Dear BookBrowsers,

It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, we're not talking holiday parties and sugar cookies although those are fun too. It's time to start planning your book club lineup for 2017. Wading through recommendations from friends and family alike is not for the faint of heart so we've culled a select dozen novels that we suggest should be at the top of your "to consider" pile. With the exception of one, all are already released in paperback or soon to be so (and all are also in hardcover and ebook.) We have included an additional three titles for the young adult set.

Don't forget: you can also always participate in BookBrowse's online book club 24-7. Cookies and wine optional!

Under the Udala Trees Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Paperback Sep 2016. Also in hardcover & ebook. 336 pages.
Published by Mariner Books

Young Ijeoma has always grown up with Christianity as one of the cornerstones of her character. Yet as her small town in Nigeria is torn apart by civil war, she must grapple with her newly discovered sexuality and the conservative cultural norms imposed by society and religion. A touching story about coming out in in a country where homosexuality is considered a crime.
Reviews, excerpt, reading guide & online discussion

The Opposite of Everyone The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Paperback Oct 2016. Also in hardcover & ebook. 352 pages.
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks

They say you can't run from the past and this is certainly true of Paula Vauss who, endless reinventions notwithstanding, is gobsmacked when an old letter rekindles memories she had been working hard on suppressing. Peppered with plenty of Southern charm and elements of Hindu mysticism, this is a mother-daughter tale with an unexpected spin, quirky characters and refreshing dialog. Plenty of fodder for book clubs.
Reviews, excerpt, reading guide & online discussion (opening Dec '16)

Fishbowl Fishbowl: A Novel by Bradley Somer

Paperback Nov 2016. Also in hardcover & ebook. 304 pages.
Published by St. Martin's Griffin

With a fresh take on the concept of a fishbowl existence, little Ian the goldfish takes a leap out of a highrise apartment building and gets a peek at the residents' lives as he makes his way down. The varying complexities of humanity are often hard to capture and doing so with humor takes even more panache. Book clubbers will enjoy dissecting the lives of their fellow (fictional) citizens and contrasting the challenges against their own.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

The Kindness of Enemies The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela

Hardcover & ebook Jan 2016. Paperback Jan 2017. 320 pages.
Published by Grove Press

You might as well have ripped this one from the headlines. A professor, part-Muslim, seeks out a Muslim student in greater London only to find out that he is soon arrested for suspicious terrorist activities. By weaving in a story about an eighteenth century Islamic freedom fighter in the mix, this novel explores the true meaning of "jihad" and tells a story with grace and plenty of nuance about a topic where shades of grey are often hard to find.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

The Things We Keep The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

Hardcover & ebook Jan 2016. Paperback Jan 2017. 352 pages.
Published by St. Martin's Press

They say love conquers all but what about a devastating disease? Can a relationship, especially a newly forged one, find its roots in the face of an uncertain future? Diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Anna is admitted to a facility where she finds companionship in Luke who is facing the same struggles. The candid story explores the fallout of a serious illness and does so with grace and humor.
Reviews, excerpt, reading guide & online discussion

Breaking Wild Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets

Hardcover & ebook Feb 2016. Paperback Feb 2017. 320 pages.
Published by Berkley Books

The theme of hunter and prey is a tried and tested trope in thrillers but don't be fooled by such a straightforward label. Two women with fractured pasts anchor this delightfully suspenseful novel and their single-minded ability to stay the course despite the harshest conditions is a thing of beauty to behold. Get ready for a page-turner that you'll read into the wee hours of the morning.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

The Forgetting Time The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

Hardcover & ebook Feb 2016. Paperback Feb 2017. 368 pages.
Published by Flatiron Books

Weighty themes such as motherhood and reincarnation carry this delicate tale of a young boy and an eccentric professor and the mission that brings them together. It's a book that makes you think about life's possibilities and regrets. A BookBrowse First Impressions reviewer said of this novel: "After it concluded, I wanted to talk about this book. I needed to talk about this book." Enough said.
Reviews, excerpt, reading guide & online discussion

