It’s the most anticipated question of the night. The one everyone preps for and crosses her fingers that the next book chosen will be one she’s dying to read, or one that she’s never heard of but can’t put down. For a little over a year, I’ve been featuring books that I’m hearing book clubs love, or books that I’m inspired to read, and trying to keep up with reading them. (Links to my book lists are at the end of this post.) Here are the ones that I think your book club should read next!
Recently, a few friends contacted me over email and Facebook, asking, of all the books I read and recommend, which I find to be the best for book club. The listing below (in no order) includes 10 of my favorite recent books and quick descriptions (no spoilers, I promise) to help you determine the best next book for your book club.
Find the book your book club should read next
Me Before You – Between the title and the summary, you think you know exactly what this book is about. Or so said most of my book club. You’ll be amazed at how different Me Before You is from your initial assessment. It’s a “can’t put it down” read that’s easy to get into from the start, and you’ll find your book club will talk about life’s unexpected changes, parents, relationships and the value of living versus the strength in dying.
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes – Another book you’ll read quickly and with ease, this book involves characters you love that you’ll want to hate. Expect a heartfelt discussion of “what makes one a mother” as well as a battle of ethics.
Before You Know Kindness – If your book club enjoys books that discuss ethics and legality, they’ll love the opportunity to debate this story that delves deep inside family relationships as it brings to discussion both gun control and animal rights. It also has an unforgettable twist towards the end. (If your group is active on twitter, get in touch with author Chris Bohjalian at @ChrisBohjalian and shout out to see if he’ll be around during your book club for discussion. He’s a great twitter conversationalist.)
The Husband’s Secret – Another book with an amazing twist, you’ll find your book club saying “oh. But the ending…” with enormous heart–warn your members that they’ll have to read to the end of the book if they expect to attend your meeting. Plan to discuss marriage, love and what you’ll do for it, as well as different types of women and how they react to life’s relationships and events.
The Fault in Our Stars – Yes, it’s Young Adult, but your book club members will quickly fall in love with the young characters who meet in a cancer support group, learning about life and whether it’s worth it to continue living for the day, or for the fun of living. Author John Green connects the reader to the teen characters and brings tears of love to all readers. Expect to discuss life, love and relationships, as well as what makes you want to live and enjoy life. Read this soon! The movie premieres June 6, 2014.
State of Wonder – Readers beware, this is a long book and author Ann Patchett makes you want to read every word as you experience the deep Amazonian jungles. Get lost in the story as and feel the curiosities of nature and third (fourth?) world civilizations become real. Expect to discuss life’s choices, love, reason, honesty and faith in your own beliefs. There’s also opportunity to discuss pharmaceutical research ethics.
Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel – Another gripper about motherhood and relationships, this book will have your group talking about teen friendships, relationships, bullies and life as a teen and will have you discussing and thinking about parenting in the day and age of social media. The book is currently being adapted for HBO-TV-movie starring Nicole Kidman, but there’s no release date yet. (If you have a Kindle account, Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel is currently priced at $1.99.)
11/22/63 – Nope, I’m not a Stephen King reader, either. In fact, the majority of my friends aren’t. But we’ve all agreed this isn’t a typical-SK book. This brilliant work of historical fiction travels to time before 1963, in attempt to change history. Expect to discuss historical events, the opportunity to change the past and King’s hypotheses of what could have been. There’s also an unexpected love story that will have you asking, would I have done the same? (Kindle readers: 11/22/63 is priced at just $2.99.)
Girl in Translation – This beautiful story allows readers to enter them mind of a brilliant, young immigrant as she struggles through life in the world of sweatshops and poor living conditions in America. (Yes. Sadly. America.) Your club’s eyes will be opened to the difficulties that exist in our own country. Be ready to look inside yourself and explore stereotypes and prejudices in your group discussion.
Still Alice – What would you do if your mind started slipping? Would you tell your family early, or hold off in embarrassment? And how would you respond as a family member whose mother or spouse was experiencing Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. This heart wrenching, loving novel will give your group raw emotion and put everyone into the shoes of the characters as you discuss living with one of life’s most curious complications. (Read it before the 2015 expected movie release.)
Those are the books that I think your book club should read. What would you add to the list? Have you read any of these already?
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