15 best book club books to read in 2024

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best book club books 2024

Belonging to a book club can be a great source of joy and community for any book lover. But actually choosing which books to read next in your book club? That’s not always so easy.

To help you find your next favourite book club read, I’ve compiled my recommendations of the best books for book clubs to read and discuss in 2024.

These are all books I’ve wanted to talk about with everyone, including excellent new books, some of the best book club books of all time, and other bestselling and award-winning modern classics from the last few years.

Read on, enjoy the suggestions, and decide which of these excellent books you’ll read next in your book club.

The best book club books for 2024 with plenty to talk about

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (2023)

Find the book on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookshop.org
  • What is it about? The events that split families apart and what brings them back together again.
  • Choose it to discuss: Family dynamics, motherhood, mental health, and building a community.

How can I not mention this 2023 reader favourite? Hello Beautiful is a breathtakingly perceptive book about one family in Chicago over several decades. Full of poignant questions about love, loss, and the repercussions of long-held grudges, you’ll want to discuss this novel with everyone.

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer (2023)

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  • What is it about? A struggling twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide hopes her life is about to change when she’s invited to her beloved childhood author’s island to compete for the only copy of his new book.
  • Choose it to discuss: The families we make for ourselves, the power of stories, and how our wishes change from childhood into adulthood.

If I had to recommend just one book for book clubs to read in 2024, I’d pick The Wishing Game. Dark yet hopeful, you can think of Meg Shaffer’s 2023 hardcover fiction debut as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but with books meets Goosebumps for adults. Most of all, it’s a novel about things working out and wishes being granted.

The Women by Kristin Hannah (2024)

The Women by Kristin Hannah book cover
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  • The Women is available to read from February 6
  • What is it about? The lives and friendships of women in the Vietnam War, penned by the beloved author of The Great Alone and The Nightingale.
  • Choose it to discuss: Women’s roles, friendship in the novel, and the different ways of finding courage.

If your book club loves Kristin Hannah, you can look forward to reading The Women in February. Set in 1965 between sunny Southern California and the harsh realities of the Vietnam War, The Women is one woman’s story of going to war, finding courage under fire, and building life-changing friendships.

The Bird Hotel by Joyce Maynard (2023)

the bird hotel book cover
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  • What is it about? After facing unimaginable loss, Irene finds herself guided to a lakefront hotel in Central America. As she brings the hotel back to vibrancy, she also changes the course of her life.
  • Choose it to discuss: Loss and different ways of grieving, rebuilding a life, and the challenges of losing a home.

The Bird Hotel is a beautifully penned celebration of an anonymous yet crystal-clear location, as well as one woman’s journey to finding a place to belong and understand herself, her past, and the world.

When I think back to the book, I can perfectly picture sitting with a cup of coffee overlooking the lake as the sun rises, fishermen head out on their boats, and birds skim the water; just as our main character, Irene, did every morning. It’s not always an easy read, but there are so many beautiful moments and events to discuss with your reading group.

Four Seasons in Japan by Nick Bradley (2023)

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  • What is it about? Two parallel stories of lost and directionless characters interact as Japan moves through the seasons of a year.
  • Choose it to discuss: Finding purpose and meaning, choosing a career, and growing into your true self.

Nick Bradley’s Four Seasons in Japan is one of the wisest and most comforting novels of 2023, especially if you’re in your twenties or thirties and feeling stuck or at a crossroads in your life.

The life-affirming story begins with the perspective of Flo, an Oregon-born translator who’s living in Tokyo and achieving her dreams, but feeling more lost and empty than ever.

However, when she stumbles upon a lost book on the subway, she finds both a fascinating project and a beautiful story that brings her back to life.

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett (2023)

tom lake
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  • What is it about? A woman recounts her time as an actor (and brief love story with a famous actor) to her daughters while picking cherries on a farm in Michigan in 2021.
  • Choose it to discuss: Motherhood, fame, life before children, and looking back on lockdown several years later.

Tom Lake is a real gem of a book. This bestseller is full to the brim with summer vibes and beautiful reflections on life, love, and motherhood, as well as our collective and individual experiences of the 2020s.

It was my Book of the Month for August 2023 and is – at least in my eyes – still one of the best book club reads of 2024. There’s so much to love, and so many discussion points.

Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xóchitl González (2024)

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  • Anita de Monte Laughs Last is available to read from March 5
  • What is it about? Literary fiction with a campus setting and a mystery emerging from the past.
  • Choose it to discuss: Race and class divisions, the art world, and the relationships in the novel.

You might recognise Xóchitl González’s name from her debut, Olga Dies Dreaming, or her Pulitzer-nominated columns for The Atlantic.

In González’s new novel for 2024, the body of Anita de Monte, a rising star in the art world, is found in New York City in 1985. A decade later, her name is all but forgotten. But when Raquel, a third-year art history student learns Anita’s story, she realises that her own relationship eerily mirrors that of the forgotten artist.

