The best novels to make you wish you joined that book club

Vered Hazanchuk Author Of Life As An Almost
By Vered Hazanchuk

Who am I?

I love book club. If I could make it a requirement for everyone in the universe to give it a try, I would. I was an English major in college, so that feeling of ending an amazing story and needing someone to discuss it with never fully went away. All book club books should be thought-provoking, but the best add that intricate and wholehearted understanding, I think, that only literature can. Why do the characters you least understood or felt a kinship with suddenly have your heart, what do they want, need, feel, think? I hope these novels help you better understand. The who and what are beside the point. 


I wrote...

Life As An Almost

By Vered Hazanchuk,

Book cover of Life As An Almost

What is my book about?

Evie Mission is a survivor. A fiery, young woman who grew up in the foster care system, she is just trying to figure out what living a “normal” life even means. When Evie finds out her cerebral palsy dates back to her biological mother’s back-alley abortion attempt, her orderly world is turned upside down and she embarks on a journey to find answers. But finding answers means the one thing she’s dreading more than anything: finding her mother. 

Told through alternating narration, Life As An Almost is a poignant, timely story about mothers, daughters, and what we expect from the people we call family.

The books I picked & why

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The Home for Unwanted Girls

By Joanna Goodman,

Book cover of The Home for Unwanted Girls

Why this book?

I think I’ll be recommending this book to people until the end of time. It’s just so, so good.

What I love most about it is it brings a forgotten part of history to life: a time when orphanages in 1950s Quebec misdiagnosed children as mentally ill to qualify for the better funding allocated to psychiatric hospitals. An obscure moment in history, generations of family scandals and secrets, and a forbidden love story? Yes, please.

The Home for Unwanted Girls

By Joanna Goodman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Home for Unwanted Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Push

By Ashley Audrain,

Book cover of The Push

Why this book?

Psych thrillers are always a solid choice for something people will want to talk about, and The Push is no different. This one was a huge page-turner for me. It’s one of those books that has you second-guessing the narrator just when you begin to think you’ve figured out what’s really going on. It’s about a mother and a daughter who have trouble bonding, and well, that’s really all I can say without giving it all away. Don’t worry. Picking apart all the intricacies of these characters is what book club is for.  

The Push

By Ashley Audrain,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Push as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | A New York Times bestseller!

"Utterly addictive." -Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

"Hooks you from the very first page and will have you racing to get to the end."-Good Morning America

A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family-and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for-and everything she feared

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of…

The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett,

Book cover of The Dutch House

Why this book?

I’ll admit, I’m a die-hard Ann Patchett fan. She could write instructions on how to run a dishwasher and I’d probably read it. The Dutch House was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is particularly elegant. It’ll make for a great conversation about what drives some life-changing decisions, the reliability (or unreliability) of memory, and the complexity of family. Plus, the audiobook version is narrated by Tom Hanks. If that’s not enough to get people through a book, I really don’t know what is. 

The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Dutch House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lose yourself in the story of a lifetime - the unforgettable Sunday Times bestseller 'Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature' Guardian Nominated for the Women's Prize 2020 A STORY OF TWO SIBLINGS, THEIR CHILDHOOD HOME, AND A PAST THAT THEY CAN'T LET GO. Like swallows, like salmon, we were the helpless captives of our migratory patterns. We pretended that what we had lost was the house, not our mother, not our father. We pretended that what we had lost had been taken from us by the person who still lived inside. In the…

The Two-Family House

By Lynda Cohen Loigman,

Book cover of The Two-Family House

Why this book?

This book has everything a book club could ask for. Characters that you love, even when maybe you shouldn’t. Relationships that seem both familiar and endlessly fascinating. An epic dilemma that resonates and flourishes until the very end. It’ll definitely have you wondering, what would I do? At the end of the day, that question is all you really need for a lively book club discussion. 

The Two-Family House

By Lynda Cohen Loigman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Two-Family House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brooklyn, 1947: in the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born minutes apart to two women. They are sisters by marriage with an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic night; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and their once deep friendship begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost but not quite wins.

The Secret History

By Donna Tartt,

Book cover of The Secret History

Why this book?

I didn’t read this one with a book club, but I really wish I did! The moment I put it down, I wanted to discuss it with someone. At times there’s a sinister, cult-like storyline that you just have to figure out and yet want nothing to do with, at others it’s a relatable group of characters you just want to invite over for a cup of coffee and help them straighten out their lives. In other words, this book has loads for you to talk about. 

The Secret History

By Donna Tartt,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Secret History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BESTSELLER THAT DEFINED AN AGE

'Everything, somehow, fit together; some sly and benevolent Providence was revealing itself by degrees and I felt myself trembling on the brink of a fabulous discovery, as though any morning it was all going to come together---my future, my past, the whole of my life---and I was going to sit up in bed like a thunderbolt and say oh! oh! oh!'

Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries.…


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