Call up your crew and dive into this season’s best book club picks. From lovely literary treasures to can’t miss instant-classics, these books will give your club plenty to chat about this fall.
The Apology by Jimin Han 8/1
When a 105-year-old South Korean woman receives a letter and is thrust into the afterlife ten short days later, defending her family against a curse is just the tip of the iceberg. In this sprawling family epic, generations of diaspora, colonialism, family tragedies and secrets are told through the lens of an unforgettable centenarian.
The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner 8/29
Abby is relatively content with her life. She has gig jobs that pay the bills, good friends, her bike and a pending marriage to her childhood summer sweetheart. Though she has mostly come to terms with her plus-sized body that her mother spent her teen years shaming, she’s still grappling with finding comfort in her current life. When she decides to lead a cycling trip, things get messy with the addition of a former one-night stand, her mother and a teen who holds a secret that will split open the whole group.
Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias 8/29
It was 27 years ago that Teresa’s family was changed forever when a Costa Rican banana plantation burnt to the ground. The lethal fire was a cover-up, but its effects have echoed decades into the future. Now Teresa and her daughter Lyra are trying to navigate the present when they don’t quite understand the past, grappling with omens, ancestors, the aftermath and secrets only just now surfacing.
One Friday In Napa by Jennifer Hamm 8/29
When Vene returns to Napa to be at her dying mother’s bedside, she finds the woman as cold and callous as ever. Though she’d hoped to reconcile this frosty relationship, the fading matriarch is no warmer than Vene remembers her. As she copes with the pending loss, she stumbles upon a cookbook that belonged to her mother long ago and begins to discover a bright, joyful woman she never knew.
Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue 8/29
Drawing on a five-million word, real-life journal, Learned by Heart is based on the true story of Eliza and Anne. One is a banished, orphaned heiress from India, the other, an enigmatic, difficult tomboy. When the two meet at a York boarding school in 1805, they fall deeply, secretly in love.
The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger 9/5
Set in 1958 Minnesota, the town of Jewel is rocked when the wealthy and powerful Jimmy Quinn is found dead in the river. Before an autopsy can even be conducted, rumors begin to swirl. Townspeople suspect veteran and Native American, Noah Bluestone, but he’s not the only one impacted by this death. In this mid-century mystery, a stunning glimpse of post-war America is laid out in stunning and vibrant storytelling.
Trouble the Living by Francesca McDonnel Capossella 9/5
In the late nineties, Ireland is reaching the end of its troubled years, but struggles are just getting started for Bríd and her sister Ina. Trying to survive amidst a divided country and a broken family, Bríd joins the IRA. After a horrible event, she fleas to California where she and her daughter are met with continued struggle. Upon their return to Ireland, the small family must come to terms with their history, their hurt and forge forward with live despite it all.
Normal Rules Don’t Apply by Kate Atkinson 9/12
In this collection of interconnected stories, fans of Atkinson get to see a sprawling cast of lovable characters. From a queen who makes a bargain to a man betting on a horse (who possibly spoke to him), the string of short stories are told with wit, humor and razor-sharp observation.
This Time Could Be Different by Khristin Wierman 9/12
Madeline has achieved success through rigor and anxious habit forming. She’s the VP of a prominent bank and working alongside her best friend Emma who also masterfully juggles a full plate. There’s only one problem, Madeline is miserable. In order to break herself of her rock solid habits, she starts taking the advice of her New Age therapist, indulging in rather unstructured things like meditation and yoga. As she seeks a new version of herself, she hopes to unlock a life better than she imagined possible.
The Museum of Failures by Thrity Umrigar 9/26
When Remy left India for the United States, he also left his broken relationship with his mother behind. Now he’s returning to Bombay to adopt a child and finds his mother in poor, failing health, far beyond what he anticipated. In an effort to bring comfort to his dying parent and reconcile his path, he begins to nurse in order to bring her home. In so doing, he discovers a photograph that unlocks a vault of secrets. On the cusp of parenthood, Remy must content with his past, deal with the present and decide if forgiveness is the only way to forge a future.
Fortune by Ellen Won Steil 10/1
When a DNA lottery is announced by a billionaire, promising a windfall of millions, suspicion in a small Midwest town erupt. This seems to be tied to the mystery remains of a baby from years before and as blood is drawn, three women get tangled up in the events from that fateful night. Each tangled in their own web of secrets, the truth of the past is more complicated than it seems.
What We Kept to Ourselves by Nancy Jooyoun Kim 10/10
It’s 1999 and the Kim family is struggling to cope with the disappearance of their wife and mother. John Kim feels more disconnected from his adult kids than ever. Things only get worse when he discovers a body in his backyard carrying a letter for his missing wife. Spanning decades of secrets, this story explores the lies that exist in families and their capacity to erode the fragile fabric that holds them together.
The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez 11/7
With the keen eye and spirited prose only Sigrid Nunez can do, this book explores our current age. From the point of view of a female narrator, this book explores the capacity of strangers to open their hearts. Furthermore it delves into the purpose and power of writing in a book that is both necessary and meditative at this point in time.