Readers’ Top 40 Book Club Picks

Posted by Cybil on July 30, 2020

Let’s be honest: It’s a lot of pressure to pick your book club’s next read. But never fear, readers are here! We combed through our data to find the 40 most popular book club picks right now among your fellow Goodreads members.

The unstoppable Where the Crawdads Sing is still readers’ top book club pick (the novel was also the top book club selection for all of last year). In addition, readers are looking to educate themselves with lots of ‘anti-racist reading,’ including So You Want to Talk About RaceWhite Fragility, and How to Be an Antiracist.

Other popular selections prove as varied as the groups reading them and include thrilling mysteries, serious literature, and plenty of old-fashioned beach reads. Happy book clubbing, and don’t forget the wine! 
 

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What book would you recommend as a great book club pick? Tell us in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
July’s Most Anticipated New Releases
Meet the Authors of Summer’s Hottest Mysteries
96 Books Sharing the Joy, Love, and Adventures of Black Lives

Comments Showing 1-50 of 109 (109 new)


message 1: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah.


message 2: by Lina (new)

Lina Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."


They're owned by amazon. Of course they're going to boost the crap amazon tells them to boost.


message 3: by Holly (new)

Holly Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."


Yes!!! I just came here to make sure the same books were still being heavily pushed by this site.......we wouldn't want to see any deviations, would we? Quite honestly, I just use this site so I know which books to avoid wasting time on......if GR is promoting a book I know better than to pick it up.


message 4: by Louise (new)

Louise there are some really good books on this list though!


message 5: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones It's so unfortunate those posts follow an agenda.
Where the Crawdads Sing was such a disappointment...

I will avoid titles who get pushed here in the future. Gotta spend my money on better books.


message 6: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward Holly wrote: "Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."

Yes!!! I just came here to make sure the same books were still bein..."


YES! if I see Goodreads or big 'influencers' and 'bookstagrammers' pushing these same titles I know exactly what books to never purchase. They're overhyped 9/10 because the author sold decently once before. I've found better books just browsing Amazon's actual site rather than their Goodreads XD


message 7: by Dara (new)

Dara Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-racism" is racism by another name.

Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo are far left ideologues who must rewrite the dictionary just to make their arguments sound sane.

When professors push this racist nonsense onto their students, and dare call it "anti-racism," no one should wonder why colleges have churned out a generation of zombies who can't think for themselves.

Anyone honestly interested in fighting racism should know: don't read books by professors in some ivory tower. GO OUTSIDE AND TALK TO REAL PEOPLE WHO ARE HURTING.

It is the height of "privilege" to think a load of books by overpaid lecturers in some university library can teach you how to be the person you should have learned to be in preschool. Good grief, this is absurd. Goodreads, do better.


message 8: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Cherpeski Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-racism" is raci..."


Thank you for telling the truth!


message 9: by Erin (last edited Jul 30, 2020 11:36AM) (new)

Erin Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

Nothing could be further from the truth. Those looking to sincerely educate themselves will read books by authors such as Ijeoma Oluo who have firsthand knowledge of the problem and not only, as you put it, “professors in some ivory tower,” and no matter what you read, you should think critically about it and continue educating yourself. I don’t know what generation you’re referring to as “zombies” but I have encountered people of every generation who refuse to think and question and simply parrot their chosen ideologue.

Go outside and talk to people who are hurting??? Does that not strike you as rather selfish and entitled? People are hurting and you want to further burden them with laying out their problems for your scrutiny and educate you? By all means, if someone WANTS to share their story, their viewpoint, their anger, you SHOULD absolutely listen! But the burden of educating yourself should be on you — really, with all the resources available, including many wonderful books, there is no excuse not to.


message 10: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Barely ten posts in and we have ableist ad hominem attacks by highfalutin, proselytizing trolls. When are these people going to get a life.


message 11: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Aenea wrote: "Where the Crawdads Sing was such a disappointment..."

I was wondering about this book. The plot doesn't particularly grab my attention, so probably one I won't read.


message 12: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones Jasmine wrote: "I was wondering about this book. The plot doesn't particularly grab my attention, so probably one I won't read."

Tastes differ, but imho you're not missing anything. Neither the plot, nor the characters were particularly interesting, and the writing was nothing special as well, unfortunately...


message 13: by Isabelle (new)

Isabelle trash or not colson whitehead is worth reading


message 14: by Isabelle (last edited Jul 30, 2020 09:47AM) (new)

Isabelle Aenea wrote: "Where the Crawdads Sing was such a disappointment."

oh no i have it on my tbr for awhile now and i was thinking about buying it finally


message 15: by Erin (last edited Jul 30, 2020 10:53AM) (new)

Erin Louise wrote: "there are some really good books on this list though!"

There are! Beloved and Between the World and Me (I especially recommend the audiobook of the latter) are fantastic and I’m looking forward to reading Kindred!


message 16: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Myers Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-racism" is raci..."

Well that's just ignorant. How do you think that sociologists develop their social theories? Do you think they just sit in their office and come up with ideas without going and talking to people? Not to mention not all writers on race are academics.

