I get asked this question quite often. Friends and friends of friends know that I love to read and that I have strong opinions about what I have read. I have also been the member of a number of book clubs over the years. When I get asked this question, the first thing I ask is “tell me about your book club. Who is in it? What have you read in the past?” I can learn a lot about what to recommend based on those answers, mostly because it gives me a sense of what the book club is looking for and what kinds of books they will be interested in.
I should preface the rest of this post by saying that people don’t ask me for recommendations of sci-fi or romance books. Those aren’t really my areas of interest, but I can recommend the heck out of good to read fiction that has enough meat to discuss for 30-45 minutes. I will also throw in a great non-fiction idea to keep things interesting and varied.
Here are my latest recommendations for book clubs, plus some perennial favorites to read with a group and discuss.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry – see my previous review, but this is great for those who love books and bookstores.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers – review coming soon. A non-fiction book that is “unputdownable” and takes you to into the lives of those living in a slum in Mumbai.
On Sal Mal Lane – if your book club likes something a little more dense, this is a wonderful selection. Set in Sri Lanka, it tells the universal story of childhood innocence and confusion, which is woven into the historical tension between the Sinhalese and the Tamil people.
Bel Canto – if the members of your book club haven’t read this yet, make this your next book. So much to discuss and a great introduction to Ann Patchett.
I Capture the Castle – a classic coming of age story, that is beautiful and heart-warming.
The Distant Land of My Father – set in China and the U.S. this historical fiction is descriptive and also explores complex family dynamics.
What is your book club reading? Mine is reading Ruby by Cynthia Bond for March.