Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers

Top 10 All-Time Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers for Book Clubs

This is the third in a series of four posts. See also overall favorites, nonfiction, and most popular books of 2019.


In the previous two posts we shared the results of our survey of book club members to find out their all-time favorite book club books, and their favorite nonfiction books. Here we look at mysteries and thrillers. Once again, respondents were given the opportunity to nominate up to three books and reminded that they should only name books that they had discussed in a book club setting, because there are many excellent mysteries and thrillers but not all have the substance to make for great discussion; 920 responded to this question.

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The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2019

The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2019

This is the fourth in a series of four posts. See also overall favorites, nonfiction and mysteries and thrillers.


In the previous three posts in this sequence, we shared the results of our 2020 survey of book club members to find out their favorite book club books of all-time. In three separate questions, we asked them to name their overall favorites, their nonfiction favorites and their mystery/thriller favorites, always reminding them to only name books that they had discussed in a book club setting, because the qualities that make for great books to read don't always translate into great discussions.

In the final question, we asked them to think back over just those books they discussed in a book club during 2019, and to name their one overall favorite; 1,354 responded to this question:

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Reviews of 37 Exceptional Books Published in 2019

There are many places to find reader reviews on the web, but it can be a challenge to know which are truly independent.

The reader reviews offered through BookBrowse's First Impressions program are trustworthy because only our members can post them. Members have the opportunity to request books to read months ahead of their publication dates in exchange for their honest opinion. They can request specific titles but the books are assigned by an algorithm. So, while it's conceivable that someone with a personal connection to the book might receive a copy to review, the chances of there being enough people to influence the overall consensus is effectively zero.

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The Top 20 Best Books of 2019

It's been a great year for books, and if you haven't had as much time to read as you might have liked, hopefully you can take the opportunity over the holidays to rest, read, and refuel. 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 the titles in our Best of Year lineup consisting of the 20 books that were rated highest by BookBrowse subscribers in our annual Best of Year survey. The books are listed in ratings order lower down this page; but first, the four 2019 Award Winners!

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Best Books for Book Clubs in 2020

Looking to start 2020 off right with some excellent book club selections? We're here to help. All of these books received positive reviews from BookBrowse and are coming out in paperback in the first three months of 2020, and all but one has a reading guide. So if your New Year's resolution is to be more prepared (or if this was your resolution last year, but you never got around to it), take this opportunity to start planning ahead for a great year of lively book club discussions!

There are options for readers of all tastes and interests, from historical fiction to novels examining social issues, to nonfiction investigative reporting. Many of these books involve complex female characters, from Madeline Miller's Circe to the Korean seafood divers in Lisa See's The Island of Sea Women. Both Alan Brennert's Daughter of Moloka'i and Myla Goldberg's Feast Your Eyes examine mother-daughter relationships, though the authors approach their subject from vastly different angles. Sarah Bird's Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen is a fictionalized version of the life of an American heroine with grit and heart in equal measures. These and more to explore below!



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The 2018 BookBrowse Award Winners

Dear BookBrowsers

It's that best of time again! The time when we stand still for a minute, turn back around and take a look at what has unfolded over the course of the year. It feels like the blink of an eye, doesn't it? From January until now? Don't you wish you could somehow slow it down?

There's a theory about time passing called the perceptual theory of time which offers that it seems to speed up as we get older because we continually evolve our perception of the world. Specifically (according to psychologist Robert Ornstein), our sense of the speed of time is determined by how much information our minds are absorbing. The more we take in, the slower time seems to pass. This is why children tend to sigh and exclaim Aren't we there YET? over and over again. They are taking in so many details that they perceive the ticking of time as endless. So how do we adults reclaim some of that leisurely pace?

One way is by reading really good books that engage our minds with dynamic story-lines, empathetic characters and fascinating details. Reading a book demands that we sit still and focus because there is so much rich information inside its pages.

And here we are in December. Turned and gazing back at the year. We're sure you've read a bunch of great books over the last 11 months, but if you missed some, if you want to slow down time in this last month of the year, then we suggest you take a look at our best of list.

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