Books for book groups

Great books to read, book club or not.

I assembled this list for book groups or book lovers looking for something new to read and discuss — with an emphasis on the books being both well-written and discussable. You might enjoy "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith, for example, but it doesn't make for a great discussion. The titles are alphabetized by the first letter of the MAIN first word of the title, so you will find “A Fine Balance” in the F section, for example.

I've provided links below to other good lists from which to find book club selections. There's a particular emphasis in this list on fiction, although some nonfiction is included. (At a "summit" of book groups at Politics & Prose, we noticed that men's groups tended to read more nonfiction than women's groups do; one men's group alternated nonfiction books one month with sports events the next.) Your group might decide on a specialty--for example, science fiction, spiritual titles, history or current events and issues, classics, mostly fiction, maybe books you might tend not to read on your own but would read if you have a deadline and a group to discuss the book with).

Sometimes the "bad" or not-universally-favorite books provide the liveliest discussions, but I've tried to list books here that book clubs enjoyed reading and discussing. Let me know if I've left out any favorites of your book group.

Links below take you to the database, which is very helpful for telling you what the book is about and how some readers have reacted to it (and if you purchase something, this website gets a small commission). But do frequent your local booksellers, so we can keep bookstores alive. Here is also as good a place as any to thank the American library system, which allows us all to read more books than we can afford to buy. Many libraries also provide excellent general and specialized recommended reading lists and invite authors to speak. Save the American library system!

~Pat McNees

Great books for book clubs
Asterisks indicate books that have been particular favorites for discussion. Clicking on the title will take you to comments on a book. Buy a book from Amazon after first clicking on a link here to get to Amazon and we get an 2% to 6% referral fee. This helps cover fees for site hosting and link-checking.

• Accidental Tourist, The, by Anne Tyler
• After Long Silence, by Helen Fremont
• Alchemist, The, by Paulo Coelho
• All That Matters by Jan Goldstein
• All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
• All Passion Spent, by Vita Sackville-West
• All Over But the Shouting and Ava's Man, southern memoirs by Rick Bragg
• All the Names, by Josι Saramago
• Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The, by Michael Chabon
• American Pastoral, by Philip Roth**
• Amy and Isabelle, by Elizabeth Strout
• Anagrams, by Lorrie Moore
• An Equal Music, by Vikram Seth (wonderful in the audio version, in which you hear the music)
• Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt
• Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner**
• Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, by Lorna Landvik
• Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
• An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine. Listen to NPR interview, 'Unnecessary Woman' Lives On The Margins, Enveloped In Books
• Armadillo, by William Boyd
• Art of Mending, The, by Elizabeth Berg
• As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
• Assault, The, by Harry Mulisch
• At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen
• Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
• Atonement by Ian McEwan
• Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, The, by Barack Obama
• Autobiography of My Mother, by Jamaica Kincaid
• Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
• Back When We Were Grownups, by Anne Tyler
• Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
• Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
• Barn at the End of the World, by Mary Rose O’Reilly
• Beautiful Children: A Novel by Charles Bock
• Bed of Red Flowers--In Search of My Afghanistian, A, by Nelofer Pazira
• Be My Knife by David Grossman
• Bean Trees, The, by Barbara Kingsolver
• Bee Season by Myla Goldberg **
• Beet Queen, The, by Louise Erdrich
• Beginner's Luck by Laura Pedersen
• Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain by Michael Farquhar
• Bel Canto by Ann Patchett**
• Bell for Adano, A, by John Hersey
• Beloved, by Toni Morrison
• Bend in the River, A, by V. S. Naipaul
• Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralson (the Colorado climber who had to cut off his arm to survive)
• Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life, by Tim Russert
• Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
• Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
• Black Boy by Richard Wright
• Black Rain, by Masuji Ibuse
• Blessing Stone, The, by Barbara Wood
• Blind Assassin, The, by Margaret Atwood
• Blindness by Jose Saramago (listen to Myla Goldberg's comments--she read it three times--on All Things Considered)
• Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy (but it's hard going)
• Blue Angel, by Francine Prose
• Blue Blood by Edward Conlon
• Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald
• Bluest Eye, The, by Toni Morrison
• Bone People, The, by Keri Hulme **
• Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe
• Book of Ruth, The, by Jane Hamilton
• Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
• Breaking Clean by Judy Blunt
• Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
• Bridge of San Luis Rey, The, by Thornton Wilder
• Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene
• Brothers K, The, by David James Duncan
• Bucking the Sun by Ivan Doig
• Buddha of Suburbia, The, Hanif Kureishi
• Buffalo Soldier, The, by Chris Bohjalian
• Burnt-Out Case, A, by Graham Greene
• Cane River by Lalita Tademy
• Carry Me Across the Water by Ethan Canin
• Catcher in the Rye, The, by J.D. Salinger
• Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood
• Centaur in the Garden, The, by Moacyr Scliar
• Center of Everything, The by Laura Moriarty
• Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White
• Charming Billy, by Alice McDermott
• Cider House Rules, The, by John Irving
• Cities of the Plain, by Cormac McCarthy (part of the Border Trilogy, which includes All the Pretty Horses
• Clearing, The, by Tim Gautreaux
• Cloudsplitter, by Russell Banks
• Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
• Color of Water , The, by James McBride
• Color Purple, The, by Alice Walker
• Complete Stories, The by Flannery O'Connor
• Confessions of Nat Turner, The, by William Styron
• Continental Drift, by Russell Banks
• Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis de Bernieres
• Corrections, The, by Jonathan Franzen
• Crashing Through: The Extraordinary True Story of the Man Who Dared to See by Robert Kurson (about Mike May)
• Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner **
• Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
• Crucible, The, by Arthur Miller
• Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
• Crying of Lot 49, The, by Thomas Pynchon
• Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The, by Mark Haddon
• Custom of the Country, by Edith Wharton
• Cutting for Stone (a novel) by Abraham Verghese. (Here's an explanation of the title, Cutting for Stone .)