The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand (2023)

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  • What is it about? A seemingly perfect food blogger who is suffering from the sudden loss of her husband finds comfort in reuniting with her best friends.
  • Choose it to discuss: Friendship, loss, and the power of community.

In need of some sunshine and beachy vibes? Summer beach reads don’t get much better than The Five-Star Weekend – it’s both pure escapism and a perfect laid-back read for book clubs to read and bond over.

This 2023 bestseller will get your reading group thinking about the best friends from each stage of your life, and maybe even inspire you to plan your own Five-Star Weekend.

What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo (2022)

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  • What is it about? A memoir of reckoning and healing by acclaimed journalist Stephanie Foo, investigating the little-understood science behind complex PTSD and how it has shaped her life.
  • Choose it to discuss: Mental health, trauma, and experiences with therapy.

What My Bones Know is a deeply personal book about the hold of the past over the present, the mind over the body, and one woman’s ability to reclaim agency from her trauma.

In this excellent non-fiction book for book clubs, Stephanie Foo interviews scientists and tries a variety of innovative therapies, investigates the effects of immigrant trauma on her California hometown, and uncovers family secrets to learn how trauma can be inherited through generations.

The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez (2024)

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  • The Great Divide is available to read from March 5
  • What is it about? The people behind the groundbreaking construction project of the Panama Canal in the early 1900s.
  • Choose it to discuss: The people who shaped our world yet are rarely acknowledged by history.

Celebrated by Ann Napolitano as “a gorgeous, sweeping epic”, The Great Divide casts a light on the tapestry of unsung lives in the shadow of the construction of the Panama Canal, from laborers to activists, fishmongers, journalists, doctors, and soothsayers. With plenty of five-star Goodreads reviews, this is one of the most exciting new books of 2024.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (2008)

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  • What is it about? Two best friends, Tully and Kate, as they grow up in 70s suburbia.
  • Choose it to discuss: Friendship that lasts decades, being a teen, and how to stick together through whatever life throws at you.

The inspiration for the hit Netflix show of the same name, Firefly Lane follows the friendship of Tully and Kate from their teens into adulthood, careers, marriage, and parenting. While Kate struggles to fit in, Tully is beautiful and easily makes friends – but her mother’s abandonment pushes her to seek the approval of everybody she meets.

As their friendship is tested over the following decades, what keeps these women together is the magic they found on Firefly Lane in 1974.

River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer (2023)

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  • What is it about? An eye-opening look at life post-abolition as one woman searches the Caribbean for her lost children.
  • Choose it to discuss: Abolition, freedom, the impact of the past, and courage in the face of loss.

As one of the best new historical fiction novels of 2023, River Sing Me Home is a soaring novel of courage and sacrifice that’s inspired by true events.

Set in 1834, you’ll witness the main character’s journey from the cane fields of Barbados to the forests of British Guiana in the hope of finding the beloved children she never forgot.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers (2021)

A Psalm for the Wild-Built book
Find the book on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookshop.org
  • What is it about? A tea monk (who serves tea from their bike-powered wagon) wanders into the wilderness and tries to figure out what humans need.
  • Choose it to discuss: Feeling lost and directionless in life, the book’s non-binary main character, sustainability, and the future of our planet.

Becky Chambers is at the forefront of hopepunk, or hopeful sci-fi, and crafts soothingly optimistic visions of the future for us to retreat into (and discuss in book clubs).

A Psalm for the Wild-Built is a wonderfully feel-good cozy book, and the first short read in Chambers’ Monk & Robot duology. I adored reading this book (and have recommended it to so many people since).

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy (1886)

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  • What is it about? One of the best books ever written about death and the shortness of life. (And a classic that’s not too difficult to read.)
  • Choose it to discuss: Death, coming to terms with mortality, and making the most of life.

The subject matter is pretty heavy, sure, but The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the most accessible places to start with Leo Tolstoy – and a fairly easy classic to read. The book also offers plenty to discuss in your book club, especially around the themes of mortality and living a good life.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (2017)

Pachinko book cover
Find the book on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookshop.org
  • What is it about? An epic of a Korean immigrant family over four generations as they fight for acceptance, freedom, and riches in 20th-century Japan.
  • Choose it to discuss: Family, the choices we make, loss, and the path from poverty to wealth.

Pachinko is one of those remarkable books that manages to encompass such a sheer amount of time, change, and human emotion. I think it’s one of the best book club books of all time – as well as a fantastic book to help you fall back in love with reading.

After you finish reading the book with your book club, there’s an excellent adaptation by Apple TV of Pachinko to enjoy.

Looking for more good book club books? Head over to my list of the best modern novels of the 21st century for some of the best books ever written to discuss with your group.

For the best new books, you can also find inspiration in my collections of the best books of 2023 and the most anticipated books of 2024.

You can also keep an eye on what I’m reading in The Tolstoy Therapy Book Club for more book club book suggestions. Happy reading!

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