughout 2024.

That’s a lotta choices for your book club!

Best book club books- reading ideas

So, bookmark this page, and check it regularly, because we’ll be adding at least one new book to the the list every month.

And don’t ignore the older books further down the page, especially if you are in a book club that doesn’t like to buy hardbacks or battle a hold queue at the library. Because many of the books from 2020-2023 are pretty easy to get now.

To make that easy for you, feel free to use this handy table of contents to navigate around.

(This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase, I’ll make a small commission.)

2024 Best Book Club Books

Lady Tan's Circle of Women, book cover.

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women, Lisa See

The titular Lady Tan is Yunxian Tan, a historical figure and one of China’s first female physicians who lived during the Ming dynasty. The journal she kept detailing her cases remains in existence today.

She comes from a family of privilege, and when moves in with her loving grandparents, she becomes a part of the family business of practicing medicine. She meets and befriends Meiling, a girl of the lower classes, who is studying to be a midwife. Both enter into arranged marriages and they struggle with the constraints places upon them by the prevailing culture.

The book carries themes of friendship and the power dynamics among women of different social classes.

Here’s our Lady Tan’s Circle of Women discussion guide.

The Women, Kristin Hannah, book cover.

The Women, Kristin Hannah

For many years, it has seemed that any historical fiction book with female protagonists and a war theme had to be set in either London or Paris during WWII.

Hannah has upended that trope with her new book centered around nurses serving during the war in Vietnam.

The main character, Frankie, leaves her comfortable Californian home to serve as a nurse in Vietnam after her brother is killed in service. The horrors she experiences are unimaginable, but her hardship only continues when she returns home. With the help of her close friends who served with her, Frankie must navigate complicated familial and romantic relationships, betrayal, disappointment, PTSD, and the dismissal of her service in the war.

Here’s our discussion guide for The Women.

The Unmaking of June Farrow, book cover.

The Unmaking of June Farrow, Adrienne Young

Time flows differently in Jasper, North Carolina than it does at your house…and June Farrow is in the thick of it. There is a “curse” on the women in June’s family. She initially believes it to be mental illness, but fairly quickly this turns into a time travel tale.

As June move back and forth in time, she’s motivated to protect those that she loves and finally break the curse that has so upended multiple generations of her family. The rules of time travel in this book are very particular and it works nothing like other time-travel books that you may have read, making this book a chewy book club read.

Here’s our discussion guide for The Unmaking of June Farrow.

The House of Eve, book cover.

The House of Eve, Sadeqa Johnson

It’s the 1950’s and Ruby is on track to become the first in her family to attend college. But after she falls for a local boy (who she shouldn’t fall for), things get complicated, threatening her chances.

On a parallel story thread, Eleanor arrives in DC with a bag full of ambition. She meets William at Howard University and they fall in love. His parents are part of the black elite and Eleanor is trying to fit in. She hopes that having a baby with William will grant her a place at the table.

The book follows the two women, each from different sides of the tracks, and is told in dual timelines with alternating chapters…until their stories intertwine.

In it, you’ll find themes like: maternal bonds (or lack thereof), the weaponization of women’s bodies, the importance of second chances, and the ways in which gender, racism, and poverty affect women’s options.

Read it for book club and use our House of Eve discussion guide.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store book cover.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, James McBride

In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who was this skeleton and how did it get there?

The backstory can be found in this sweeping, multi POV historical fiction set on Chicken Hill. This is an unlikely, and culturally diverse community of African Americans and Jewish residents who are effectively segregated from the whites down the hill. Chona, the Jewish owner of the grocery store is the heart of the community. When she sets out to protect a deaf black boy from a gruesome institutionalization, she sets off a chain of events that galvanizes the community.

Here’s our discussion guide for Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. And if you’ve already read and loved it, we’ve also got a list of books that are like Heaven & Earth to try next.

Yellowface book cover.

Yellowface, R.F. Kuang

This Reese’s book club pick is a doosie. At the surface, Yellowface tracks the passive aggressive “friendship” of Athena and June, two authors in the publishing industry with very different levels of success. Athena has received her big break while June has remained a struggling author. When Athena dies, June steals one of her manuscripts and passes it off as her own.

This book is a very pointed satire on the publishing industry’s performative efforts at diversity, the ground war regarding owned voices vs cultural appropriation, and the commodification of book publishing. Kuang has spared no one.

Here’s our Yellowface book club guide.

Hello Beautiful book cover.

Hello Beautiful, Ann Napolitano

William Waters grew up in a loveless house of tragedy, but his skills on the basketball court earned him a scholarship and a way out. He soon meets Julia Padavano, a spirited and ambitious young woman who takes him on as a project and brings him into the fold of her family, which includes Julia’s three sisters.

As William works to build his new life, the darkness from his past surface and jeopardize not only his future, but the future of the people he cares about. The book has strong Little Women vibes and all the feels.

Read Oprah pick one for book club and use our Hello Beautiful book club questions.

2023’s Books Club Picks

Tom Lake, Ann Patchett

Patchett’s latest offers a parallel story to the traditional play, Our Town. In it, Lara’s daughters have come to the farm to wait out COVID and help pick the cherry crop. They beg their mom to tell them about her youthful love affair with the famous Peter Duke. And she does, but deciding how much to share is tricky.

But in doing to, she reveals how she came to have the life she wanted, the choices she made regarding love, family and motherhood and how she enjoys the present moment.

The rich storytelling is quiet and character driven and if you like audio, Meryl Streep gives a great performance.

Here’s our Tom Lake discussion guide.

Fourth Wing, Rebecca Yarros

It’s not just the dragons who are creating the heat in Rebecca Yarros’ hit fantasy Fourth Wing. This novel featuring a “ride or die” dragon riding school has a long list of characters, plot twists, and action (of all sorts), which are guaranteed to fire up your book club discussion. 

Violet Sorrengail wanted to become a scribe, but her mother forced her into training for the elite dragon riding squad. Not only is the training itself dangerous (and often deadly), shifting loyalties and news that the kingdom’s magical wards are failing make being a dragon rider even more fraught. Add in a hunky squad leader and some dragons who have opinions, and you’ve got yourself a hit.

Discuss it for book club using our Fourth Wing discussion guide.

The Covenant of Water, Abraham Verghese

This sprawling multi-gen novel is about a strong, but cursed family in Kerala, India. Every generation, the family loses someone to a drowning. Big Ammachi marries into the family in 1900 and we follow her story (and her influence upon the family) through three generations.

The book follows how the family deals with “the curse”, but also touches upon tradition, connections made (and lost) and it also explores sensitive issues such as colonialism, discrimination and addiction.

All of this wrapped up in Verghese’s vivid prose and immersive setting.

It’s a chewy book and we can help you discuss it with your book club with our Covenant of Water discussion guide.

Horse, Geraldine Brooks

This story is about a horse and its handler, and yet it is about so much more than that. Brooks examines wealth and the racing culture of the 1800’s (and the Black trainers and jockeys who made it happen), how our concept of race (and racism) has changed over time, and how the legacy of great animals and art can persevere.

Brooks has woven together an amazing story from some seemingly unlikely strands of plot and time. She takes a great racehorse and its slave handler/trainer (1850), an art dealer keen on learn more about a painting of the horse (1954), and two Smithsonian researchers one of whom is studying the horse’s bones and the other is studying the long lost painting (2019).

The book’s depth of characters and strong storytelling work…even if you aren’t a nut for horses.

Here’s our Horse discussion guide.

Wrong Place Wrong Time, Gillian McAllister

In this Reese’s book club pick, McAllister has created one very interesting genre mash-up of time travel and murder mystery.

After Jen’s son Todd is not only late from breaking his curfew, but is also arrested for murder, she vows to do what she can to free him. The next day when she wakes up, she finds that it’s actually the day before the murder. And each day, she keeps going back in time in an effort to find the right moment to set Todd on a better path.

The book covers themes of fierce motherhood and sacrifice, deception, the consequences of our actions and it questions whether it’s really possible to change fate.

