Two months ago while we were in Disney, my mom mentioned that her book club was deciding on their next book and asked me for recommendations. I thought about a few ideas on the spot and have added some more since then. These are all books that I have personally read and loved. For each one, I desperately wished someone had been reading with me so we could discuss each of the plot points and plot twists and by the end, compare how we would have reacted or what decisions we would have made if we were the characters.
I always worry about making recommendations because I realize others may not like the book as much as I did or may even hate it. So, take this list with a grain of salt and I’ll try not to be too devastated if you don’t love these selections as much as I do :). Also, no worries about spoilers below. I HATE finding anything out ahead of time, so I’ll not be doing that to any of my readers!
In no particular order, here are my suggestions:
Room by Emma Donaghue – A kidnapped mother raises her son within the confines of the one, tiny room in which they are forced to live. Did she make the right choices with how she raised her child? What do you think of the little boy’s reactions to his changing world?
The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty. Multiple families’ lives are intertwined based on a number of individual, sometimes seemingly insignificant decisions. How would the story change if different decisions were made? How have your small or last-minute decisions affected yourself or others?
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. The story of Louis Zamperini’s unbelievable life, from Olympic runner to World War II prisoner. It can be brutal at times, but it’s well worth the read. There’s also a faith aspect that would be interesting to explore.
The House at Riverton or The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Both novels are perfect for lover’s of historical fiction, particularly England in the WWI and WWII era. Discuss the characters and their lives and whether anyone predicted the intriguing plot twists.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. A handicapped man and his family hire a new caretaker who immediately clashes with him. A heart-wrenching story of how far you would go to make someone happy. This novel brings up a number of ethical questions that would make for excellent discussion.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova. The moving story of a woman who discovers she has Alzheimer’s and her struggle to deal with the progression of the disease. There is lots of material to talk about…caring for / interacting with someone with Alzheimer’s, the decision whether or not to have kids if you have the disease, whether you would be tested if you discovered a parent is diagnosed.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman– A light-keeper and his wife make a fateful decision after a baby and a dead man wash up in a boat on the island that has become their home. How would you handle the situations that pop up throughout the novel from the perspective of each of the different characters?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This is a bit of a stretch, but I just have to include it! I devoured this book and am recommending it for anyone who appreciates board games, video games, and/or 80’s pop culture. The vast majority of this book takes place in a virtual reality game as the characters participate in a treasure hunt.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion– Simply enough, a peculiar man tries to find himself a wife with the aid of a rather lengthy questionnaire. What questions would you include in a “perfect mate” questionnaire? Is Rosie a good match? Are Don’s standards too high?
If you’ve read any of these, share what you thought of them! What other books would you add to the list?