Book Club Recommendations
Although I’m not in a book club myself, I sometimes comes across a novel that would inspire a great discussion. Thankfully this online community helps satisfy that desire to discuss and compare notes! If you’re looking for book club recommendations for your own group, check out my ideas below!
Best Book Club Books
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
You can always count on Backman for a gripping, meaningful novel, but Beartown is his best. I zipped through it in less than 24 hours, but the story and characters stayed with me long afterward. The basis of the novel is the success of a small town hockey team, but there’s so much more to unpack here. Sexual assault, politics, marriage, working moms, and more all show up in this thought provoking work.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
This is one of my absolute favorite reads from the past few years. A couple struggling to make a life in the Alaskan wilderness long for a child. One winter they whimsically craft a girl out of snow and are astonished to discover a real girl in the woods the next day. There are lots of moments throughout the novel that make you question what would you do in their situation. Magical realism at its finest.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
If you haven’t read this one (or haven’t read it since high school) now’s an ideal time to pick it up again. For a classic, it’s approachable and easy to read. Compare and contrast the book’s dystopian society with the one we’re living in now.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
A story of a boy with a facial deformity who’s simply trying to live a normal life. You’ll giggle, sob, and want to discuss everything. Besides the charming characters, there’s a deeper discussion of reaching out to and accepting those who aren’t like you. These are lessons that don’t just apply to kids at school.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Despite the seemingly endless choices that now exist, this is still my favorite World War II historical fiction novel. Two sisters living in Nazi occupied France deal with the horrors of war and each come up with their own methods for fighting against evil.
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
Two strangers must fight to survive after a plane crash in the wilderness. Their past slowly unravels and mixes with their relationship as they struggle together with hardly any hope of rescue. Don’t worry, the book is better than the movie!
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
A bestseller from two decades ago that is worth a read if you missed it back then. A novel about young Sayuri who is sold into slavery and must learn the art of the geisha. Over the years she battles social and political adversity to become one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Abandonment, love, murder. This novel has it all. It’s a beautiful story, but it doesn’t fall into the trap of becoming too wordy, descriptive, or philosophical.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The choices we make when we’re young can haunt us and those we know for the rest of our lives. A simple lie spirals out of control and affects the lives of the main character’s with heartbreaking consequences.
Reading People by Anne Bogel
For my nonfiction suggestion, I’m supporting a book blogger that I adore – Anne Bogel over at Modern Mrs Darcy. She is a huge fan of personality assessments and does a terrific job breaking down the options into manageable summaries. I discovered a lot about myself from reading this one.
Need more book club recommendations? Check out my other book club suggestions!
Do you have any book club recommendations that you’ve read or want to read?
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I just finished Beartown; it would absolutely make for fantastic book club fodder, especially if you made it a double feature and paired it with Missoula by Jon Krakauer (and probably held an extra-long meeting!). I’ve never been part of a book club, but my library offers a monthly book discussion on a different book every month and I’ve been considering starting to attend, just as a way to read outside my usual genres and get out of the house once in a while.
My library does the same thing! I’m considering going one of these months too. Also, good to know that Missoula is a great pairing with Beartown. I’ll check it out!
Atonement rocked me to my core. It’s such a fascinating dissection of the choices we make and how we chose to atone for them. I have Beartown on my list of books to read this year. Great to see that recommendation!
I really want to read Wonder. I did watch the movie but I really want to read it as well.
Great list! Loved Beartown, Wonder, Memoirs, and Crawdads–they would all be great for discussion. I can’t believe I still haven’t read The Nightingale. I think I need to try to fit it in this year!
This is helpful, Rachel! I’m helping to lead discussions/pick books for my local club now, and this is great! Most of these I haven’t read, but had seen them floating around the web. I’m especially curious about The Atonement for my own personal reading…maybe book club, if I think it’d be a good fit.
I’m glad it will come in handy!
I would’ve LOVED to read Beartown for a bookclub. I was the first person in my circle of friends to read it (and I still don’t know if anyone else has…), so when I finished I had SO MANY THOUGHTS and nobody to tell them to!
Yes exactly! I had the same experience!
Wonder would make such a thought provoking book club read; wholeheartedly agree. Also, second The Snow Child also – but I’d take any and every opportunity to discuss, recommend, and rave about that book! Great list.