One of the greatest ways to connect with friends (virtually or in-person!) is through a book club! Meeting to discuss books takes the pressure off finding things to talk about, and it’s also more stimulating to reflect on a finished book with other readers rather than by yourself. So, whether you’re looking for your own club’s next selection or you’re hoping one of the following is selected for a national book club, here are some picks we think are best read with a group.
The Husbands by Chandler Baker
For the do-it-all ladies out there, this thriller will never have you looking for things to discuss. Our heroine Nora kicks butt both as a successful attorney and housewife. While she’s starting to feel fed up with the uneven workload between her and her husband, she meets a powerful group of women in a wrongful death case… all with enormously supportive husbands that Nora envies. As the case starts to unravel, Nora realizes these women have a secret to having it all – one worth killing for.
The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison
In this 1920s rise to stardom story, Olive makes the move from Minneapolis to NYC determined to make it as a singer and dancer. She fights her way to the glamorous top, and finds that it’s everything she hoped for, and worth all the sacrifices she made. Then she meets Archie, the only man she’s ever met that accepts her modern ways, and realizes that revealing her devastating secret may sacrifice the life she’s created for the man she loves.
Write My Name Across the Sky by Barbara O’Neal
Barbara O’Neal brings her talent for juicy page-turners for all your book club needs! An interwoven, generation-spanning story, Write My Name Across the Sky follows Gloria Rose, Willow, and Sam as they struggle to harmonize their messy pasts with the peaceful lives they desperately want for themselves. But as the FBI closes in on Gloria, Willow’s relationship and music career crumbles, and Sam is about to lose the company and the man that she loves, they all learn they must reckon with the mistakes of the past in order to move on.
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
If you’re in millennial misery looking for company, grab a couple of friends in the same boat and lick your wounds together while you resonate with Mona, a perfectionist with a college degree, tons of potential, and nothing to show for it. As she struggles and drifts through an expanse of unemployment, living with her parents, and complex adult relationships, Mona learns the perfection and order she craves are not always possible. A tough pill to swallow for 20 and 30-somethings, but reading about a character going through it first almost certainly brings relief that you’re not alone in this.
The Liability of Love by Susan Schoenberger
Margaret Carlyle’s first chaotic year of college will provide your book club with complex topics like sexual assault, trauma, first loves, and the mysteries of marriage. After Margaret’s innocent college crush turns into rape on the first date, she just wants to move on and forget it ever happened. But as time passes and her abuser becomes a famous actor, Margaret realizes she can no longer ignore her past. Her resulting decisions will affect her life and the lives of those around her – including her husband and Fitz, the man who has patiently loved her since college.
Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin isn’t where you would picture a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year-old Sherri Taylor certainly never imagined herself in one. But after her parents die one after the other, she trades her days of playing the organ at church behind her for a much more glamorous lifestyle – and for learning to become more comfortable in her own skin. As she gets her education living in the “bunny hutch” (Playboy dorm) Sherri finds herself in the thrills of financial independence, first love, and a love triangle tragedy that will haunt her for years.
The Long-Lost Jules by Jane Elizabeth Hughes
Unassuming Amy is living a cautious, emotionally frozen life when her solitude is interrupted by two unexpected strangers: her half-sister who she hardly knows, and an eccentric Oxford professor who believes her to be the long-lost descendant of Henry VIII’s last queen. Both need something from Amy, but she feels like she’s already too drained to give anything else. As they join forces to investigate the queen’s lost baby, suppressed emotions – and secrets – begin to bubble, and everything is suddenly in danger.
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Violinist Anna Sun is already mentally preoccupied with replicating the viral success she found in a YouTube video when her long-term boyfriend asks for an open relationship. Hurt, angry, and definitely reactive, Anna takes it to heart to make the most of this phase in their relationship. Amidst her determination to meet unacceptable men, she finds tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep. And when a one-night-stand becomes a three-night-stand, Anna realizes he accepts her on an unconditional level even she is beginning to understand. And when tragedy strikes her family, Anna learns what it means to fight for love.
Sugar Birds by Cheryl Grey Bostrom
Aggie has always found comfort in the wilderness as a way to deal with her mother’s illness. So when her mother forbids her from climbing trees, she flees downriver in a rage. A search begins for her right as Celia is arriving in town, still reeling from her parents’ breakup. Instead of following through with her plan to run away also, she joins the hunt with Aggie, and along the way meets two irresistible – and potentially dangerous – young men. This is a coming-of-age story mixed with the natural world your book club won’t be able to get enough of.
Riding High in April by Jackie Townsend
A serial tech entrepreneur in Seoul is reeling from his most recent failed attempt at greatness, something that Microsoft has declared “reckless.” As he pushes on to make something of himself, he also struggles with a dwindling bank account and his fifteen-year relationship with the only woman he’s ever loved. Both begin to reckon with who they really are and what matters to them when she finds him in Seoul in a bold move to be with him in this exploration of resilience and going after what you once thought was unattainable.
The Name Curse by Brooke Burroughs
When wilderness-find-yourself meets drive-each-other-crazy-flirtation, you’re guaranteed a good book club read. Bernie reluctantly listens to her friends’ advice to join a hike through Alaska to gain some new perspective after her father dies. Matthew is a struggling writer who needs new inspiration. The two are opposites who end up being tent buddies, and as they’re forced to rough it through the wilderness together, their relationship becomes a surprising well of empathy and inspiration, and maybe even other feelings, too.
The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
Newsweek, Parade, NBC News, LitHub, and PopSugar have already called this a best of summer read, and soon your book club will, too! Mukesh is a widower who is struggling in his loneliness after losing his beloved wife and failing at connecting with his granddaughter Priya, who just wants to hide in her room. Aleisha is in the middle of reading through a crumpled-up list of books she found working her job at the library. When Mukesh wanders in during her shift, she realizes he might need a little literary magic, too, and the two lonely souls soon find solace in fiction and one another.