Top 10 Discussion-Worthy Books for Book Clubs
Next month will mark the four year anniversary of my Preschool Moms Book Club. Our kids are no longer in preschool. In fact, they are spread across three different schools in the community so our monthly book club is the only way some of us see each other every month.
You may be thinking you don’t have the time to join a book club, or to read a book a month. I promise, you can do it. There are 12 working moms in my book club. All of us have at least two children and some of us have had newborns over the course of our book club membership. While we’re all married, many of us have husbands who travel for work regularly, or we are the parent who travels.
What brings us all together is our desire to get together with other moms who are just like us. We also like reading, but not all of us started out as bookworms. I am a book nerd and read regularly but there is a mom in the group who never read for pleasure before book club. She has dyslexia and always struggled with reading. She now reads at least 2-4 books a month since discovering audio books – yes, they count! Another mom only read young adult books and another previously read science fiction exclusively. Some of the moms do audio books, some of us do eBooks and some do real books. It doesn’t matter how we consume the material, or even if we read every book. We do our best and are flexible.
The wonderful thing about book club, aside from a guaranteed get-together with girlfriends and wine, is that we have all broadened our reading horizons. I have never enjoyed science fiction, but have now read a few sci-fi books that I enjoyed.
If you have never thought of joining a book club, pick a few friends and get one started. Our group came together when two moms at my son’s preschool wanted to start a book club but only knew two other people. They asked those two people to invite a few friends as well.
We are now up to twelve moms and the majority of us go to every book club meeting. We rotate homes and all bring something to make things easier. We don’t judge messiness and don’t expect a feast. We usually meet on a Sunday around 7:30 so that we can all escape bedtime – a huge perk!
Roundup Of My Book Club’s 10 Most Popular Books
If you want to give starting a book club a try, or are just looking for books to add to your reading list, here are my groups’ favorite books.
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- The Book Thief, Markus Zusak: This was the first book we read as a group. It is set in World War II Germany and focuses on a young German girl growing up in Nazi Germany. We all found a lot to discuss as many of us hadn’t read a WWII book from the German perspective.
- Unbroken, A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand: Only one member of our group didn’t enjoy the book and she admits that it is because she is extremely sensitive to violence. The rest of us truly loved this book and were inspired by the true story that highlights the strong will of Louis Zamperini. On a personal note, this book was inspirational to me as I read it during a particularly difficult time with my autoimmune disease. It gave me hope in the power and strength of our will.
- The Girls, Lori Lansens: I had to flip to the back of the book to determine whether this was based on a true story. The author did that good a job writing about conjoined twins. She must have done an incredible amount of research to capture the emotions of the characters and how they live with their condition. I enjoyed the book so much I read a few more books by this author. Everyone in the group really enjoyed the book and it sparked interesting conversation.
- The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty: This book opened up so much discussion about what we would do in the same situation. Even though we didn’t all agree on what we would do, it truly made for a great discussion. I enjoyed the writing twists so much that I read more books by this author.
- The Paris Wife, Paula McLain: The Paris Wife is loosely based on Earnest Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson. Like “The Husband’s Secret,” it sparked debate on how we would handle her situation. As wives and mothers, some of us had trouble identifying with Richardson, while others completely understood her choices. Even though I was frustrated with the characters, I really enjoyed the book and the discussion with my club.
- The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls: I will start by saying this was not my favorite book. In fact, I spent most of the book angry with the parents. One of the moms in the club recommended this as a book she read in college that she thought was hilarious. When she re-read it with the group as a mother of three, she didn’t find it as funny. It was borderline disturbing but it made for great discussion. There was a lot to debate and discuss.
- What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty: I wasn’t kidding when I said we all enjoyed her writing style. I enjoyed this book so much and was looking forward to discussing it with the group. Like “The Husband’s Secret,” it gives you the opportunity to think about what you would do in the main character’s shoes.
- The Good Girl, Mary Kubica: This book was my suggestion. I saw it on a list of books you can’t put down and I was not disappointed. Most of us were blown away by the ending and even those who figured it out enjoyed the book.
- Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel: As I stated, I have never enjoyed science fiction, until joining book club. Even though I was going to miss book club the month of this discussion, I still read the book because it was that good. It really got me thinking about what would happen if society collapsed. Even if you don’t like scifi, I highly recommend this book!
- All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr: Even though some of our group was getting burned out on WWIII books, we all really enjoyed this book. All of the characters were really well-written and the author explored many perspectives during the war. This was definitely a group favorite.
If you are still looking for book club suggestions, these books were also well-received by the majority of our group.