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• Damascus Gate, by Robert Stone
• Dancing at the Rascal Fair, by Ivan Doig
• Danish Girl, The, by David Ebershoff
• Da Vinci Code, The, by Dan Brown
• Daughter of Fortune, by Isabel Allende
• Day of the Locust, by Nathaniel West
• Dead Man Walking, by Sister Helen Prejean
• Death Be Not Proud, by John Gunther
• Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller**
• Death of Vishnu, The, by Manil Suri **
• Deep End of the Ocean, The, by Jacquelyn Mitchard
• Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
• Devil in the White City, The, by Erik Larson
• Dew Breaker, The, by Edwidge Danticat
• Dewey Defeats Truman, by Thomas Mallon
• Digging Out by Katherine Leiner
• Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler
• Disgrace, by J. M. Coetzee**
• Distinguished Guest, The, by Sue Miller
• Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells
• Doc, by Mary Doria Russell, a novel about Doc Holliday, best known for his friendship with Wyatt Earp
• Dogs of Babel, The, by Carolyn Parkhurst
• Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller
• Dream of Scipio, The, by Ian Pears
• Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, by Barack Obama
• Drowning Ruth, by Christina Schwarz
• Dry (or Running with Scissors) by Augusten Burroughs
• East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
• Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, by Elizabeth Gilbert
• Elegant Gathering of White Snows, The, by Kris Radish
• Elizabeth Costello, by J. Coetzee
• Emperor of Ocean Park, The, by Stephen L. Carter
• Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
• End of the Affair, The, by Graham Greene
• Enduring Love, by Ian McEwan
• English Patient, The, Michael Ondaatje
• Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton
• Eventide, by Kent Haruf
• Everyman, by Philip Roth
• Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Foer
• Eye Contact, by Cammie McGovern
• Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
• Fair and Tender Ladies, by Lee Smith
• Fall on Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald
• Family History, by Dani Shapiro
• Famished Road, The, by Ben Okri
• Fan's Notes, A, by Frederick Exley
• Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser
• Fasting, Feasting, by Anita Desai
• Felicia’s Journey, by William Trevor
• Fifth Business, by Robertson Davies
• Fine Balance, A, by Rohinton Mistry**
• For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, by Nathan Englander
• Founding Brothers, by Joseph J. Ellis
• Freedom, a novel by Jonathan Franzen
• Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee
• French Lieutenant’s Woman, The, by John Fowles
• Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Annie Flagg
• Full Cupboard of Life, The, by Alexander McCall Smith

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• Gesture Life, A, by Chang-Rae Lee
• Giants in the Earth, by O.E. Rφlvaag
• Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
• Ginger Tree, The, by Oswald Wynd
• Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
• Girl with a Pearl Earring, The, by Tracy Chevalier
• Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen
• Girls of Tender Age by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith. (Melissa Shook's review might be useful to discussion).
• Glass Castle, The: A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls
• Go Tell It on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
• God of Small Things, The, by Arundhati Roy
• Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
• Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
• Good Earth, The, by Pearl S. Buck
• Good Faith, by Jane Smiley
• Good German, The, by Joseph Kanon
• Good Husband, by Gail Godwin
• Grapes of Wrath, The, by John Steinbeck
• Grass Is Singing, The, by Doris Lessing
• Great Fire, The, by Shirley Hazzard
• Great Gatsby, The, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
• Great Santini, The, by Pat Conroy
• Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
• Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond
• Handmaid's Tale, The, by Margaret Atwood. See Margaret Atwood on What ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Means in the Age of Trump (NY Times, 3-10-17)
• Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling
• Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, by Alice Munro (short stories)
• Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, The, by Carson McCullers
• Heart of a Woman, The, by Maya Angelou
• Heart of the Matter, The, by Graham Greene
• Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, A, by Dave Eggers (discussable because self-indulgent)
• Heat and Dust, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
• Here on Earth, by Alice Hoffman
• History of Love, The, by Nicole Krauss
• Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America, by Eddie Joe Cotton
• Hopscotch, by Julio Cortazar
• Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
• Hours, The, by Michael Cunningham
• Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
• House for Mr. Biswas, A, by V. S. Naipaul
• House of Mirth, The by Edith Wharton
• House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus III**
• House of the Spirits, The, by Isabel Allende
• House of Women, by Lynn Freed
• Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
• How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez
• How To Be Good, by Nick Hornby
• Human Stain, The, by Philip Roth
• I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
• I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
• I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
• Icy Sparks, by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
• Independent People, by Halldor Laxness
• Inheritance of Loss, The, by Kerai Desai
• Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain
• In the Lake of the Woods, by Tim O’Brien
• In the Memory of the Forest, by Charles Powers
• Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
• In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson
• Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer
• Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer
• Intuition, by Allegra Goodman (about politics in science labs)
• Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson
• Jazz, by Toni Morrison
• Jesus’ Son, stories by Denis Johnson
• John Adams, by David McCullough
• Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy
• Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil, by Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson
• Killer Angels, The, by Michael Shaara (classic Civil War novel)
• Kite Runner, The, by Khaled Hosseini**
• Known World, The, by Edward P. Jones

