15 Gripping Thriller and Mystery Books for Book Clubs

gripping thriller and mysteries for book clubs

Book tastes may differ wildly, but good mysteries appeal widely. And you can count on them to add momentum to your book club discussions any day. Mysteries and puzzle-driven thrillers give your group a chance to talk about both the twists and turns of the reading experience and any issues and concepts addressed by the book, providing the opportunity for layered, captivating conversation. So in this blog post, we bring you a list of some of the very best mystery books for book clubs that have been published in recent years.

These books encompass a variety of settings, from the Australian outback to an Ojibwe reservation to suburban New Jersey. They also cast a light on many different areas of society and social issues, from modern-day racism to cult psychology to the history of women in medicine. And of course, they all come highly recommended. Not only have all of these books been rated 5-stars on BookBrowse, but you'll find multiple BookBrowse award winners among them.


The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2021

The most popular book club books of 2021

We recently asked BookBrowse subscribers to tell us about the books they most enjoyed discussing with their book group in 2021. This is what they told us:


Elevate Your Mood! 16 Uplifting Books for Book Clubs

16 uplifting books for book clubs

Could your book club use some uplifting books for a change? Many book groups make a point of choosing reading that will lead to serious discussions of important issues, but it's also important to foster the sense of joy and well-being that books can bring into our lives.

Plus, "uplifting" doesn't have to mean insubstantial. Plenty of books that address unpleasant realities still land on a hopeful note and leave room to feel positive about the future. Books that focus on social and political problems can do so through a lens of human closeness and community, and those that include sadness and grief can also offer plenty of humor and heart.

Whether you're looking for a cozy mystery, a travel adventure, a societal critique with a funny and optimistic bent, or a story that celebrates the strong ties between people maintained over years or generations, we have something for you. The list below includes all types of uplifting books from recent years that come highly recommended from our reviewers or from BookBrowse members participating in our First Impressions early reader program.


26 Short Books for Book Clubs

26 discussion-friendly short books for book clubs (under 250 pages)

Looking for short books for your book club? As fulfilling as participating in a book group can be, keeping up with the reading is no easy feat. If your group is on the lookout for short reads that still pack a punch, look no further. We've put together a wide variety of intriguing novels, memoirs and short story collections that all clock in at less than 250 pages.

All of these books are viewable on BookBrowse, and for the vast majority we've included excerpts below from our own reviews. Many also have reading guides accessible through our website to help generate discussion. These short books range from National Book Award and Pulitzer winners to lesser-known works deserving of attention.

In general, we've veered towards newer selections with this list, in order to provide you and your book club with a fresh crop of books recommended by BookBrowse reviewers in recent years, but we've also thrown in a handful of beloved older works that remain relevant. Happy reading!


Celebrating Black History Month With Books

Celebrating Black History Month With BooksIn celebration of Black History Month, we feature more than 70 outstanding contemporary works of nonfiction and historical fiction by Black authors.

From now through to the end of February we're giving readers free access to these books, all of which have a review, an excerpt, a range of read-alike recommendations, and a "beyond the book" article that looks at a historical or cultural aspect of the book.

You can also explore many other genres of books by Black writers, such as contemporary novels, short stories and fantasy, with almost every book backed by a review, beyond the book article and an excerpt.

In fact, you can get even more specific by customizing your search to filter hundreds of genres, settings, time periods, and themes (for example: Black authors + Adult-YA Crossover Fiction + Set in Africa).

All these filters are available to you for free during February but are normally only available to BookBrowse members and patrons and staff of subscribing libraries.


The BookBrowse Book Club: What We Discussed in 2021

books discussed in BookBrowse's book club in 2021

Wondering if a book might be right for your book club? Interested in seeing others' thoughts on a book you've read? BookBrowse's Book Club discussions are a great resource for readers who want to gain insight into recently released titles. In 2021, our members exchanged views on 18 different books. Scroll down for clickable images of each of the books.

Perhaps the thing I most enjoy about our book club forum is the quality of the discussion. BookBrowse and the publisher provide initial questions to spark inspired, in-depth conversation and to give participants the opportunity to share their ideas and feelings about the book, and participants also add their own topics to extend the conversation.

Most of these discussions are now closed for new posts, but you can browse them all to find out what people thought of each book and discover which topics generated the most lively exchanges.


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16 Uplifting books for book clubs
Interview with Vivat, Ukrainian publisher based in Kharkiv