Looking for fun book club books? Here’s some suggestions for what our book club is reading and a few favorites of my own.

A joyful woman with blonde hair, wearing a black and white checkered top, laughs while holding books and peering around a white door in a brightly lit room.

Last night was book club.

Sigh.

It was amazing.

The only thing better than people who love to read books are people who love to read books and talk about them.

I’m new to this book club and it’s one of the very best ones I’ve ever attended. There were so many opinions and thoughts and questions on the most recent book that they all came tumbling out in a jumble of laughter and conversation.

But even better than the conversation?

Was the decor and display and food our hostess put together for us.

If you have a book club? Wait until you see the cute ideas and displays for your next get-together.

And of course, I have a few book recommendations, too.

Here’s what we read, what we are going to read along with 10 book club books you won’t be able to put down.

10 Book Club Books That You Won’t Be Able To Put Down

The cover of the book "The Women: A Novel" by Kristin Hannah. The title and author's name are in gold against a red background, with a silhouette of a helicopter and palm trees at the bottom. A label indicates it's by a "#1 New York Times Bestselling Author.

1. The Women

Let’s start with the book we just finished for book club.

You’ve heard me talk about it before. It’s Kristen Hannah’s new book called “The Women.”

You can see it here.

It’s a gritty novel about nurses during the Vietnam War.

I didn’t really know much about the Vietnam War so I found it fascinating. It centers around a main character named Frankie who joins the Vietnam War as a nurse in the middle of Vietnam where some of the hardest fighting took place and it follows her journey with two different love stories and her experience both during the war and when she came home.

It’s so powerful and I couldn’t put it down.

Nine out of ten stars for me.

A book titled "The Women" by Kristin Hannah is displayed on a stand. The book cover has an image of a Vietnamese landscape featuring helicopters and palm trees. The stand is decorated with small toy soldiers and red, white, and blue pom-poms.

A close-up of pinwheel sandwiches on a tray. Above the tray is a sign that reads "California Garden Party, McGrath Estate, July 4th, 1966." The sandwiches are neatly arranged in a spiral shape, containing ingredients such as lettuce, tomato, and meat.

A care package contains snacks and drinks, including a Coca-Cola bottle, Pop Tarts, Toffee Almond bars, and See's Candies Chocolate Drops. The box has mailing labels, with one addressed to an Army base in Vietnam from someone in Coronado Beach, California.

A table filled with assorted decorated cookies and snacks. The cookies are shaped like scrubs, stars, and nurse faces, with some reading "The Women" and "Army." There is also a bowl of chips in the background near a red tinsel decoration shaped like a star.

Here are some ideas you can use for this book (or even recreating these ideas for other book club books)

You can see some of the examples in these pictures I took from the book club display.

Our hostess was NEXT LEVEL and I’m so inspired to recreate some of these when I host next month.

  1. Make cookies of the book’s cover. Our hostess made these incredible book cookies and nurses uniforms, stars and stripes, dog tags and even nurse cookies.
  2. Recreate a featured element from the book. For example, in The Women, Frankie is always requesting care packages. Our hostess created this incredible care package with all the things Frankie requested in the book.
  3. Create a display with the cover of the book. She took the book cover, added camouflage and displayed it on a stand.
  4. She also recreated food featured in the book like these wraps from the McGrath family (Frankie’s family) Garden Party.
  5. You could also write out favorite quotes on a large board for guests to read as they arrive.
  6. Print quotes on vintage-style paper and frame them for the party display.
  7. Leave blank cards and pens for guests to write their favorite quotes or thoughts on the book when they arrive to discuss during the Q & A period.
  8. Create a signature drink inspired by the book, and give it a clever name.
  9. If the book involves a journey or certain locations, create a map highlighting these places.
  10. Create custom bookmarks with significant quotes or images from the book as party favors. These can be personalized with guests’ names.

Remarkably Bright Creatures

Here’s our book for next month.

I’m hosting and it’s going to be an Octopus there.