Here’s our Wrong Place Wrong Time book club discussion guide.

Trust, Hernan Diaz

What does it mean to be powerful? How does power and money shape our history and cultural identity? Hernan Diaz’s Trust explores those questions and more in his intriguing novel featuring a wealthy financier and his wife in the 1920’s.

This Pulitzer Prize winner is a literary puzzle, using a unique novel-within-a-novel to tell the story of the Rasks. He’s a legendary Wall Street tycoon and she’s the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. At what cost have have they acquired immense wealth and how much of their story is myth is how much is truth? 

This is a great read for lover’s of historical fiction and those who appreciate a truly unique storytelling format. 

Mad Honey, Jodi Picoult

Two teenagers have recently experienced some family turmoil and relocated to New Hampshire. Ash likes the new girl in school. Lily falls for Ash. And then Lily turns up dead and Ash is being questioned in the death.

Mad Honey explores the complexities of family relationships, generational trauma, and the consequences of our actions. Picoult conveys an interesting angle on how situations may be perceived through one’s experiences, even when looking at the people we love.

Picoult highlights themes of grief, guilt, and forgiveness, and she presents personal views from all the characters struck by the shared tragedy, which could invite your club to reflect on their experiences and perspectives.

Read this for book club and use our Mad Honey discussion guide. And if you’d like more Jodi Picoult, we’ve got ranked and rated list of all of Picoult’s books.

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water, Angie Cruz

Cara Romero thought she’d have her factory job for life. But when, in her mid-50s, she loses that job, she’s forced back into the job market, and is paired with a job counselor. Cara’s got no job, aging friends, an exasperated sister, an estranged son, and a slim grip on her rent controlled apartment. But despite all that, this Dominican lady is surely not lacking in pluck.

The book’s unique format treats each counseling session as a chapter, in which Cara narrates her life. And her first person voice is a delight on audio. 

Read it for book club and use our How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water discussion guide.

Black Cake, Charmaine Wilkerson

Siblings Byron and Benny try to set aside their differences as they try to understand the mother who recently died. She leaves behind a traditional Caribbean black cake and an 8 hour recording that reveals some startling family secrets.

The story is about loss, about the decisions we make that we can never take back, and the sacrifices we’re forced to make. Some of the book’s themes include: fraught family dynamics, resentments and regrets, the cultural diaspora, regrets, race and identity and climate change.

Read it for book club and use our Black Cake discussion guide.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, Gabriele Zevin

Two childhood friends, Sam and Sadie reconnect while at university in Boston. They are both into gaming and soon find that together, they have genius for developing unique games. They team up with their friend Marx to bring their games to market.

But the book is only partly about that. It’s also a coming of age story with themes of grief, loss, the creative process and the distinctions between familial love, romantic love, and the deep love that friends can develop over time.

Read it for book club and use our Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow discussion guide.

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution, R.F. Kuang

This genre-bender mixes speculative fiction and historical fiction to examine the power that language and translation can have on world culture. Set in Oxford in 1828, the Royal Institute of Translation (also known as Babel) is responsible for translating works and using those very precise translations to imbue silver with magical properties. The silver, in turn, is used in all manner of mechanical and architectural technologies.

Robin Swift, a Chinese orphan, is brought to London by a professor of Babel. Robin is given an education and admitted to Babel, where he is to learn the art of translation and silver-working. While there, he also become acutely aware of racial and economic injustices perpetrated by the Institute. What follows is some rich world-building, escalating action and a sharp commentary on the perfidy of colonialization.

The book provides no shortage of topics to examine, which you can do using our Babel discussion guide.

The Measure, Nikki Erlick

If you received a mysterious box and the contents could tell you how long you had to live, would you open it? And if so, how would you respond to the knowing?

Erlick’s book tackles these questions when everyone over 22 receives such a box on their doorstep. The book follows eight main characters as their lives are changed by the knowledge. Reactions range from defiance to resignation with societal conflicts arising between the short-timers versus those long-timers.

This book is a popular Read with Jenna choice would make a particularly good book club read– lots to talk about here– which you can do using our book club questions for The Measure.

