Book Club Bag Titles

Book Club Bag Titles

 

Fiction

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All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
When an affluent high school senior circulates a photo of an unconscious fellow student in a compromising position, two families are thrown into crisis. “A compelling family story that brings up plenty of issues ripe for discussion.” (Library Journal)

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An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Consistently rated one of 2018’s Best Books, An American Marriage explores what happens to a married couple when one is incarcerated, and one is left to pick up the pieces. “A tense and timely love story—packed with brave questions about race and class.” (People)

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Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
This understated, poignant novel spans four decades and two families’ legacies of mental illness, love, forgiveness, and secrets. “Thoughtful and compassionate.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
After Afra’s and Nuri’s home in Syria is bombed, killing their son and blinding Afra, the couple set off across Europe to England, where they await the documents they need to start a new life in America. Nuri dreams of resuming his trade as a beekeeper, while Afra comes to terms with the end of her artistic pursuits. “Deeply affecting.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

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Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Based on true events, this novel tells the story of two Southern families--one in rural Tennessee in the 1930s, and one in current-day South Carolina--whose fates are intertwined because of the Tennessee Children's Home Society. "Riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting." (Library Journal)

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Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera
In 1924 South Carolina, the land around the Cole Plantation has been devastated by a boll weevil infestation. Three women, all connected to the Plantation, join to seek justice for themselves and their families. “Richly rendered and engrossing, Spera's debut is a powerful look at the lives of women in the early twentieth-century Deep South.” (Booklist)

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The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton
A past-and-present novel set in the summer of 1862 at an artists’ colony in England and in present day London. Elodie, an archivist, discovers a leather pouch containing a photograph of a woman in Victorian clothing and a sketch of a manor house. Her inexplicable familiarity with the house leads her to a long-kept secret leading back to that fateful summer. “A story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love, and loss.” (Atria Books)

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Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
An oral history of a fictional rock band in the 1970s, narrated by a colorful cast of characters and including “interviews” of band members looking back on their experience with fame, fortune, and failure. “A humane, delectable, rollicking novel.” (BookPage)

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
A transformative character novel featuring 30 year-old Eleanor, socially awkward and misunderstood, whose courage to change and come to terms with her past will inspire us all. "Wacky, charming, hilarious, and moving." (People Magazine)

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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Nikki becomes their teacher, but the writing project she envisioned is put aside when the women find a book of erotic short stories and want to write their own. The mystery of a missing woman adds a riveting subplot. “A charming debut...a sparkling read.” (Publishers Weekly)

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The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
A young woman confronts the still-unsolved triple homicide that orphaned her and the siblings she never knew. As Libby explores the Chelsea mansion where her parents died and investigates what happened the night she was left alone in the home as an infant, her siblings make their way to London one by one, finally ready to confront their shared past. “Distinct, well-developed characters, shifting points of view, and a disturbing narrative that pulses with life.” (Publishers Weekly)

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The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger
In Crystal, Colorado, the school district is building a magnet school for the brightest, most gifted students in the area. A group of Crystal parents will be tested, divided, and put back together differently because of the stress, competition, and drama of this school. Outstanding characters, from the parents to the children, are a highlight of this engrossing novel. “Given recent college-admission scandals, Holsinger's tale about money, connections, and education couldn't be more timely." (Booklist)

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The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
A compelling novel of five maverick women who defied the cultural conventions of their Kentucky community to bring literacy to rural families. Recently arrived from England and struggling to adjust to life with her cold husband and his tyrannical father, Alice Van Cleve jumps at the chance to work for a new traveling library service started by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. For families living in the mountains, Alice and four other women become not only a link to learning, but compassionate friends. “An homage to the power of reading and the strength of community.” (Booklist)

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The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson
Among her grandmother’s possessions, a woman discovers finely embroidered flowers that are just like those on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown, and she sets out to find the connection. “A fascinating glimpse into the world of design, the healing power of art, and the importance of women’s friendships.” (Kirkus)

