Readers' Top 40 Book Club Picks

Posted by Cybil on May 7, 2021


What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug through our Goodreads data to discover your fellow readers' most popular book club picks. 

There's a selection here to please every sort of book club and all the readers in those clubs (from the snack hoarder to the person who arrives with ready talking points). This list includes six winners of the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards: The Midnight LibraryThe Vanishing HalfThe Guest ListMexican GothicCaste: The Origins of Our Discontents, and Such a Fun Age. Popular books from 2021 are also popping up in this data, including Klara and the Sun and The Four Winds, and you cannot go wrong with an older book as well, such as Octavia Butler's classic novel Kindred.

Scroll over the covers below to learn more about each book, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!

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Do you have a great book club suggestion to share with your fellow readers? Don't be shy—tell us about it in the comments below! 

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Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)

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message 1: by Samiksha (new)

Samiksha Bhattacharjee This is a great selection of books, thank you!


message 2: by Liam (new)

Liam Ward Same old books, some of them you've literally had on the list for years... NEW CONTENT PLEASE.


message 3: by TMR (new)

TMR I love Trevor Noah and his commentary.


message 4: by Sue (new)

Sue Frances Lots of books we see continuously, some good ones though.


message 5: by Patty (new)

Patty I understand that you use algorithms to produce these lists and so there is repetition. However, could you figure out a way to make your algorithms use a recent date, so we get newer titles? Thanks.


message 6: by Nicole (new)

Nicole In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn would be an excellent Book Club pick! This book stayed with me..


message 7: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey Sanford Liam wrote: "Same old books, some of them you've literally had on the list for years... NEW CONTENT PLEASE."
Some books are ones book clubs choose for years.


message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie Verive Some people complaining on here that there aren't enough new selections like they've read all of the books on this list.


message 9: by bookcaked (new)

bookcaked The Girl With The Louding Voice is one of my favourite books now, fantastic read!


message 10: by Lily (new)

Lily The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey


message 11: by Lynn (new)

Lynn  Davidson Good Mothers Don't by Laura Best


message 12: by Channing (new)

Channing Croom TMR wrote: "I love Trevor Noah and his commentary."

Omg sameeeeeee


message 13: by Joan Ney Maxwell (new)

Joan Ney Maxwell With co-vid I have to be my own book club....lol.....I wish I had a book club like the "Jane Austen" from the movie.


message 14: by Joan Ney Maxwell (new)

Joan Ney Maxwell I did read "the book woman from troublesome creek" very heartwarming fictionalized story about a real family's issue.


message 15: by Anne (new)

Anne Here are some additional titles that made great book club selections: Moloka'i by Brennert; The One-in-a-Million Boy by Wood; In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner; The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown; The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf; Virgil Wander by Enger; The Water Dancer by Coates; The Dutch House by Patchett (actually everything she has written works for clubs.)


message 16: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Hirko I've read 13 of these books so far, and have another 3 on hold from my library for our upcoming book clubs. Very accurate list.


message 17: by Rod (last edited May 08, 2021 09:23AM) (new)

Rod Butler Try 'My Brilliant Friend' - Elena Ferrante. I like female authors and this one is one of the very best.


message 18: by Dfantore (new)

Dfantore I have always thought that Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch, The Redemption of Christopher Columbus would be great for book club discussions.


message 19: by Freda (new)

Freda Mans-Labianca I've read 2 off this list and have almost every other one wishlisted!


message 20: by Colleen (new)

Colleen I've read 23 from the list and have 5 I already plan to read. Ten of them have been book club discussions or will be soon for me. It is a very good list of books.