I’ve already read the book and you are going to have to trust me on this one. I went outside of my comfort zone on this book because Remarkably Bright Creatures is about an octopus named Marcellus.

Someone recommended it to me and I’m so happy they did because the book is amazing. A woman named Tova who works the night shift at a local aquarium. She has suffered so much sadness and loss and is at a crossroads in her life and the octopus is instrumental in helping her heal. It’s kind of a mystery and a love story and a heartfelt story all rolled into one.

It’s one of my new favorite books and you can see it here.

And now here are some other books I think would be perfect for book club.

Cover of the book "A Dress of Violet Taffeta" by Tessa Arlen. A woman in a violet dress stands by tall white paneled doors with light streaming in. Gold ornate designs frame the sides. A testimonial by Erika Robuck is featured on the left.

A Dress of Violet Taffeta

I am about two chapters away from finishing this book.

It’s SO GOOD and I’d never heard of the author before.

I think it would make such a fun book club book because it’s a rags-to-riches story that takes place at the turn of the century and features the Titanic.

It has an amazing love story, too.

You can see A Dress of Violet Taffeta here.

Book cover of "The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post: A Novel" by Allison Pataki. The cover shows a woman in a blue satin dress looking out a window, with the title and author's name in bold letters. A review quote from Kate Quinn is visible at the bottom.

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

This was a fun read.

It’s based on the life of the Post cereal heiress, Marjorie Post. I wasn’t sure how much of it was true, but most of the research I found echoed the book.

Spoiler alert: she has a LOT of husbands. 

But it’s such a fun read and I think the book club discussion would be amazing.

You can see The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post here.

Book cover of "Expiration Dates" by Rebecca Serle. The title is written in bold green letters, with pages flying away towards the sky. The background features a landscape with tall trees and a pathway, with sky transitioning from peach to green hues.

The Perfect Couple

This was one of our book club reads from another book club and IT IS SO GOOD.

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand is a page-turner.

I love a book that you can’t figure out the ending until it surprises you in the end.

It’s a mystery that takes place at a wedding on Nantucket. The bride-to-be is discovered dead and everyone is a suspect.

Spoiler alert. It’s NOT who you think it is.

This book is such a good read.

The Nightingale

No book club list would be complete without The Nightingale.

And it has over 300,000 reviews on Amazon.

It would be PERFECT for discussion. I love a historical drama and this one is set against the backdrop of WWII and Germany’s invasion of France.

It’s the story of two sisters with romance and struggle and sometimes almost impossible choices and it’s amazing. I wish I would have read The Nightingale before I read her other books because it’s my absolute favorite book she’s ever written. If you haven’t read Kristen Hannah before? This is an amazing one to start with. You can see The Nightingale here.

Hello Beautiful

Where do I begin? 

Hello Beautiful is the sweetest book. Someone said in the reviews that it was Little Women with basketball, but it’s so much more than that.

It’s poignant and if you like different stories of different characters that all entwine together? This is the book for you. It’s about a boy named William who has a super sad childhood and he finds refuge in basketball and he finds Julia and her large outgoing family who welcome him in and surround him. It’s a story of love and loss and overcoming where you come from to become the person you were meant to be.

You can see Hello Beautiful here.

The Giver of the Stars

I saw the movie Me Before You based on the book written by this author so I was intrigued enough to explore The Giver of the Stars.

It’s another historical drama about a team of women who are part of the team helping to deliver Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library.

It’s the story of the challenges they face on the journey and the love they discover and the challenges of the land they travel.

I loved her other story, so I’m excited to read this one. You can see The Giver of the Stars here.

The Midnight Library

Fun fact. My mother didn’t like this book. But I LOVED IT.

I love a story where you aren’t sure of the ending.

It’s a story about choices. Somewhere on the edge of the galaxy, there’s a library. The library is full of books that tell the stories of people’s lives—with different endings. Some are stories of their life as they know it. Some are stories of their life that could have been.

Nora Seed is faced with which story to choose.

And what makes life worth the living after all.

You can see The Midnight Library here.

