We love our book club and we get questions all the time about the best books for book clubs to read. That is always such a tough question because there are so many amazing books that provoke thoughtful discussions and meaningful conversations.
We think in order to keep book clubs fun and relevant, switching up the genre and theme of the books will keep the book club fresh! Over the past few years, we have read so many amazing books that we think are perfect book clubs books.
We wanted to make a list for you as a quick reference. You can check out all 52 books or you can jump to your favorite genre. We think this is is the list of best book club books and we cannot wait to hear what your book club is reading.
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**Updated February 2023**
Best Books for Book Club Genres
Best Books for Book Clubs 2023 // Best books for Book Clubs 2022 //Feel Good Books // Books About Books // Celebrity Book Club Picks // Female Spy Books // Books About Friendship // Holiday Book Club // Women in the Workplace // Best Books About Writers // #OWNvoices Books // Royal Books // Audie Award Winning Books // Book to Screen Adaptations // Fiction Books About Wine // Historical Fiction Books // Books About Immigration // More Books for Book Clubs
Best Book Club Books of 2023
Where do I even start with this amazing magical realism book? When Alice’s best friend has yet another horrible breakup, Alice wants to make her feel better by writing her a letter, the way she used to when they were young. Instead, she finds herself writing a story and as if by magic, Gabby meets the man of her dreams.
Soon, Alice is writing stories for everyone as her gift pours from her. When she is sent a letter that brings her to a mysterious mansion, she meets Madeline who wants to have a special story written for her. Alice is forced to deal with her own past in order to move forward. This is one of the contemporary fiction books for book clubs we have read and absolutely loved. It is perfect for Fiction Books about Writers and a perfect book for summer reads 2023.
I’m still reeling from the revelations and truths woven throughout Prince Harry’s narrative. His candor in taking us from the death of his mother to the death of Queen was refreshingly real and often poetic, no doubt thanks to the incredible skills of his ghostwriter.
I was struck by how much I had believed the press’s story of his life; accurate or not. To think that an entire family’s stories could be so fabricated or twisted into untruth was astonishing.
In revealing his own truths, however, he illuminated the dreadful antics of his family. Wills, Charles, Camilla, and the courtiers do not come out of this book without tarnish – and with good reason. There is so much to talk about, this is our book club book for next month.
At the end of the day, it’s hard not to judge everyone for lack of compassion but it’s a generational cycle that needs to be broken. I felt proud to see Harry putting in the work to make sure his own children don’t go through what he did.
This is a must for fans of books about the royal family and stories about royalty. This book is a best book for book clubs and a perfect pick from beach reads. Even if you don’t usually read memoirs, this is one of the best non-fiction books of 2023.
March 2023 Good Morning America Book Club Pick
I loved this family drama book about the blue-blooded Stockton family, told from the perspective of sisters, Darley and Georgiana, and their sister-in-law, Sasha.
Each woman has her own struggles with navigating life in the Stockton family. Sasha, a middle-class artist feels like an unwelcomed outsider. Darley struggles with living up to the Stockton family name after she gave up her identity to embrace motherhood. Georgiana, the youngest, needs to grow up and become a capable adult!
Each family member struggles on their own and within the family dynamic in this wonderful contemporary fiction. Each sibling faces dramatic struggles from sick parents to committing adultery to a lost job. I loved seeing how they each grew throughout this book for book clubs and ultimately how they strengthened their familial bond.
While the book had enough meat for me to get invested, it also had glimpses of the whimsy of the monied elite. The matriarch of this family in particular is a hoot! We had to include this book in our list of beach reads 2023 and the best contemporary fiction books of 2023.
February 2023 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
This story about Maddie, known as Maame to her family, was immersive and beautifully complex. Dealing with friendships, racism, familial obligations, and then grief, this story swept me away. Maddie lives in London as the primary caretaker of her father who has Parkinson’s. Her mother spends most of her time in Ghana.
I felt fiercely protective of Maddie while reading this book. There were times I wanted to swoop in to relieve some of the burdens of this wonderful character with a heart of gold. But it was more rewarding to see Maddie finding her inner strength and learning to prioritize herself and her dreams.
I can’t recommend this coming-of-age book about grief enough – especially as a book for book clubs. It’s one of the best books of 2023 and a great pick for a list of book club books. This is one of the heavier books in our beach reads 2023 post, but the list would not be complete without it. This is also one of the best novels about Africa I have ever read.
Best Book Club Books of 2022
May 2022 Good Morning America Book Club Pick
Kirsten Miller delivers a killer magical realism novel about a trio of women who receive powers after going through menopause. The point of their powers is to bring to justice men who rape and kill women.
