Shelf Recommendations: book clubs

In honor of our third-annual book club fair, Tuesday, 1/31, 5-7 p.m.,  we have created a list of the books your book club should read this year. Please come and mingle with fellow book lovers and check out some awesome book clubs! We will also be debuting a new partnership with our friends over at Fuzzy Goat. Make sure to come out and enjoy the fun.

Popular in 2016

Commonwealth by Ann Patchet

This novel begins with an unexpected guest at a christening party and the consequences after a kiss between two married individuals. A story of the dissolution of their marriages and the merging of two families. What follows is a story that spans five decades, and explores themes of family, love, chance, and responsibility.

For fans of:  THE MOTHERS and MOONGLOW

Among the Living by Jonathan Rabb

Jonathan Rabb recently gave a shelf talk and book signing for his newest novel Among the Living. This novel is set in the American Post-War South in 1947 follows the experience of Yitzhak Goldah, a camp survivor, navigating his way in Savannah, Georgia. This novel explores identity and a sense of "home" and belonging. A great historical fiction novel for book clubs, especially if you live in the South.

For fans of: THE NIGHTINGALE and ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing takes place in eighteenth-century Ghana and follows two separated half-sisters, Effia and Esi. One sister is married to an Englishman who is a slaveholder, and the other is a slave imprisoned in the dungeons of her unknowing sister's palace. Another story that spans the lives of the characters. This novel covers events such as the American Civil War, the Great Migration and goes into the present day. Gyasi explores family, history, and change. This book will lead to a lot of conversation. 

For fans of: THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD and WE NEED NEW NAMES

Nine Women, One Dress  by Jane L. Rosen

A light, fun read about a little black dress that everyone is looking to wear. The novel follows the story of various women at different stages of their lives finding love and opportunity in New York City. From a Hollywood diva trying to make her Broadway debut to a Bloomingdale's salesgirl. A wonderful and charming book perfect for book club.

For fans of: THE HOPEFULS and SIRACUSA                             

Upcoming in 2017

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

Even though this particular novel doesn’t release until March, Bookshelf staffer Chris is ready to sing its praises. The Wanderers opens with three astronauts trying to prove they’re fit to be the first humans on Mars, but first, they have to survive 17 months in the most realistic simulation ever created. More about human relationships than space, this one is guaranteed to spark conversation.

For fans of: THE MARTIAN and STATION ELEVEN

Himself by Jess Kidd

The premise behind this debut novel is immediately intriguing: Loveable rogue Mahoney was left at an orphanage as an infant, and he’s always assumed he was abandoned, unwanted. He receives a note suggesting his mother may have been the victim of foul play. This discovery brings Mahoney back to Dublin to discover the truth for himself. A book that will keep you reading for more, the perfect mystery book, 

For fans of: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS and LITTLE BEE.

The book that matters most by Ann Hood

Readers love books about books, and Ann Hood’s latest novel, which will be out in paperback this summer, certainly fits the bill. Protagonist Ava joins a book club whose purpose is simple: throughout the year, each member presents the book that matters most to them. The perfect book to start off your book club for 2017. 

For fans of: THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB

The second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

This book has been getting rave reviews from fellow indie booksellers this season. This new historical novel released earlier in January is destined to be a book club selection. When Major Hockaday is called to the frontlines of the Civil War, he leaves behind a young wife and infant son. Two years later, back from war, Hockaday finds his wife headed for jail, accused of having a child in his absence and murdering it. If that isn't intriguing enough, the novel is inspired by a real-life event. 

For fans of: LIAR, TEMPTRESS, SOLDIER, SPY and ATONEMENT. 

American Fire by Monica Hesse

True crime might not be your club’s typical fare but American Fire is so well-written, you might decide to make an exception. Journalist Monica Hesse investigates the five-month arson spree that left families in a rural Virginia community reeling. Hesse not only delves into the trial of the arsonist, Charlie Smith; she writes about small town life in ways that will have your book club hooked from page one. 

For fans of: HILLBILLY ELEGY and IN COLD BLOOD. 

The hue and cry at our house by Benjamin Taylor

Memoirs often are the perfect conversation starters for book groups, and Benjamin Taylor’s -- all about his boyhood in Fort Worth, Texas -- centers around a handshake with JFK and the assassination that quickly followed.

For fans of: BARBARIAN DAYS and BAREFOOT TO AVALON.

- Maddie