Best Books For Discussion

The following lists are guaranteed to spark discussion in even the most reticent book clubs.  Fiction that is more thematic in nature, rather than plot-oriented, tends to encourage discussion.  In addition, since many book clubs meet once a month, most of these titles are reasonable in length (with a few exceptions).  The starred titles have discussion guides (*) or discussion questions (**) available.

Classics Worth a Second Look

*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

*The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

*The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

*Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

*The Color Purple by Alice Walker

*The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

*Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

*The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


Light and Engaging Reads

Man of the House and Househusband by Ad Hudler

Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos

The Godmother and The Stepmother by Carrie Adams

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Belong to Me and Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy


Dark and Disturbing

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

*The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

*Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

**The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry


Pushing the Boundaries of Reality

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston


Perennial Book Club Favorites

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Empire Falls by Richard Russo

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

*Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

*A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon


Literary Lovelies

*Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and The Hours by Michael Cunningham

*Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

*Gilead and *Home by Marilynne Robinson

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

Old School by Tobias Wolff

Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley

**Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser 


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