A joyful woman with blonde hair, wearing a black and white checkered top, laughs while holding books and peering around a white door in a brightly lit room.

Are you in a book club?

If so, I’d love to hear what you all are reading.

And if you just like to read? I’d love to hear what you are reading, too.

Remember.

The only thing better than people who love to read books are people who love to read books and talk about them. 🙂

PS I loved all your recommendations and I added them all here in case anyone else wanted more recommendations, too.

A woman with long blonde hair, in a black-and-white checkered shirt, smiles brightly and holds a stack of book club books. The text above her reads "10 of the Best Books for Book Clubs." The image is from thistlewoodfarms.com.

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Comments

  1. Image for Jackie Jackie

    Anything by Roseanna M White! Historical Fiction with a touch of romance and a bit of a mystery. Definitely books you can’t put down.

  2. Image for Karen Karen

    Just started Summers at the Saint. I have read every book written by mary kay Andrews. Nothing to add since I just began. Its longer than usual. My favorite authors are Karen White. She has a series of 5 i think books that take place in Charleston. They're fun. Have a diy, decorating theme. Many stand alone books, too. Barabara Davis. Love her. Nancy Thayer top of my favs. And many more.

  3. Image for laura laura

    The Women is in our book club pick later this year. Remarkably Bright Creatures was last month's The host made Octopus frosted sugar cookie. I love the last sentence of the book. I am reading Hello Beautiful right now.

    1. Image for Susan Vinson Susan Vinson

      The Women is absolutely fabulous, one of the best books I have ever read. Enjoy every minute. I had no idea was the nurses in Vietnam went through and I have a new appreciate for their efforts.

    2. Image for Susan Vinson Susan Vinson

      The Women is absolutely fabulous, one of the best books I have ever read. Enjoy every minute. I had no idea was the nurses in Vietnam went through and I have a new appreciate for their efforts. I don’t belong to a book club, sorry.

  4. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Hmm if I was a member of a book club I may read books. I don't read any books at all. My town is so small I am not sure anyone would want to start a book club. Maybe I will reach out to some. Such cute ideas.

  5. Image for Rizae Rizae

    I am a avid reader. I read Phyllis Whitney, John Kellerman, JD Robb and more. From Elizabethan to the future. Romance to Murder... If the flyleaf sounds interesting I'll read it!!! Big Hugs

  6. Image for Peg Peg

    I recently read The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller and enjoyed it, so I'm now reading The Arsonist by her. I generally gravitate toward "small town New England" fiction. That also why I love Elin Hilderbrand and Nancy Thayer! Based on your recommendation, I think I may take a departure and make The Nightingale my next read!! xoxo

  7. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Our bookclub has been meeting for 23 years. Some members have moved on and we welcomed newer members over the years. I hosted Lessons in Chemistry and made the entire periodic table in cookies. I also had fun performing a chemistry lesson that turned a cocktail from pink to blue!

  8. Image for Carol Carol

    All Kristin Higgins books are great. Funny, dramatic, mystery, it has everything. She writes trendy and sometimes you will laugh out loud. Great Books.

    1. Image for Donna Lea Heavner Donna Lea Heavner

      That’s not my impression. Her books are usually depressing but I am going to read “The Women”, and hope it’s as good as the reviews.

  9. Image for Terie Terie

    If you like to read or just want to interact with a good group of people, please join a Book Club! I moved from KY to AL almost 3 years ago and on impulse joined a new neighborhood book club. We range in age from 26- to 59 (me). It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I have a new friend group that is incredibly supportive and live right down the street! With their encouragement, I wrote and published my first book at age 59. I have a 2nd book coming out this month. My Book Club is the most encouraging, supportive cheerleaders ( for everyone) that I’ve ever been around. And as former military wife that moved 10 times, that’s saying a lot 💐

  10. Image for Cora Cora

    I just presented to my book club the book I picked, Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2022. Set in Appalachia, it is a modern retelling of Dickens' David Copperfield. We served an Appalachian appetizer and dessert.

