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20 Must-Read Picks for Every Book Club

Learn how to choose a book and view our book suggestions

By Holly M. Viola • July 31, 2019

Choosing a book for your book club to read can be challenging. You want books that are thought-provoking and intelligent but still approachable. Here's some ideas:

  • Look for books with complex themes, symbolism, multiple or untrustworthy narrators, or unclear endings.
  • Choose books that examine social, historical, cultural, political, or racial issues.
  • Look for award winners and best sellers (although not exclusively).

To get you started, we've put together a list of 20 sure-fire conversation starters, ranging from the best contemporary literature to historical fiction, memoirs, and history.

  1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  2. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  3. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  4. Circling the Sun by Paula McClain
  5. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
  6. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  7. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  8. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  9. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein
  10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  11. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
  12. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  13. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
  14. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
  15. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  16. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  17. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  18. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
  19. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  20. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

What books have your reading groups found to be great conversation starters? What's on your list of upcoming books to consider? Share your insights with fellow readers in the comments below.

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