March is here, and that means it’s time for a book club meeting! If your group is unsure of what to read next, allow us to help. Below we’ve rounded up six new releases that we think would lead to engaging discussions. You’ll find historical fiction about friendship, a young adult novel with an unstoppable heroine, and a true crime book you won’t be able to put down. So what are you waiting for? Check out the picks below and get ready for a great read!
The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson
Is your book club looking for a riveting piece of true crime to pick up this month? Look no further than Cara Robertson’s The Trial of Lizzie Borden. By now, you’ve likely heard the rhyme: “Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” In this book, Robertson takes readers to Borden’s trial following the gruesome murder. You and your book club can evaluate the evidence and come to your own conclusions about what happened on that fateful day in 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Is all fair in love and war? The Greek goddess Aphrodite explores this question after her husband Hephaestus discovers she’s having an affair. To explain herself, she begins to tell him the story of four mortals living during World War I. In 1917, pianist Hazel and soldier James meet at a London party. Meanwhile, in France, Harlem jazz musician Aubrey connects with Colette, a Belgian refugee and singer. As the war rages on, these four lives intertwine. Book clubs looking for a historical tale won’t want to miss this YA novel—which we named a must-read of the season.
For book clubs that find themselves recapping the news of the day before diving into meetings, there’s no better pick this month than Internment. Already one of the buzziest reads of 2019, this young adult novel is set in a near future where Muslim internment camps are created by a newly elected president. Layla and her family are forced to move into a camp in California. There Layla witnesses the punishments doled out by guards to anyone who speaks against the government. Despite her fear, she finds the courage to take a stand and fights to get the camps shut down for good. Prepare for discussions about Islamophobia, systematic racism, and the necessity of speaking out against injustices big and small.
If historical fiction is your book club’s favorite genre, we recommend diving into The Island of Sea Women. Set on the Korean island of Jeju, the novel begins in 1939 and introduces readers to best friends Young-sook and Mi-ja. The girls join the haenyeo, a group of female divers led by Young-sook’s mother, and begin to harvest oysters, sea slugs, and octopi to sell on the island. But their lives are turned upside down by war, betrayal, and tragedy, and their friendship is left forever changed by what they endure.
Short stories can make great book club reads because they prompt far-ranging discussions about a group of tales instead of just one long narrative. This month, we recommend picking up Bryan Washington’s buzzy collection, Lot, which will transport readers to Houston, Texas. The stories are linked and will introduce readers to a cast of characters including a drug dealer named Javi, a pimp named Rod, and an unnamed boy who begins to realize that he is attracted to other boys. Lot takes on questions of sexuality, race, socioeconomic class, and the aftermath of hurricanes. Your club will find lots (see what we did there?) to discuss here.
Wynn and Jack’s trip was supposed to be relaxing. The two college friends took off with their canoe and camping gear with a plan to float along Canada’s Maskwa River. Things do not go as planned, though: There is a wildfire burning in the forest around the river, and it draws closer and closer to the two friends. There is also something strange going on between two other visitors to the river, and Wynn and Jack begin to wonder if a murder might have been committed right under their noses. If your book club has a taste for adventure, danger, and complicated relationships, then this is a great thriller to pick up this month.