Top 2014 Book Club Recommendations - Part 2

Here is Part 2 of our 2014 top recommendations for book clubs (in date order). All have already published in hardcover and ebook, and all have published or will publish in paperback between May and August.

In order to decide which are right for your book club, you can browse an excerpt of each and a range of review opinion. In addition, most have a handy printable reading guide.

Mrs HemingwayMrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood

Paperback May 2014. 336 pages. Published by Penguin Books

The subject matter covered isn't new; each woman has had at least one biography written about her life and relationship with Hemingway. By fictionalizing the narrative however, Wood provides a different perspective on her heroines, fleshing out the bare bones of fact with richly imagined motivations and emotions. The result is that the wives' love, sorrow, anger and frustration resonate in a way that feels right -- closer to truth than not.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

The Spy Who LovedThe Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley

Paperback May 2014. 464 pages. Historical Fiction. Published by St Martin's Griffin

This biography insightfully explores Christine Granville's ineffable qualities and illuminates a little-known, but fascinating character from history. Christine was indeed a spy who loved. She loved freedom, Poland, a handful of interesting men, and a life full of adventure. Fans of WWII history, espionage, or James Bond will be delighted by this real-life espionage story
(Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

The Fever TreeTransatlantic by Colum McCann

Paperback May 2014. 336 pages. Published by Random House

McCann had me hooked me on his writing from his novel Dancer on. He has proven time and again that he is a powerhouse among contemporary fiction writers. He understands that what binds humanity together are not broad, panoramic moments but the smaller-scale happenings that bring those large historical events home to the everyday person...TransAtlantic is an absolute tour-de-force. If you can read only one book this year, this should be it.
(Reviewed by Poornima Apte)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

LongbournLongbourn by Jo Baker

Paperback June 2014. 352 page. Published by Vintage

Pride and Prejudice and Longbourn create a delightfully unified whole. It is possible to read one without the other, but reading them together provides a broad and nuanced view of early 19th century England - and takes readers into the lives of some of literature's most beloved characters.
(Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

The LowlandThe Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Paperback June 2014. 352 pages. Published by Vintage

Readers looking for a plot-driven narrative might not find The Lowland to be their cup of tea. An expert chronicler of the human condition, Lahiri's work has always been deeply introspective, relying less on external "action," relentlessly propelling onward nevertheless. In The Lowland, she again mines the complex emotional landscape of her characters, chiseling away at stone with a fine scalpel. 
(Reviewed by Poornima Apte)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

Children of The Jacaranda TreeChildren of The Jacaranda by Sahar Delijani

Paperback June 2014. 288 pages. Published by Atria


Only rarely have I experienced in a book such pain and horror while at the same time experiencing such beautiful writing. Sahar Delijani has written a novelized version of three generations of her family in Tehran, Iran. Past and present are intertwined in extremely moving and vivid prose. I can only be grateful that writers such as Sarah Delijani are brave enough to enlighten me of the horrors that exist in so many places. (Reviewed by Toby S. for First Impressions)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

And The Mountains EchoedAnd The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Paperback June 2014. 448 pages. Published by Riverhead Books

And The Mountains Echoed spills over with unforgettable, fully realized characters whose stories are woven together into a tapestry, a stunning portrait of family dynamics. 
(Reviewed by Sharry Wright)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

Claire of The Sea LightClaire of The Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

Paperback July 2014. 256 pages. Published by Vintage

In Claire of the Sea Light, Haiti, once again, is her own formidable character. One with a deeply capricious nature: by turns sublime, terrible, even bizarre. Through Danticat's intoxicating prose, it seems almost possible to feel the drizzle of a sun shower, taste salt in the sea air. Throughout this work as a whole, Danticat reminds us just how powerful certain moments can be, and that whether these moments are precious, tragic, wishful, or frightening, they may mysteriously lead to a life both beautiful and uncorrupted.
(Reviewed by Suzanne Reeder)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

Valley of AmazementValley of Amazement by Amy Tan

Paperback July 15, 2014. 448 pages. Published by Ecco

Written in flowing prose that sweeps the reader down an adventurous path from late nineteenth century America to the cusp of World War II in China, this is a portrayal of strong women you will not soon forget. The Valley of Amazement is well worth the long wait.
(Reviewed by Judi Sauerbrey)
Reviews & Excerpt & Reading Guide

How The Light Gets InHow The Light Gets In by Louise Penny

Paperback July 29, 2014. 416 pages. Published by St Martin's Minotaur

I usually gauge my reading in days. For Penny's How the Light Gets In it was hours! The characters and plot of this story are as intricate, mesmerizing and complex as ever; Penny, once again, transports us to where we all want to live - Three Pines - for another visit (and compelling mystery to solve) with our "family". 
(Reviewed by Kathleen D. for First Impressions)
Reviews, Excerpt & Reading Guide

Publication dates are for USA, and may differ elsewhere. Dates for yet to publish books were correct at the time this blog went to press but publishers do sometimes change publication dates at short notice.

More Book Club Recommendations including Part 1 of this 2014 roundup.

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How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny