All-time Best Book Club Books: Gripping Page-turners

A Listmania! list by Charlotte McCarthy "Book Club Maven" (Ann Arbor, MI)
The list author says: "I'm always looking for a great read that is intelligent and will inspire conversation in my book clubs. I belong to five book clubs (!) and have a lot of experience with what really works as a book club selection. All of these on this list are tried and true and will inspire discussion and get a lot of positive response from book club members."
The Listener: A Novel
1.  The Listener: A Novel by Shira Nayman
The list author says:
  "Excellent novel by the same author as "Awake in the Dark." Inspired enthusiastic dialog.  There is much to discuss in this book, a lot of complicated issues that are as important today as they were in the time period of the book (1947).  We forget sometimes that we have soldiers in wars. War affects us all. Also a gripping suspense story, and a love story.  Something for everyone in the book club."
Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

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Never Let Me Go
2.  Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The list author says:
  "Strange book that is hard to get into but once you do, it takes you to very interesting places.  A meditation on mortality in the end.  Our book club had a very spirited discussion about "the meaning of life" after reading this book.  Highly recommended."
$9.01   Used & New from: $3.39
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,130 customer reviews) | 23 customer discussions

Awake in the Dark: Stories
3.  Awake in the Dark: Stories by Shira Nayman
The list author says:
  "Did this in all five of my book clubs. Voted as "best all-time book club book" in two of the clubs, and "Top 10" in the others. Inspiring, emotionally gripping, beautiful and haunting. Inspires intense discussion. Everyone can relate to this book. A must-read."
$17.45   Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall
4.  Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro
The list author says:
  "Not as well known as his other books, but certainly worth reading, and provides good food for thought."
Used & New from: $0.01
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
5.  Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
The list author says:
  "regular crowd pleaser. don't know anyone who doesn't love this book."
$9.52   Used & New from: $0.01
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,546 customer reviews) | 26 customer discussions

The History of Love
6.  The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The list author says:
  "Beautiful and moving.  In two of our clubs, we read this together with Shira Nayman's "Awake in the Dark."  They make excellent companion books, as they take up some similar themes from different points of view. Nayman's book packs a more powerful emotional punch, but in the end, both books are great and they work well as a team."
$8.67   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (590 customer reviews) | 44 customer discussions

A Natural History Of Love
7.  A Natural History Of Love by Diane Ackerman
The list author says:
  "Intriguing book.  More intellectual than the books we usually read but many people really found it worthwhile.  "Learned a lot" and "relevant to my own life" were comments heard in the book club that did this."
$12.95   Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Love: A Novel
8.  Love: A Novel by Toni Morrison
The list author says:
  "Tender, Toni Morrison at her best. Wonderful, lyrical language."
$10.05   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
9.  Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
The list author says:
  "Perfect for the "lighter reading" meeting we include at least twice a year in our book clubs.  We like to keep variety in our reading and this adds the light touch. We also watched the movie together and we all cooked a recipe from the Julia Child's book.  Great fun."
$7.74   Used & New from: $0.01
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (680 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
10.  I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
The list author says:
  "Another one on our "lighter reading" list.  She's just so great!  And then you can rent one of her movies and it makes a great night."
$9.26   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (687 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Great Gatsby
11.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The list author says:
  "worth revisiting. always creates good discussion and you'll always find a few members of the group who haven't read it before and they're grateful to have the chance to do so.  again, can rent the movie to watch together.  great performance by mia farrow."
$9.00   Used & New from: $2.75
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,000 customer reviews)

A Moveable Feast
12.  A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
The list author says:
  "we do this on "book club French night."  Not really French, but set in Paris.  We bring French food to the meeting--someone even baked croissants from scratch!  That was pretty amazing.  Hemingway holds up even as the years pass."
$17.31   Used & New from: $5.93
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (515 customer reviews)

The Women's Room: A Novel
13.  The Women's Room: A Novel by Marilyn French
The list author says:
  "Fascinating to read this in 2010.  We women have come a long way, and yet there are still important things that resonate with everyone. Inspires great conversation about "where women are today" and in particular, where each of us is today."
$12.18   Used & New from: $3.54
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language
14.  Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language by Eva Hoffman
The list author says:
  "Wonderful book about immigration from a child's point of view. Accessible and profound and extremely well written.  If there are any immigrants in your book group, they'll relate to this big time."
$12.26   Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics)
15.  Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Emily Brontë
The list author says:
  "Who can't love Heathcliff?  Inspires discussion about passion and intensity.  Get people talking about their husbands: we did a "compare your husband to Heathcliff" theme and it was hilarious. Important ingredient for this discussion: one bottle of wine consumed per book club participant!"
$5.35   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,951 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

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About this Listmania!

 

Author

Charlotte McCarthy "Book Club Maven" (Ann Arbor, MI)
Qualifications: Eighth grade English and History Teacher and mother of three
Last updated: 3/25/10
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