We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Meeting New Books: First Impressions Reviews

Look Back on First Impressions 2023

Reading other people's opinions on a book is a fun way to decide whether you want to read it yourself. With BookBrowse's First Impressions program, you can dive into a variety of personal perspectives on new titles, enjoying honest reviews from multiple independent readers to form an idea of a book similar to what you might gather from a casual conversation with a group of friends.

We make sure our First Impressions reviews and ratings are free from any connections to an author or outside influences by exclusively featuring feedback from members who opt in to the program and receive books assigned by an algorithm months ahead of publication. So you can browse high-quality comments with confidence and feel excited about choosing your next read!

In 2023, our First Impressions program covered more than 50 books. We invite you to peruse these reviews as well as ones for hundreds of other titles in our archives.


The Best Novels for Book Clubs in 2024

10 Novels for Book Clubs to Read in 2024

For book clubs who read contemporary fiction, it can feel impossible to choose between the many acclaimed and anticipated works making an appearance every year. But not to worry, we have you covered with top-notch suggestions for your club in 2024! Our list of recommendations features new books from established favorites like Barbara Kingsolver, Lydia Millet and Lynda Rutledge, along with noteworthy debuts from emerging authors such as Costanza Casati, Alice Winn and Parini Shroff.

All of these books are recently or soon-to-be published in paperback, many are accompanied by reading guides, and all that are currently available have been recommended by either our professional reviewers or multiple readers in our First Impressions program, some of whose comments you can read below. Plus, we're hosting our own online discussions for the first three titles and would love for you to join us!


The Best Nonfiction for Book Clubs in 2024

6 Nonfiction Books for Book Clubs in 2024
Looking for nonfiction to read with your book club in the coming year? It can be tricky to track down quality nonfiction that has real discussion potential, so we've created this list to give your group a head start on your picks for 2024.

Our selections include two books portraying lesser-explored elements of World War II from unique angles, an engaging story of sisters separated by the Chinese Civil War, an eye-opening account of women fighting discrimination at MIT, an intimate and socially conscious portrait of George Floyd, and the dramatic telling of a North Carolina community's battle for justice against a multinational corporation.

All of these titles will be available in paperback during the first half of 2024; some have full discussion guides available; for those that don't, we recommend our 36 Book Club Discussion Topics for Any Book. We hope these books spark fruitful conversations!


Interview Insights: The 8 Best Author Q&As of 2023

author images

At BookBrowse, we regularly bring you author interviews that offer insight into the origins, processes and intentions behind our featured works. As we look back over 2023, we would like to take the opportunity to share with you our favorite writer Q&As of the year. We invite you to explore Eleanor Shearer's inspiration and research for her historical novel River Sing Me Home, Costanza Casati's fascination with the subject of her Greek myth retelling Clytemnestra, how Anne Berest's family history informed the writing of her memoir-tinged work of fiction The Postcard and much more.


14 Books on the Questions and Contemplations of Mid-Life

14 books contemplating mid-life

It can be difficult to decide what middle age is, much less what books on the subject should cover. Depending on who you ask, mid-life may begin as early as 35 and end as late as 65. And experiences of the period vary widely based on many factors; for example, whether or not a person has (or wants to have) children, where they are professionally or in life. But when it comes to books about those in middle age, the particular topics that emerge often have to do with aging itself and a growing understanding of the limits of human existence. In accordance with the concept of the mid-life crisis, it's in middle age that many begin to grapple with the question of whether it's "too late" — to be a parent, to excel in one's chosen career path, to make significant changes to one's personal life. Middle age can also be a time of reflecting on the past, of questioning, from a more mature perspective, the choices one made long ago, and the current cycles and habits those decisions have established. All of this makes for philosophically rich considerations that many authors turn into literary gold, as evidenced by this list we've compiled of recent books about people in middle age.

Topics covered include mental health, infertility, illness, love in mid-life, how one's personal decisions impact others, the search for meaning, the everyday realities of marriage, the legitimacy of choosing a childless or unmarried life, and many others. All of the books come recommended by our reviewers and some have reading guides provided by the publisher to help build fulfilling book club discussions. Whether you fall into the middle-age range yourself or are somewhere on either side of it, we hope you enjoy these selections.


Behind the Scenes with Book Clubs

 interviews with more than 80 book clubs in the U.S. and around the world

Over the past 16 years, we at BookBrowse have had the privilege of speaking with members or facilitators of more than 80 book clubs across the USA and the world. In the process, we've learned that there's a fascinating range of possibilities for what book groups are and can be.

Among those interviewed are a book club that conducts discussions through the mail, an ESL book club, a writers' book club, a club where members don't all read the same book at the same time, a club that includes both teens and adults, and a club whose beginnings were prompted by Toni Morrison's Beloved more than 30 years ago.

We've been fortunate to be able to follow up with some groups after a long period of time and find them still thriving, perhaps in part because of their willingness to adapt to the needs of their members. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we've been impressed to see the resilience groups have shown in implementing virtual meetings, often treating this not just as a necessity but an opportunity to make their get-togethers more accessible and inclusive.

These interviews showcase a wonderful variety of books and communities, and are all available for you to read in full on the site. Below is a sampling of just a few recent and past Q&As out of the many fantastic conversations in our archives. We hope you enjoy them and take away some inspiration for your own reading or book club.


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