The most popular book club books of the past decade
Unsure what your next book club read should be?
To help, here is a list of some of the most
popular book club selections of the past decade.
Featuring a blend of literary fiction,
historical fiction, thrillers, memoirs, and
more, there’s truly something for everyone on
by Cormac McCarthy
postapocalyptic novel was destined to become Cormac
and his son walk alone through burned America.
Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash
on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and
when the snow falls it is grey. The sky is dark.
Their destination is the coast, although they don’t
know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have
nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against
the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes
they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food ‒ and
is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It
boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains,
but in which the father and his son, «each the
other’s world entire», are sustained by love.
The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao,
by Junot Díaz
a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who
‒ from the New Jersey home he shares with his old
world mother and rebellious sister ‒ dreams of
becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of
all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he
wants. Blame the fukú ‒ a curse that has haunted
Oscar’s family for generations, following them on
their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA.
Encapsulating Dominican-American history,
brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao
explores the endless human capacity to persevere ‒
and risk it all ‒ in the name of love.
by Lisa Genova
bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova
comes this illuminating novel about Alzheimer’s
Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to
build. At 50 years old, she’s a cognitive psychology
professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in
linguistics with a successful husband and three
grown children. When she becomes increasingly
disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis
changes her life ‒ and her relationship with her
family and the world ‒ forever. As she struggles to
cope with Alzheimer’s, she learns that her worth is
comprised of far more than her ability to remember.
At once beautiful and terrifying,
is a moving and vivid depiction of life with
early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,
Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there
is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that
brings them to their perfect readers.»
1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the
Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is
looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine
that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s
never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who
has come across her name written inside a book by
Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters,
Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his
friends ‒ and what a wonderfully eccentric world it
The hunger games,
ruins of a place once known as North America lies
the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by
twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and
cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing
them all to send one boy and one girl between the
ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the
annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live
TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives
alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it
as a death sentence when she is forced to represent
her district in the Games. But Katniss has been
close to dead and survival, for her, is second
nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a
contender. But if she is to win, she will have to
start making choices that weigh survival against
humanity and life against love.
The White Queen,
Elizabeth Woodville is a woman of extraordinary
beauty and ambition. Her mother is Jacquetta, also
known as the mystical lady of the rivers, and she is
even more determined to bring power and wealth to
the family line. While riding in the woods one day,
Elizabeth captures the attentions of the newly
crowned King Edward IV and, despite her common
upbringing, marries him in secret.
is raised up to be his queen, the English court is
outraged, but Elizabeth rises to the demands of her
exalted position and fights for her family’s
dominance. Yet despite her best efforts, and even
with the help of her mother’s powers, her two sons
become pawns in a famous unsolved mystery that has
confounded historians for centuries: the lost
princes in the Tower of London.
five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. It’s where he
was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and
play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in
the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when
Old Nick visits.
home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she
has been held for seven years. Through her fierce
love for her son, she has created a life for him in
this 11-by-11-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity
building alongside her own desperation, she knows
that Room cannot contain either much longer.
a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating ‒ a
story of unconquerable love in harrowing
circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between
a mother and her child.
ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first
people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the
first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly
kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while
thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and
completely alone with no way to even signal Earth
that he’s alive ‒ and even if he could get word out,
his supplies would be gone long before a rescue
could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have
time to starve to death. The damaged machinery,
unforgiving environment, or plain-old «human error»
are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark
isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his
ingenuity, his engineering skills ‒ and a
relentless, dogged refusal to quit ‒ he steadfastly
confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle
after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough
to overcome the impossible odds against him?
The light between oceans,
by M. L.
four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom
Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as
the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a
day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated
island, where the supply boat comes once a season,
Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.
Years later, after two miscarriages and one
stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries
on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a
dead man and a living baby.
keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles
have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the
man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the
baby is a «gift from God», and against Tom’s
judgment, they claim her as their own and name her
Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the
mainland and are reminded that there are other
people in the world. Their choice has devastated one
When breath becomes air,
age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade’s
worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi
was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he
was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was
a patient struggling to live. And just like that,
the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated.
What makes life worth living in the face of death?
What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder
toward your goals in life, flattens out into a
Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this
book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to
us all. «I began to realize that coming face to face
with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed
nothing and everything,» he wrote. «Seven words from
Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t
go on. I’ll go on.’»
book is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection
on the challenge of facing death from a brilliant
writer who became doctor and patient.