The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)
The Water Dancer tells the story of a boy born into slavery. When his mother is sold away, her loss unlocks in him a mysterious power that saves his life. But can it help him escape? When Oprah, the ultimate book club doyenne, declares it “as beautiful as it is tragic,” you know it’s a must-read.
Where the Crawdads Sing Deluxe Edition
At once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a murder mystery, Where the Crawdads Sing was one of the most talked-about books of 2019. This deluxe edition features a full color map and illustrations, gorgeous printed endpapers, an updated jacket, and an all-new letter from the author.
The Starless Sea
Fantasy fans and bibliophiles will love the long-awaited sophomore effort of Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus. In this epic adventure, a graduate student finds a mysterious book that unlocks a secret underground world filled with lost cities, magic, and romance. It’s V. E. Schwab meets Mr. Penumbra.
A Single Thread
After losing both her brother and her fiancé in the Great War, Violet Speedwell starts a new life in Winchester, home to one of England’s grand cathedrals. She’s drawn into a society of women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral. But when forces threaten her independence and another war looms, Violet must fight to put down roots in a place where women aren’t expected to grow.
Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirize the culture of his time, Salman Rushdie takes his reader on a ride through Trump’s America, a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. In Rushdie’s version, a mediocre writer of spy thrillers creates Quichotte, a salesman obsessed with television who falls in love with a TV star. Prepare for some epic metafictional book-club debates.
We Cast a Shadow
Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Speaking of books that were made for debate, this chilling tale of speculative fiction is a doozy. At Dr. Nzinga’s clinic, anyone can get their lips thinned and their nose narrowed. A complete demelanization will liberate patients from the confines of being born in a Black body. Like any father, the narrator wants the best for his biracial son. But how far will he go?
The Gifted School
This smart, juicy, and compulsively readable novel is about a previously happy group of friends and parents that’s nearly destroyed by their own competitiveness when an exclusive school for gifted children opens in the community. Meg Wolitzer captures it perfectly: “like Big Little Lies with standardized testing.”
Family of Origin
Is it possible to live in our broken world with both scientific pragmatism and hope? What does one generation owe another? How do we know which parts of the past—and ourselves—to jettison, and which to keep? This memorable entry in the emerging genre of climate fiction grapples with questions of nature and nurture, evolution and mating, intimacy and betrayal, progress and forgiveness.
The Bromance Book Club
Lyssa Kay Adams
When Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s wife asks for a divorce, he finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage.
In this modern reimagining of Jane Austen’s Emma, matchmaker Ania Khurana discovers that her good intentions are no match for the whims and intrigues of Delhi’s high society. Pairing razor-sharp observation and social comedy with moments of tenderness, this whirl through the dazzling mansions of India’s elite reveals that there’s no one route to perfect happiness.
Human beings are social creatures. We’re also storytellers. We crave connection, and we seek out meaning in the world. As Joan Didion wrote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Book clubs bring out the best in us. They celebrate our humanity. When we connect over the shared experience of reading, we find common ground—even when we disagree. Book clubs provide a safe space for readers to explore new ideas, to stretch our imaginations, to challenge long-held beliefs, to view the world through a different lens. These 10 books are sure to inspire lively book club debates, and the stories will linger long after the meeting adjourns.
Featured Photo by Jinny Kwon and Abbe Wright