    1. Image for Estelle Collins Estelle Collins

      That’s a book my book club read. We do literary fiction and a bit of non fiction. Most of the books mentioned here, while fun/interesting reads would not be considered appropriate for our book club which, by the way, is one hundred years old. We have granddaughters and great granddaughters of its founders as members now. If I suggested some of the books mentioned here, I’d be drummed out! I might read them but not for discussion. Yes, we are literary snobs.

  11. Image for Juliana Denney Juliana Denney

    where do i begin? i LOVE to read!! I just finished The Forest of Vanishing Stars. I read Cutting for Stone recently after reading his second novel The Covenant of Water. ANYTHING by Amor Towles - favorite is A Gentleman in Moscow that has now been made into a series on some channel. I love books and i these books have been added to my for later shelf! thanks and have a great week!

    1. Image for Stacey Stacey

      Cutting for Stone is a book I never would have picked but couldn't put down! I will never stop thinking about it. Thankful that our book club picked that one.

  12. Image for Michelle Crowley Michelle Crowley

    I'm an avid book "listener!" I couldn't function without my Audible account 😀 I get SO many projects done as a listen, and years later just looking at something I did (a wallpapered room, a pillow I sewed, something I painted) makes me think of what I was listening to while I did that project! Recently I became obsessed with the entire Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. I listened to all 17 books - one right after the other! I love historical fiction and I love mystery. These books have it all. The 18th book in the series comes out June 4th. I've already paid my 1Credit on Audible for it 😀

  13. Image for Carla Hanson Carla Hanson

    I am in a book club here in North Carolina. We just finished reading The Women by Kristin Hannah..we had trouble putting it down. Now we are reading The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. Next we plan to read The Paris Apartment. The Covenant of Water takes place in India. One of our club members is living in Portugal for a year so we meet via Zoom.

  14. Image for Linda L Linda L

    Just an added note; as a retired librarian and an avid reader who enjoys sharing books many of the public libraries host book clubs led by librarians. If the library is not hosting a book club, I am sure the suggestion from a patron would be welcomed. They may even offer the job of organizing one to you! My favorite read this past year has been West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. A warning: it reads much better than it listens on audio!

  15. Image for Helene Gundersen Helene Gundersen

    Hello from Norway! Beside Reading a lot of scandinavian authors not so familiar to you I presume, about people struggling their lives in the northen Norway and Sweden, it content everything beside learn a lot of historie 😅I have just finnished Anna Karenina av Leo Tolstoj. I'll start up with "War and Peace" same author. (I dont know if thats the right english title.) I love read travel description. I found Elin Hildebrand and Rebecca Serle on Norwegian. I'll try them. Thank you.

  16. Image for Judy Knorr Judy Knorr

    I belong to a book club and we meet about once every 4 to 6 weeks at our local diner. We have lunch, discuss the book and choose a new book and meeting date. At the suggestion of one of our members who was a school librarian, about every 4 books we read a classic book. This month we have chosen to read “Riders of the Purple Sage” by Zane Gray. Some of our favorite authors are Kristin Hannah, Sandra Dallas, Kristen Harmel, and Fiona Davis

    1. Image for Karin Tilley Karin Tilley

      As a young girl I read all of the Zane Gray books my granddad had but never really hear about them anymore. Riders of the Purple Sage was one of my favorites!

  17. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    This post was one of my favorites!! I still think you should do online book club too! Kristin Hannah books are special for sure. Glad you read the book about Marjorie Post. She was interesting for sure in business and romance. Since you liked the Giver of the Stars, I recommend The Book Lady of Trouble Creek and The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kentucky author Kim Michelle Richardson. Truly feel she gave a more accurate account and painted a better picture of our beautiful and yes not so beautiful Bluegrass State. Both books are so special to me for many reasons. I am loving books with Kentucky or the Appalachian Mountains as a setting. Just finished Light in the Hills ( another book horseback librarian. My heroes!) by Tennessee author Bonnie Baylock and another book set in Alabama The Well and The Mone by Gin Phillips. Loving reading books by regional authors and then visiting that area! Sorry to rattle! Tested local paper when asking me to do book review I felt like Skeeter in one of my favorite books ever! The Help. She got her writing break by sharing household tips I love doing the same but share books! Happy Reading friend! Bless you for sharing the love of reading with others.

