Book Club Titles
Below are just a handful of suggested titles for Book Clubs, selected by The Big Book Club Getaway team. Each of these authors participated in the premiere event and discussed their work. Many of these authors have written multiple novels that would be great book club reads.
GUT BUCKET BLUES by Anita August
This book is the story of a precocious boy who lives in a blues bar called in the French Quarter of New Orleans. His quest for self-identity is compromised by the destruction force of his father, a blues god, and ghost conjurer. Anita August draws a remarkable portrait of the musicality of African American oral vernacular traditions and the myths and poetry of New Orleans.
THE FOREMOST GOOD FORTUNE by Susan Conley
Conley and her family say goodbye to Portland, Maine and travel to Beijing for the next two years ready to grow as a family by experiencing a different lifestyle and culture. Life in China requires monumental adjustments and then Conley learns that she has cancer. A beautiful read celebrating family, mortality and a courageous young woman. Listed as an Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick.
A VIOLET SEASON by Kathy Leonard Czepiel
The violet industry is booming in 1898, and a Hudson Valley farm owned by the Fletcher family is turning a generous profit for its two oldest brothers. But Ida Fletcher, married to the black sheep youngest brother, has taken up wet nursing to help pay the bills, and her daughter, Alice, has left school to work. As they risk losing their share of the farm, the two women make increasingly great sacrifices for their family’s survival, sacrifices that will set them against each other in a lifelong struggle for honesty and forgiveness. A Violet Season is the story of an unforgettable mother-daughter journey in a time when women were just waking to their own power and independence. Language is rich and detailed. Historical fiction at its best!
WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA by Carlos Eire
Winner of the National Book Award, Eire writes a powerful memoir detailing his exile from Cuba at the early age of 11. Along with 14,000 children, Eire was airlifted out of Cuba during the revolution. His spirit however, never leaves his native land even after becoming a “modern American man”. A moving story not easily forgotten.
COME AND FIND ME by Hallie Ephron
Computer security expert and reformed hacker Diana Highsmith has not ventured beyond her home for more than a year—not since that fateful climbing vacation in Switzerland took Daniel’s life. Haunted by the sound of Daniel’s cries echoing across the gorge as he fell, Diana cannot stop thinking about the life they’ll never have—grief that has transformed her into a recluse.
Diana doesn’t have to shut herself off completely from the world, though; she and Daniel’s best friend run a thriving Internet security company. From her home, in her pajamas, Diana assesses security breaches, both potential and real, and offers clients a way to protect themselves from hackers—the kind of disruptions Diana herself used to create. Once Diana has a game plan she is able to meet with clients in OtherWorld, an Internet-based platform, using Nadia, an avatar she created for herself. Diana knows she’ll have to rejoin the “real world” eventually, but right now a few steps from her door each morning is all she can handle.
When Diana’s sister goes missing, however, she is forced to do the impossible: brave both the outside world and her own personal demons to find her sister. As one step outside leads to another, Diana soon discovers that she is following a trail fraught with danger—and uncovering a web of deceit and betrayal, both online and real-life, that threatens not only her sister’s life, but her own.
LAST TO DIE by Tess Gerritsen
This is Tess Gerritsen’s tenth Rizzoli and Isles crime series novel and is mandatory reading. Fantasy comes to life as three surviving orphans of different family massacres connive to bring down the killer. Suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat!
CITY OF WOMEN by David Gillham
An excellent first novel going back in time to the height of World War ll as men in Berlin are fighting and dying while the women carry on. Sigrid, a German soldier’s wife, finds herself immersed in an underground Resistance world and her life is turned upside dawn. A compelling read saturated with gripping suspense, romance and secrets.
THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER by Patricia Harman
Set in Appalachia during the Depression, midwife Patience Murphy finds herself in rural West Virginia attending the births of the rich and poor. The reader feels the miracle of birth and Patience’s story is fascinating as she ministers to a surprisingly diverse community.
