I’m in two book clubs and can assure those who aren’t participating in such a group that it’s both rewarding and potentially frustrating. The other members always help me see a book from a different perspective and add to its value. Moreover, I enjoy the people. However, when it’s my turn to pick, it can be difficult to pick something I’d like to read but which would also be a good choice for the others. Here are some ideas.
Book Club Favorites: 6 Books We Can’t Wait to Talk about This Year
January 18 2021 BY HOLLY CLAYTOR
As a full-time book enthusiast, there is no better time of the month for me than the day I get to sit down with my fellow literary friends and chat up a storm over our book club selection. Taking a deep dive into character development, eminent themes, and author inspiration is true excitement for a bookworm like me and the members of Simon & Schuster’s Book Club Favorites program. Each month, we host a lively discussion, which often features the author of the choice title too. With the dawn of a new year, I am eager to read and discuss a full list of new books. Below are just some titles Book Club Favorites will be reading and chatting about this year. Be sure to join the club for exclusive bookish content and all the resources your club needs to spark an exciting discussion of your own.
WHITE IVY by Susie Yang is the very first title that Book Club Favorites will be discussing in 2021. This stunning debut novel traces the life of a Chinese-American girl and her dark obsession with one classmate. Ivy Lin’s immigrant grandmother teaches her that stealing is the quickest way to blend in with the white upper-class town they live in. With this in mind, Ivy builds a web of lies as she works her way into the close-knit circle of her elitist crush. This novel is perfect for book clubs because it offers incredible insight into the immigrant experience and an exploration of class and race in America. As your club reads this story, ask yourself this question: Why does Ivy struggle so much with embracing her Chinese culture?
As a big fan of Fredrik Backman, I am always excited when a book club chooses to read his unique and intelligent novels. Fortunately, Book Club Favorites has his newest novel, ANXIOUS PEOPLE, slated for later this year. When an apartment open house turns into a hostage situation, eight anxious and chaotic strangers are forced to discover that they have more in common than they could have imagined. Each hostage carries their own pain and secrets, which unfold throughout the story. Here is one important point to discuss with your club: Character development and understanding of human nature is central in this story. How did your opinions about the characters change throughout the novel?
If your book club loves a good psychological thriller, then I have the book for you! MIRRORLAND is a dark and twisted story of twin sisters, El and Cat, who, as children, invented an imaginary place under their pantry stairs, referred to as Mirrorland. Years later, when El mysteriously goes missing during a sailing excursion, Cat is forced to return to their childhood home, which is filled with creepy hidden corners and dark secrets from their past. Someone has left clues for Cat all over the house, leading her straight into Mirrorland once again. Publishing in April of this year, MIRRORLAND is a hair-raiser you’ll want to be on the lookout for. The book opens with a quote from The Count of Monte Cristoabout the power of imagination. With your group, discuss how this epigraph relates to the girls’ ability to adapt to extreme circumstances and trauma.
What would you do if you woke as a version of your future self, next to a new man in an entirely different apartment than the one you live in now? That is exactly the premise of IN FIVE YEARS. Dannie Kohan spends one hour exactly five years in the future before reawakening in her present-day life. This is a story about self-discovery and life choices that will have you grasping the tissue box. Think about this topic with your club: Dannie is driven by structure in her life and her career as a corporate lawyer, but power is taken out of her hands as the novel progresses. How does Dannie deal with this lack of control?
Speaking of time travel, FAYE, FARAWAY is a highly anticipated and book club–friendly novel publishing this month. Faye’s mother died when she was just seven years old, and she has yet to get over the intense pain of losing her. But one day, when she is 36, Faye is suddenly given a chance to reconnect with her mother when she travels back in time to 1977. Faye’s mother does not recognize Faye as her daughter, and the two women quickly become close friends. These beautiful moments Faye shares with her mother make it only harder for her to leave the past. She knows that soon enough she must make the most difficult decision she has been faced with. Something to consider within your own book club: How does losing her mother at such a young age define Faye and affect how she raises her own daughters?