    1. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

      Sorry could not edit. But that should read The Well and The Mine as well as Teased instead of tested local paper. Too slow for spell check sorry for errors.

  18. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I definitely think an online book club for your followers would be fantastic KariAnne,all your recommendations are wonderful reads!

  19. Image for Pam smith Pam smith

    Hello! I have read several of these, and I LOVED Remarkably Bright Creatures!! It was definitely a different genre from my normal ones, but it was so good. I will be saving this list for reference!

  20. Image for stephanie stephanie

    I can't wait to see all the details you included for your book club meeting! Wish I lived closer because I would be a member. I have read several of the books on your list.

    1. Image for Palvena Palvena

      Hi Stephanie! I also live in the Bluegrass State. Check out Ky author- Ann Gabhart. She attended our book club to discuss the book we read one month. Lots of great historical fiction.

  21. Image for Sandra S Schwartz Sandra S Schwartz

    Thanks for the books. I have read many of them and look forward to reading those I have not. One thing I would love for you to consider is at the end of your blog writing the names of the books and their authors on one page so that we can print them out easily and check them off once we have done so.

  22. Image for Christine Christine

    Hi! I am in a book club and just finished The Saturday Evening Girls Club. It was Great! I love Historical Fiction. The author is Jane Healey. I really enjoy her books.

  23. Image for Maureen Maureen

    I think my favorite two books of all time are "War and Peace" and "Gone With the Wind" (much better than the movie if you can believe it). I cried at the end of GWtW. I was in my early 20's when I read them. I am now 68 and have read many books since.

  24. Image for Sue P. Sue P.

    I just finished reading "Go as a River" by Shelley Read. I may select it when it's "my month" in our book club. I try to select books that have copies available in our local libraries or in Tennessee Reads/Libby (digital and audio books) available through our public library. It reminds me a little of "The Moonshiner's Daughter" by Donna Everhart which was a good book club selection. Also for a fun read, I enjoyed "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman. "Educated" by Tara Westover, a surprising and interesting memoir, would make a very good book club discussion. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed most of our book club selections -- books that I wouldn't have chosen on my own as many of them just didn't sound compelling to me. The book club has thankfully "forced" me to expand my reading selections!

  25. Image for Rebecca j Martin Rebecca j Martin

    I would highly recommend Go as a River by Shelly Read. Her first novel and it is a wonderful literary piece.

  26. Image for Lisa M Lisa M

    Loved Remarkably Bright Creatures. Also seconding recs for The Forest of Vanishing Stars and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Also loved The Book of Lost Names, The Secret Life of Addie LaRue, West With Giraffes, A Ripple In Time, and The Lost Apothecary.

  27. Image for Carol Pinnel Carol Pinnel

    My book club just read The Measure by Nikki Erlick. Everyone in the world gets a box with a string inside that is the measure of his life. To open or not open? Love how the author connects her characters. So much discussion about this one. Came up with fun table decorations, but I don't want to give anything away.

  28. Image for Jack Griggs Jack Griggs

    I have a published book with Newman Springs. "In Search of the Beanstalk". It is my life starting from poverty, being placed in two children's homes, living with relatives. I cover family history and the book has been described as making reader laugh, cry and other emotions. Thank you for your consideration.

  29. Image for Jackie Ludwig Jackie Ludwig

    Our book club (Women Who Read) just finished The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride. Lots of characters and opinions which gave us all something to think about. Next up is Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict. Although fiction has lots of history. It’s about an Irish immigrant who is hired to be Andrew Carnegie Mother’s maid.

  30. Image for Joanna Joanna

    Definitely Gone with the Wind!!! Bestest book ever. And I’ve read a lot! Also a shout out for some of Lynn Austin’s books. It’s so interesting to see what other people enjoy. I am in the middle of The nightingale and am having a hard time finishing it. I’m not sure why because I love books from that era.