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The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
A novel of family, friends, and connections set in mid-1980s Chicago and pre-WWI and present-day Paris. After a mysterious disease called AIDS takes his friend Nico’s life, Yale turns his focus to his burgeoning art career, boosted by Nico’s great-aunt and her priceless collection. Thirty years later, Nico’s sister Fiona tries to reconnect with her estranged daughter in Paris. “A tribute to the enduring forces of love and art.” (Publishers Weekly)

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Starr Carter is 16 when her childhood friend is killed by a police officer. She is the only witness, and as her testimony before a Grand Jury draws near, Starr feels the strain of her two lives: that of her working-class, mostly black neighborhood, and her nearly all-white, elite prep school in another town. “This story is necessary. This story is important.” (Kirkus)

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How To Walk Away by Katherine Center
Margaret has everything to look forward to: an upcoming marriage, a career she loves, and years of happiness--until an accident changes everything. This book will appeal to fans of Me Before You. “A heartfelt guide to living the fullest possible life.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

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Inland by Tea Obreht
Two interwoven narratives told by characters living in the harsh Arizona Territory in 1893. As her husband searches for water to save their ranch from drought, Nora handles the land, the animals, and the children with their strange, supernatural leanings. Meanwhile, Toby, a drifter, makes his way across the desert with a camel, hoping to save the Southwest. “Obreht suspensefully reimagines an extraordinary American West filled with larger-than-life characters.” (Library Journal)

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The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
Mi-ja and Young-sook meet in 1939 on the Korean island of Jeju, where they train as haenyeo (ocean divers). A close bond forms and lasts for many years but is eventually broken when one betrays the other in the difficult years after WWII. Decades later, Mi-ja and her family confront the elderly Young-sook. “See's lush tale is a wonderful ode to a truly singular group of women.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Set in Shaker Heights Ohio, a riveting novel of a respected family thrown into chaos by a mother and daughter's arrival in their community and involvement in a custody battle. "A magnificent, multilayered epic." (Library Journal)

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The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne
A haunting suspense novel set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, narrated by a woman raised in captivity who now quests to bring her father to justice using the tracking skills he taught her. "Well-crafted, eerie, and unnerving." (Library Journal)

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Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
After an experimental hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber explodes, killing a young boy who was being treated for autism, a court battle ensues between the chamber operators—a family recently immigrated from Korea—and the boy’s mother. “A masterfully plotted novel about the joys and pains of motherhood, the trick mirror nature of truth, and the unforgiving nature of justice.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
A family saga tracing six decades in the lives of two sisters. Jo is an unconventional girl in the ‘60s--athletic and assertive--while Bethie is pretty, kind, and the apple of their mother’s eye. Jo’s decision not to follow her heart, but to live a conventional life, and Bethie’s struggle to recover from abuse shape their adult lives in ways neither could have imagined. “Weiner tugs every heartstring with this vivid tale.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
A neighborhood book club meeting takes a sinister turn when Angelica Roux--younger, sexier, and far more enigmatic than the other members--arrives unannounced. Instead of discussing the book of the month, Angelica wants to play a game where everyone shares the worst thing they've ever done. The problem is, Angelica already knows what Amy will say, and she's prepared to make her pay to be quiet. But Angelica underestimates Amy's determination to protect her family from her past. “Jackson incorporates nail-biting suspense into her trademark southern family dramas.” (Booklist)

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The Only Woman In the Room by Marie Benedict
A novelization of actress Hedy Lamarr’s fascinating life, including her brilliance as a scientist and inventor. After escaping an abusive husband and growing fascism in Austria, Hedy began her film career in Los Angeles and eventually designed a torpedo system for use by Allied forces. “Benedict paints a shining portrait of a complicated woman who knows the astonishing power of her beauty but longs to be recognized for her sharp intellect.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen
In 1965, Alice Weiss is a young woman trying to make her way into the magazine business. Taking a job as secretary to Helen Gurley Brown, the editor who oversaw Cosmopolitan’s transformation from literary magazine to feminist journal, Alice evolves from doe-eyed midwesterner to resilient and capable New Yorker. “An ode to idealized 1960s New York.” (Booklist)

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A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
At the joyous wedding of their eldest daughter, an Indian-American couple must come to terms with choices they’ve made and how those choices have directed their family story. “A tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging.” (Random House)