I was thoroughly entertained by this beach town mystery that pits the women against billionaire men around them. As usual, GMA delivers with its latest pick. This contemporary fiction book will not disappoint. We think this book about friendship is also an amazing book for book clubs! And while we know we included it on a lot of lists, we wanted to add it to our adult fantasy book list as well because it is just that good.
A Read With Jenna Pick for February 2022
I absolutely loved this contemporary fiction which is a story about love, family, and acceptance. It captured me from the first page with the story and the writing.
When Eleanor Bennett dies, she leaves a voice recording for her two children Benny and Byron. She wants to tell them things about her life that she could not say when she was alive.
While listening to their mother’s story, Byron and Benny learn about their mother, their family, and themselves. They try to piece their relationship back together. The novel looks at everyone’s life in the present and in the past, but in its essence, is a book about motherhood.
There is a secondary character who is also a professional swimmer, making this a perfect story for our books about women in sports. If you are looking for books for book clubs, this is sure to be a winner.
Rebecca Serle has done it again with this book set in Italy. Katy’s mother, Carol, has died and left Katy to take their trip to Positano alone. When Katy leaves she is uncertain about everything and whether she will return to her marriage.
Then, the impossible happens, and Carol appears at Katy’s hotel. She is in perfect health and thirty years old. She is not the woman Katy thought she knew. As she gets to know her mother, she realizes more about herself.
This beautiful contemporary fiction book set in Italy is well-written and a must-read book about grief. However, the touch of magic in this book puts in on our best magical realism books as well. This is one of our favorite books about mothers and it is a perfect book club book. Can you tell we love this book?
I’ve been reading WWI books non-stop because I’m fascinated by the way modern warfare met traditional tactics in the Great War. I’m particularly interested in the role women played in helping the Allies.
Chiaverini brought the Switchboard soldiers (the women who operated the telephone lines) to life in the most interesting way. I loved their bonds of sisterhood, how they stayed cool under pressure, and learning just how crucial they were to the war effort.
If you are looking for book club books, this historical fiction is a perfect choice. It is also a perfect choice for our list of books like Lessons in Chemistry.
July 2022 Read With Jenna Book Club Pick
This is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. One day everyone over the age of 22 wakes up to find a string on their doorstep. It’s soon clear that the length of one’s string determines the length of their life.
Soon short stringers are being discriminated against around the globe which begs the question – what is the true measure of a valuable life? This would be a fabulous book club book. There is so much to talk about and you will love this pick from summer reads 2023! Don’t let the fact that this is a sci-fi book deter you if it is not your usual genre.
January 2022 Good Morning America Pick
Molly Gray works as a maid in a grand hotel and gets joy from leaving things orderly and pristine. Molly struggles with reading social cues and has had even more trouble since her gran can no longer help.
When Molly finds a dead body in a room at the hotel, she becomes a prime suspect and will need all her friends to help her.
I loved the description of this book and I hoped it would live up to my expectations. It did that and more. I loved every minute of this feel-good book from the ultimate list of mystery books and closed the last page smiling. Definitely add this one to books for book clubs to read. If you are looking for The Maid Book Club Questions, we have you covered. It is also a perfect mystery book for books like Lessons in Chemistry.
Elyssa Friedland is quickly becoming an auto-order author for me with her quirky characters and unique plots. Fresh off the success of Last Summer at the Golden, The Most Likely Club is another fantastic book club book!
With a 25-year high school reunion as the backdrop to this story about 4 life-long friends, there is so much to discuss in this fast-paced, witty book. When the girls realize that they are not living up to the high school superlatives in their yearbook, they make a pact to supercharge their lives and career goals.
But is it possible for women in this age to have it all? Partly a feminist story, partly an ode to female friendships, you’ll be laughing and contemplating serious matters in the same breath. I adored this book about friendship which is a family drama story and can’t wait to share it with my own girlfriends! It is also a perfect book from best beach reads 2023.
Feel Good Books for Book Clubs to Brighten Your Day
May 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
I haven’t read a novel with as much heart as this one in quite some time.
Elderly, recently widowed Tova loves her job cleaning the aquarium in town in the quiet of the night, especially because of her fondness for Marcellus, the octopus. She finds solace in the aquarium as it makes her feel closer to her son, Erik – a marine life lover – who disappeared on a boat when he was 18.
But when she hurts herself and is unable to return to work at full capacity, she grows close with her replacement, Cameron, a young man who newly arrived in town looking for his birth mother.
Meanwhile, Marcellus knows what happened to Erik and he wants to help Tova find the closure she needs. His narration is interspersed with Tova and Cameron’s for a story that is compelling, heartwarming, and utterly unique.