  31. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Anything by Marie Benedict is a good read, Trust by Hernan Diaz was Amazing! Just finished all of Rachel Hawkins books and thought The Villa her best. If you want to take a walk with a young Spanish author, try Paul Pen. under the Water and the Light of Fireflies as well as The Warning. Catherine Ryan Howard has 7 books that are awesome; start with 56 days or Distress Signalls. And if you have not read Jon Boyne, you are missing out! A Ladder to the Sky is a classic.

  32. Image for Susanne Malm Susanne Malm

    THE FROZEN RIVER by Ariel Lawton is an amazing account based on a real life midwife in the late 1700s! It’s one of the best books I read recently!

  33. Image for Cathie Price Cathie Price

    The Tiny Book Club was recently formed by four women in a retirement village who love to read. Our apartments are small and four fit nicely and are easy for the hostess to prepare snacks (and wine of course). We also find a small number allows more flexibility in rescheduling meetings due to an “age appropriate” number of doctor”s appointments. While our residents are generally lovely, all 200+, there are some with very dominant personalities, smarter than the rest of us, so limiting to four book lovers maintains control and makes it special and very comfortable. We four have bonded into a deep friendship that has become more than a book club. So for those who say they don’t know enough people to start a book club, try just 4! Thanks for your great ideas👏👏👏

  34. Image for Mary Doucette Mary Doucette

    I am in a wonderful book club. We just read "The Women." Many of us are nurses. Same age as Frankie and a couple of us almost enlisted back in 65-69. I was trying for an army scholarship for college but lost out to another woman. I often wondered what happened to her. I also wonder what my life would have been like if I had won that scholarship. This book is a very true reflection of many of the experiences of the women .

  35. Image for Pamela McGowan Pamela McGowan

    Thank you, all- I love book recommendations!!! I can't wait 2 get started!! I just finished, The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore. It is about an insane asylum in Jacksonville, Il which I grew up about an hour away from and remember as a kid, people talking about - the nut house in Jacksonville. It is a true story in the 1800's when women could not speak out- could not have an opinion and men were admitting their wives to this sanitorium because they could not control them. Kate Moore also wrote , "Radium Girls", another great true story. Another one I would like to share as a great read- "When Crickets Cry" by Charles Martin. Whirled Peas!!

  36. Image for Cathie Price Cathie Price

    Forgot to mention Tiny Book Club books. We are all 80 year old or on the doorsteps, and have read a lot of books. We have categories: classics, southern writers, biographies, memoirs, Christmas, fiction, historic fiction, humor, crime—-you get the idea. Our first book was from the southern writers category, Eudora Welty's “One Writers Beginnings” which included a tour of her home in Jackson, MS. Our next favorite among southern writers will be Pat Conroy, great South Carolina author of both Beach Music and Prince of Tides. I know everyone loved The Nightingale, but a little tired of WWII tho appreciate the horror and bravery. One of my personal favorites is The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini (book better than movie). We will share more and look for more from you all.

  37. Image for Linda Linda

    Loved your article and book recommendations; I've read a couple of your suggestions and am really looking forward to reading the others!

  38. Image for Ann Ann

    I agree with your mother; I did not like Midnight Library. One of my favorites our book club read is 2nd Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore. It is historical fiction about a Hollywood socialite who contracts leprosy and is sent to a leprosy colony in Louisiana. It's excellent!

  39. Image for Lor Lor

    I LOVED The Midnight Library too!! Soo good!!! What life could have been... Any other recs like that one? I also love books about women owning their power. Going to read Remarkably Bright Creatures when my hold comes in.

  40. Image for gail w turner gail w turner

    I have read so many books over the years that most of them blend together in my memories. But The Four Winds by Kristen Hannnah stands out ever though I read this book five years ago. At the recommendation of my best friend I listened to Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt and totally enjoyed. I love garage sales which is a great place to find an inexpensive new read. All of your recommendations are now on my " to read list." Thanks Karianne. Can't wait to see what your plans are for your Book Club party.

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