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• The Lacuna (a novel) by Barbara Kingsolver
• Ladder of Years, by Anne Tyler
• Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, ed. Michael Lief (great closing arguments examine core issues in America)
• Larry’s Party, by Carol Shields
• Last Life, The, by Claire Messud
• Last Orders, by Graham Swift
• The Last Station by Jay Parini (a novel about the last year of Leo Tolstoy's life, inspired by diaries etc. from members of the household and his circle--with one thread about his fight with his wife about copyright on his works, which he wanted to give to "the people")
• Last Thing He Wanted, The, by Joan Didion
• Le Divorce by Diane Johnson
• Leap of Faith by Queen Noor
• Lesson Before Dying, A, by Ernest J. Gaines**
• Liar’s Club, The, by Mary Karr
• Libra, by Don DeLillo (fictional life of Lee Harvey Oswald)
• Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
• Life of Pi, by Yann Martel**
• Light in August, by William Faulkner
• Little Bee , a novel by Chris Cleave
• Little Big Man, by Thomas Berger
• Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
• Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry (a great read, which he calls "the “Gone With the Wind” of the West" (McMurtry in Twilight (10--15-13) in which McMurtry opens up to the Archer City Writers Workshop.
• Long Way Down, A, by Nick Hornby
• Loon Lake, by E.L. Doctorow
• Loop, The, by Joe Coomer
• Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
• Louisiana Power and Light, by John Dufresne
• Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
• Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich
• Love Wife, The, by Gish Jen
• Lovely Bones, The, by Alice Sebold
• Lucia, Lucia, by Adriana Trigiani
• Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis
• Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, by Harriet Scott Chessman
• Magic Mountain, The, by Thomas Mann`
• Map of the World, A, by Jane Hamilton
• March, by Geraldine Brooks
• March, The, by E. L. Doctorow
• Mariette in Ecstasy, by Ron Hansen
• Master Georgie, by Beryl Bainbridge
• Master Butchers Singing Club, The, by Louise Erdrich
• Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden
• Memory Keeper’s Daughter, The, by Kim Edwards
• Middlemarch, by George Eliot
• Middle Passage, by Charles Johnson
• Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides**
• Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt,
• Midwives, by Chris Bohjalian
• Mistress of Spices, The, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
• Month in the Country, A, by J. L. Carr
• Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
• Mrs. Ted Bliss, by Stanley Elkin
• My Antonia, by Willa Cather
• My Brilliant Career, by Miles Franklin
• My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok
• My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (issue-driven novels)
• My Year of Meats, by Ruth L. Ozeki**
• Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane
• Namesake, The, by Jhumpa Lahiri
• Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
• Next Step in the Dance, The, by Tim Gautreaux
• New and Selected Poems, by Mary Oliver
• New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, A, by Eckhart Tolle
• Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
• Night, by Elie Wiesel
• Nobody’s Fool, by Richard Russo
• No Great Mischief, by Alistair Macleod (setting Cape Breton)
• North China Lover, by Marguerite Duras
• No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, The, by A. McCall Smith (set in Botswana)
• Of Human Bondage, by Somerset Maugham
• Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
• Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout (interrelated stories about secrets and small-town Maine)
• Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, The, by Michael Pollan
• One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
• One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcνa Mαrquez
• One True Thing, by Anna Quindlen
• One Writer's Beginnings, by Eudora Welty
• Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, by Anne Lamott
• Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean
• Original Sin, by P.D. James
• Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood
• Oscar and Lucinda, by Peter Carey
• Pact, The, by Jodi Picoult
• Palace Walk, by Naguib Mafouz
• Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov
• Paradise, by Toni Morrison
• Passage to India, A, by E.M. Forster
• Patchwork Planet, A, by Anne Tyler
• Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
• Pearl, The, by John Steinbeck
• Perfect Storm, The, by Sebastian Junger
• Perfume, by Patrick Suskind
• Persistence of Memory, The, by Tony Eprile
• Persuasion, by Jane Austen
• Photograph, The, by Penelope Lively
• Pianist, The, by Wladyslaw Szpilman
• Piano Tuner, The, by Daniel Mason
• Pigs in Heaven, by Barbara Kingsolver
• Pilot's Wife, The, by Anita Shreve
• Plainsong, by Kent Haruf
• Pnin, by Vladimir Nabokov
• Plot Against America, The, by Philip Roth
• Poisonwood Bible, The, by Barbara Kingsolver**
• Possession, by A.S. Byatt
• Prayer for Owen Meany, A, by John Irving
• Praying for Sheetrock, by Melissa Fay Greene
• The Prince of Frogtown, part of Rick Bragg's memoir series
• Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
• Professor and the Madman, The, Simon Winchester
• Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• Quiet American, The, by Graham Green

