Will those page-turning books you just finished reading steal the spotlight at your next book club meeting? Is that unputdownable read, the one that is really hard to put aside so you can get some sleep, your best choice for a book club pick? Maybe not. Not all good books make good book club books.
The last thing you want is for your book club meeting to morph into a coffee klatch– with everyone buzzing about the latest gossip, their favorite recipe, or the bargain they just found. And without some substance to your book club choice, this may very well happen.
Instead, why not set the mood for an energizing discussion where people get involved and share a common passion, maybe step out of their comfort zone and open themselves up to new ideas?
Personally, I love discussing a controversial topic with someone who does not share my view; most times, I take something away – my perspective is altered in some way. I think it’s why I love reading and discussing books so much.
Below are some tips for choosing a book that is sure to generate some discussion at your next book club meeting.
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Choose books with thought-provoking or controversial topics.
Books with no closure or surprise endings are also great book club picks.
What book club member doesn’t love a book with flawed characters?
The quirky main characters in THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Samson and A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman will steal your heart and give you a different perspective on life. There are lessons to be learned.
Stories with a strong message always make for lively conversation.
Character-driven books are also excellent choices for book clubs.
In WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD by Susan Crandall, Starla is young, adventurous, and willful. In WHAT SHE KNEW by Gilly Macmillan, Rachel is a mother who regrets a small decision – with big consequences – she made.
Pick a book about closed societies or foreign cultures.
Polarizing topics or unacceptable practices? The perfect book club pick.
Malala in I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai fights for a principle she feels strongly about- women should be able to go to school and learn. THE FALUT IN OUR STARS By John Green deals with the difficult topic of fighting cancer.
Engaging plots, stories that inspire, and books with conflict built into the storyline – Again, perfect!
P.S. Try not to pick books that are too long- or at least run them by your members first.