The Photographer's Wife The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Joinson

Hardcover & ebook Feb 2016. Paperback Feb 2017. 320 pages.
Published by Bloomsbury USA

Set in the simmering period of tension between the two world wars, this book about divided loyalties and warring factions not just between countries but also within families. As the characters try to tease out the frailties of their relationships, they must do so against an increasingly the fragile geopolitical that is the volatile Middle East. Proof that all history--and politics--is personal.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

What Lies Between Us What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera

Hardcover & ebook Feb 2016. Paperback Apr 2017. 320 pages.
Published by St. Martin's Press

A Sri Lankan girl tries to flee the long shadow of tragedy by migrating to the United States but finds that she can't shake her past that easily. The novel explores the dark recesses of human nature, an exploration that is made palatable by lyrical writing and thoughtful handling of sensitive topics. Definitely one for book clubbers to consider.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

The Midnight Watch The Midnight Watch: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian by David Dyer

Hardcover & ebook Apr 2016. Paperback Apr 2017. 336 pages.
Published by St. Martin's Griffin

We have all heard about the Titanic and the tragic end that it met. But could that fate have been averted? A nearby ship, The Californian, saw the distress signals put out by the legendary liner but the captain did nothing. The fictional retelling of a timeless tale looks anew at the Jazz Age, the sensational tabloids and offers a head-scratching and roundly infuriating "what-if" to this familiar tale set on the high seas.
Reviews & excerpt

Homegoing Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Hardcover & ebook Jun 2016. Paperback Apr 2017. 320 pages.
Published by Knopf

Want a glorious and accessible history of the Black American experience? Look no further. Two half-sisters in eighteenth-century Ghana are consigned to radically different fates. So while one finds a relative degree of comfort, the other gets sucked into the whirlpool of the slave trade. This most impressive debut traces the lives of their respective descendants over eight generations and in doing so, touches on some of black history's most singular moments. A truly absorbing read.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

The Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

Hardcover & ebook Aug 2016. Paperback TBA. 320 pages.
Published by Doubleday

A young black slave, Cora, tries to make her way to safety in this stunning novel where the historical underground railroad is an actual physical thing. The travels take Cora through hostile territory and sympathetic, brushing up against kindness from strangers and plenty of betrayals. As our reviewer put it, "Reading The Underground Railroad offers plenty of reminders of just how far our nation has come since these darkest years in our history, but also countless reminders of just how far we have yet to travel before we arrive at any destination resembling that hopeful vision."
Reviews, excerpt, reading guide & online discussion

Young Adults

Not If I See You First Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Paperback Nov 2016. Also in hardcover & ebook. 320 pages.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The thing that most people don't get--or at least internalize-- is that disabled people don't want to be defined by their handicap. High schooler Parker Grant is blind but she would love nothing better than a normal teen life. For a while she seems to have it all under control until a betrayal leads her to recalibrate her outlook on what it means to hold someone dear and life life by your own rules..
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

Rain Reign Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Hardcover & ebook Oct 2014. Paperback Jan 2017. 240 pages.
Published by Feiwel & Friends

Rose has mildly functioning autism and likes order in her life. She's obsessed with homonyms and prime numbers, even naming her dog Rain Reign. She lives with Wesley, her single dad and the two share a complicated relationship. Wesley faces the challenges of parenting alone head-on while caring for his bright and beautiful child. These bonds will be tested when a natural disaster hits town exposing plenty of gaping chasms in an already fragile relationship.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

The Emperor of Any Place The Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones

Hardcover & ebook Oct 2015. Paperback Mar 2017. 336 pages.
Published by Candlewick Press

Not many novels that addresses the effects of war can make a beautifully profound effect on young adults. This novel teases out the relationship between a teenager and his grandfather while tracing the connections between a Japanese man stranded on an island after World War II and his fighter pen pal. Both ties are strained and complicated by the fog of war in this thrilling and suspenseful novel tinged with elements of terror.
Reviews, excerpt & reading guide

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