Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks

This topic required a lot of thought, because while there are plenty of books I love, they wouldn't necessarily make for great discussion. To be a good book club pick, a book has to not only have a good story but also contain some deeper message that's worth discussing. I think it generally helps, too, when the book is a stand-alone or at least has a self-contained story. It can be complicated to discuss an entire series, especially if you're expecting a lot of people to read it within a certain period of time. So with that in mind, here are ten books that I love and that I think would be great book club picks.

These are alphabetical by author, because I suck at ranking things.

Orson Scott Card

Probably most of you have read this already, but if you haven't, check it out. Besides being a great story, it raises some interesting questions about childhood and just how much leeway necessity gives you for dire action.

Gayle Forman

Any book that combines tragedy and hope the way this one does is worth reading. It would make a great book club pick for its portrayal of choices and life.

Frank Herbert

Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and for good reason. There are so many things that could be discussed in this book that you could probably have a whole year of book club meetings about it.

Guy Gavriel Kay

Really any book by GGK would make a great book club read, but The Lions of Al-Rassan is my favorite so I'm sticking with this one. It's about people's differences and similarities, and how war affects friendship and love. It's a really amazing story that takes place in a world based on Spain just before the Reconquista. It may be my favorite book ever, and it would make for great discussion.

Robert Kroese

Mercury Falls is an amazing, hilarious book about the Apocalypse (which is also appropriate because, as everyone know, the world is ending December Something-th). It's a brilliant story that also makes some interesting points about free will and religion without being preachy at all.

Madeline L'Engle

I read this book so many times as a kid that it literally fell apart (though in my defense it wasn't in that great a condition when I got it). Still, A Wrinkle in Time is a favorite of mine even now. It presents such ideas as right and wrong, and free will along with some fascinating science-y stuff.

Robin McKinley

I know this is a good book for discussion because I wrote a paper on it in college (which was a total win. I loved that paper). Fairy tale retellings are always interesting because of the comparisons you can make between the original and new versions, and I think Spindle's End is particularly interesting in that regard.

Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is an amazing and beautifully descriptive story. Personally, I'd love to discuss in more depth the different approaches to magic Alexander and Prospero embrace, and there are plenty of other topics among the tents.

Brandon Sanderson

Elantris is another great story that examines interesting things like political expedience and how to choose when all your choices seem bad. The world itself could also be interesting to talk about.

Daisy Whitney

Whether you love or hate this YA novel, there's no question that it has any number of issues worth discussing. Justice, fairness, perception, and truth all play a role in this story, and it would definitely make for some very interesting if difficult debate.


  1. I was going to place If I Stay on my list, but it just got edged out- what a great pick! I've been debating whether or not to read The Mockingbirds precisely because the responses have been so love/hate-- but now, I think I might want to give it a go.
    Great list :)

  2. I have had If I stay on my shelves for a few years, and I still haven't read it yet. I'm curious about Night Circus and Spindles End I haven't read that on yet and I love retellings not sure why I haven't read it. I need to re read A Wrinkle in Time, it has been so long since I have read it.


  3. Interesting choices - I've only read The Night Circus, which I loved!

  4. The only book on your list I've read is The Night Circus, and I agree it is a great choice for book clubs. I'm going to have to check out some of you other titles for myself.

  5. Oo I love this list! I love "Dune" and "If I Stay" and the others all feature on my various wishlists or TBR piles. Loads have put "Enders Game" on their lists so I think I'll be pushing that one up the TBR pile.

    My Top Ten

  6. Definitely 'If I Stay'! That would be a wonderful book club read. I still have to read 'The Night Circus,' but I've heard great things about it. :)

  7. Night Circus wasn't on my list, but it would be fantastic for a club read. Thanks for all of the great suggestions.

    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews
    My Top Ten...

  8. Great list! I love that cover of Ender's Game! I have the daggy old one. I agree, endless discussion there. I read Dune years ago and didn't really like it no matter how much I wanted to, but that still makes it a great book to discuss. LOVED Elantris, great book - nice to read a standalone fantasy novel too! Haven't read that Kay one, but I'm really behind in Kay. The Night Circus is still unread on my shelf, but I hope to read it this year.

    Here's my list.

  9. So true about If I stay! I really wished someone would have read it with me :) I would have been nice to discuss it with someone :) ;)

  10. Have you read the rest of the Ender's series? I found them really disappointing, especially when compared to Ender's Game which was so good.


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