Top Book Club Books: 10 Picks

Making a list of top book club books isn't easy! There are so many great books out there, picking just a few is nearly impossible.

But, these top book club books are ten great selections to get you started. To make the list, these books had to meet a few requirements:

  1. Be available in paperback (keeps costs down).
  2. Be a stand-alone novel.
  3. Be classified as literary fiction.
  4. Include a list of discussion questions at the end of the book or on the publisher's website.
  5. Be thought- and discussion-provoking.

10 Top Book Club Books

#1 The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

"In The Namesake, enriches the themes that made her [short story] collection [Interpreter of Maladies] an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations". -- Front Flap

Tip: Book club review questions are available on the publisher's website

#2 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid

"Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past." -- Product Description

Tip: Most editions include a reader's guide at the back of the book, including the edition available for purchase at

#3 Life of Pi by Yann Martel

"The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks and Pi finds himself in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger." -- Book summary

Tip: A reader's discussion guide is included at the end of this "top book club books" novel.

#4 The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

"The story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap." -- Product Description

Tip: This top book club book includes discussion questions at the end of the text.

#5 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

"At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war. His efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn't even met are trying to kill him." -- Product Description

#6 The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

"This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during this century." -- Product Description

#7 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

"Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation." -- Product Description

#8 The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her -- her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling." -- Product Description

#9 The Blind Assasin by Margaret Atwood

"The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel." -- Product Description

#10 The Hours by Michael Cunningham

"In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair." -- Product Description

About the Top Book Club Books

These are ten wonderful books that will surely provoke discussion among your book club members. But don't forget -- everyone's taste in books is personal, and this is by no means an extensive list! But, it's a good place to start.

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