I've been part of a book club for a few years now, and I've read some books with this group that I would definitely recommend to other book clubs, but I've also read a lot of books on my own that I would recommend. But everybody's book club is different. Some people are all about the book, and if you don't read the whole book before the meeting, then you might as well not show up. Others, like mine, spend a few minutes talking about the book, but if you didn't read it or didn't finish, no worries!
So to please both types of book clubs, I've picked a few different types of books that I think would work.
If your book clubs likes to actually discuss the books for the full meeting (or you want to pretend like you will discuss the book), then you need some books that will yield a good discussion! How about these five:
1. The Submission by Amy Waldman (my rating: 5 stars) - In this book, set two years after 9/11, a jury selects an anonymous submission for a 9/11 memorial. The only problem? The winner is an American Muslim. The story is told through the eyes of six people who each had a different experience on 9/11 that colors how they react to the memorial.
2. Shine by Lauren Myracle (my rating: 5 stars) - This is a young adult novel, but it's one that everyone should read. It has a wonderful message that will have readers thinking about how they treat others and what it means to do what's right.
3. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (my rating: 4 stars) - My book club read this and had a really good discussion about the ending and all the logistics of the story. This one, about a woman who keeps reliving her life, will definitely get you thinking, whether or not you like the ending.
4. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (my rating: 5 stars) - Imagine if your book club had to meet in secret. That's what happens in this book, a true story about a female teacher and several female students meeting in secret to read and discuss life in Iran.
5. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (my rating: 4 stars) - This book is a long one but well worth the investment. And my book club had a really interesting discussion about it! The novel is about a minister who moves his family to the Congo to convert the natives to Christianity.
And if your book club just likes to read good books that will entertain everyone through good stories, then try these next five picks:
6. Bossypants by Tina Fey (my rating: 5 stars) - This book made me laugh out loud. If you've got an all-female book club, definitely read this one. You get to read about Tina Fey and other things that all women go through. I need to add this one to my home library.
7. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (my rating: 5 stars) - I adored this book! I read it before my book club picked it, and I wasn't able to attend the meeting where my book club discussed it, but I think they all liked it. There are so many surprises in this well-written book and parts of it made me cry!
8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (my rating: 5 stars) - This one might seem like an obvious choice, but if you haven't read it yet, you really should. And then your book club can have a movie night and watch the movie version!
9. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (my rating: 4 stars) - This book is historical fiction about a trip to New York City that soon-to-be-famous film star Louise Brooks takes with her chaperone, a mother and wife with her own secret aspirations for being in New York.
10. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (my rating: 5 stars) - This cute, funny, and heartwarming story needs to be made into a movie. CeeCee has to spend the summer in Georgia with her aunt Tootie, and through some very colorful neighbors, CeeCee learns to move past tragedy.