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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.