The Best Books Club Books of 2022

Remarkably Bright Creatures, Shelby Van Pelt

Seventy-year-old Tova Sullivan works the nightshift as a cleaner at Sowell Bay Aquarium. She was recently widowed and also still mourns the loss of her son, who disappeared into the Puget Sound. Tova doesn’t really need to work, but she like to keep busy and she prefers to share her time with those who don’t ask a lot of questions.

Enter Marcellus. He’s a giant octopus who was rescued by the aquarium. However, he believes himself to be a captive. He fancies himself a pretty bright octopus and he keeps stretching the bounds of his tank by occasionally escaping…and Tova keeps finding him. Over time, the two develop a very special bond.

“This book warmed my heart! It was charming, wholesome, and thoughtful. This book explores themes of grief, healing, aging, loneliness, and friendship.”

Read it for book club and use our Remarkably Bright Creatures discussion questions.

West With Giraffes, Lynda Rutledge

This lovely read will help you understand what it means to be changed by the grace of animals, the kindness of strangers, the passing of time, and a story told before it’s too late. In the book Woody (the narrator), has a great affinity for animals and this novel is really his coming of age story.

Inspired by a true story, it’s one a heck of an adventure, featuring a road trip transporting two giraffes across the U.S. from New York to San Diego. The grand adventure is complete with stowaways, circuses, attempted giraffe-napping, biblical catastrophe, romance, shocking truths, sacrifices, and tragedy.

Amidst all this, the giraffes themselves represented peace since the characters managed to forget their hardships with them around. The book’s themes embrace hope, resilience, love, and the importance of remembrance and storytelling.

Here’s our West With Giraffes reading guide.

Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus

In Elizabeth Zott, Garmus has created a such commanding character! Elizabeth is a brilliant chemist, but because it’s the late 1950’s, she battles a thick wall of sexism in her quest to work on her research. She finds her soul-mate in Calvin Evans, who’s also a brilliant chemist. But the fates intervene and several years later, Elizabeth finds herself a single mother, trying to make ends meet.

Through an odd circumstance, she suddenly finds herself the host of an afternoon cooking show. She’s a brilliant cook, and she refuses to treat her homemaker audience like idiots. So, she brings her uncompromising spirit and no small amount of chemistry to the show.

The book tackles serious issues such as sexism, sexual assault and family tragedy, but it’s also often laugh out loud funny. The dialogue crackles and the quirky cast of characters include her brilliant daughter, a reverend with doubts, a take-no-prisoners PR hack, a neighbor with marriage issues, the TV producer and and a truly awesome dog.

Read it next month and use our Lessons in Chemistry discussion guide. And if you’ve already read it, here are some other books similar to Lessons in Chemistry.

Book Lovers, Emily Henry

Emily Henry’s romances are perfect for book clubs who are looking to keep it light. This book follows Nora (a literary agent) and Charlie (an editor) as the love interests, as well as Nora’s sister, Charlie’s parents, a hunky horseman, and assorted small town characters.

The book very deliberately twists the Hallmark romance trope which features the city slicker as the fish out of water in a small town. In this version, Nora’s sister drags her out of NYC to a chickie getaway in rural North Carolina. While there Nora, is surprised to run across Charlie, an editor with whom she has had a somewhat competitive and snarky texting relationship.

Sparks fly, there’s a bookstore that needs saving and the city slickers come to find out what they really want.

Here’s our Book Lovers discussion guide.

The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams

In this fictional account, Esme’s father works in the Scriptorium, which is a fancy word for the garden shed that James Murry and his team used to develop the first (and not fictional) Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

Esme spends time under the big table in the Scriptorium and she gathers word slips that are lost, discarded or otherwise don’t make the cut into the OED. Over time, she begins to realize that the discarded words tend to relate to women.

Esme discovers that the beauty of these words (even the vulgar ones), is that they relate to very valid women’s experiences. And for Esme, this is enough to confirm the importance of the words and merit for their preservation. And so, Esme decided to create her own dictionary consisting of the lost words.

With the suffrage movement’s rising and the Great War looming, Esme publishes her Dictionary of Lost Words.

