In the past few years I went from barely reading at all, to becoming an avid reader. Then, this year I got an audible subscription as well as started using Overdrive to borrow audiobooks from the library. Whenever I read an amazing book I immediately want everyone around me to read it as well so that we can talk about it! I wrote a post all about “How to Start a Book Club“, and I’m in the beginning stages of starting another one here! Whether you’re in a book club, or just looking for a good read, here is my list of book club suggestions (as well as the books I’d skip!)
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- The Nightingale– Historical fiction is my favorite genre and Kristin Hannah is REALLY good at writing it. I’ve read all of her books and this one was my favorite.
- The Kitchen House– I LOVED this book but it was a bit dark for some of the girls in my book club. We all agreed that when read with the sequel “Glory Over Everything” the darkness is redeemed. I’d almost only choose this book if you’re willing to read the sequel the following month. It’s a definite MUST READ to me!
- The Undoing of Saint Silvanus– Over the years I’ve enjoyed many bible stories by Beth Moore, so I was excited to read her first non-fiction story. It really was suspenseful and kept me up late waiting to see what happened next! I also enjoyed that it shared the gospel story without being unrealistic.
- Old Heart– This book isn’t very well known but it should be! It was such a sweet and endearing story that took some twists that I didn’t expect!
- At Home in the World– I really loved this book and it inspired me to want to travel with my kids! For anyone that loves travel and has a family this is a great read!
- Bread and Wine– This was a really fun book club book because we all cooked the recipes from the book! Even without a bookclub it is a really easy and enjoyable read.
- Small Great Things– This book was SO good. One of those books that you think about LONG after you’re done reading it. Possibly my top recommendation of this year! I’ve heard some dissension about how it’s a white woman writing a black woman’s perspective on race, sort of “stealing” her story. With that said though, I think she wrote the black and white perspectives beautifully.
- The Sound of Gravel– I went into this book unsure about where it would go, but I love that it taught me so much about a different perspective of American life and poverty. It’s a memoir and I found myself wanting to know even more once it was over.
- Dear Carolina– This fiction story felt so real and relevant to my life. Combining my love of interior design, and my experience as an adoptive mom. I’ve read all of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s books and I’ve enjoyed them all but this one stands as my favorite.
- The Great Alone– This is another Kristin Hannah book that I couldn’t read fast enough! I found myself wanting to head to Alaska as I read this one! If you’re looking for realistic fiction with lots of emotion and suspense this is it!
- Americanuh– This book is written by a black Nigerian woman living in America and gave stories from her perspective on life in both Nigeria and America. It was really funny and enlightening at the same time.
- The Girl You Left Behind– This is another historical fiction that had me really curious about how the stories were going to intertwine. Once I figured it out I couldn’t stop reading!
- The Personal History of Rachel Dupree– This story is written from the perspective of the first black homesteader in South Dakota. It sort of combined my love of American Pioneer stories, with stories of race!
- The Light Between Oceans– This is one of those books that where you identify so much with the main character, that even when they’re doing something wrong you want them to succeed! Until you hear the other side! I don’t want to spoil it, but as a mother, and an adoptive mother, this one had me torn in both directions.
- Redeeming Love– This is a rare book that I’ve actually read multiple times! It’s such a good fictional story that teaches about God’s love. I think this is a must read for everyone!
- The House Girl– Another historical fiction that dates back to slavery and intertwines with a modern day story.
** I also couldn’t pick a favorite, but over the years I’ve read every book by Mary Kay Andrews and Adriana Trigiani. They’re all fiction but they both write stories that suck you in and are easy quick reads. These are almost always my beach or vacation reads!
Books I wish I’d Skipped
Time is precious and so is money, and it’s such a disappointment to waste either on a bad book! Here’s the books I wish I would have saved my time and money on:
- 11/22/63– This is a Stephen King book that is WAY outside the norm of what I like to read. It was entertaining but it was LONG and also seemed like it had some boring parts that could have just been skipped. I still think about some of the concepts from the book. If you’re a fan of sci-fi than it might be a good read but for me it was just too far outside of my realm.
- The Summer Before the War– I read about 2/3 of this book and just could NOT get into it. This surprised me because typically I love reading WWII era historical fiction but this one just didn’t do it for me.
- A Man Called Ove– This is another book that everyone raved about that I just never really got into. Honestly, this is one I would have been happier to just watch on Netflix and save my time!
- Water for Elephants– This book has a really good story, but was just too crude and vulgar for me. It’s sort of like a movie with sex scenes and swearing that do nothing for the movie.
I hope that these book club suggestions were helpful and will inspire you to pick up a book! Honestly, only about half of these are books I “read” the old fashioned way. The rest I listened to while working on projects! I’ve found that listening to a book keeps me entertained far longer than a podcast, especially when working on a really big project!
I wanted to mention that I’ve been loving GoodReads for keeping track of books. It’s a free way to keep track of books I’ve read, am reading, and would like to read. Feel free to give me a follow over there! Also please let me know if there’s any books that I should add to my list!