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• Rabbit, Run, by John Updike (and its sequels, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, and Rabbit At Rest)
• Rainbow, The, by D.H. Lawrence
• Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
• Rapture of Canaan, The, by Sheri Reynolds
• Razor’s Edge, The, by W. Somerset Maugham
• Reader, The, by Bernhard Schlink
• Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi
• Red Dust, Gillian Slovo
• Red Hat Club, The, by Haywood Smith
• Red Tent, The, by Anita Diamant
• Regeneration, by Pat Barker
• Reading in the Dark, by Seamus Deane
• Remains of the Day, The, by Kazuo Ishiguro
• Remembering Babylon, by David Malouf
• Republic, The, by Plato
• Reservation Blues, by Sherman Alexie
• Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, by Elizabeth Buchan
• Risk Pool, The, by Richard Russo
• Road, The, by Cormack McCarthy
• Road from Coorain, by Jill Ker Conway
• Road Through the Mountains, A, by Elizabeth McGregor
• Room, a novel by Emma Donoghue ("fantastically evocative"), possibly for comparison with A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard (the memoir)
• Rule of Four, The, by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
• Runaway, by Alice Munro (short stories about women)
• Sam's Letters to Jennifer, by James Patterson
• Samurai's Garden, The, by Gail Tsukiyama
• Saturday, by Ian McEwan
• Saving Fish From Drowning, by Amy Tan
• Say You're One of Them, by Uwem Akpan
• Screwtape Letters, The, by C.S. Lewis
• Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand
• Second Coming, The, Walker Percy
• Secret History, by Donna Tartt
• Secret Life of Bees, The, by Sue Monk Kidd
• 1776, by David McCullough
• Shadow of the Wind, The, by Carlos Ruiz Zafσn
• Sharyn McCrumb mysteries (any)
• She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
• Shipping News, The, by Annie Proulx
• Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, A, by Marina Lewycka
• Skeleton Key, by Jane Haddam
• Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
• Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
• Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
• Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
• Soldier of the Great War, A, by Mark Helprin
• So long, see you tomorrow, by William Maxwell
• Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
• Space Between Us, The, by Thrity Umrigar
• Sparrow, The, by Mary Doria Russell
• State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
• Stick, by Elmore Leonard
• Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, by Malika Oufkir
• Stone Diaries, The, by Carol Shields
• Stoner by John Williams
• Stones for Ibarra by Harriett Doerr
• Stones from the River, by Ursula Hegi
• Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The, by David Wroblewski (good storytelling, but the terrible ending is infuriating)
• Straight Man, by Richard Russo (satire of academic life)
• Student of Weather, A, by Elizabeth Hay
• The Submission: A Novel by Amy Waldman
• Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth
• Suite Franηaise, by Irene Nemirovsky
• Sula, by Toni Morrison
• Summons to Memphis, A, by Peter Taylor
• Sun Also Rises, The, Ernest Hemingway
• Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, by Gil Courtemanche (Rwande’s 1994 genocide)
• Sweet Hereafter, The, by Russell Banks
• Tara Road, by Maeve Binchy
• Tattooed Girl, The, by Joyce Carol Oates
• Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
• Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh
• Thank You for Smoking, by Christopher Buckley
• Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
• Them, by Joyce Carol Oates
• Therapy, by David Lodge
• They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan, by Benson Deng, A. Deng, and B. Ajah, with Judy Bernstein
• Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. (Be sure to read Bearing Witness, With Words (Dwight Garner, NY Times Books, 3-22-13)
• Things They Carried, The, by Tim O'Brien
• Thousand Acres, A, by Jane Smiley
• Thousand Splendid Suns, A, by Khaled Hosseini
• Three Junes, by Julia Glass
• Time and Again, by Jack Finney
• Time of Our Singing, The, by Richard Powers
• Time to Be Born, A, by Dawn Powell
• Time Traveler's Wife, The, by Audrey Niffenegger
• Time Will Darken It, by William Maxwell
• To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (in at least one case together with Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles Shields
• To Know a Woman, by Amos Oz
• Tortilla Curtain, The, by T. Coraghessen Boyle
• Transit of Venus, The, by Shirley Hazzard
• Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A, by Betty Smith
• Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, by David Von Drehle
• Tricking of Freya, The, by Christina Sunley
• Truth and Beauty: A Friendship, by Ann Patchett (the friend: Lucy Grealey)
• Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom
• Turn of Mind, by Alice LaPlante
• Unbearable Lightness of Being, The, by Milan Kundera
• Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
• Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer
• Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
• Underworld, by Don DeLillo
• Usual Rules, The, by Joyce Maynard
• Very Long Engagement, A, by Sebastien Japrisot**
• Virgin Blue, The, by Tracy Chevalier
**** Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich, transated by Keith Gessen (fascinating and highly discussable)
• Waiting for the Barbarians, by J. M. Coetzee
• Waiting to Exhale, by Terry MacMillan
• Waiting, by Ha Jin
• War Trash, by Ha Jin
• Washington:The Making of the American Capital, by Fergus M. Bordewich
• Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
• Way the Crow Flies, The by Ann Marie McDonald
• We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals that Changed Their Lives Forever by Benjamin Mee
• We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver
• We Were The Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates
• Wedding, The, by Dorothy West
• Weight of All Things, The, by Sandra Benitez
• What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, by Pearl Cleage
• When the Lion Feeds, by Wilbur Smith
• Where the Heart Is, by Billie Letts
• While I Was Gone, by Sue Miller
• White Bone, The, by Barbara Gowdy
• White Ghost Girls, by Alice Greenway
• White Noise, by Don DeLillo
• White Oleander, by Janet Fitch
• White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
• White Tiger, The, by Aravind Adiga
• Widow of the South, The, by Robert Hicks
• Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
• Wife, The, by Meg Wolitzer
• Wild Ginger, by Anchee Min
• Wild Sheep Chase, A, Haruki Murakami
• Wild Swans, by Jung Chang
• The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, in editions with various sets of illustrations. A children's book that our adult book group enjoyed discussing. See especially Rosemary Hills' piece about the book (The Guardian, 6-12-09)
• Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, The, by Haruki Murakami
• Winter's Tale, by Mark Halprin
• Wizard of Earthsea, A, by Ursula LeGuin
• Wizard of Oz, The, by L. Frank Baum
• Wolf Hall: A Novel , by Hilary Mantel ("a darkly brilliant reimagining of life under Henry VIII," volume 1 of a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, the second volume of which is Bring Up the Bodies. Long but a quick read.
• Woman in the Dunes, The, by Kobo Abe
• Work of Wolves, The, by Kent Myers
• Wrinkle in Time, A, by Madeleine L'Engle
• Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
• Year of Magical Thinking, The, by Joan Didion
• Year of Wonders: Novel of the Plague, The, by Geraldine Brooks
• Yellow Raft in Blue Water, by Michael Dorris
• Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig

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• BookCrossing (a popular book sharing site, with some paid features, including book tagging: You physically tag books and keep track of who has a book, what they write in journal, where it has traveled)
• BookMooch (Give books away. Get books you want.)
• PaperBack Swap (a paperback book sharing service and community)
• Revish (a book rating community)
• CrimeSpace (a place for readers and writers of crime fiction to meet)
• Book Movement (a wonderful site where book groups can share their favorites and see how other book clubs and members rated various books -- very helpful for finding your book group's next title)
• Reviews of these and other niche social networking sites (Kevin Palmer, Social Media Answers)
• Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing? Or something else? (a poll on Goodreads 10-28-11, of why readers prefer one site over another, with interesting comments, such as: Goodreads good on stats, diversity of members, quality of reviews, quality of comments--cluttered by good on updates; Library Thing good on quality of reviews, comments, and groups, has clean classy look; Shelfari good for diversity of members, book tagging--looks good but limited options)
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Book group discussions and discussion guides