This book is fun for clubs who really into lexicography. Use our Dictionary of Lost Words book club guide for your discussion.

It Ends with Us Colleen Hoover book cover

It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is really hot right now. Her books have been getting all the love on TikTok and the popularity has overflowed into book clubs. In this pick, we follow Lily, a girl in her early twenties, who has never had it easy. She’s always had to work hard for what she wanted. After graduating college she gets up and moves to Boston. While there she meets and falls for Ryle, a thriving, handsome neurosurgeon with a dark side. Lily also shares an unlikely friendship with Atlas, whom she met when he was a homeless teen.

The story is powerful. The relationships are complicated. Thinks get dark, sad and painful. In other words, this book will give your club a lot to talk about.

Read it for book club and use our It Ends With Us discussion guide. And we also have a guide for It Starts With Us, the sequel.

The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman

Who wants to sit around knitting and playing bridge? Not these four amateur sleuths. Rather, they spend their time reviewing cold cases and chasing up criminals. Meet The Thursday Murder Club, Cooper Chase Retirement Home’s most deadly social group. These retirees each bring a unique set of skills to solving the murder of their retirement home developer.

This book makes for such a fun book club read. It’s surprisingly light in tone and not too long. But there are enough twists and turns to give your book group a lot to talk about. And if you like it, there are more in the series to keep you going.

Use our book club guide for The Thursday Murder Club to get the convo started.

The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek book cover

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, Kim Michele Richardson

This book came out in 2019, but it’s been a slow burn with book clubs as it gets discovered by more and more reading groups. This book is about the Packhorse Library Project. It was a 1930’s WPA program that sent librarians deep into Appalachia to deliver reading materials to the remote communities.

19 year old Cussy Carter is hired to be one such librarian. Her route is complicated enough, what with slippery creek beds and steep mountain terrain. But she also has to contend with folks are are suspicious of the government program, and who are more focused on getting food on the table than learning how to read.

Her life is complicated by the fact that she is a descendant of the Blue Fugate Family. This lineage was affected by a genetic trait that gives her skin a blue hue. At a time when color conferred social status, she experiences a range of discrimination and maltreatment because of her condition.

The book has some lovely themes of perseverance, agency and finding ones-self.

Read it for book club and use our Troublesome Creek discussion guide. We’ve also got a list of more books about the Packhorse Library Project.

Malibu Rising book cover

Malibu Rising, Taylor Jenkins Reid

The book follows the Riva siblings over the course of 24 hours, as they prepare to attend their famous sister Nina’s house party. These flawed characters come to the party packing a combustible brew of secrets, toxic relationships, betrayals and emotional family dysfunction.

By the end of the party, it all spills over and the house party (literally) ends up in flames.

Read it for your book club and use our Malibu Rising discussion guide and also one for Carrie Soto is Back, which features a character from Malibu Rising. And check out our complete list of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books (ranked!)

The Personal Librarian book cover

The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Belle da Costa Green was far more than a librarian. She was hired by J.P. Morgan to curate his collection of books, manuscripts and artworks, which were housed in the newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. She became a formidable collector and curator, and a captivating fixture on the New York society scene. However, Belle was hiding a secret. She was not the White woman that New York (and Morgan) saw, but rather, Belle was Black. Her family had moved to New York, hoping to pass as White in order to gain a more secure economic life.

This book is a fictionalized account of her life as an extraordinary librarian, curator, lover and “passing” person of Color at a time when it was quite dangerous to do so.

Read it for your book club and use our discussion guide for The Personal Librarian.

Amor Towles Lincoln Highway book cover

The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles

Much like the titular Interstate, The Lincoln Highway spans the country, connecting the stories of five young characters in Midcentury America, and presenting a slice of a time that was in no way simple.

This book is not a quaint portrait of a romantic era. Rather, The Lincoln Highway is a layered journey about the burdens of expectations, the grief of lost dreams, and the meaning of home. 

Reading groups will appreciate discussing the books themes of ambition, privilege, metamorphosis and mental health.

Here are the book club questions for The Lincoln Highway.

