Book Club: Reading List


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Art of Heartbeats by  Jan-Philipp Sendker
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
This is Where I leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
[endimages]If you’re a member of a book club, you know how amazing they can be. Surrounding yourself with interesting, intelligent women who get together periodically to discuss writing – with a side of wine and laughter – always leads to a day or evening well spent! Of course, choosing a good book is an important step in facilitating a successful book club meeting. Here are some reading suggestions that will hopefully strike your fancy and spark wonderful conversation:

  • The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins): Get ready for a page-turner with this novel, set in the suburbs of London. Told from the perspective of several characters, this book revolves around a missing woman and the mystery and key players that surround her disappearance. 
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger): Once you get used to the style of this book and its unique chronicling of time, you’ll be captivated by the love story of Henry and Clare, a time-traveling librarian and his artist wife who attempt to navigate the world in the face of a challenging and often dangerous ability Henry possesses. (Those who live or have lived in Chicago will especially enjoy this book, as it’s set there!)
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (Jan-Philipp Sendker): You’ll believe in the power of love after reading this novel, set in Burma and following a daughter who’s traveled to her father’s native land to learn about the past that he’d always kept secret.
  • Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri): Short stories, I’ve found, can often be a great format for book club books. They’re digestible, and offer variety through their many storylines. Lahiri is an expert storyteller, weaving together the cultures of India and America in both heartwarming and heartbreaking ways in this collection of nine short stories.
  • Cutting For Stone (Abraham Verghese): Twins tend to share a special bond, and Ethiopian-born Marion and Shiva Stone are no exception. Cutting For Stone follows the lives of these boys-turned-men and the struggles they face – both together and separately. 
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (Maria Semple): This book is on the lighter side, and walks such a perfect line between comedic and touching. Main character Bernadette is lovable and infuriating and ambitious and obsessive all at once, and her sudden disappearance allows her daughter, Bee, to learn important things about her mother.
  • This Is Where I Leave You (Jonathan Tropper): Both hilarious and tragic, this raw novel brings to light the importance of family amidst crisis, and reminds readers that there are almost always new things to learn about people you think you know well.
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (Mindy Kaling): This book, I think, should be required reading for all women. Though the hard copy is excellent, this is one instance where an audiobook – read by the author, in this case – is far superior. Kaling chronicles her life to date in this funny, insightful, and touching autobiography, and you’ll feel like you have a best friend talking to you while reading or listening to the book. 
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories (BJ Novak): If you’re in the mood for short stories of the lighter variety for next month’s book club read, this is your book, for sure. Novak writes humorous tales about everything from going on a date with a warlord to a hare obsessed with a rematch with a tortoise to how life can change thanks to a box of Frosted Flakes.

Photo: Viktor Hanacek