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Gauche Beneath A Scarlet Sky, Little Fires Everywhere. There are so many newer books I have read in book clubs that are wonderful.


message 22: by Judy (new)

Judy How about adding When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson?


message 23: by Nava (new)

Nava Yess The Alice Network and The Song Of Achilles!! Fantastic choices!!


message 24: by Moono (new)

Moono Thanks. I've added most of them to my TBR list. Can't wait to read them all.


message 25: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Judy wrote: "How about adding When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson?"

yes, we are reading this for July book group, it looks great.
wish there were some newer titles


message 26: by JERI SULLINS (new)

JERI SULLINS Aunt Sookie & Me by Michael Scott Garvin. Sad, funny, so true and a little irreverent. Loved it.


message 27: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ Pachinko


message 28: by Roberta (new)

Roberta Bogany How about Life Happens by Roberta Bogany?


message 29: by Fran (new)

Fran Racher Ragged Company is an all time favourite of mine. Gave it to my daughter for Christmas and is in her top 5 books ever! Has been under the radar but outstanding book by Richard Wagamese. Readers are more aware of his book Indian Horse. Ragged Company is even better!


message 30: by Rita (new)

Rita Adamache The Girl in His Shadow, by Audrey Blake, an excellent read.....loved this story.


message 31: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Something more contemporary like Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone
Closing Time by Brenda Chapman (Stonechild & Rouleau series)
This Lovely City by Louise Hare
The Lady Upstairs by Halley Sutton....so good!


message 32: by Ann J (new)

Ann J I strongly disliked Mexican Gothic, but I read it. I think the title and cover sucked me in. The same thing may have just happened with Klara and The Sun. Although, Kazuo Ishiguro is certainly a top notch author. He’s won the Nobel Prize for heaven’s sake. This was just not for me. Vanishing Half wasn’t bad, but I think it is highly overrated. As was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Just saying. I didn’t care for The Guest List. Okay, enough negative reviews by me!! Hamnet was beautifully written. I just loved the main character of Agnes, and was surprised at how Shakespeare took a back seat in this story. Transcendent Kingdom made me cry. Such A Fun Age was very engaging. American Dirt was a real page turner for me. I know it caught a lot of slack for being written by a white woman, but I think she brings attention to a very real situation. It would make a great movie IMO. Hidden Valley Road is important for that same reason. Good list. I need to go back and read a few more of these. I love the other list with books representing each state in the U.S. There are some excellent choices on there.


message 33: by Jan (new)

Jan I have read 9 of them. Something for everyone in this list!


message 34: by Lenore (new)

Lenore A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles; The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova.


message 35: by D.H. (last edited May 18, 2021 01:10PM) (new)

D.H. H Torkavian Cynthia Diamond is a really good author who's books I think could be a good fit for a book club pick


message 36: by Maribeth (new)

Maribeth DeRocher The Rose Code by Kate Quinn!! about the women who
decoded German messages at Bletchly Park.
A great read! -historical fiction.


message 37: by Chantal (new)

Chantal Vulker Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a gem: both hilarious and touching. I absolutely loved It!


message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Moloka'i by Alan Brennert was read by my book club years ago - a great read we still refer back to in discussions!


message 39: by Wenrog (new)

Wenrog I agree. Newer titles please. What are the books to read from 2021?


message 40: by Paula (new)

Paula Ward The book, "Schooled in Silence" is a debut novel that would make a great book club selection. Set in the 1800s, the topic of sexual abuse and sexual assault is unfortunately relevant to this day. I see the author, DJ Howard, has even posted questions to her Goodreads blog to get discussions going.


message 41: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bittner The Paper Bracelet by Rachel English Great for book club


message 42: by Linda (new)

Linda C Ann J wrote: "I strongly disliked Mexican Gothic, but I read it. I think the title and cover sucked me in. The same thing may have just happened with Klara and The Sun. Although, Kazuo Ishiguro is certainly a to..."

I HATE that comment about American Dirt. Shakespeare was not a Danish prince, an Italian teenager, or Cleopatra and no one is complaining about that. She wrote a very good book. Her race should be irrelevant.


message 43: by Christine (new)

Christine


Lunique 😁😂😂🙂😘🙂😍☺😍😣 Julia virnon Hello and my name is lunique virnon and if you are a member of the big raffle group you can join us and some other people will let you in And make sure to tell me your 1st day on Goodreads thank you!💖


message 45: by Terri (new)

Terri Anderson Wenrog wrote: "I agree. Newer titles please. What are the books to read from 2021?"

Many book clubs with which I am familiar tend to read older books. Partly because it is difficult for everyone in the club to get a copy of the same book, if they depend on a library copy. Most libraries don't have adequate copies of new books for everyone in the club to be assured of a copy by the time of the discussion. New books have such a long hold list it's just impossible.


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