• Diane Rehm, Readers' Review (listen to informed discussions of excellent book club selections)
• The Big Read (click on book cover to bring up reader's guide)
• Discussion guides for four "great books" (The Handmaid's Tale, Brave New World, The Republic, 1984)
• Jewish Book Council discussion guides
• Reading Group Guides
• DIY Discussion Guides (BookBrowse on creating your own discussion guides).
• Reading Guides by Genre
• Reading Group Guides (4013 guides available and you search the site to find them)
• Slate's Audio Book Club discussions (listen to the critics discuss interesting books) Can't join your own book club? want a model for a book club discussion? Listen to these interesting discussions of books--for example, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love, which some loved, some hated)
• Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction reading guide
• LitLovers (a well-read online community)
• There Will Be a Quiz (Joe Queenan, NY Times Sunday Book Review, 4-6-08) Amusing essay on off-the-wall "questions for discussion" appearing at backs of novels to encourage book club adoptions.
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"Best" and "Top" lists

Best Books Ever Listings (Bookshelf), Project Gutenberg, first producer of free e-books.
• Norwegian Book Clubs in Oslo (2002)
• Melvyn Bragg's Books that Changed the World
• Goodreads Literature Book Lists (see many categories of book lists)
• The Guardian's 1000 novels everyone must read
---Family and self
---State of the nation
---War and travel

Best Books Series (National Public Radio)
• The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14 (8-5-13)
• Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels (8-7-12)
• Stranger Than Fiction: Summer Science Books (Genevieve Wanucha, NPR, 7-26-09)
• Summer Nonfiction: True Tales Enlighten, Delight (John Freean, 6-24-09)
• Mysteries You Might Have Missed Along the Way (Nancy Pearl, 8-20-09
• Best Of The Summer: 6 Books The Critics Adore (Lynn Neary, 7-9-13)
• City Slickers: 5 Books About The Urban Experience (Franklyn Cater, 7-30-13)
• Fact Behind the Fiction: 5 Great Historicals for Summer (Jean Zimmerman, 7-25-13)
• Lost And Found: 5 Forgotten Classics Worth Revisiting (Parlil Sehgal, 7-16-13)
• Your Picks: Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books (8-11-11)
• Top 100 Killer Thrillers (your picks for the most pulse-quickening, suspenseful novels ever written, HJoe Matazzoni, NPR, 8-4-10). A/​k/​a Thrilled to Death
• Audience Picks: 100 Best Beach Books Ever (7-29-09)

Publishers Weekly Best Books Lists
Click on genre at top, after clicking on Best Books for a particular year, and find a best book in that genre. You can also click on best Summer Books for a particular year.• Best Books of 2016 (Publishers Weekly's picks)
• Best Books of 2015
• Best Books, 2014
• Best Books, 2013
• Best Books, 2012
• Best Books, 2011
• Best Books, 2010
• Best Books, 2009

• Lists of "Best" Mysteries and Mystery Awards
• The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time (posted on Wikipedia), a list published in book form in 1990 by the British-based Crime Writers' Association. On the same page, The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time (a similar page posted 5 years later by Mystery Writers of America). At top of both lists: Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.
• Top 100 Thrillers of All time (Addictive Books). Check out the lists by type along left margin: Village Mysteries, Young Readers, Cerebral Mysteries, etc.
• Top 10 series (The Guardian)
• Mysteries by Topic (, Resources for School Librarians)
• Mysteries by Location (SLD)
• Looking for a Mystery? (SLD)
• Mystery Reviews and Aids to Mystery Novel Selection (SLD)
• American Mysteries Since 1990 (SLD)
• The best mysteries of all time (Reader's Digest)
• Best Crime & Mystery Books (GoodReads)
• Mysteries You Might Have Missed Along the Way (Nancy Pearl, Morning Edition, NPR, 8-20-09)
• 50 Essential Mystery Novels That Everyone Should Read (Emily Temple, Flavorwire, 1-21-14)
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• Mysteries by Topic (, Resources for School Librarians)
• Mysteries by Location (SLD)
• Looking for a Mystery? (SLD)
• Lists of "Best" Mysteries and Mystery Awards
• Mystery Reviews and Aids to Mystery Novel Selection (SLD)
• American Mysteries Since 1990 (SLD)
• The best mysteries of all time (Reader's Digest)
• Best Crime & Mystery Books (GoodReads)
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Great books for children and young readers

• A Classic List of Must-Read Children's Books (Morning Edition, 8-12-09)
• 100 Great Children’s Books | 100 Years (New York Public Library)
• Winners of Children's Book Awards (Calgary site)
• Karina Yan Glaser's excellent lists of books for young readers. And follow her on Facebook.
• The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14 (NPR, Morning Edition, 8-5-13)
• Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels (NPR, 8-7-12)
• 80 Books for the 21st Century Girl (Women's National Book Association, DC chapter)
• 100 Best Children's Books for African American History Month (Karina Yan Glaser, Book Riot, 2-1-17)
• Climate Change: A Children’s Book Reading List (Karina Yan Glaser, Book Riot, 1-12-17)
• Children’s Books About the Immigrant Experience
(Karina Yan Glaser, Book Riot, 11-16-16)
• 100 best books for children and young people (National Education Association 1999)
• The Reading Connections Book Wish List, 2014 (classic, popular children's books--board books, picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, other)
• Memories of a Bedtime Book Club (Dwight Garner, NY Times, 4-24-13, packing up the last, best books in his children’s picture book library). A good gift list for new parents and their kids.
• Great books that inspire a love of reading in kids — recommended by kids (Valerie Strauss, Wash Post, 4-2-15)
• The Best Jewish Children’s Books of 2014 (Tablet)
• The 100 Best Children's Books of All Time (Time Magazine)
• The 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time (Time Magazine)
• 100 Best Children's Books Everl (Telegraph)
• The Best Children's Books of the Year, 2010-2014 (Bank Street College of Education)
• TED-Ed’s Summer Reading List: 31 great books for students, chosen by students

Young adult fiction

• 16 Of The Most Anticipated YA Debuts Due Out In The First Half Of 2015 (Eric Smith, Huff Post, 1-5-15)
• http:/​/​​ramble/​2013/​06/​04/​25-things-you-should-know-about-young-adult-fiction/​ (Chuck Wendig< TerribleMinds). YA is an age group, not a genre.
• Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels (NPR, 2012)
• Best YA Book Lists (Goodreads)