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‘Round Midnight by Laura McBride
Set in Las Vegas during the 1950s, ‘Round Midnight is the story of four women whose lives are interconnected in ways they couldn’t imagine. “Wise and heartbreaking, jubilant and loving.” (Touchstone Books)

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The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
The fictionalized story of how two courageous, resourceful women helped smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the Soviet Union, where it was banned literature, and how it became a tool for the CIA to influence American hearts and minds. “Prescott writes with astonishing assurance, enthralling readers with tales of secret agents and intrigue, love, and betrayal.” (Library Journal)

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The Silent Patient by Alexander Michaelides
Convicted of murdering her husband, artist Alicia hasn’t said a word in six years. Her new therapist at the secured forensic unit will do anything to break her silence—but why? “Emotionally chilling, and intense, with a twist that will make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat.” (Library Journal)

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A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
Told in reverse chronological order, this tense novel is set at a women’s health clinic, where a patient’s father has fired shots and held people hostage. “Picoult explores both sides of the abortion debate in this carefully crafted, utterly gripping tale, which acknowledges that there are no easy answers.” (Booklist)

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Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand
On Nantucket during the most tumultuous summer in American history, a mother and her four grown children each face personal and societal change. “Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family.” (Publishers Weekly)

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This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
The Walsh-Adams family is Rosie, Penn, and their five rambunctious sons. When the youngest, Claude, announces that he’d like to be a girl and asks to be called Poppy, the family must carefully navigate the road to a future for everyone. “Inspired by her own daughter's transition, Frankel tells Poppy's story with compassion and humor.” (Booklist)

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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Set in coastal North Carolina in the 1950s and 60s, a young girl comes of age abandoned and alone in the marshes, and is accused of murder when a young man is found dead. “An ode to the natural world, a coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.” (G.P. Putnam & Sons)

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The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
Within a Dallas clothing company, a sexual predator is about to become the CEO. After outing him on an anonymous blog, four women at the company unite to stop his promotion amid lawsuits, threats, a suspicious death, and their obligations as mothers. “A compulsively readable mystery with a strong message.” (Booklist)

 

Nonfiction

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Becoming by Michelle Obama
The former First Lady recounts her childhood, education, and tenure in the White House. “Intimate, powerful, and inspiring.” (Crown Publishing)

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Beneath the Tamarind Tree: a Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram by Isha Sesay
In 2014, militants abducted 276 girls from their school in Nigeria. Two years later, with the help of international activists, 21 girls were finally released. The author, who overcame terrorist resistance to educating women in parts of Africa, interviewed the girls and their families about their time in captivity and enlightens readers about how African affairs are reported in global media. “Sesay's sustained and many-faceted inquiry has resulted in her first book and the first comprehensive chronicle of this brazen crime against educated girls.” (Booklist)

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Educated by Tara Westover
The inspiring memoir from a woman raised by survivalists who educated herself, attended university, and eventually earned a Doctorate from Cambridge. “A gripping, intimate, sometimes shocking, yet ultimately inspiring work.” (School Library Journal)

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The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America by Karen Abbott
In Cincinnati in the 1920s, George Remus went from lawyer to Bootleg King, eventually owning 35% of all the whiskey in the U.S., with a grand mansion, lavish parties, and a flamboyant wife, Imogen. But his downfall came at the hands of prosecutor Mabel Willebrandt, who made charges stick.“Smart and delectable, a novelistic work of women's history.” (Booklist)

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I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers
The authors—one liberal and one conservative—help readers navigate political differences with grace and understanding. “A must-read and relevant text for anyone talking about today's politics.” (Library Journal)

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Inheritance: A Memoir of Paternity, Genealogy, and Love by Dani Shapiro
When the author casually sent off her saliva to Ancestry.com, she had no idea that the results of DNA testing would inform her that the father who raised her was not her biological father. The eastern European Jewish family she grew up in always joked about her blonde hair and blue eyes, but learning the truth of her paternity would rock the very foundations of Dani’s life. “This beautifully written, thought-provoking genealogical mystery will captivate readers from the very first pages.” (Publishers Weekly)