An initiative of the American Library Association

Top 10 Book-Group Books: 2018

By Susan Maguire

Whether you’re planning ahead for a library book group or selecting for circulating book-club kits, these 10 discussion-worthy titles, reviewed by Booklist from July 2017 through June 2018, will get people talking.

Fiction

Bellewether

by Susanna Kearsley

A small museum holds the secrets to a star-crossed romance during the Seven Years’ War in this blend of women’s fiction and historical fiction, ideal for book groups who like to explore lesser-known pieces of American history.

Sourcebooks, Landmark 2018.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

How Are You Going to Save Yourself

by J. M. Holmes

Interconnected stories of a richly imagined group of childhood friends highlight the travails of black men in America; a timely, nuanced exploration of race and masculinity, sure to inspire conversation.

Little, Brown, 2018.

Click to Read the Booklist Review.

The Other Side of Everything

by Lauren Doyle Owens

A literary thriller with everything book groups are looking for: fine writing, a flawlessly constructed story, and relatable characters providing plenty of questionable decisions rife for discussion.

Touchstone, 2018.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click to Download a Reading Group Guide.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

Red Clocks

by Leni Zumas

Four women’s lives intersect in a world in which Roe v. Wade has been overturned in this richly realized, compulsively readable, never-didactic novel that invites thought and discussion.

Little, Brown, 2018.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

Southernmost

by Silas House

An epiphanic flood compels a pastor to kidnap his son in a beautifully written novel that will appeal to book groups that like to consider issues of morality and crises of faith.

Algonquin, 2018.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

The Sworn Virgin

by Kristopher Dukes

This provocative debut, set in early twentieth-century Albania, follows Eleanora, who declares herself a “sworn virgin” to avoid a brutal marriage, and will appeal to book groups who enjoyed Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife.

Morrow, 2017.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click to Read the Booklist Review.

Nonfiction

The Common Good

by Robert B. Reich

Dealing with aging parents is a familiar book group topic. This graphic novel includes art and photography that will enhance the conversation.

Knopf, 2018.

Click to Read the Booklist Review.

Creative Quest

by Questlove and Ben Greenman

The cofounder of the hip-hop group the Roots and musical director for The Tonight Show blends stories, advice, and exercises in this deep dive into the creative process, perfect for book groups in a narrative rut.

Ecco, 2018.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click to Read the Booklist Review.

The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life

by Joyce Lee Malcolm

Malcolm does for Arnold what Ron Chernow did for Hamilton in this adventurous, entertaining read that will appeal to book clubs interested in a multilayered reassessment of a long-misunderstood American.

Pegasus, 2018.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

by Elaine Weiss

As the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment approaches, book groups will devour this fascinating historical account of 1920 and will find much to discuss comparing it to current social and political tensions.

Viking, 2018.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click for a Reading Guide.

Click to Read the Booklist Starred Review.

Susan Maguire is the Senior Editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist.

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