Great book club novels
Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley

$9.99$4.99Audiobook: 8.49 (Whispersync)

This mystery is set on the grounds of Pemberley, five years or so after the marriages of Darcy and Elizabeth, Bingley and Jane. The plot revolves around Wickham this time. Book club highlight: how James paints the Darcys marriage, 5 years later.

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Longbourn

Longbourn

Pride and Prejudice meets Downton Abbey: this is Austen's classic story, retold from the servant's perspective. You'll love it or you'll hate it. (But hey, polarizing books make for great discussion.) Book club discussion highlight: what Baker did with Mr. Wickham. (Shudder.)

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Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River

$9.99$1.33

An MMD 2017 Winter Book Club selection. This was one of my favorite books of 2014, although it was published back in 2001. A gorgeous novel that takes you on a journey across the frozen Badlands of the Dakotas in the heart of the frozen winter. Read it for yourself and see why so many readers call this their favorite book ever written. A tragedy, a romance, a coming of age story.

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The Secret Place

The Secret Place

The setting: a private girls’ boarding girl. The mission: to pursue the latest clue in a case that’s gone cold. The themes: trust, friendship, and class warfare. (Warning: f-bombs galore, like all French’s books.) Book club highlight: the supernatural. Does it strengthen the plot or not?

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Lizzy & Jane

Lizzy & Jane

$8.99$1.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

The title sisters are named after the heroines of Pride and Prejudice, but that’s where the similarities end. This modern novel adroitly covers books, breast cancer, fancy cookery, and sisterhood. Book club highlight: It’s a toss-up between the food and family relationships.

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Everyone Is Beautiful

Everyone Is Beautiful

$9.99$0.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

Woman has kids, woman pours herself into kids, woman feels like she’s lost herself because her life feels like it’s all about the kids. It’s a story we usually encounter in real life, not fiction. But not this time. Book club highlight: how Center does (or doesn’t) do justice to the stay-at-home mom.

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The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

$7.99$1.99

I have recommended this one in Books You'll Just Have to Talk To Someone About, What Makes a Great Book Club Novel, and other places. I picked this one up when Michael Pollan raved about it, saying it “embodied the spirit of slow food and life.” Paterniti had me from the words Zingerman’s Delicatessen. The story artfully weaves itself right into the heart of Catelonian Spain, but then it becomes muddled and confused. The reader can decide if this is weakness, or metaphor. Book club highlight: the ending. Is it altogether unsatisfying, or completely perfect?

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In the Woods

In the Woods

It’s no coincidence there are two Tana French books on this list: she writes a great book club novel. This is her first book in the Dublin Murder Squad, and it’s seriously disturbing. But if your book club can stomach it, you can talk about psychopaths and supernatural disturbances. Book club highlight: the ending.

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Zelda: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

$8.99$2.99

An intimate look at the life Zelda Fitzgerald may have lived with Scott Fitzgerald and the rest of the Lost Generation. Though she’s often known as nothing more than Fitzgerald’s crazy wife (thanks largely to Hemingway), this fascinating and heartbreaking novel casts Zelda in a more sympathetic light. Book club highlight: what is truth, and what is fiction?

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The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

This is the fictionalized account of Hemingway’s first marriage to Hadley Richardson. The setting—mostly Jazz-Age Paris—is dreamy; the marriage, less so. We all know how this ends: badly. And yet, towards the end of his life Hemingway said, “I wished I had died before I loved anyone but her.” Book club highlight: Hemingway, that dirty dog.

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