When I first joined a group of friends three years ago who wanted to start a book club, we searched and scoured the Web for lists of potential books. We consulted Oprah’s list and Goodreads’ list, and we didn’t really want to read (or re-read) a lot of those for whatever reason. I then performed a few Google searches as well. And we were happy with a few results, but not many. We definitely wanted more options, with a mix of both current and older books.
So we created our own methods of choosing what we’d read and discuss every other month. (If you are considering starting a book club and would like some tips, or you are in one but are interested in hearing how our voting/choosing process works, let me know and I’ll write a post about it.)
Below is a list (in no particular order) I’ve compiled for you to consider when choosing your next Book Club book (or even for personal reading). Because of how many there are I am not going to link each one, but please note that you should probably not look them up on Wikipedia, because it is not spoiler-free, and you will see the ending on that site. (I recommend Goodreads, though you do have to sometimes watch out in case someone doesn’t hide their spoilers in the comments/review sections.)
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- Bel Canto by Anne Patchett
- The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
- Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
- The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
- In The Woods by Tana French
- The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Particular Children by Ransom Riggs
- The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan Philipp-Sendker
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
- The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
- Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Enders Game by Orson Scott
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
What Are My Qualifications for These Being Considered Good Book Club Books?
Topics and themes to discuss, as well as strong opinions on liking/not liking the book.
What Would Be Considered Not a Great Book Club Book?
It really depends on the individuals within the group. I think most books are like art, where what may be great for some, are not necessarily enjoyable or understood by others. But so long as it’s readable for the majority and people can get through it to participate in any form of discussion, even if no one likes it there’ll be things to talk about.
(Books that almost won in votes…eventually we’ll probably get to them)
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Secret History by Donna Tartt
Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
* Photo: Taken at The Last Bookstore, in Los Angeles, CA. You should definitely stop by there if you are ever in the area.