Anthony Doerr Cloud Cuckoo Land book cover

Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr

Doerr masterfully connects five characters, over hundreds of years through their relationship to a single book. That book tells of a shepherd, Aethon, seeking a magical, heavenly place in the sky– the “Cloud Cuckoo Land” of the title.

The characters range from a 15th century orphan who teaches herself to read, to a modern day teacher trying to stage Aethon as a play, to a women from the 22nd century who’s seeking an unspoiled home world on an interstellar ship. Their stories converge around the book and other shared experiences.

This is a good book club book for it’s unique timeline, compelling characters and hybrid genre.

Read it for book club using our Cloud Cuckoo Land discussion guide.

If you like this sort of meta thing where books are a big part of the book, then check out our article which features 20 books that feature books and manuscripts as a key narrative driver.

Great Books Club Reads from 2021

Kristin Hannah Four Winds book cover

The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah

It’s the depression and the dust bowl drought has ravaged Elsa’s farm. The crops and farm animals are dying and then her son takes ill. Elsa has to decide whether to stick it out, or like so many others, take a perilous journey and migrate to California.

This book is not an easy journey for readers and the themes of tough times, tough women and survival will make for great conversation fodder.

Use our Four Winds reading guide to aid your group discussion.

The Midnight Library book cover

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

Don’t we all sometimes find ourselves plagued by the “what if”? What if we had (or hadn’t) married that person, what if we had studied something different in school…or turned left instead of right? Haig’s story explores just that when suicidal Nora finds herself in The Library. She is given a chance to see what some of her other lives may have been like…if she had only made different choices.

The structure of the library as a second chance institution and the spooling out of Nora’s many potential lives makes for a truly interesting read…and one that your club will enjoy discussing. You can use our Midnight Library guide to help you get started.

Frederik Backman Anxious People book cover

Anxious People, Frederik Backman

This character driven story is ostensibly about a bank robbery gone wrong. The bank robber, having failed at robbing the bank, bursts upon an apartment viewing and proceeds to take a group of unfortunate strangers hostage. But really, the book is about a group of mismatched folks, each with their secret fears and mistakes, slowly opening their hearts to one another.

It’s tragic and hilarious and believable and absurd and whimsical and humorous. Well, that should give you plenty to talk about, right?

We’ll help you with that, here’s our Anxious People book club guide.

Laura Dave The Last Thing He Told Me book cover

The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave

Reese Witherspoon called The Last Thing He Told Me a book with “…mysterious identities, unreliable friendships, dubious loyalties and terrifying chase sequences”. It’s all that, but we also liked it for the complicated family dynamic, the high-tech hijinks and the duffel full of cash.

And here’s our discussion guide for it.

Maggie O'Farrell Hamnet book cover

Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell

O’Farrell’s novel imagines Shakespeare’s family life, in particular his eccentric wife Agnes and his young son Hamnet. She’s a strong force for Shakespeare’s career, which is just taking off when Hamnet succumbs to a sudden fever. The book carries themes of love, loss, fraught family dynamics and making the hard trade-off between family and personal fulfillment.

The book’s transcendent qualities and prose, along with a rich imagining of Shakespeare’s family life are what will give you such a good Hamnet book club discussion. Here’s our guide for Hamnet.

The Vanishing Half book cover

The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett

Identity–whether we are born into it, or whether we choose it for ourselves–is at the heart of Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half. Although the intertwined lives of the characters span time and generations, all of the characters grapple with the powerful pull of the places they come from and the families who made them who they are.

This complex family story will help your group reflect on the powerful issues of race, class, and gender. And we’ve got you covered with these book club questions for The Vanishing Half.

Liane Moriarty Apples Never Fall book cover

Apples Never Fall, Liane Moriarty

Joy and Stan have recently retired from running a successful tennis club. After helping out a woman in need, Joy, the wife and mother of four, has disappeared. Her adult children are rightfully concerned. But they’re reluctant to report Joy missing, because they know the prime suspect will be their father, and they’re not in agreement about his innocence.

Then the police come a knockin’ everyone has secrets to hide.

