LibraryReads is the monthly nationwide library staff picks list for adult fiction and non-fiction. Each month, staff in public libraries vote on their favorite upcoming books that they loved reading and cannot wait to share. The list represents a broad range of reading tastes and showcases a variety of new titles, including buzzed-about debuts, genre favorites, bestselling authors, and lesser-known midlist titles that public library staff are raving about.
With 5 years of lists under our belts—over 500 titles!—we wanted to partner with Book Club Central to direct readers to titles that would be perfect for book discussion groups. This month, we're offering some great historical fiction that would be perfect for book clubs.
This month, by request, we're looking at Speculative Fiction titles from the LibraryReads list that would make great discussion titles, for genre-based groups or general groups!
All Our Wrong Todays: A Novel
by Elan Mastai
Mastai’s debut is a clever and funny time travel romp which turns into an, action-packed science fiction thriller. Tom Barren stumbles through life and accidentally ruins the glittering jetpack and flying car future of 2016, replacing it with the present we live in. The world may be worse off, but Tom’s life is better than ever. That is, until his mind starts splitting between the two realities and he must track down the genius who invented the other future. Tom’s journey through the past, across realities, and inside his mind make for a thrilling conclusion.
The City of Brass: A Novel
by S. A. Chakraborty
A wonderful fantasy debut set in an 18th century Cairo and featuring a young woman, Nahri, who has no relatives and who lives by her wits as a con artist. Her odd supernatural healing talents and ability to understand and speak languages come in handy as she struggles to survive day by day while trying to save up money for medical training. Unfortunately, during one job, she accidentally calls up inimical ifrits and a wily, handsome djinn that turn her life upside down. Interesting folklore and an evocative setting make this a winner for discussion.
Dark Matter: A Novel
by Blake Crouch
Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that will appeal to book clubs.
The Dream Daughter: A Novel
by Diane Chamberlain
In 1970, young and recently widowed Carly learns that the baby she is carrying has a fatal birth defect. Enter her quirky but lovable brother-in-law, who proposes a highly improbable solution: travel to the future where a medical procedure exists to save her unborn child. This twisty story with well-developed characters is highly recommended, but with a trigger warning for mothers. A good crossover title for domestic fiction and science fiction readers, and fans of Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult, and Chris Bohjalian.
How to Stop Time
by Matt Haig
Even though there is something extraordinary about Tom Hazard and his aging process, the problems and insights he experiences as he goes through life are universal. Love, memory, and time play tricks on us all, as this novel illustrates so exquisitely. This is an engaging story with all the elements of a great historical/time travel novel. For fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life.
by Pierce Brown
The next great read for those who loved The Hunger Games. This story has so much action, intrigue, social commentary and character development that the reader who never reads science fiction will happily overlook the fact that the story takes place on Mars far in the future. The characters are perfectly flawed, causing the reader to feel compassion and revulsion for both sides, which is sure to lead to some interesting group discussion.