What makes a good book group read?
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Hint: It’s not about trying to make sure everyone will like the book. What’s more important for good book club books is discuss-ability—are there topics in the book that will ignite great conversation? That’s the goal. You want something readable, but with depth; relatable in some way, but also expansive. Something that makes you think, but doesn’t make your head hurt trying to decipher what it all means. And let’s face it, something that’s not a two-inch thick doorstop. Keeping that in mind, here are some suggestions for book club books. Plus, check out our comprehensive guide for how to start a book club.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
A charismatic Pakistani man meets with a mysterious American stranger in a café in Lahore. The entire novel is this conversation, which covers the narrator’s complicated past. The ending is a doozy, guaranteed to trigger intense discussion.
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
This is one of those book club books where you just can’t believe that this author—an American from California—wrote that book. The North Korea setting rings eerily true, and Johnson created one of the most unique and unforgettable protagonists in contemporary fiction. The setting, the politics, the characters, the sheer brilliance of the entire story is built for discussion. These are the books by female authors that every woman should read.