April showers getting you down? We know the feeling. If the weather outside is a little soggy for your taste, why not plan a book club meeting indoors and pass the time chatting about your latest read? In case you need inspiration, we’ve rounded up some exciting book club recommendations. Whether your group wants to dive into a psychological thriller or pick up Meg Wolitzer’s hot new book on feminism, there’s a book here for you.
For a book club interested in feminism and the experience of being female in today’s world, Meg Wolitzer’s latest is the perfect novel to pick up this month. In it, readers will meet a college freshman named Greer Kadetsky whose fateful meeting with prominent feminist Faith Frank will alter the course of her life. After graduating, Greer will begin working for Faith and become drawn into her orbit. In a starred review, Kirkus called The Female Persuasion “the perfect feminist blockbuster for our times.” We’re confident that you and your book club will agree.
Danny Cheng’s senior year isn’t at all what he thought it would be. Watching the days fly by makes him wonder if he should take a shot and come out to his best friend and crush, Harry. He’s also coping with grief after losing a close friend. The one bright spot for Danny is receiving a full scholarship to his dream school, Rhode Island School of Design. It means he’ll be able to pursue his passion for art, and it should ease some of his parents’ financial woes. They’ve been struggling since Danny’s father lost his job, and even the news of a scholarship doesn’t seem to break his parents out of their funk. Danny begins to suspect that something else is on their minds, and he soon uncovers a mysterious folder that hints at a secret his parents have been keeping since they immigrated to America from China. Kelly Loy Gilbert’s moving young adult novel is a story about loss, family, and identity. Prepare for your book club to spend the first ten minutes of the meeting discussing the gorgeous cover.
Story story collections offer book clubs the perfect opportunity to dive into an author’s work and discuss a range of plots, characters, and ideas. If this sounds good, we suggest picking up Nafissa Thompson-Spires’ Heads of the Colored People. In one story, an adolescent works to understand the interplay between her race and socioeconomic status. In another tale, a girl considers posting about committing suicide on social media. This collection is being heralded as an important work that tackles race and class in new and innovative ways. We can’t imagine a better short story collection to discuss with your friends this month.
If your book club spends summer evenings at Shakespeare in the Park or refuses to meet on Sundays and risk missing Game of Thrones, we’ve got the perfect book for you. Tessa Gratton’s fantasy debut draws its inspiration from King Lear. In this reimagining, the king declares that he is dividing the island of Innis Lear between his daughters Regan and Gaela, while his third daughter Elia is stripped of her title. The sisters must decide which they crave more: the crown or uniting their kingdom once more. This is a tale about magic, prophecy, bloodlust, and power. Your book club won’t be able to get enough.
In some ways, psychological thrillers are the ultimate book club genre. There are always multiple layers to unpack and discuss late into the night. In Sara Shepard’s new psychological thriller, a writer named Eliza wakes up in the hospital feeling confused about why she is there. Her family thinks she has tried to commit suicide again, but Eliza is not so sure. She believes she was attacked. When Eliza looks into the incident, what she finds will shock her: There are unsettling parallels between what she has endured and the plot of the novel she is writing.
In this gripping young adult novel, Justina Ireland transports readers to an alternate America where the Battle of Gettysburg was interrupted when the undead began rising from the earth. The country shifts focus from the Civil War to the war between the living and the dead and Jane McKeene finds herself caught in the middle. Like other black and Native children, Jane is forced to attend an elite combat school where she can learn to slay shamblers in the hopes of one day becoming an bodyguard to a wealthy family. But when Jane uncovers a damaging secret about a local politician, she’s taken from her home and sent to a dangerous survivalist colony out west. Book clubs that enjoy historical fiction will marvel at Ireland’s worldbuilding, a perfectly woven blend of real history and clever zombified updates. Your club is sure to be left talking late into the night about race, injustice, and where Ireland will take Jane next.
If your book club enjoys nonfiction, there’s no buzzier book to pick up this month than Leslie Jamison’s The Recovering. Jamison writes about her own history with addiction and weaves it into a broader look at the ways in which alcoholism functions in our culture. Readers will learn about Jamison’s life, and also the lives of artists who struggled with addiction including Raymond Carver, Billie Holliday, and David Foster Wallace. This is a thought-provoking piece of nonfiction that will prompt deep conversation with your fellow readers.
Book clubs who love cracking a case won’t want to miss out on Caleb Roehrig’s young adult murder mystery. Rufus Holt and his ex-boyfriend Sebastian aren’t sure what to think when they arrive at a cabin party on Fourth of July weekend to find Rufus’ half-sister April covered in blood, clutching a knife, and hunched over the lifeless body of Fox, her boyfriend. April claims to be innocent, though her alibi is less than solid. Still, Rufus and Sebastian agree to help her find the real killer and they start putting together a list of suspects. When one of Fox’s friends turns up dead, it becomes all too clear that they need to work quickly to uncover the truth before the killer finds them. Be warned: You won’t want to put down this thrilling book until you find out whodunit.