There is nothing better than discussing good books with your friends. Since there are so many great books worthy of discussion, many book clubs may find it difficult to pick the best books which can foster great discussion. Thus we are here to offer you the best book club recommendations books that everyone will enjoy reading.
Top 30 picks for the best club books 2020
by Delia Owens
Plot Outline: Delia Owens is a gifted writer though this is her first novel. The book was selected for Reese
Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club and for Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of 2018. The story
describes the life and adventures of a young girl named Kya as she grows up isolated in the marsh of
North Carolina. However, the locals immediately suspect Kya when handsome Chase Andrews is found
dead. As time goes on, when two young men from town become intrigued by her beauty, Kya opens
herself to a new life.
by Gail Honeyman
Plot Outline: This book is a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and talks about the importance of
friendship and human connection. Due to her childhood trauma, Eleanor struggles with social skills and
tends to live a cautious life and say exactly what she’s thinking. But everything changes when she meets
Raymond, she attempts to rediscover her memories and in the process learns how relationships operate
and that other people can be a source of joy rather than destruction. It’s Raymond’s big heart that helps
Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
by Tara Westover
Plot Outline: Tara Westover was born to a father opposed to public education. Thus she didn’t attend
school and spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught
herbalist and midwife. She was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom, and after that first taste,
she pursued learning for a decade. And this book is an unforgettable memoir about a young girl who,
kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
by John Boyne
Plot Outline: Bruno is the son of the commandant at a concentration camp during WWII. His friendship
with a Jewish boy he meets across the fence leads to unexpected consequences. One day, Bruno conducted
a plan with Shmuel to sneak into the camp to look for Shmuel’s father. As they search the camp,
both children are rounded up along with a group of prisoners on a march. They are led into a gas chamber
which Bruno assumes is simply a shelter from the outside rainstorm. Then Bruno’s parents have never
seen him again.
by William Goldman
Plot Outline: The book is a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a long
separation and save her. They must battle the evils of the mythical kingdom of Florin to be reunited with
each other. The story combines elements of comedy, adventure, fantasy, drama, romance, and fairy tale.
It is presented as an abridgment or the good parts version of a longer work by S. Morgenstern, and
Goldman’s commentary asides are constant throughout.
by Neil Gaiman
Plot Outline: The Graveyard Book, a modern classic, is the only work ever to win both the Newbery and
Carnegie medals. The story follows the young life of a boy called Nobody Owens who
is orphaned as a toddler when a man kills his entire family. Nobody is adopted by ghosts from the local
graveyard who raise him in a world of vampires, werewolves, mummies, and ghouls, and teach him to use
a variety of supernatural abilities.
by Stephen Chbosky
Plot Outline: This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. Socially awkward Charlie is a
wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic students become his mentors.
Free-spirited Sam and her stepbrother Patrick help Charlie discover the joys of friendship, first love, music
and more, while a teacher sparks Charlie’s dreams of becoming a writer. However, as his new friends
prepare to leave for college, Charlie’s inner sadness threatens to shatter his newfound confidence.
by Harper Lee
Plot Outline: Harper Lee is known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, her only
major work. The story takes place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great
Depression. It centers on Jean Louise Finch, an unusually intelligent though unconventional girl. It takes
readers to the roots of human behavior — innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and
hatred, humor and pathos.
by Celeste Ng
Plot Outline: Little Fires Everywhere is perfect for book clubs. The book tells the story of a single mother,
Mia Warren, who moves to the suburbs in Ohio with her teenage daughter, where they become involved
with Elena Richardson and her picture-perfect family. It explores the weight of long-held secrets and the
ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert
disaster, or heartbreak.
by Neil Gaiman
Plot Outline: American Gods is a fantasy novel. The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various
strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on the mysterious and taciturn Shadow. The story
follows a man named Shadow who is an convict who is released from prison just days after his wife and
best friend are killed together in a car accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered,
Shadow takes a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of
by Daniel Keyes
Plot Outline: Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story. It is about a mentally disabled Charlie is
about to undergo a surgery to increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes
effect, Charlie’s intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his
transformation. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough — until Algernon, a laboratory
mouse, begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration.
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Plot Outline: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a children’s fantasy novel. The book remains popular
and is recognized as a classic in children’s literature. It introduced the world to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins,
the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a
reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.
by William Shakespeare
Plot Outline: Hamlet, one of the greatest plays of all time, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare and
is considered by many as the masterpiece. The ghost of the King of Denmark tells his son Hamlet to
avenge his murder by killing the new king, Hamlet’s uncle who has murdered Hamlet’s father in order to
seize his throne and marry Hamlet’s mother. Thus Hamlet pretends to go crazy with revenge.
by Stephen King
Plot Outline: The Stand is a postapocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by Stephen King. It expands upon the
scenario of his earlier short story Night Surf, and presents a detailed vision of the total breakdown of
society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare
causes an apocalyptic pandemic, killing off over 99% of the world’s population.
by Ken Follett
Plot Outline: The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel about build the greatest Gothic cathedral the
world has ever known. It is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears
lives and families apart. Around the site of the construction of the magnificent Cathedral, the author
weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man
and ends with the humiliation of a king.
