Fall is a great time of year to get back in the habit of curling up with a good book on a regular basis. It’s even better when you can get together with a group of friends and chat about your thoughts. If your book club is starting up again or just looking for some new ideas, here’s a list of books I think are perfect for talking about over a bottle of wine or cup of tea.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
You can count on Moriarty for a great novel, but What Alice Forgot is a particular favorite of mine. Alice wakes up after a head injury and completely loses her memory of the last ten years. She finds her current lifestyle, marriage, and personality is vastly different from her former self. It’s a thought provoking read that brings up questions about small, barely noticeable changes over time and what your life, hopes, and dreams were ten years ago.
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
A woman who was involved in a sex scandal with a public figure years ago is now trying to reinvent her life. The story is narrated by all of the major players and each offers a unique perspective on the actual scandal and subsequent years. It’s a quick and easy read, but can lead to an in depth discussion about the media’s role in our personal lives and how women are portrayed.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
A perfect choice for lovers of books and historical fiction. Set during WWII, this story follows a writer’s introduction to and increasingly meaningful relationship with a book club full of terrific individuals on the island of Guernsey. Take note, the entire book is written as letters (a style I adore, but might not be the first choice for others). Up for discussion are the German occupation and its effect on everyday life, the moral dilemma of kind and compassionate German soldiers, and of course the power of books and unexpected connections.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
This gothic novel is well suited for autumn due to its slightly creepy aura. A newlywed couple return to the husband’s manor, only to be haunted by memories of his late wife. The details about what really happened to her are slowly unraveled resulting in suspense throughout. I adored this book and would love to find more people who have read it. The always exciting “did you guess what really happened” conversation can be had : )
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
If you’re really looking for something different, try out this graphic novel. The movie is heavily based on the novel, which definitely helped me understand the plot and get used to this style of reading. Particularly in this political climate, it’s fascinating to discuss the similarities and differences between the dystopian world you read about versus what is currently happening or could happen soon in real life.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
I’m not usually one to recommend this type of book since I don’t read many thrillers, but the fact that it actually held my attention and completely caught me off guard with the twists says a lot. After a horrific accident, two detectives try to discover the truth about a little boy’s death while a young woman flees to the countryside to escape her past.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Not many book clubs delve into fantasy, but this fairly short book is a fun introduction to the genre. Gaiman is well known, incredible author and Stardust reads like a grown up fairy tale. I honestly wish it was longer and would enjoy discussing my favorite parts and characters and satisfaction about the ending.
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
Nonfiction plays a smaller part in my reading life, but if your book club needs a break from fiction, give this a try. Reichl chronicles her time as a food critic for the New York Times. I devoured her descriptions of meals and was fascinated by her criteria for judging a restaurant. She’s a vivid and engaging writer and her other biographies as well as her first novel (Delicious!) are worth your attention also.
What would you add to my list for book clubs to read?
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