While it is definitely important to open the discourse on issues like race, your advice 'GO OUTSIDE AND TALK TO REAL PEOPLE WHO ARE HURTING' won't give readers the same information on the whole picture as books on race might, because these books often provide insight into history or aspects of culture that are not readily apparent by simple conversation.

Also, going out to basically do your own field research is unrealistic. What about people who live in rural areas with no BIPOC people to even talk with? Or what about the fact that you can't get an adequate understanding of a sociological phenomenon by talking with just a handful of people? Or how about that the burden of educating yourself on race falls on you, not on BIPOC people?

If you'd actually read either of the books by the two people you mentioned, you would realize that neither one of them is really a far left ideologue. Neither on of them really even goes into politics at all in their books. But why would you want to actually read the things you are criticizing?


message 17: by Breanna (last edited Jul 30, 2020 10:56AM) (new)

Breanna I read what I find interesting or engaging, and whether other people share that opinion about the book doesn't concern me. They can think whatever, just let me read it and decide for myself.


message 18: by Chris (new)

Chris Actually enjoyed some of the books on this list!! The Guest List is like an Agatha Christie read - Circe is good if you like reading about Troy -- Recursion was an ok scifi read -- Island of Sea Women is really good read -- remember this is for book club reads so its going to be for those that will read and discuss and share - they don't have to be popular reads or an agenda pushed -


message 19: by Cybil, Goodreads employee (new)

Cybil Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."


This post is based on reader data of their top book club picks, according to this month's information.


message 20: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward Cybil wrote: "Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."

This post is based on reader data of their top book club picks, acc..."


Reader data, aka: books with the most sales and hype. All of these books have been boosted by Goodreads for ages now and many have been featured in posts like this for months. They're owned by Amazon...


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Liam wrote: "Cybil wrote: "Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."

This post is based on reader data of their top book c..."


That's just called marketing though? And you act like this is some vile, evil, deceptive thing?


message 22: by Warren (new)

Warren Is this really what book clubs are reading?! Note to self: never get into a book club.


message 23: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward Konstantin wrote: "Liam wrote: "Cybil wrote: "Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."

This post is based on reader data of the..."


Did I explicitly say it was 'vile', 'evil' or 'deceptive'? No.
They're just trying to scam people.


message 24: by Arline (new)

Arline Great choices! Both in NF and fiction. ❤️


message 25: by TMR (new)

TMR Love these choices.

And people for the last time, let others decide if they want to read or not. Calling other books, shit, just because you didn’t enjoy them, doesn’t mean others can’t enjoy them.

And books that are sometimes overhyped are not always bad. So calm down and keep your temper in check.

Geez.


message 26: by William (new)

William B I recommend “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo and now I’m currently reading “The Guest List” by Lucy Foley and it’s very good!


message 27: by Damien (new)

Damien I can’t comment on the quality of all of these books. Of the few I’ve read in this list, some were great and some were awful. But hey, that’s my opinion. A book club should be made up of people with different opinions to drive discussion.

That said, this is just another recycled Goodreads list. Pick any of these articles from the last few months and you’ll find a bunch of overlap. Yes they’re “popular” picks, yes Amazon owns the site. But where’s the unique finds that haven’t been promoted everywhere? Where’s the foreign authors?

There’s got to be a better way to find curated reading recommendations, and I’m open for any suggestions.


message 28: by Kathryne (new)

Kathryne Damien,,I strongly recommend visiting your local indie bookstore and perusing the staff suggestions to find different books..


message 29: by Clarke (new)

Clarke Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-racism" is raci..."


I don't understand...? If you're not racist, then you are by definition anti-racist, or at least you should be. You can't just be not-racist. If you're not actively against racism, you're complicit. I haven't read "How to be an Antiracist," but I did read "Stamped from the Beginning" by the same author, and assume it has a similar message. I've talked to "real" people who have similar ideas and experience similar things, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Lessons learned in preschool don't help when the whole country is broken.

But by all means, if you have other books on how to dismantle the systematic oppression of people of color in America, let me know.


message 30: by Whitney (new)

Whitney Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-racism" is raci..."


"Go outside and talk to people who are hurting."

It is not the job of POCs to educate you on how to not be racist. It is not on people in minority communities to educate you how to be a better ally. Certainly feel free to talk to us because you want to have a conversation, but the idea to go talk to someone and ask them about these serious topics when it could be very harmful to them and create more trauma is a terrible idea. Do some research. These books exist for a reason so that all the burden isn't on the minority community to teach you.


message 31: by Claudia (new)

Claudia You don't need to buy any of these books from Amazon or any other bookseller. If the plot sparks an interest, use your local public library. They would appreciate the confirmation that they are continuing to provide a service to their communities.


message 32: by Christina (new)

Christina Jasmine wrote: "Aenea wrote: "Where the Crawdads Sing was such a disappointment..."

I was wondering about this book. The plot doesn't particularly grab my attention, so probably one I won't read."