• Diverse Books for Toddlers
• Diverse' Waterstones Children's Book Prize shortlists revealed
• The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children (ALA) Scroll down for good book lists in various categories.
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• 100 Biographies & Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime (Amazon picks)
• 100 Biographies & Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime (Goodreads Readers' Picks)
• 13 Beautifully Written Memoirs You'll Think Are Actually Novels (E Ce Miller, Bustle, 5-28-15), She writes briefly about Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller, Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, The Liars Club by Mary Karr, False Papers by Andrι Aciman, Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick, Island of Bones by Joy Castro, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang, The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah, An American Childhood by Annie Dillard, West with the Night by Beryl Markham
• 25 Biographies Every Man Should Read (GQ, March 2015)
• 25 Women to Read Before You Die (staff picks, Powells Books)
• 25 Books to Read Before You Die (staff picks, Powells Books)
• 100 Books to Read Before You Die (Goodreads)
• The Book List Challenge: 100 books to read before you die
• 25 Great Comic Novels (staff picks, Powells Books)
• 75 Biographies to Read Before You Die (Open Education Database)
• Best Science Nonfiction Books (Goodreads)
• 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century Modern Library)
• Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels List
• 50 Essential Mystery Novels That Everyone Should Read (Emily Temple, Flavorwire, 1-21-14)
• Alltime Best 100 Novels (Time, 1-6-10)
• Book Riot's 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893-1993
• Top 100 best selling books of all time (The Guardian, UK sales only)
• Goodreads Top 100 Literary Novels of All Time
• Best Western Novels (Western Writers of America)
• Top 100 Works in World Literature (Norwegian Book Clubs, alphabetical by author--not ranked)
• 100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction (Richard Nordquist,
• 100 Best Nonfiction Books (Modern Library)
• All-TIME 100 Nonfiction Books (Time)
• The 100 greatest non-fiction books (The Guardian, 6-14-11)
• The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians (The Bookman, 20th century)
• Best American fiction of last 25 years (NY Times, 2006)
• The 100 Best Science Books of All Time (List Muse, which also has lists for fiction, nonfiction documentaries, economics, history, political science, sociology, and short novels)
• Best fiction of the millennium (So Far): An Introduction (The Millions, 9-21-09)

• All-Time 100 Novels (Critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo pick the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923, for Time, 1-6-10)
• The Author's Bookshelf (Strand Bookstore). Selections of must-reads from a few of the Strand's most beloved authors and artists.
• Notable Books lists (American Library Association). See The Lists and ALA recommended print-media list (awards books or best choices in various categories)
• The Listen Lists (American Library Association, outstanding audiobook titles that merit special attention by general adult listeners)
• Harvard Book Store Top 100 Books
• 100 Best Nonfiction Books (Modern Library)
• The Modern Library Reading Challenge (Reluctant Habits), this one focused on fiction
• The Modern Library Nonfiction Challenge
• Shakespeare Reading Challenge (Shakespeare Geek). And if you want to, you can read the plays and the poems online.
• 100 Best Novels (Modern Library)
• Modern Library's 100 Best Novels list with links to New York Times book reviews (for example, for Ulysses, in 1922)
• Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels List
• National Review's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century (posted on LibraryThing)
• 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900 (NPR, from Book magazine, March/​April 2002)
• 101 Great New Jersey Books List (New Jersey 350)
• The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list (Robert McCrum, The Guardian, 10-11-03)
• The 100 greatest non-fiction books (The Guardian, 6-14-11) After keen debate at the Guardian's books desk, this is their list of the very best factual writing, organized by category, and then by date.
• 1000 novels everyone must read: Science Fiction & Fantasy (part one) (Guardian, 1-21-09); (part two) and part three(The Guardian, 1-21-09)
• 100 Notable Books of 2013 (NY Times Sunday Book Review)

Toni Morrison's reading list of favorite works by unsung writers
• Bloodshed and Three Novellas by Cynthia Ozick. Provocative parables of the Jewish faith.
• The Good Negress by A.J. Verdelle. A 12-year-old girl goes to Detroit to care for her pregnant mother.
• Modern Baptists by James Wilcox (Buccaneer Books, $22). Hilarious tale of a salesman who takes in his paroled brother.

Most Influential Fiction of the 20th Century (Library Journal's list)
My 10 Favorite Books (My Bookshelf, Myself)
For his new bookshop installation, One Grand, the editor Aaron Hicklin asked people to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island.
• My 10 Favorite Books: Alison Bechdel (2-5-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Justin Vivian Bond (5-6-16) The titles the performer would most want to bring with him on a desert island.
• My 10 Favorite Books: Alan Cumming (4-29-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Eleanor Friedberger (4-22-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Eileen Myles
• My 10 Favorite Books: Hugh Dancy (4-8-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Gloria Steinem (1-22-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Miranda July (3-11-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Lena Dunham (1-8-16)
• (T Magazine, NY Times, 3-4-16)
My 10 Favorite Books: Alice Waters (T Magazine, 8-7-15_
• My 10 Favorite Books: Bret Easton Ellis (T Magazine, 2-2-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Gia Coppola (12-11-15)
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Great southern fiction: Don’t want to read Harper Lee? Try these books instead (Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, 7-21-15)

The Author's Bookshelf (Strand Bookstore). Selections of must-reads from a few of the Strand's most beloved authors and artists.

Best Transgressive Fiction (Goodreads choices on books that contain depictions of behavior that violates socially acceptable norms, often involving taboo subject matters such as drug use, violence, incest, crime)

The Book-Club Snub (Katherine Rosman, Wall Street Journal 3-4-05). "The selective groups say they need to be picky about admitting new members, because a mistake can disrupt fragile dynamics and because they want the groups to be a manageable size."