I will be shoving this book into the hands of everyone who asks for a book recommendation because it’s my favorite book of 2022 and my pick as one of the best audiobooks of 2022. And if you are looking for more family drama books like this, check out the Ultimate List of Feel-Good Books. This contemporary fiction book is a 5-star read and a book club book everyone will love.
Fredrik Backman is a master storyteller and he does it again with this book. He somehow manages to tackle difficult subjects without trivializing them but still allowing them to be humorous. This is a locked room mystery that is unlike any other.
This book is a story of a bank robbery gone very wrong and the idiots in the story (his word, not mine) who are taken hostage after the failed robbery. It is also a story about compassion, human relationships, and the daily struggles that we all have.
I love how Fredrik Backman’s books show the good in people despite the flaws that make them human. Backman is such a talented writer and is able to vary his style to best tell the story. I loved this book! The themes that Backman weaves throughout all his books of love, friendship, and compassion make all his books perfect for a list of books like A Man Called Ove. It is also a perfect book for book clubs.
Looking for a laugh-out-loud book? This novel about an Indian woman trying to marry her modern English identity with her parents’ conservative Indian values.
She takes up teaching a writing course for widows in her community and she learns so much about herself and them in the process. Between each chapter are hysterical and sometimes raunchy tales written by the widows in her class. I dare you not to smile while reading this story. There is so much to talk about with this book which makes it the perfect book for book clubs.
Looking for more of the best book club books? Check out these feel-good reads
Best Books About Books for Book Clubs
There are so many layers to this book that is a book about a fictional author and his book “Hell of a Book”. I can see why Jenna chose this book as her July 2021 pick.
The novel tells the story of Soot- a young black boy in a rural town. As we hear the story of Soot we also have the author talking to “The Kid”, a young black boy who may of may not be invisible.
The description of this contemporary fiction does not do it justice. It is a powerful and poignant commentary on family, children, and the lengths that parents will go to in order to protect their black children. This book is haunting and is such a fabulous book for book clubs.
This story about the island of Guernsey’s occupation during WWII features a book club that started to deceive the German soldiers. The members of the book club quickly become friends. Can you think of a better book for book clubs than one about a book club?
When a young novelist finds out about their society, she beings a correspondence and eventually visits them to learn more.
In this pick from the list of secret society books, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society must remain secret for their safety rather than by choice. The story is told entirely in letters and was recently turned into a Netflix movie! We both love this novel from books about WWII because, at its heart, it is a powerful book about friendship.
I absolutely adored this book. Rowley is amazing at writing about complex relationships. At its heart, this is a book about James Smale and his amazing and complicated relationship with his mother. When James finally sells his book and goes to meet his editor, it is none other than Jackie O.
She forces him to look into himself and answer the questions that he didn’t know to ask. This is one of those books that will stay with you. The emotions are so clear and raw, they jump from the page while the story builds quietly. This is such a great book club book because there is so much to discuss. It’s on our list of books about publishing too.
This is probably one of our favorite books on this list of books set in Paris and we recommend it all the time. The story features a floating book apothecary whose owner can meet you and give you a story meant for your soul.
When he needs to help his own soul, he sets his boat adrift on the Seine to see where it will take him. I loved every minute of this lovely contemporary fiction book and it is one of our favorites from the list of books set in France. As books for book clubs go, this one is at the top of our list.
Are you looking for more of the best book club books? Check out our ultimate list of books about books.
Celebrity Book Club Picks for Book Clubs to Read
October 2022 GMA Book Club List Pick
Picoult’s books are always so readable and this one is no exception. Olivia McAfee has had to start over and raise her son alone after leaving her abusive cardiothoracic surgeon husband.
She is raising her son Asher alone and always hoping that she left in time- before her son would remember the abuse. Now, Asher’s girlfriend, Lily, is dead and Asher is the prime suspect.
There were so many things about this book that made it so readable, I can see why it was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for 2022 and is an Audie Awards 2023 finalist. There is a lot to discuss which makes this a perfect pick for books for book clubs.
October 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
Wow! There are so many things that I loved about this contemporary fiction book. Rosie and Penn have five boys. The youngest, Claude wants to be a girl when he grows up. As this family navigates life with secrets, there is never a good time to explain that your youngest daughter was born a male.
These loving and supportive parents try to navigate a world in which not everybody is open-minded. This family drama book is poignant and all too realistic. It captures the innocence of youth and the struggles of an entire family. This is one of the best book club books on this list and a powerful book about motherhood. It is one of the feel-good novels you won’t want to put down.
Ladies, get your book clubs geared up for Chandler Baker’s newest novel. It’s part mystery, part social commentary, but it’s the latter that packs a punch. This book for book clubs is a must-read.
Baker examines the mental load that women carry as wives and mothers, particularly working women, and how it differs from what society expects of men.
A murder in the desirable Dynasty Ranch neighborhood has lawyer, and prospective buyer, Nora looking into what happened. With all the step ford style husbands she is meeting, she’s starting to wonder what kind of place Dynasty Ranch is after all.
I will admit when I saw the description of this coming-of-age book, I was not sold. A trusted individual, who has never steered me wrong in the past, gave me an advanced copy so, I took the leap. And wow, am I glad I did. I read this book and then recommended it to everyone I knew. It is one of the best mystery novels I have ever read.
This 70s book has that spark, that special something, that makes it extra. The book begins when a body is found in a North Carolina marsh and is identified as Chase Andrews. The story moves between the past and the present to tell the story of Kya Clark, The Marsh Girl, who is a suspect in the murder.
We have an entire post dedicated to this book and how to host a book club around it which makes it a perfect book for book clubs! If you love this book, check out our list of 13 books like Where the Crawdads Sing.
If you love books for book clubs and you want more, head over to our celebrity book club hub to find more.
Female Spy Books for Book Clubs
I LOVED this book so much. It is so beautifully written, amazingly researched and absolutely enthralling. This book is based on the life of Nancy Wake who is a nurse and journalist who becomes a Special Operations Executive during WWII.
She was an amazing woman and I had never heard of her before this fictional biography. It has wonderful characters, a fabulous story, romance, adventure, and the terrifying reality of life during WWII. I could not put this historical fiction book down and is one of the best books for book clubs to read.
July 2017 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
This historical fiction takes place during the First World War and after the Second World War as the story of two women come together. One is a female ex-spy another is a pregnant single woman, and they are joined by a shady ex-con as they embark on a quest.
This was such a good book to listen to and although the subject matter was serious, there were moments when I was laughing out loud. There was just the right amount of humor to make this a very readable book and a perfect book for book clubs to discuss.
March 2023 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
This is a remarkable story of two sisters who live in France. As historical fiction goes, this one set the standard for me. It is one of my all-time favorite books. It details how they survive the Second World War under Nazi Occupation. The sisters are separated by time and have completely different experiences in the war.
This book is one of the books that should be read in a lifetime. It is a total tear-jerker and one of those books about WWII and books set in France that are basically essential reading! If you are looking for the best book club books, this is one of them.
Are you looking for more of the best book club books? Check out this amazing list of books
Amazing Books About Friendship for Book Clubs
When it comes to books about motherhood, this is a must-read. As moms, we’ve all experiences the highs and lows of making new mom friends, but this story looks at what happens when friendships run their course.
Do you fight to keep the friendship alive or send it on its way? Well, Fallon is not letting them go so easily and her attempts to win back her friends are hysterical, but also poignant.
This book about friendship had me examining my own relationships and I knew I needed to include it in the ultimate list of beach reads 2023. It’s also one of my picks for the best books of 2023 and I knew this needed to be on our list of books for book clubs.
A contemporary fiction book set in Philadelphia! This is the story of 2 local girls, who have been best friends since childhood. Riley is a black woman living her dreams of being a reporter, while Jen is a pregnant white woman married to a cop.
Their friendship is put to the test when Jen’s husband kills an innocent black boy while in pursuit of a thief and Riley is the lead reporter covering the case.
Told from the perspective of both women, this gripping story covers systemic racism in the police force while dealing with the nuances of navigating a bi-racial friendship. If you are looking for powerful books about friendship, this is one that will make you think.
This doozy of a book was enthralling and thought-provoking. I knew it was a perfect book for book clubs from the very first chapter.
January 2020 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
Such a Fun Age is a remarkable debut contemporary fiction from Philadelphia native Kiley Reid. This novel made me think and question the role our environment plays in who we are and who we become. I love how the author addresses racism without drilling it in.
Rather, she shows what it looks like from the overt to the subtle. The book focuses on the relationship between an African -American woman who is a nanny and her employer who is a white woman.
This influencer book about friendship is different than the other books on this list because the friendship is so one-sided. There is so much to discuss which makes it a perfect book for book clubs.
What a refreshing contemporary fiction book about the power of love and friendship. I sat down and read this book in one sitting easily. It is captivating from the first sentence and had me until the last page.
Dannie is an ambitious lawyer with a plan. She has her life planned out until she falls asleep and spends one hour in the future. Nothing is familiar- not her house, the ring on her finger, or the man by her side. When she wakes, she cannot get the images out of her head.
I loved this time travel book it was unexpected, unconventional, and a delight to read. As books for book clubs go, this pick is sure to be a hit. And if your book club is looking for books about friends, this one is a sure hit.
I just finished this book and it is so much more than I could have hoped for in a book. It is rare that a book comes along that fills in all the nooks and crannies in my heart and this book did just that.
It is the story of four orphan children who find themselves traveling in a canoe down the Mississippi. The summary of this book does not do justice to the words within the pages. Read it. Love it. And then email me so we can talk about it. If you have not read this book, it is a perfect book for book clubs.
Best Books for Book Clubs: Host a Holiday Book Club
This is a hilarious look at what happens when a family is quarantined together over the holidays. The entire time I was reading this quarantine isolation book, I kept thinking to myself that it should be a movie.
Hornak takes series topics and makes them funny. This family drama book is about crazy coincidences and epic drama in one completely dysfunctional British family.
What starts out as a family spending a quarantine quietly in the family country home, turns into something from a soap opera. Every member of the family has their secrets and lies exposed. When I first read this holiday book, I thought it was the perfect book for book clubs. Now, after (during?) a pandemic, there is so much more for book clubs to discuss.
This is kinda like Love Actually in a bookshop. Nora and Simon’s bookshop is failing, but that doesn’t stop them from anonymously sending out 6 Christmas books to locals who need cheering up.
We see how their gifted books inspire changes in the lives of the recipients, how much their bookshop means to the community, and how all of their lives intertwine.
I cried a few times while reading this heartwarming tale, but it deals with some pretty heavy subjects like the death of a child and suicidal thoughts/depression. It’s really a wonderful book for the holiday season. Any true book lover will adore this Christmas tale. If you are looking for a holiday book for book clubs, this is a best pick.
I read 25 Days ‘til Christmas because I wanted a lovely little romantic Christmas story. The story is about a single mother who decides to do an advent calendar of activities in the hopes of bringing life back to her home.
A cute guy befriends them and I thought I was getting the romance I was looking for. In actuality, the book takes a dark turn and deals with loneliness, depression, childhood disabilities, and grieving.
It was so much deeper than I thought when looking at the peppy cover. I loved it. Truly. I wanted to personally walk into the pages of the book and lift her up when life knocked her down.
I got the happy Christmas ending I wanted, but in a more meaningful way than I initially expected. I can’t recommend this one enough, especially as a book club book for the holiday.
Do you love holiday books? We have a list of more Holiday Book Club Books
Women in the Workplace Books for Book Clubs
April 2022 GMA Book Club Pick
I don’t even know where to begin with this unique contemporary fiction story. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the 50s when women were expected to know their place in society — their place being the kitchen and the home.
Elizabeth struggles to be taken seriously in her field and as a single mother, in this amazing book. So when an offer to host a cooking show for women is put in her path, she reluctantly takes it.
She uses her no-nonsense attitude and chemistry principles to teach the women in America to not only cook but to follow their dreams outside of the home.
Zott is a quirky character like Eleanor Oliphant with a charming daughter and a dog whose inner monologue is as quirky as hers. An absolutely wonderful book about motherhood! You can also find this book on our list of Books Like The Love Hypothesis as well.
The story of Mileva Maric is an absolutely fascinating one that has not been told. This book gives a glimpse into the life of Albert Einstein’s wife who was a brilliant physicist that contributed to the special theory of relativity. How much of a role she actually played has been debated for years.
It is clear from the letters that Albert Einstein wrote, he was a horrible husband and this book brings him into a new light. It is a shame that his first wife, Mileva, a brilliant scientist herself is a mere footnote in history. I like the way the story was written and it will certainly bring about a lively discussion as a book club book. If you are looking for books like Lessons in Chemistry, this one is a must-read.
Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita have worked at Truviv, Inc. for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Each of the women has a different relationship with Ames, who has always been surrounded by whispers about how he treats women. Those whispers have been ignored, swept under the rug, and hidden away by those in charge.
But the world has changed, and women are watching this promotion differently. This time, when they find out Ames is making an inappropriate move on a colleague, they aren’t willing to let it go. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.
This contemporary fiction pick is perfect for our list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry and is also on our list of best books for book clubs.
Best Book Club Books About Writers
I had this book on my TBR for so long and I am so happy that I finally had a chance to read it. This is the story of Shakespeare’s life, family, and extraordinary wife during the time of the plague.
Shakespeare himself is never actually mentioned by name in this extraordinary and heartbreaking book that was so hard to put down which made it an easy pick for best book club books. I know why it made so many lists of top books for 2020. Do you love books about writers? We have a list of the Best Books About Writers.
I picked up this non-fiction book about the life of author Margaret Wise Brown because I wanted to try a genre I don’t usually read. Biographies are usually too much info about one person for my liking and this book felt that way too.
Still, Margaret Wise Brown, author of Good Night, Moon, and other classics, did lead a fascinating and colorful life. If you like non-fiction, try this one as your next book for book clubs.
Thought Provoking #OWNvoices Books for Book Clubs
I am so happy that I chose this book for the January Reading Challenge. It grabbed me from the first page.
Olga is a successful wedding planner for the elite in New York City who has been unsuccessful in finding love. Her brother, Pedro is a congressman who is hiding secrets. Both of them are running from their past and distancing themselves from their mother who has become a political militant.
As Hurricane season comes, the aftermath to their lives is more than they could have anticipated and caused them to face their deepest secrets and fears. This was my pick for the January reading challenge prompt to read a book being adapted to the screen and I highly recommend it as a book for book clubs.
Thanks to Libro.Fm for my audiobook review copy. I listened to this story in one sitting because I just couldn’t stop. The book opens with the death of Vivek and then the reader is taken on a journey to figure out exactly why Vivek was killed and what he was doing in the last months of his life.
It’s a coming-of-age story that is part mystery as well. The beautiful prose turns it into a treasure of a story that makes is a best book for book clubs.
Oh boy, do you want a tear-jerker? This one had me feeling all the feelings. I was angry, laughing, frustrated, crying, and happy at various points during this tremendous debut book.
I loved everything the point where it ended (it leaves you with a bit of an ambiguous ending.) No wonder it won so many awards and no wonder it on our list of best book club books
Angie Thomas has done it again with this book. Unlike the book, The Hate U Give when I completely understood Starr and her motivations, Bri was different for me.
In this case, I questioned her actions and related more to her mother than I did to her. I wanted to reach through the book and talk some sense into her. It felt like I was sitting by while someone made bad decisions and there was nothing I could do about it. This book is a must-read book for book clubs.
If you are looking for more of the best book club books, check out this amazing post.
Royal Books for Book Clubs
I knew a little about Princess Margaret from what I gleaned from
She actually reminded me a lot of Wallace Simpson. She was most definitely a royal rebel. She’s still not my favorite royal but this historical fiction biography helped me understand her life, personality, and pressures. This book about QEII will give you a different perspective on being a royal.
I had royal fever this month while working on our Royal Reads post, so it’s no surprise that when my library hold for this autobiographical audiobook came through, I dove right into it and absolutely loved this non-fiction pick from books about QEII.
Angela Kelly is the Queen’s head dresser and long-time companion. She details her process for dressing the queen, talks about some iconic looks, and even reveals a few personal stories about her time with her majesty. Add this fashion story to your list of books to read if you like The Crown. This would be such a great book for books clubs to start a discussion of what it would be like working for the queen.
This intimate look at Wallis Simpson was wonderfully written. Never have I had compassion for the Duchess of Windsor in the way I did when I read this historical fiction biography.
Holden’s portrayal of this controversial historical figure focused on the time period when Wallis and King Edward fell in love, but also the time period after his death.
I actually felt bad for both the king, who clearly didn’t want the crown, and the woman he both loved and used to get out of his royal duties. There is so much to talk about it this book about Wallis Simpson, which is why we love this book for book clubs.
Love royal reads? Check out the dozens we’ve rounded up here!
Audie Award-Winning Books for Book Clubs
This historical fiction novel is about real-life photographer and model, Lee Miller. I had never heard about Miller prior to this book, though I was familiar with her lover – Man Ray.
She made some life choices that I can’t say I agree with, but I found her to be a strong, feminist woman ahead of her time. This book from our list of best romance novels of all time will be on my best reads of the year list, but be warned – there are some erotic scenes in the novel. As books for book clubs go, this is one of the best and it’s one of our favorite biographical novels about artists. It’s also on our list of the best books of 2019.
I LOVED this one. I seriously geeked out over the audio version of this Man Booker Prize-winning novel. It’s one of the most unique books I have ever read. No one has a name! Instead, they are referred to as Milkman, or Real Milkman otherwise known as the man who loves no one, or third-brother-in-law, or maybe-boyfriend.
It’s an amazing storytelling device that literally explains the relationship to the main character (also of no name) while allowing the reading to project their own names, and ideas (or assumptions) onto the characters. Oddly enough, this was a DNF for Jackie which would make it a perfect book for book clubs. Did you love it or hate it?
This book is a sweeping saga that tells the multigenerational tale of the Tran family. The author is a Vietnamese poet which is obvious by the beautiful writing.
Trần Diệu Lan was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Communist land reform. Hà Nội, her granddaughter, is raised by her grandmother in the Vietnam war. This is a beautiful story of love, family, loyalty, and survival and was a beautiful book to listen to. This book is such a great book for book clubs because there is so much to talk about.
Looking for the best books for book clubs? Check out these award winners!
Best Books for Book Clubs: Book-to-Screen Adaptations
This is a beautiful book that takes place in occupied France during the Second World War. It is the coming-of-age story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths cross as they try to survive the war.
When their stories converge it becomes a story that you will not soon forget. This winner of the Pulitzer Prize is obviously well-written but it is also a beautiful and readable book.
It is one of the coming-of-age books set in France that I read years ago and it has stayed with me. It’s also a great book for book clubs, if yours hasn’t read it yet!
I adored Bennett’s debut book The Mothers so I was nervous to read her sophomore novel. Sometimes the next novel doesn’t live up to the first, but The Vanishing Half absolutely does with this wonderful and thought-provoking book.
The premise of this book set in the 70s is so unique. Two black sisters are so pale they can pass for white. One embraces her black heritage and her hometown, the other disappears into white suburbia.
When they meet up again 20 years later through their own daughters, the result is a stunning portrayal of the ties that tether us to our families. This is one of the must-read books about sisters and family drama books! It is also an amazing book for book clubs because there is so much to discuss.
Mr. Backman has a beautiful way of capturing the reader’s interest with wonderful characters that find themselves in hilarious situations.
I laughed out loud many times while reading. The book A Man Called Ove does indeed start with Ove trying to take his life and continuously being interrupted by his new neighbors and he mourns the loss of his spouse.
But, this story is so much more than that. As it progresses, Ove is able to have a profound impact on the life of everyone he meets, and at its heart, it is a book about friendship.
If you love this contemporary fiction book about grief, check out Books Like A Man Called Ove. But don’t let the description throw you off. At its heart, this is one of the best feel-good books and one of my all-time favorite books! If you have not read it, it is definitely one of the best book club books.
We have a list of more books becoming movies in 2023. This is the January 2022 prompt for the reading challenge.
Are you already participating in the 2023 reading challenge? For more reading challenges, check out the complete list of reading challenges here.
Fiction Books About Wine for Book Clubs: All You Need is the Cheese
This newest contemporary fiction book from Jamie Brenner is a departure from her previous books which have all been set in coastal towns. This story takes place in a vineyard!
Three generations of women must come together to save the family home and livelihood by having the failing vineyard. This would not be an easy task on any day but, they are also fighting against sexism and the belief that a women’s role is elsewhere. There is so much to discuss which makes is such a perfect book for book clubs.
Vivian, Leah, and Sadie must each confront their pasts and their own demons in order to come together. And if you love fiction books about wine, check out our post.
This mystery book feels like a warm hug. A little bit of historical fiction, a little bit of mystery, and a little bit of romance. It was so lovely to read at sunset with a glass of wine.
Kate is working to become a certified wine expert and the only thing standing in her way are the Burgundy wines at her family’s estate (and her first love who lives nearby).
While dealing out the basement filled with generations of belongings, Kate starts to learn about her family during the WWII occupation. Of all the WWII books, this is the one we recommend the most and we have never had anyone not love it.
One week before her wedding, Georgia discovers that her fiancé has been keeping a secret from her. Not sure if she can get over it and go through with the wedding, she heads home to her family vineyard.
When she arrives, she does not find the solace she is looking for. Rather, her parent’s marriage is in shambles, her brothers are a mess and they are at risk of losing everything. This book about wine is such a fun book for book clubs to read and discuss. How do the characters develop? Did the book end the way you thought?
Historical Fiction Books for Book Clubs to Bring you to the Past
Nella is the owner of a shop that used to be a renowned apothecary to treat women but, after her mother died and Nella faced unspeakable loss, her shop is now the bringer of death to men who have wronged the women in their lives.
In the present day, Caroline is spending her 10th wedding anniversary alone in London after discovering her husband is a lying, cheater. When she finds a vial while mud larking, she cannot resist the pull. What is the story behind this vial? This is such a great historical mystery book for book clubs!
August 2021 Oprah’s Book Club Pick
Wow. This is one of the best books I’ve listened to this year, and yes, I recommend it on audio for a few reasons. We absolutely love this Oprah Book Club Pick
First, the different narrators help tell this dual-timeline contemporary fiction. Through one narrator, we learn about Ailey’s life as an African American woman in the 20th century. The other narrator tells the story of the female ancestors of Ailey’s going all the way back to her Indigenous, black, and white relatives from two centuries earlier.
Through Ailey and her ancestors, the weight of what it means to be a black woman in America means. The sacrifices, injustices, struggles, and harassment endured by Ailey and her kin in the present day and the past are explored with a depth so real, I forgot it was a fictional story at times.
The second reason this book is great on audio? It’s LONG. It clocks in at over 800 pages or almost 30hrs of audiobook time. The narrators sucked me in and those 30 hrs flew by.
I will say, this book made me consider my White Privilege in a way no non-fiction book could have. It’s a heavy story, but very worth the read and a great book for book clubs.
This coming-of-age story examines the relationship between a black woman and a white girl in apartheid South Africa in 1976. This novel is a brutally honest and emotionally compelling story, unlike anything I have ever read.
This book begins just before the 1976 Soweto uprising in which thousands of black students marched in protest of the apartheid government. Though the protest was peaceful, police open-fired killing a hundred children.
This historical fiction book led to the most amazing discussions with our book club. The characters jump off the page. I was completely absorbed from the first sentence on the first page until the last page of the book. It is powerful and poignant and one of Jackie’s all-time favorite books. This is an African Novel that you will not want to miss.
Books About Immigration to Read with Your Book Club
This contemporary fiction book tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze who are young and in love when they leave war-torn Nigeria. Ifemelu comes to the United States and despite plans to follow her, Obinze cannot come to post-9/11 America.
The saga takes place over a 15-year period when Ifemelu and Obinze are reunited in Nigeria. It is intense and deeply emotional. I read this book with a very heavy heart as it seemed like tragedy after tragedy befell these two individuals. This is one of our books about Africa that you must read.
However, with that said, this book is amazingly written and a true work of art. If you are looking for one of the best book club books, this would be your choice.
This contemporary fiction story was recommended to me so often in the past few years – and it’s an Oprah pick so I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype. My library hold finally came due and I finally took the plunge. WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?
Honestly, I love this story about immigration, Wall Street, and the American dream. At a time when election coverage is ramping up, this book seems so relevant and is a great book club book. Jeni and Nedi’s story about their move from Cameroon and how it affects their marriage and their morals was compulsively readable. I couldn’t put it down. Don’t wait as long as I did to read this amazing African novel.
May 2019 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
The abuse suffered by the women in the book was heartwrenching. It looks at three generations of Palestinian-American women and their struggles to bloom and become independent.
I am shocked at the treatment of these women. Isra is a 17-year-old girl in Palestine entertaining suitors. She finds herself betrothed and off to live in the United States with a new husband whom she has met only a few times.
In New York, 17-year-old Deya wants to go to college before she is married, Her grandmother Fareeda is insistent that she be married first. Rum does an unbelievable job telling this story. It is a thought-provoking novel that is a perfect book for book clubs to discuss.
If you want to read more books and stories about immigration, we have a list of more than 15 books
More Books for Book Clubs
This incredible story about a trio of ballerinas in Paris is a thriller and a feminist commentary all in one. I could not put it down!!!
It’s all about the tolls dancing takes on the physical and mental well-being of Paris’s premiere ballerinas. With some #metoo moments in here as well, this is a great book for book clubs and was a no-brainer as a pick for a list of books set in Paris!
I loved it so much when I listened to it that I tried to steal Jackie’s copy in this funny Instagram reel.
I have read all three of the books in the kiss quotient series and loved them all but this book is special. This is my favorite of all of the Helen Hoang books thus far. Anna is a violinist whose career is stuck as she finds herself unable to play a single song to the end. When her boyfriend of 5 years announces that they are going to see other people before getting married, Anna decides to go on a dating app. Her plan: one-night stands.
Who does she find? Quan. This book is more than a romance. Hoang does an amazing job of bringing Anna and her struggles with her identity to life. Her pain is palpable and I found myself having trouble breathing I was so upset.
This is Hoang’s best book yet and as books for book clubs go, this one will definitely give you so much to discuss.
October 2019 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
Ann Patchett has done it again with this tale of sibling devotion. Danny and Maeve are victims of an abandoned mother and father who all but ignores them.
Danny narrates the story of their lives as it ties into The Dutch House – a storied mansion that their father purchased in Elkins Park. This home is the blessing and curse of their lives.
The sign of their father’s success and what ultimately breaks up their family. Emotional and complex, this book is a wonderful book for book clubs.
A tell-all about a fictional Elizabeth Taylor-
Evelyn Hugo has asked an unknown reporter, Monique Grant, to write her life story in a no-holds-barred book. There is a bit of mystery around why Monique was chosen and Evelyn certainly has her fair share of hardships as she claws her way to the top.
The drama and suffering add dimension to the story that makes it so much more than fluff, though the inner workings of Hollywood were fun to read too. The story seems so candid that I honestly forgot that Evelyn Hugo was not a real celebrity.
Taylor Jenkins Reid slays with this story finding the perfect balance of glamour and grit. This was an easy pick for a list of the best romance novels of all time and might seem like an unusual pick for books like A Man Called Ove but, both Ove and Evelyn are seeking to change their lives and in doing so, change for the better. This is one of the older book for book clubs on the list and we have never found someone who didn’t like it.