Honest, moving and beautifully detailed, this book rings with authenticity. From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attention of the Ku Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light and life into an otherwise hard world. The novel details the past and gives hope to a future embracing the goodness of humanity.
LEFT FOR DEAD by J.A. Jance
The latest in the popular Ali Reynolds series, this book is a must have. Arizona’s troubled border with Mexico as a backdrop for a story in which one of Al’s classmates from the Arizona Police Academy is shot, and then suspected of participating in cross border drug trade. Excitement from the first page on.
THE MERMAID COLLECTOR by Erika Marks
More than a century ago, lighthouse keeper Linus Harris left his beloved wife and waded into the ocean with three other men to reunite with their mermaid lovers. The mysterious Mermaid Mutiny of 1888 has become legend for the residents of Cradle Harbor, Maine, honored by the town’s Mermaid Festival every August, when wind chimes are hung from seaside porches to drown out the alluring sound of mermaid song.
For thirty-five-year-old Tess Patterson, the legend is more than folklore; it’s proof of life’s magic. A hopeless romantic who is profoundly connected to the ocean in which she lost her mother, Tess ekes out a living as a wood-carver and longs to find a love as mystical as the sea. But when she’s hired to carve the commemorative mermaid sculpture for the coming festival, a chance to win the town’s elusive acceptance might finally be in her grasp.
For Tom Grace, life’s magic was lost at eighteen, when the death of his parents left him to care for his reckless brother, Dean. Now thirty-five and the new owner of Cradle Harbor’s prized lightkeeper’s house, Tom hopes the quiet town will calm Dean’s self-destructive ways. But when Tom discovers Tess working on her sculpture, an unlikely and passionate affair ignites between them that just might be the stuff of legend itself—even as it brings to the surface a long-buried secret that could tear everything apart.
THE INNER CIRCLE by Brad Meltzer
Beecher White, a young archivist, spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government. He has always been the keeper of other people’s stories, never a part of the story himself…
When Clementine Kaye, Beecher’s first childhood crush, shows up at the National Archives asking for his help tracking down her long-lost father, Beecher tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the President of the United States privately reviews classified documents. After they accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact – a 200 hundred-year-old dictionary that once belonged to George Washington, hidden underneath a desk chair, Beecher and Clementine find themselves suddenly entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder.
Soon a man is dead, and Beecher is on the run as he races to learn the truth behind this mysterious national treasure. His search will lead him to discover a coded and ingenious puzzle that conceals a disturbing secret from the founding of our nation. It is a secret, Beecher soon discovers, that some believe is worth killing for.
Gripping, fast-paced, and filled with the fascinating historical detail for which he is famous, THE INNER CIRCLE is a thrilling novel that showcases a brilliant author writing at the height of his craft. Any of Meltzer’s books make great book club reads!
SONGS IN ORDINARY TIME by Mary McGarry Morris
Songs in Ordinary Time takes place in Vermont in 1960. A strong but vulnerable woman whose loneliness and ambition for her children make her easy prey for a dangerous man. This book is a masterful epic; an Oprah Book Club selection which is pure magic and more than worthy of its many awards.
THE OTHER WOMAN by Hank Phillippi Ryan
A new series is created by author Ryan to introduce us to reporter Jane Ryland. After being fired by her TV station, she lands a job on a Boston newspaper with the help of police detective Brogan. Determined to claw her way back, Jane finds interesting implications in a political campaign trail. Soon tensions build as she discovers her interest in Detective Brogan is more than business. Meanwhile bodies keep turning up in the Charles River and some think it the work of a serial killer. Our detective disagrees. This is the novel we will be discussing at Books and Bars; mandatory reading!
JUST LET ME LIE DOWN by Kristen Van Ogtrop
A collection of hilarious work/life words to live by written by the Managing Editor of Real Simple Magazine, this book is filled with madcap parenting moments in the life of a working mother. The reader shares all the printed word and is enticed to turn each page faster and faster. You will whip through this delightful book in a few days…have fun!