Top 32 Popular Fiction Books for Book Clubs

We have Book Club fever here at Half Price Books! Our April-May title is The Great Gatsby, which we’re reading (or rereading) in anticipation of Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation, in theaters May 10. We love these books that draw people together over coffee/wine/dinner to discuss character, plot, themes, and symbolism, and thought it was time to suggest some popular titles. As always, we turned to our 3,000 bibliomaniacs for their opinion on the most-asked-for contemporary* Book Club recommendations, and here’s what they reported back. 

*Note that this list focuses on recent(ish) fiction — we will most likely do additional Book Club round-ups for Young Adult, Classics, genre fiction, etc. Ready? Here we go: 

(1) The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold (2) The History of Love, by Nicole Strauss (3) The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffinegger (4) The Tiger’s Wife, by Tea Obreht (5) Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (6) The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce (7) A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby (8) A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan (9) Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (10) The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (11) The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz (12) The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls (13) Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout (14) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (15)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer (16) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

(17) Little Bee, by Chris Cleeve (18) Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson (19) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon (20) Middlesex, by Jeffrey Euginedes (21) My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (22) Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay (23) Room, by Emma Donoghue (24) She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb (25) The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (26) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (27) The Paris Wife, by Paula McClain (28) Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston (29) The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd (30)
Unbroken, by Laura Hillard (31) Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen (32) Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese 

Which of these books did your book club read? What other titles should be included on this contemporary list? — Kristen 

Kristen is Public Relations Specialist at Half Price Books Corporate. 
You can follow her on Twitter at @kristendickson.

10 thoughts on “Top 32 Popular Fiction Books for Book Clubs

  1. Right now, for April, my book club is reading The Great Gatsby. The book you should add to your all time list, is Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Great book, but under appreciated on book lists. Check it out.Carol

  2. I know this is probably a technicality that shouldnt remove the book from your list- but i wanted to point out that Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is not fiction, and the authors name is listed incorrectly if that's something you'd want to fix also.

  3. Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is also non-fiction* Either way, I just wanted to point out the ones that I noticed right off the bat were not fiction, I don't know all these books.

  4. I want to read The Paris Wife, by Paula McClain , even though I currently am reading Little Bee, and it is amazing and I don't want to put it down. I would go for either of those two. Or She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb, I hear that author is interesting.

  5. I also started reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave and would have to agree it is an amazing book, and I too have trouble being torn away from it

  6. Night CircusMemoirs of a GeshiaCaptain Corelli's MandolinWater for ChocolateThirteenth TaleDon't Lets Go to the Dogs TonightBehind the Scenes at the MuseumThe Green Knight

  7. Our book club has read The Book Thief and Room from this list, and personally I've read eight others (and have two more that I haven't read yet). We've also read Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Let's Pretend this Never Happened (a mostly true memoir)- both great! But I'd absolutely recommend a short story collection called Safe as Houses by Marie Helene Bertino- charming!

  8. This is probably just another technicality, but this list appeared on Pinterest as a "related pin" in a section focused on Kids……..40 More Books for Boys 8 – 13. I have not read them all, but I would not suggest any of these (The Kite Runner, Olive Kitteridge, The Paris Wife, The Help, Gone Girl, Cutting for Stone, Unbroken, Water for Elephants, The Lovely Bones, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, for that age group. All are excellent and well-written but deal with adult subject matter. Young boys aren't emotionally ready to deal with sex, pedophelia, suicide, male rape, racism and sadism. Not all these books address these issues, but you should read them first before recommending them to children. I taught English Composition and Literature in public schools for nearly 40 years, and at the University level for the last 17.

  9. Pingback: Top 32 Popular Fiction Books for Book Clubs - Empire of Books

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