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More book lists and book group sites

• Booklist above, alphabetical by author's last name
• The Antislavery Literature Project (representing the origins of multicultural literature in the United States)
• Al Roker's Book Club for Kids (Today Books)

• American Writers Museum Reveals List of Literary Works Named by Writers and Readers as Providing a Better Understanding of America. Topping the list, tying for first place: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
Tying for second place: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
Tied for third: Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
Other popular suggestions (in random order): A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, American Pastoral by Philip Roth, Beloved by Toni Morrison, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Howl by Allen Ginsberg, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Native Son by Richard Wright, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

• Around the World in Books (Politics & Prose's list of good books for travelers and armchair travelers, from The Bone People (Keri Hulme's compelling novel about a woman who is half Maori, half European) to The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Dνaz

• Backseat Book Club (What NPR's Backseat Book Club Has Read So Far, 6-13-13), with images and descriptions. Here's the list in printable form.

• BBC World Book Club

• The Best Books and Historians According to Civil War Historian James McPherson (Sandvick,, 10-16-14). See original: James M. McPherson: By the Book (NY Times, 10-2-14)
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Books Every Science Writer Should Read (Boyce Rensberger's list for the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships program--"only a start on background reading" and not "an exhaustive compilation")

Books From the Great Depression (Peter Conn, WSJ, 3-21-09)

Books that influenced high achievers. The Academy of Achievement asked its awardees, "What book did you read when you were young that most influenced your life?" Those books are listed here, with explanations.

Books that sustain conversation (Cynthia Crossen, WSJ, 3-20-09)

Contemporary creative nonfiction (Sue William Silverman's reading list, by category: Illness, Accident, Grief, Addiction; Family, Relationships, Friendships, Identity; Childhood and Coming of Age; Place, Nature, Science, Travel; New Journalism, Immersion, History, Social Issues, War, Political Issues, Religion, Spirituality, Feminism; Experimental, Montage, Lyric, Hybrid Forms; Personal Essay, Journal, Anthologies; Humor; Occupational Memoirs; Literary Journals specifically for Nonfiction.

Creative Nonfiction: best titles for teens (curated by Leslie Whidden,

Crime Space (a place for readers and writers of crime fiction to meet)

Critical Mass (blog of National Book Critics Circle, NBCC)

David Bowie’s List of Top 100 Books (Open Culture, 10--1-13)

The Desert Island Golf Library. The delightful Tom Bedell's list of golf books he'd want on hand if stranded on a desert island. Could be subtitled "gifts for golfers."

Diane Rehm, Readers' Review (listen to informed discussions of excellent book club selections)

The D.I.Y. Book Tour (Stephen Elliott, NYTimes, on author book readings in people's homes) href=""target="_blank">Does anyone want to be "well-read? by Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times 4-16-11) on changing ideas of "must reads." Which leads to The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything (Linda Holmes, NPR, 4-18-11), on how, with so much music and literature out there, we can't get to it all, so we must "cull" (sort what is or isn't worth our time) or "surrender" (this goes on the list of what I won't get to).

Dorothy L (online discussion group for mystery lovers) (I get the message that the site is unsafe--not sure why)

11 True Crime Books You Should Read If You're Obsessed With 'Serial' (Emmie Martin, Business Insider, 12-18-14)

The End of Your Life Book Club (NPR, listen to WYPR podcast, 7-11-13). Will Schwalbe talks about the joys associated with the book club he started with his mother, who at the time was dying of cancer. Schwalbe wrote the New York Times best-selling memoir The End of Your Life Book Club.

Fictional Rome (for a theme evening in which you all read historical novels and discuss what you learned about Rome)

Fierce Fictional Female Journalists (NY Public Library). 1) April O’Neil — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2) Mary Tyler Moore — The Mary Tyler Moore Show 3) Hildy Johnson — His Girl Friday 4) Vera Hastings — The Room and The Chair 5) Murphy Brown — Murphy Brown 6) Andrea Sachs — The Devil Wears Prada 7) Rory Gilmore — Gilmore Girls 8) Carrie Bradshaw — Sex and the City

Top 10 literary biographies (Jay Parini, The Guardian, 9-16-15) From Shakespeare to Shelley, Edith Wharton to VS Naipaul … literature’s greats have biographies to match. More Top 10 lists from The Guardian

50 Essential Literary Biographies ( Jonathon Sturgeon, Flavorwire, 1-23-15).

50 Greatest Crime Writers (The Times, UK, as posted on The Old Fort--because you must subscribe to read it at the Times)

Finding Books & Book Clubs (IPL2, Special Collections)--the Internet public library), with links to helpful resources

First Chapters (from books reviewed in the NY Times or on the Times bestseller list)

Five Books That I Can't Wait to Read to My Son (Rachel Hartigan Shea, Short Stack, Wash Post, 12-18-08)

From a Potential Collision Comes a Tightknit Club (Nelson Hernandez, Washington Post, 12-29-05) A neighborhood book and film club tackles tough topics.

40 New Feminist Classics You Should Read (Emily Temple, LitHug, 11-21-16)

Garrison Keillor's Common Good Books

• Goodreads. Wonderful site. Get book recommendations from people you know, keep track of what you've read and liked, share frank opinions.
• Great Books Foundation Discussion Guides and Great Books Foundation book groups and councils
• Great Jewish Books Program (Yiddish Book Center)
• Guardian Top 10 Lists
• Harvard Book Store Top 100 Books (staff picks)
• In Praise of the American Short Story (A.O.Scott, Week in Review, NY Times, 4-4-09)
• Internet Classics Archive. Greco-Roman works (some Chinese and Persian), all in English translation.
• io9 (We come from the Future, Gizmodo). Science fiction blog, featuring discussions with authors.

Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA). Austen fans, note: 'New' Jane Austen portrait unearthed by British author Paula Byrne (BBC News 12-5-11))

Jewish Book Council book club picks of the week. See collective lists of weekly picks of fiction (scroll down for picks of nonfiction).

The Left Book Club (a historical note, on Wikipedia)

Let's Talk About It (some of the early American Library Association themes). See some past programs along left side.

