What We're Reading - Book Club Picks
SCOUTING THE BEST BOOKS FOR YOUR BOOK CLUB
If you’ve ever been in a book club, this will sound familiar: it’s your turn to choose the book. You think of titles you’ve recently read, you scan your shelves, you look for ideas online, and you get nervous. Even though you read—a lot—you still struggle to find the perfect book your group will enjoy and want to talk about, something you’ll learn from but also love.
When you’re feeling the pressure, turn to your local bookseller! The Scout Guide Huntsville’s THE SNAIL ON THE WALL is just that; and Lady Smith is always ready with recommended book club picks, whether you’re looking for something brand-new or tried-and-true.
Cutting-Edge Club Picks
If your group likes the latest books, take note of these new releases. THE GOWN, by Jennifer Robson, will appeal to royal watchers as well as lovers of WW2 fiction, as it follows the women who worked on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown in postwar London in 1947. THE LAST ROMANTICS, by Tara Conklin, offers a contemporary family story of four siblings who grow up leaning on and loving one another, but also hiding some serious lies and betrayals. THE SILENT PATIENT, by Alex Michaelides, is the new psychological thriller keeping people up at night reading about the twisted relationship between a male criminal therapist and his female patient, who has been locked away for killing her husband. I Was Anastasia features another misunderstood woman, this one from the annals of real history; is Anna Anderson, who surfaces in 1920s Germany, a thief and imposter or indeed the long-lost duchess of the Romanov empire? When your club is ready for a change in reading pace, try a middle-grade novel with grown-up appeal: THE NIGHT DIARY, by Veera Hiranandani, tells a beautiful but important story of India’s independence in 1947 through the eyes of 12-year-old Nisha who is half-Muslim and half-Hindu, and has no idea where she belongs.
These books never go out of style, so consider picking one of these perennial favorites. MOLOKA’I, by Alan Brennert, is about to experience a resurgence because its sequel, DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA’I, comes out this February and continues the saga of a woman at a Hawaiian leprosy settlement, and the daughter she had while quarantined there. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, by John Irving, considers whether a tragedy in 1953—a foul baseball that kills Owen’s best friend’s mother—is an accident or part of a divine plan. The first book in Elena Ferrante’s four-part Neapolitan series that has been read the world over, My Brilliant Friend captures the lives of two young Italian girls as they forge a friendship that lasts a lifetime. You’ll appreciate the help of a group to unravel HOMEGOING, by Yaa Gyasi, which traces the histories of two half-sisters who are born apart in Africa and lead separate lives, one sold into slavery and the other married off to a wealthy Englishman. Finally, for an inspiring memoir about the importance of sharing good books, return to Will Schwalbe’s THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB, which features recommended reading lists alongside an emotional story of the writer’s last days with his mother.
For even more suggestions, visit The Snail on the Wall’s online page of FAVORITE BOOK CLUB PICKS. LIVE. LOVE. LOCAL.