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BookBrowse News Update

Feb 18, 2020

The Results Are In: Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Books

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

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

Those who responded were well-qualified to answer this question. Over 90% had been in a book club for at least three years, 55% had more than ten years of book club experience under their belts, and almost half belonged 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!


Top 10 Overall Favorite Books for Book ClubsIn #1 position in Book Clubs' All-Time Overall Favorite Books was A Gentleman in Moscow, unchanged in its lead position since BookBrowse's previous survey in 2018. In second place was Where the Crawdads Sing, followed by All the Light We Cannot See.

Most of the Overall Top 10 books fall into the broad bucket of "literary fiction," but most book clubs read a variety of genres, and rightly so because the qualities that make a book ripe for discussion are certainly not exclusive to "literary fiction," let alone "women's fiction."


Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Nonfiction BooksSo, BookBrowse probed deeper to ask specifically about the respondents' All-Time Favorite Nonfiction Books, and found Educated to be the runaway nonfiction favorite. In second and third place respectively were The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Becoming.


Book Clubs' All-Time Favorite Mysteries and ThrillersNext, BookBrowse asked respondents to name their All-Time Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers and, as for the previous questions, reminded them to only nominate titles 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. Gone Girl led the pack, closely followed by The Silent Patient and Girl on the Train. Louise Penny's Still Life came in at #6 overall, but Penny herself is clearly a perennial favorite with 11% of respondents naming one of her books in their top three favorites.


The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2019Lastly, BookBrowse asked respondents to think back on just those books they discussed in a book club during 2019, and to name their single favorite title. The Top 10 Most Popular Book Club Books of 2019 was compiled from these responses.





About the survey:
The survey was conducted between Jan 21-30, 2020. Only those already subscribed to BookBrowse's monthly Book Club News newsletter were invited to take part, and were asked not to share the link with others, so as to discourage publishers, authors or fans reaching out to their friends and followers to encourage them to vote for a particular book.

1,901 book club members responded. Over 90% had been in a book club for at least three years, 55% had more than ten years of book club experience under their belts, and almost half belonged to more than one group. See full demographics.

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BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.