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

Charlotte McCarthy "Book Club Maven"
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
The Listener: A Novel
"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."
Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
"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."
Awake in the Dark: Stories
Awake in the Dark: Stories
"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."
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall
"Not as well known as his other books, but certainly worth reading, and provides good food for thought."
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
"regular crowd pleaser. don't know anyone who doesn't love this book."
The History of Love
The History of Love
"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."
A Natural History Of Love
A Natural History Of Love
"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."
Love: A Novel
Love: A Novel
"Tender, Toni Morrison at her best. Wonderful, lyrical language."
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
"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."
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
"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."
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
"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."
A Moveable Feast
A Moveable Feast
"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."
The Women's Room: A Novel
The Women's Room: A Novel
"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."
Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language
Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language
"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."
Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics)
"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!"