I actually really loved Where the Crawdads Sing." It was a SLOW burn, but I liked the character building that happened. It's definitely not for everyone. It's a *slow-moving* slice of life book. But there was something in the lead characters and the tenderness that intrigued me.


message 33: by Christina (new)

Christina Damien wrote: "I can’t comment on the quality of all of these books. Of the few I’ve read in this list, some were great and some were awful. But hey, that’s my opinion. A book club should be made up of people wit..."

If you want to read off the popularity list (and everyone should at least some of the time!), I highly recommend visiting or calling your library and asking for suggestions. They'd be thrilled to hear about the types of books you enjoy and point you in the direction of something new!


message 34: by Robin (new)

Robin Whitlock Holly wrote: "Liam wrote: "TRASH.
The amount of comments you get telling you to stop with the boosted crap you'd think you'd listen, but nah."

Yes!!! I just came here to make sure the same books were still bein..."


Isn't this the point of the reader reviews? Surely they're not controlled by Amazon as well? I am guessing none of these comments here are...


message 35: by Sue (new)

Sue I really enjoyed a book by a new author Jo Lobato, ‘The Woman who Lost her Love ‘ Very moving and uplifting


message 36: by Debra (new)

Debra On Chapel Sands by Laura Cumming; The Dutch House by Ann Patchett; All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison - these are my picks.


message 37: by Joanne (new)

Joanne I’ve read or listened to 16 of these books and have loved two of them. The Giver of Stars and Where the Crawdads Sing( great as as audio book). I’ve enjoyed 13 and only disliked one. Thank goodness there’s a variety of books out there, we all have different tastes and after being in my Bookclub for 20 years, it still amazes me how we can each glean something different from the same book. Even if a friend disagrees with my opinion, I know we’ve each had different life experiences and that contributes to one’s enjoyment of a book. Why would you condemn or criticize someone who has different taste in books than you!!!


message 38: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Diaz If you hate this web site, why You are here? To increase your hate? Or just to bother every one for the pleasure of bothering others?


message 39: by Josephine (new)

Josephine Norton What would be the condition of our critical thinking if we only read books whose ideas we agree with? Read widely? Read as much as you can


message 40: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Isabelle wrote: "Aenea wrote: "Where the Crawdads Sing was such a disappointment."

oh no i have it on my tbr for awhile now and i was thinking about buying it finally"


Read it! It's a great book.


message 41: by Marie (new)

Marie There are plenty of good books lists around to check, one for example, from your local library. Like anything else, find two or three other sources to get ideas for reading what you like. Then you can recommend what you read and like, especially if you didn't find it on Goodreads!


message 42: by Nicolaas (new)

Nicolaas Bergman I have read " American Dirt" and wasnt very impressed by it - seems a bit if you write about certain subjects then the book are always sort of praised as a good book and writing now about racism seems like a hot topic.


message 43: by Shelley (new)

Shelley The Immortalists


message 44: by Olayinka (new)

Olayinka Abel Whitney wrote: "Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-ra..."


Daniel wrote: "Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-ra..."



The ask is to go outside and talk to people.
The key word is "people", and not your favorite pet "racial minority"

No individual's pain is any more special, the best you can ask for is that your friends and acquaintances are kind to you.

Basing your happiness on making demands of strangers is always a recipe for an unhappy existence .


message 45: by Olayinka (new)

Olayinka Abel Whitney wrote: "Dara wrote: "Readers looking to sincerely educate themselves are not going to read about how to become "anti-racist."

It takes a merely nominal effort by any critical thinker to see that "anti-ra..."


A better "ally" ???
do you hear yourself?
You think random strangers owe you an explanation?


It appears you have an exaggerated view of the value of relationships with you if you think you should be making demands and talking down to people.

By the way, its a world of friends , fellow citizens, humans.

The way you use "ally", sounds like "hostage".


message 46: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Here are my suggestions:
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek; any book by Anne Tyler; The Dutch House; The Sixth Conspirator; Becoming Mrs. Lewis; Who Killed Civil Society?; Madame Fourcade's Secret War; A Better Man; Chances Are; The Gown; Disney's Land; The Good Cop; Saving Jemima. All deserve a wider readership. Enjoy.


message 47: by Harry (new)

Harry Love reading and finding a good book like: the life we bury by Allen Eskens or lily Kings lovers and writers. But this list of liberal garbage is better used for lining a bird cage...since I don’t own a bird I’m forgoing goodreads in search of a legit book list with “real” authors not con artist!


Stephanie Strunge A Tale for the Time Being


message 49: by John Fichter (new)

John Fichter Aenea wrote: "It's so unfortunate those posts follow an agenda.
Where the Crawdads Sing was such a disappointment...

I will avoid titles who get pushed here in the future. Gotta spend my money on better books."


It's like the big push behind The Goldfinch. Horrible book, just absolutely horrible because there was an expectation the boy would finally get it, but never did. Then they made it in to a movie. Goodness.


message 50: by John Fichter (new)

John Fichter Harry wrote: "Love reading and finding a good book like: the life we bury by Allen Eskens or lily Kings lovers and writers. But this list of liberal garbage is better used for lining a bird cage...since I don’t ..."

Yes, the Life we Bury!


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