Whether you’ve been wanting to start a book club or are just looking for a great new read, we’ve found a bunch of page turners—from new releases to buzzworthy picks—to make the choice a little bit easier.
Grab your wine and cheese, round up the book club and get ready to devour one of these masterpieces.
For fans of murder mysteries and romance
If you’re looking for one of those stories you just can’t put down—honestly, you won’t need more than a week to finish this one—pick up Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 54 weeks.
Set on the North Carolina coast in the ’50s and ’60s, Barkley Cove residents have barely tolerated the mysterious young “Marsh Girl” Kya Clark, but when beloved local Chase Andrews is murdered, suspicion and rumor immediately make Kya the main suspect.
The melodic and electric energy of this story is driven by its protagonist, Kya. Though Chase Andrews’ murder kicks off this novel, the trial is background noise compared to the chapters about Kya’s life, abandoned to the marsh. And all the small town drama surpasses petty, cliché tropes.
Book club discussion starter: Was Chase’s murder justified?
For fans of the occult and outsiders
Yale’s well known for its secret societies and for producing some pretty powerful alumni (like George W. Bush and John Kerry), which makes New York Times bestselling author and Yale alum Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy, Six of Crows duology) the perfect person to bring the dark whimsy and intricate twists of Ninth House to life.
New Haven is more than just a hotspot for Ivy Leaguers, it’s a nexus of power. For centuries, these “Ancient Eight” secret societies have practiced magic—including performing prognications on hobos and using drugs to make acolytes of other students—and Lethe, the ninth house, has watched over their rituals and protected the public from their secrets.
When Galaxy “Alex” Stern is recruited by Lethe after waking up in the hospital as the only surviving member of a horrific massacre, she offered a spot at Yale—maybe because she has the uncanny ability to see ghosts. But something strange is happening with the supernatural in New Haven, and when a normal girl, who seems to have ties to multiple societies despite not being a student, is murdered, Alex finds herself being hunted. And when her partner/mentor goes missing, she realizes there’s powerful people who will stop at nothing to keep their occult activities hidden.
Book club discussion starter: If you could leverage the power and magic of secret societies, what boundaries would you not cross?
For fans of thrillers and adrenaline
You’re on the way to work when your phone rings. A stranger has kidnapped your child and in order for your child to be safely returned, you need to kidnap someone else’s child. If you don’t follow these instructions, your child will be killed. You are now a part of the chain.
When Rachel’s daughter is kidnapped, she struggles to do the unthinkable: Find a child to kidnap. She has to keep the chain going, but she finds herself conflicted when it seems like might not be the only one looking for a way to break free.
Adrian McKinty’s The Chain is every parent’s nightmare, and it’ll force you to take an introspective look at your boundaries—then throw them all out the window when it comes to your child. This clever idea delivers ruthless twists that’ll stick with you long after you’ve finished.
Book club discussion starter: Would you attempt to break the chain if it meant placing your child in grave danger?
For fans of family drama, secrets and small towns
Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere lights up Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland filled with paper houses and families, like the Richardsons. When the Richardsons rent a house to Mia Warren and her teenage daughter, Pearl, the two families’ lives become intertwined.
As the two families’ children grow closer, across town another family attempts to adopt a Chinese-American baby which creates a custody battle that divides the residents of Shaker Heights. Finding themselves on opposite sides of the debate, Mrs. Richardson digs deeper into Mia’s past and discovers just why her tenant is a staunch supporter of the baby’s birth mother—which may just rip both their families apart.
Little Fires Everywhere is currently being made as a limited series for Hulu starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
Book club discussion starter: If you were in Mia’s position, would you have made the same choices after her brother died?