42 book club books that get conversation (and wine) flowing

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  • What makes a good book a great book club book, asks novelist, Isabelle Broom and w&h books editors Zoe West and Emma Shacklock...

    A great book club book is one that you don’t simply read and then place back on your shelf to gather dust, but thrust into the hands of your friends and family, urging them that they must read it, too, because you are absolutely desperate to talk about it with someone. These are the stories that lend themselves perfectly to being the very best book club books.

    These are good books that keep you up until the early hours, the ones which come to mind first when someone asks you what you have been reading recently, and they will invariably be well thumbed, dog-eared from being carried around in your bag, with pages folded down and perhaps even notes scribbled in the margin.

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    The thing is, some stories are just too big and important to stay inside the head of a lone reader – they were meant to be shared, discussed and debated. They do not simply make you feel, they make you think, too – perhaps about something that has not occurred to you ever before.

    They have taught you a lesson about the world and how it works. But they will also have helped you to find something out about yourself. It is a wonderful kind of alchemy, and finding a story and set of characters that move, challenge or teach you something, never feels anything less than miraculous.

    From ghosting to property fraud to hidden secrets, untold tragedies, death, love and romance, depression, obsession and a glimpse into a frightening yet all-too fathomable future, these titles are packed with topical talking points, mind-bending twists, laugh-out-loud observations and characters that will stay with you long after reading.

    Whether you’re a book club aficionado, keen to start a reading club with friends or simply looking for a summer read or title that is a cut above the rest to read on your Kindle, then this list of book club books is a very good place to start…

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