Best Books for Book Clubs in 2022

Best Books for Book Clubs in 2022

2021 has proven to be another uncertain and unpredictable year. We hope that you have weathered it well. As you begin to gear up for next year, here is a list of books as a starting point for whatever need your book club is looking to fill, whether learning more about the world, diversion or simply a unique and memorable reading experience. To that end, we have selected a dozen works that we think will be great choices for your book group in 2022. All are already available in hardcover and ebook, and are newly released or soon to be released in paperback.

Our picks this year span debuts, works by established authors, and several different places and periods in history. They feature many people, particularly women and girls, who find themselves in a state of transition, out of place or belonging to multiple places. In A Million Things by Emily Spurr, 10-year-old Rae must fend for herself when her mother disappears. In the The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson, two women who have come to crossroads in their lives take a journey together along the canals of England. In The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson, Ruth Tuttle finds she must go backwards before she can move forwards, unearthing a secret that she attempted to leave behind years earlier. Patricia Engel's Infinite Country follows a teenage girl, Talia, whose family is spread across continents, and Love and Fury by Samantha Silva pays tribute to a major early feminist who forged her own path in both life and work, Mary Wollstonecraft.

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Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Authors

Book Clubs All-Time Favorite Authors


Last year, we asked book club members to vote for their favorite book club books of all time. Despite the survey question stating that we could only accept individual book titles, a number of people wrote in responses such as "anything by xxx." So, this year, alongside asking book clubbers to name their favorite 2020 books, we also asked them to name their all-time favorite book club authors. This is what they told us:

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The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2020

The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2020

Last year, we asked book club members to share with us the books they had most enjoyed reading and discussing in all the years they have been in book groups. In addition to sharing their all-time favorite books overall, they also told us about their favorite mysteries and thrillers and favorite nonfiction titles. In addition, we asked them to tell us which books they had most enjoyed reading and discussing in 2019.

Now, I am pleased to bring you the results from our recent survey to reveal book club members' 2020 favorites.

By any standard, 2020 was an unusual year, with about a quarter of US book clubs not meeting at all once the pandemic started (according to our Book Clubs in Lockdown research report). Because those in groups that had only met for two to three months at the start of the year had a very limited number of titles to select a favorite from, and because they had not had a chance to discuss the more recently published books (which therefore put these titles at a disadvantage) we only asked respondents whose groups had met for the majority of 2020 to name their favorite titles.

This is what they told us:

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The Best Books of 2020

Although a difficult year for many, 2020 turned out to be a great year for excellent books. If you don't already have a stack of unread books on your nightstand waiting for your attention (or even if you do), you'll definitely want to pick up a few of these titles from our Best of Year lineup - the highest rated books of 2020, as voted on by BookBrowse subscribers in our annual Best of Year survey (over 9,400 votes were cast). The books are listed in ratings order lower down this page; but first, the four 2020 Award Winners!

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Best Books for Book Clubs in 2021

It's been a challenging year on a number of levels and we hope you've managed to keep your book club going strong as we all rethink and rework the way we live our daily lives. The end of the year is a great time to take stock of your book group and make plans for the future. In this roundup, we recommend a dozen books for your book group in 2021, all of which are newly released in paperback or will be available in paperback soon.

The list features books by award-winning and tremendously popular authors like Elizabeth Strout's Olive, Again and Ann Patchett's The Dutch House, along with some debut novels such as The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner. We also have two young adult recommendations, two mysteries and a good splash of historical fiction; and for nonfiction fans we suggest Richard Askwith's captivating biography of World War II-era horse racing phenom Lata Brandisov√°, and Anne Gardiner Perkin's biography of the ground-breaking first cohort of women to join Yale in 1969.

All 12 books earned five stars from BookBrowse reviewers, so you can't go wrong whatever you choose. Also, we invite you to check out the selections from our Anti-Racist Reading List which includes books from the past two years that should foster dialogue on current events.


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Book Clubs' All-Time Overall Favorite Books

Book Club Top 10 - All Time Favorite Books

This is the first in a series of four posts. See also nonfiction, mysteries & thrillers, and most popular books of 2019.


What are your top three all-time favorite book club books?

This is the question we posed to the 1,901 book club members who took part in our January 2020 survey.

Those who responded were well-qualified to answer this question. Over 90% have been in a book club for at least three years, 55% have more than ten years of book club experience under their belts, and almost half belong to more than one group. In other words, they've discussed a lot of books, so the titles that made it into the overall Top 10 had to triumph over a lot of competition.

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