If you've ever been in a book club and been tasked with
picking the next month's book, then you already know: It's a high stress, big stakes responsibility. You want to select a book that not only inspires conversation and debate and critical thinking, but satisfies a wide variety of literary opinions. It's a tall order, but not impossible. Take a deep breath, take a seat and comb through this month's top book club picks from Goodreads. There's a little something in there for pretty much everyone. I promise.
In recent years, book clubs have seemingly skyrocketed in popularity. What was once associated with either grouchy academics or wine moms has now become an activity for all kinds of folks. There are
cookbook book clubs, biography book clubs, digital book clubs, national book clubs — pick a theme and somewhere, someone is reading a book with that very specific demographic of people. And it's totally understandable — there's something deeply satisfying in sharing the same book, the same story, the same world, with a host of other people. Hearing their own impressions and experiences. Maybe even looking at a chapter, a character, even a single passage in a new light after your neighbor completely blows your mind with a new perspective.
Goodreads gets it, too. They've compiled their ~literary data~ to identify the top 25 books that book clubs across the world devoured. The list is dominated by fiction, but houses a handful of truly superb nonfiction works and even several YA tearjerkers. But what's deeply refreshing is the diversity of authors, a sign of hope.
So what's on
your list? 'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng Celeste Ng's simmering second novel takes us into the meticulously planned world of Shaker Heights, a suburban community outside Cleveland, where following the rules is ingrained into the town's fabric ― until Mia Warren, a single mother and artist, blows into town with her daughter, Pearl, and a host of secrets. Click here to buy. 'Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman Eleanor Oliphant has a carefully planned out life, one that works around social interactions and is really, truly fine. But when Eleanor and a messy (in every sense of the word) co-worker rescue an elderly man who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three form a trio that breaks all of Eleanor's rules — and cracks her heart wide open. Click here to buy. 'Before We Were Yours' by Lisa Wingate is a multi-generational, historical work of fiction that explores the true legacy of poor children in the South, who were kidnapped and sold to wealthy families throughout the country. Catnip for book clubs, tbh. Before We Were Yours Click here to buy. 'A Gentleman in Moscow' by Amor Towles is set in 1922: the Bolshevik tribunal has imprisoned Rostov for being an aristocrat — unapologetically, irredeemably so — and places him under house arrest in a hotel across the street from the Kremlin. From his attic apartment, Rostov is forced to go through a personal reckoning as the world crumbles outside his window. A Gentleman in Moscow Click here to buy. 'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline , which recently hit theaters as a springtime blockbuster, transports us to 2045, where teen Wade Watts spends as much of his time as he can jacked into the virtual oasis called, well, OASIS. But when his obsession with OASIS' hidden puzzles reveals a world of violence, murder and mystery, he's forced to figure things out in the "real" world... whatever that means. Ready Player One Click here to buy. 'Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda' by Becky Albertalli 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas
Last year's blockbuster YA novel,
continues to be heartbreakingly, infuriatingly relevant. Starr Carter who, at 16, has already learned to navigate the liminal space between her working class neighborhood and prestigious prep school she attends, witnesses the shooting of her best friend Khalil. Khalil was unarmed. He was shot by police. The Hate U Give Click here to buy. 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood
I mean, duh.
Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel, set in the Republic of Gilead, where women are valued for their ability to reproduce and little else, began flying off the shelves after the 2016 presidential election. Then, it was made into a super-popular Hulu series. Click here to buy. 'The Woman in the Window' by A.J. Finn
you'll find a deeply unsettling voyeuristic plot. A recluse protagonist. A perfect family, at least on the surface, at least from Anna Fox's window, where she watches them — until one night, when shocking secrets begin to erupt through to the surface. The Woman in the Window, Click here to buy. 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman
Teenage girls now have the ability of super strength, the power to cause excruciating pain, agony, and death. That's the world of Naomi Alderman's 2017 novel,
. And predictably, this one, uh, "little" shift completely rewrites the rules of the world. The Power Click here to buy. 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle 'The Immortalists' by Chloe Benjamin
The Gold siblings, four children on the brink of adolescence in 1969 NYC, are about to hear the one piece of news everyone fears — and craves. There's a mystic, according to rumors circulating through their Lower East Side neighborhood, who can tell you the day you'll die. One fateful night, four dates, and a lifetime of altered, shifted adventures in
The Immortalists. Click here to buy. 'Children of Blood and Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi
Though it hit shelves mere months ago,
Tomi Adeyemi's debut novel of magic, of tradition, of patriarchy, and of fierce resilience, is already being developed as a film. Zélie, a teen "maji," is the last hope for her people after a new ruler begins hunting down anyone who holds within them magic ― and its untamed power. Click here to buy. 'The Great Alone' by Kristin Hannah
It's 1974 in
, and 13-year-old Leni, daughter of a struggling Vietnam War vet and a passionate, devoted mother, is about to be whisked away to Alaska, a wilderness, a frontier, that her parents see as a final hope. And it is, it seems — until it very suddenly, very jarringly, does not. The Great Alone Click here to buy. 'Educated' by Tara Westover Tara Westover's memoir is one of ferocious, unyielding curiosity, a hunger to know more. Tara was born into a family of survivalists — until the age of 17, she never even stepped foot inside a classroom. But driven by a growing love for academia, Tara studied and read and worked her way to a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Click here to buy. 'Killers of the Flower Moon' by David Grann
You don't have to be a true crime fanatic to become obsessed with the bestselling
which lays bare a truly chilling conspiracy that arose in the 1920s, as newly-rich members of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma began to mysteriously, serially be murdered. Killers of the Flower Moon, Click here to buy. 'The Radium Girls' by Kate Moore
They were called "Shining Women" — girls, many of them, toiling in underground factories producing radium dials during the era of WWI. Covered in the glittery, newly-discovered element, the shining girls quite literally shone, a sign of their coveted positions — until they start falling sick.
is an exploration into worker's rights and corporate scandal, this book will knock you down and pick you up. The Radium Girls Click here to buy. 'The Underground Railroad' by Colson Whitehead 'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones
Hey, if Oprah read
for her book club, then we... all should, right? Celestial and Roy are newly married and full of life and promise. The world feels so big and open, until Roy is convicted of a crime that Celestial knows he didn't commit. Five years in prison and a lifetime of change build up between the couple before Roy is released. An American Marriage Click here to buy. 'A Man Called Ove' by Fredrick Backman
It's a classic, enduring setup that never fails to entertain: a chronically grouchy old man. A new, messy, boisterous, very much alive family that just so happens to be his new neighbors. Two different worlds, cracked open and flooded with new perspectives in
. A Man Called Ove Click here to buy. 'All The Light We Cannot See' by Anthony Doerr
This achingly beautiful historical novel won the
2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction — so, like, yeah, it's sort of objectively "good." A blind French girl and an orphaned German boy collide as they fight to survive in occupied France during World War II. Click here to buy. 'Pachinko' by Min Jin Lee
A multigenerational family saga, beginning in early 1900s Korea with an unwed, expectant mother and continuing across borders and oceans and cultures, explores the lasting effects of a family in exile. Time marches on, always, no matter what, no matter the cost in
Pachinko. Click here to buy. 'Exit West' by Mohsin Hamid Mohsin Hamid's magical realism journey through national identity, immigration, war, and the concept of borders — what if there were doors that could whisk you into a different country, albeit at a steep price? — will absolutely, 100 percent make you cry in public if you read it on the train. Just a warning. Click here to buy. 'Lilac Girls' by Martha Hall Kelly
Three women — a New Yorker working for the French consulate, a Polish teenager, and a German doctor — on three vastly different paths intersect and interact and survive as World War II cleaves the Western world apart in
Lilac Girls. Click here to buy.