It’s officially winter which means most of our activities will take place in the warmth of our homes, likely beneath layers and layers of sweaters and blankets. But to keep us from catching the winter blues, we’ll be spending most of our winter days doing what a book lover does best: reading books and talking about them. If you’ve yet to join a book club, winter is the perfect season to join one or start one. And the books on this list are the winter book club picks we’re recommending. From dysfunctional family dramas to inspiring cultural movements—these books + wine + good conversation will keep you warm this winter.
IN THE MIDST OF WINTER begins with a minor traffic accident, which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, this emotional novel recalls Allende’s landmark novel THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS.
GEORGE & LIZZIE is a riveting debut novel about an unlikely marriage, from America’s librarian and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl. When a dark secret from Lizzie’s past resurfaces, she'll find out the true mettle of the relationship she and George have so painstakingly built over a decade together. Pearl expertly crafts an edgy, funny exploration of the dark secrets that can threaten even the most solid relationships.
There’s no way you can pass up Jennifer Egan’s long-awaited WWII-era follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD. Anna Kerrigan is the badass heroine in Egan’s first foray into historical fiction. She becomes the first female diver—a very dangerous and exclusive occupation at that time—and navigates a world populated by gangsters, sailors, bankers, and union men. Longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award, MANHATTAN BEACH is sure to be a book club favorite!
Alice Pearse wants to have a satisfying career and a thriving personal life—but we all know nothing good in life comes easy. When she starts her dream job, her time away from home puts strains on her marriage, her children, her parents, and her friends. Eventually, Alice realizes that what’s most important is not “having it all” but finding out what she really wants.
Alice Pearse wants to have a satisfying career and a thriving personal life. But when she starts her dream job, her time away from home puts strains on her marriage, her children, her parents, and her friends. Eventually, Alice realizes that what’s most important is not “having it all” but finding out what she really wants.
In a memoir hailed for its searing candor as well as its wit, bestselling author Alice Sebold (THE LOVELY BONES) reveals how her life was transformed when, as an 18-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims and imparts a profoundly hard-won wisdom: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”
A family reunites after the death of its patriarch just as a hurricane tears through town in Kris D’Agostino’s second novel, THE ANTIQUES. D’Agostino has a gift for making family drama compelling on the page, and the Westfalls are no strangers to dysfunction. Complete with an irresistible plot and deeply flawed, affectionately rendered characters, THE ANTIQUES is a laugh-out-loud funny send-up of modern family life.
If you loved Ashley Hay’s latest novel, A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS, you’ll want to read her previous novel about the power of beginnings and endings. Set in an Australian seaside town, THE RAILWAYMAN’S WIFE tells the story of Anikka Lachlan, a postwar widow who finds a poem on her mantel, which sets off an unexpected love triangle between Ani, the poem, and the poet, who is struggling with his own loss following the war.
Set in an Australian seaside town overlooking the vast, blue ocean, THE RAILWAYMAN’S WIFE tells the story of the town’s locals as they face incredible loss in the aftermath of World War II. When Anikka Lachlan, a postwar widow, finds a poem on her mantel, an unexpected love triangle begins between Ani, the poem, and the poet, who is struggling with his own loss following the war.
When A.J. Jacobs sets out on a quest, you can rest assured the resulting book will be captivating and laugh-out-loud funny. YEAR OF LIVING BIBLICALLY chronicles his hilarious and thoughtful year spent obeying―as literally as possible―the tenets of the Bible. If you can’t immerse yourself in a year of biblical living, you could at least enjoy—and discuss—Jacobs’s fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible.
From the bestselling author of The Know-It-All comes a fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible. A.J. Jacobs chronicles his hilarious and thoughtful year spent obeying―as literally as possible―the tenets of the Bible.
This novel about community and courage will dazzle you. As Beartown’s junior ice hockey team sets its sight on a big prize, all the hopes of the tiny community rest on the shoulders of teenage boys. By the beloved author of A MAN CALLED OVE, BEARTOWN explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain.
While we wait for the highly anticipated forthcoming novel ROOM ON RUE AMELIE to hit shelves in the spring, Kristin Harmel’s novel THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING certainly deserves a reread. In this international bestseller, Hope, a baker in Cape Cod, must travel to Paris to uncover a family secret for her dying grandmother—and what she learns may change everything. Paris, baked goods, and secrets? Sign us up, please.
Your book club will enjoy Issa Rae’s hilarious essay collection about the awkward upbringing that led to her popular standing among black girls—awkward and otherwise, especially if you’re anxiously waiting for season 3 of Insecure. In AWKWARD BLACK GIRL, Rae waxes humorously on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits and black as cool.
For fans of “Insecure”
Issa Rae is awkward . . . and black, which is, in the opinion of her peers, a very unfortunate combination. This is made plain in her new TV show “Insecure ” and her New York Times bestseller THE MISADVENTURES OF AWKWARD BLACK GIRL. In this memoir-guide hybrid, Issa humorously illuminates what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits and black as cool.
In an effort to delay the frailty and isolation that comes with old age, psychiatrist Millard Salter decides to kill himself by the end of the day—but first he has to tie up some loose ends. These include a tête-à-tête with his ne’er-do-well youngest son, Lysander; an unscheduled rendezvous with his first wife, Carol; and a brief visit to the grave of his second wife, Isabelle, with whom he fathered an illegitimate child. In the spirit of A MAN CALLED OVE, MILLARD SALTER’S LAST DAY is a touching journey as one man ties up the loose ends of his life.
The year 2017 will forever be marked by the resiliency and bravery displayed by women far and wide. What better way to celebrate than a lively book club discussion of women? In ALL THE SINGLE LADIES, Rebecca Traister offers a comprehensive study of the power of independent women in America through the fascinating history of unmarried women and their lasting, radical effect on the nation.
For your feminist friends
Rebecca Traister offers a comprehensive study of the power of independent women in America through the fascinating history of unmarried women and their lasting, radical effect on the nation.
A love letter to the 1980s and to nerds everywhere, THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS will make you remember what it feels like to love someone—or something—for the first time. This charming novel follows 14-year-old Billy Marvin as his plan to seduce the local convenience store owner’s daughter goes sideways when she turns out to be his computer-loving soulmate.
If your favorite character is Steve HarringtonIf you liked the era cameos in the Duffer Brothers’ ode to the 80s (from D&D games to Steve Harrington’s hair) you’ll love the mentions of Commodore 64s, early Springsteen & Jolt cola in the love letter to the 80s which is THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS. It follows Billy Marvin and his friends as they hatch a madcap scheme which leads Billy to falsely befriend a loner girl who happens to be a computer whiz. But just as Steve seems like a jerk initially, his heartfelt feelings towards another bad-ass female character (Go Nancy!) mimics how Billy’s feelings also lead him down the right path.
Lida Stearl prides herself on always doing the right thing. But now that she’s widowed, retired, and an empty nester, the small perfections of her orderly life aren’t enough to stop her from feeling adrift. When she learns her brother-in-law is on death row for murdering her sister, Lida begins to write him, pretending to be a flirtatious 23-year-old, in an effort to seek retribution. THE DONE THING is an utterly memorable and engrossing exploration of forgiveness, loyalty, and justice, and how a tragic event can suddenly change a life’s course—and Lida is a character your book club will never forget.