Your group will love peeling back the layers of this idiosyncratic family and their twisty tale.

Kazuo Ishiguro Klara and the Sun book cover

Klara & The Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro describes a near future world were inequalities are entrenched by genetics and artificial friends are companions to the elite, assisting in homeschooling and keeping children company. Klara is an insightful and noble Artificial Friend who cares for a young child.

The plot is a slow burn and it’s chock full of ethical dilemmas. But in typical Ishiguro fashion, there are not a lot of answers. And that’s what makes this such a great book club book– it leaves quite a bit of fodder for your group to discuss.

Which you can do, using our Klara and the Sun discussion guide.

The Guest List book cover

The Guest List, Lucy Foley

Storm tossed moody island…check. Bridezilla and Groomzilla…check. Wedding guests with secrets…check. A dead body…check. What more do you need from a thriller? The mystery is now only a whodunnit, but a whogotdone during a wedding set on a remote Irish island.

With all the dark secrets and twisty turns, The Guest List will definitely feed a great book club discussion. And we’ve got a reading guide for The Guest List to get you started.

Lost Apothecary book cover

The Lost Apothecary, Sarah Penner

Hidden deep in London’s East End is the site of a former apothecary shop from the 18th century. The shop is discovered in modern day by a women trying to reset her life after being betrayed by her husband.

Back in the day, this particular shop was fronted by the usual tinctures and ointments. But in the back room, the Apothecary ran a dark business, secretly dispensing poisons in order to help liberate women from the lovers and husbands who have wronged them.

My own book club enjoyed the murdery elements, questions of female agency and the dual time frames of the novel.

Here’s our Lost Apothecary book club guide.

Crying in H Mart book cover Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart is far more than a simple food memoir. In the book, Zauner explores her life growing up as a Korean American, an awkward adolescence, her Mom’s high expectations and lots and lots of eating in her Grandmother’s apartment. It’s also a painful foray in to the pain of grief. It’s a searing, devastating and often funny look at Zauner’s life (so far).

Zauner is a singer and guitarist, so she certainly knows how to deliver a performance, so the book is great on audio. In fact, it made our list of best audiobook memoirs. We’ve also got a book club guide for Crying in H Mart.

The Silent Patient book cover

The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides

In this intense psychological thriller, the question isn’t whodunnit, but rather why. And Alicia, the killer, refuses to talk about it. Theo is a forensic psychotherapist is assigned to get her talking, but he’s too obsessed with Alicia and he’s got some serious issues of his own.

The book provides perspective through Theo’s investigation, and Alicia’s own diary entries. Get ready for a hair-raising ride!

And then use our discussion guide for The Silent Patient to get your conversation started.

Must Read Pics from 2020 (and Earlier)

Hey- don’t forget about some of the must read book club books from previous years. They are still hot with reading groups and much more likely to be out in paperback or in the library.

American Dirt book club cover

American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo book cover

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Plus, we’ve got a book club guide for Evelyn Hugo along with a whole book list of great reads similar to Evelyn Hugo.

Madeline Miller Circe book cover

Circe, Madeline Miller

Here’s our discussion guide for Circe.

Where the Crawdads Sing book cover

Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

Use our discussion guide for Where the Crawdads Sing. And if you’ve already read and loved this book, check out our list of books like Where the Crawdads Sing.

Girl Woman Other book cover

Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

If you choose it for book club, be sure to use our Girl, Woman, Other book club guide.

Dear Edward Ann Napolitano book cover

Dear Edward, Ann Napolitano

Educated Tara Westover book cover

Educated, Tara Westover

Read it for book club and use our Educated discussion guide.

Yet More Book Club Resources

If that’s not enough for you, we’ve got a bunch of book lists by topic and a series of guides for books recommended by the book clubs for Reese Witherspoon, Jenna Bush Hager, Oprah, Good Morning America and some key award winners.

We’ve also got book club resources like:

Have a listen on Audible. Try audio books for free for 30 days.

Share these great ideas for book club with your friends:

Find Best Book Club books.

Share on Social Media

Meet our Writers: