10 Terrific Book Club Books to Get Your Book Club Talking | Book RiotMost often, book clubs aka book groups choose recent publications for discussion, many straight off the current bestseller list. And this is understandable, given all the great books coming out. Some suggestions in this post are by authors of the past that are still well known, while others have fallen under the literary radar. Either way, these novels make for fantastic reading and stimulating discussion. Books remain classics for a reason, after all.
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I also included some of my personal favorites. These novels are packed with discussion fodder. This list contains old books, modern classics, contemporary fiction. Many of these books tackle big—even uncomfortable—issues. Many are polarizing.
I have been a part of one or more book clubs for over 20 years, and I have learned a few things about what makes a book club successful and how to get your book club talking. I have two cardinal rules in selecting the best book club books: choose mostly books available in paperback and pick books that will foster great discussion. While you occasionally want to read the hot new bestseller with your book club, the truth is that a lot people just cannot afford to buy new hardbacks all the time. I have found that participation is better when you choose books that are more affordable in paperback, can be borrowed from the library, or can be purchased used. The following list includes ten tried-and-true book club picks. These are novels that have inspired some of the most thought-provoking discussions in my own book clubs over the years, and these book club books are all available in paperback or at your local library.
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The project of this book club would be to read all the corny stuff from the canon that we really should have read in school but never did. The quintessential example was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Anything too long or serious—Proust, Middlemarch —was excluded from the list, even if we all wanted to read it, due to failing those criteria. We did not assume any of the classics would actually be stupid.