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Plot Outline: The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of three volumes of the epic novel The Lord of the
Rings. It’s about a young hobbit, Frodo, who has found the Ring which has been lost for centuries. The ring
has the power to destroy nearly everything. Thus powerful forces are unrelenting in their search for it.
Frodo begins his journey with eight companions to Mount Doom, the only place where the ring can be
by Leo Tolstoy
Plot Outline: Acclaimed as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Karenina deals with themes of betrayal, faith,
family, marriage, Imperial Russian society, desire, and rural vs. city life. The plot centers on an affair
between Anna and dashing cavalry officer Count Alexei Vronsky that scandalizes the social circles of Saint
Petersburg and forces the young lovers to flee for Italy in a search for happiness. Returning to Russia, their
lives further unravel.
by Anthony Doerr
Plot Outline: All the Light We Cannot See is set in occupied France during World War II. Marie Laure is a
blind 14-year-old French girl who flees to the countryside when her father disappears from Nazi-occupied
Paris. Werner is a gadget-obsessed German orphan whose skills admit him to a brutal branch of Hitler
Youth. Their paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. This is
not a book you read for plot. This is a book you read for the beauty of Doerr’s writing.
by Markus Zusak
Plot Outline: The Book Thief is a story about Liesel, a girl growing up in Germany during World War II. She
is living with a foster family on Himmel Street because her parents have been taken away to
a concentration camp. She steals books, learns to read with the help of her foster father, begins a love affair
with books and finds comfort in words. She and Max, the Jew her family protects, are the only main
characters that survive the war.
by Jojo Moyes
Plot Outline: Me Before You is a heartbreakingly romantic novel which brings life to two people who have
nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose. After losing her job, Louisa is forced to accept
one which requires her to take care of Will, a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident. Louisa
shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither
one could have imagined.
by Kristin Hannah
Plot Outline: The Nightingale is an unforgettable novel of love and strength in the face of war. It tells the
stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each
embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn
France-a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the
durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
by R. J. Palacio
Plot Outline: Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year. August was born with a facial difference which has
prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing
more than to be treated as an ordinary kid. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all
struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them and
prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
by Liane Moriarty
Plot Outline: Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters,
schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal. It tells the story of five women in Monterey,
California who become embroiled in a murder investigation. Madeline, Celeste and Jane are a trio of
wealthy young women in Monterey. Their lives are shattered when a murder takes place in their idyllic
by Fredrik Backman
Plot Outline: Ove is a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were
burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short
fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbour from hell.” However, behind the cranky exterior there is a story
and a sadness. This book is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless
by Jeannette Walls
Plot Outline: The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look
into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. The book recounts the unconventional,
poverty-stricken upbringing Jeannette and her siblings had at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional
parents. The title refers to her father’s long held intention of building his dream house, a glass castle.
by Gillian Flynn
Plot Outline: Gone Girl is a thriller novel in the mystery and crime genres. The author Gillian Flynn is one
of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time. This book is a toxic mix of sharp-edged wit
and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. It takes
that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly,
by Ernest Cline
Plot Outline: Ready Player One is a science fiction novel. The story is set in a dystopia in 2045 when the
world has been gripped by an energy crisis from the depletion of fossil fuels and the consequences of
global warming and overpopulation, causing widespread social problems and economic stagnation. It
follows protagonist Wade on his search for an Easter egg in a worldwide virtual reality game, the discovery
of which would lead him to inherit the game creator’s fortune.
by Kathryn Stockett
Plot Outline: The Help is a deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope. It is a timeless
and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t. The story is about African
Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. Three ordinary
women are about to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women, mothers,
daughters, caregivers, friends, view one another.
by Andy Weir
Plot Outline: The Martian is a 2011 science fiction novel. Mark Watney is stranded on the planet of Mars
after his crew leaves him behind, presuming him to be dead due to a storm. With minimum supplies, Mark
struggles to keep himself alive. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international
scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue
by Audrey Niffenegger
Plot Outline: It is a love story about a man with a rare genetic disorder that causes him to time travel
unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous
experiences. The novel, which has been classified as both science fiction and romance, examines issues of
love, loss, and free will. In particular, it uses time travel to explore miscommunication and distance in
relationships, while also investigating deeper existential questions.
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