Let's Talk About It, the Idaho Libraries reading and discussion program, provides similar material on various themes: Reading and Discussion Themes (theme essays, book descriptions, author information, discussion questions and lists for further reading are available for download). Here's a link to one theme: Growing Older, Growing Wiser Book List, for which the books to be read are:
• Crossing To Safety by Wallace Stegner (1987)
• Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth (1993)
• Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (1997)
• Balsamroot: A Memoir by Mary Clearman Blew (1994)
• The Stone Angel by Margaret Lau
• The Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry (1974).

• Men Have Book Clubs, Too (Jennifer Miller, NY Times, 5-4-16). A guide for others!

Tony Morrison's reading list of favorite works by unsung writers:
• Bloodshed and Three Novellas by Cynthia Ozick. Provocative parables of the Jewish faith.
• The Good Negress by A.J. Verdelle. A 12-year-old girl goes to Detroit to care for her pregnant mother.
• Modern Baptists by James Wilcox (Buccaneer Books, $22). Hilarious tale of a salesman who takes in his paroled brother.

Most Influential Fiction of the 20th Century (Library Journal's list)

• Mysteries by Topic (, Resources for School Librarians)
• Mysteries by Location (SLD)
• Looking for a Mystery? (SLD)
• Lists of "Best" Mysteries and Mystery Awards
• Mystery Reviews and Aids to Mystery Novel Selection (SLD)
• American Mysteries Since 1990 (SLD)
• The best mysteries of all time (Reader's Digest)
• Best Crime & Mystery Books (GoodReads)
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My 10 Favorite Books (My Bookshelf, Myself)
For his new bookshop installation, One Grand, the editor Aaron Hicklin asked people to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island.
• My 10 Favorite Books: Alison Bechdel (2-5-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Justin Vivian Bond (5-6-16) The titles the performer would most want to bring with him on a desert island.
• My 10 Favorite Books: Alan Cumming (4-29-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Eleanor Friedberger (4-22-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Eileen Myles
• My 10 Favorite Books: Hugh Dancy (4-8-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Gloria Steinem (1-22-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Miranda July (3-11-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Lena Dunham (1-8-16)
• (T Magazine, NY Times, 3-4-16)
My 10 Favorite Books: Alice Waters (T Magazine, 8-7-15_
• My 10 Favorite Books: Bret Easton Ellis (T Magazine, 2-2-16)
• My 10 Favorite Books: Gia Coppola (12-11-15)
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The New Yorker Group: A book club for the on-the-go Washingtonian (Dan Kois, WashPost, 4-20-11, on a book club that figured out a way to get through those magazines sitting on their nightstands--50,000 copies a week to the DC area)

Oprah's Book Club #1 (the complete list). Here's the that list on Wikipedia (easier to print and see all at once -- and it also puts the club in perspective, writing ABOUT it and about Oprah's market power). For example, it quotes Scott Stossel, an editor at The Atlantic, writing, "There is something so relentlessly therapeutic, so consciously self-improving about the book club that it seems antithetical to discussions of serious literature. Literature should disturb the mind and derange the senses; it can be palliative, but it is not meant to be the easy, soothing one that Oprah would make it.
Oprah's Book Club 2.0 (with notes on how to access Oprah's favorite passages and notes on your e-reader).

The Pulpwood Queen's Book Club -- and here's Kathy L. Patrick's story, as captured by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Cynsations). Rejected by one "snooty" bookclub, she started a MUCH bigger one.

Reading Meetup Groups (face-to-face book discussions, around the world)

20 books to read in 2015: TED-Ed Educators share their top 5 must-reads
200 books recommended by TEDsters ( Kate Torgovnick May, TedEd, 5-31-13) and the 2014 list.

21 Novels You Must Find Time to Read (Jacquelyn Mitchard, AARP). This list: Charlotte's Web (White), The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald), Crossing to Safety (Stegner), The Killer Angels (Shaara), Red Dragon (Harris), Anna Karenina (Tolstoy), The Haunting of Hill House (Jackson), Different Seasons (King), In Our Time (Hemingway), The Magus (Fowles), Gone with the Wind (Mitchell), Jane Eyre (Bronte), The Alchemist (Coelho), The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Adams), Rebecca (du Maurier), Lonesome Dove (McMurtry), The Maltese Falcon (Hammett), Andersonville (Kantor), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Smith), True Grit (Portis), To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee).
25 Best True Crime Books as selected by Todd Jensen, whose blog provides advice to those considering becoming forensic scientists. Stories Powering Progress.Watch videos about various developing countries."Using the power of video to tell stories about real people and progress in global development." Reading about a developing country such as Nigeria (Little Bee, by Chris Cleave, for example)? Learn more about the country here. Funded by the Gates Foundation.

• What Novels Do Fiction Editors Read? (Carolyn Haley, Thinking Fiction, An American Editor, 1-11-17). Based on a survey of editors, and a follow-up to What do editors read? (10-12-16)

Whodunnit Book Club (Ning) "It's a crime to read anything but mysteries."

WNBA's 25th Anniversary book list (Women's National Book Association). One of my books -- Dying -- is on it!

Women's Words: 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World (Women's National Book Association)

Writers' Top 10 from The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books by Peter Zane

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Many books and references are available free online now, through such digital libraries as the following:

Google Book Search

Internet Archive (moving images, live music, audio, and texts)

Internet Public Library

Open Culture (download 525 free audio books for free, plus 750 free online courses and 525 free movies)

Kidspace (Internet Public Library)

Making of America (Cornell University Library’s digital library of primary sources in American social history)

Open Library (200,000 free eBooks)

Project Gutenberg

Project Libellus (free Latin and Greek texts, with restrictions on redistribution)

Teenspace (Internet Public Library)

Top 100 downloads from the Project Gutenberg library

Wayback Machine (find web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago)

Early English Books online (a restricted database)

Let me know if there are other good digital libraries to be added to this list.

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