Book Club Bag Titles


book cover for All Adults Here
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
"A warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family--as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes." (Riverhead Books)

book cover for All Her Little Secrets
All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
“A twisty mystery about a Black lawyer who gets in over her head after the sudden death of her boss.” (William Morrow Press)

book cover for Black Cake
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
“In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett's death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.” (Ballantine Books)

book cover for The Cartographers
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
“A highly imaginative thriller about a young woman who discovers that a strange map in her deceased father's belongings holds an incredible, deadly secret--one that will lead her on an extraordinary adventure and to the truth about her family's dark history.” (William Morrow Publishing)

book cover for The Christie Affair
The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
“De Gramont bases this fanciful reimagining of actual events in the life of Agatha Christie on the author’s mysterious, 11-day disappearance in December 1926, shortly after Christie’s husband, Archie, revealed he was having an affair and wanted a divorce. Told from the point of view of Nan O’Dea, the fictionalized name of the “other woman” with whom Archie was linked, this is a must-read for fans of romance, history, or mystery with superb writing, strong characterizations, and wonderfully imaginative plot.” (Booklist)

book cover for Clark and Division
Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara
“Set in 1944 Chicago, this eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister's death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.” (Soho Crime)

book cover for Cloud Cuckoo Land
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
“The author of All the Light We Cannot See returns with this masterful novel that spans centuries as it brilliantly examines the lives of five young people. Though seemingly disparate, their lives prove to have in common the mysterious presence of a comic novel from classical antiquity telling of a simpleminded shepherd, Aethon, who embarks on a quest to find Cloud Cuckoo Land, a fabled city in the clouds. Doerr demonstrates a singular gift for bringing these complex, fully realized characters to empathetic life in this brilliantly imagined story, which moves backward and forward in time. Interspersed among the five children’s evolving stories is the saga of Aethon’s quest. One of the joys of reading Cloud Cuckoo Land is discovering the threads that link the five characters’ lives, which ultimately cohere in ways that are simply unforgettable, as is this amazing gift of a novel.” (Booklist)

book cover for The Displacements
The Displacements by Bruce Holsinger
“To all appearances, the Larsen-Hall family has everything: healthy children, a stable marriage, and lucrative careers. Their deluxe new Miami life has just clicked into place when Luna--the world's first category 6 hurricane--upends everything they have taken for granted. The Displacements thrillingly explores what happens when privilege is lost and resilience is tested in a swiftly changing world.” (Booklist)

book cover for Doctors and Friends
Doctors and Friends by Kimmery Martin
“Written prior to Covid-19 by a former emergency medicine physician, Doctors and Friends incorporates unexpected wit, razor-edged poignancy, and a deeply relatable cast of characters who provoke both laughter and tears. Martin provides a unique insider's perspective into the world of medical professionals working to save lives during the most difficult situations of their careers.” (Berkeley Press)

book cover for A Flicker in the Dark
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
“Chloe is a 32-year-old medical psychologist who self-medicates to deal with the trauma experienced when she was 12 years old, when her father was convicted of murdering six girls in the small town of Breaux Bridge. Now, as the 20th anniversary of the killings approaches, Chloe suspects that a local girl’s disappearance is connected to her father. An unforgettable character haunted by her past in an authentic Louisiana setting.” (Library Journal)

book cover for The Four Winds
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
“A powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression.” (St. Martin’s Press)

cover for The Giver of Stars
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
A compelling novel of five maverick women who defied the cultural conventions of their Kentucky community to bring literacy to rural families. Recently arrived from England and struggling to adjust to life with her cold husband and his tyrannical father, Alice Van Cleve jumps at the chance to work for a new traveling library service started by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. For families living in the mountains, Alice and four other women become not only a link to learning, but compassionate friends. “An homage to the power of reading and the strength of community.” (Booklist)

book cover for The Heart Principle
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
“Violinist Anna Sun is already in a major professional rut when her parent-approved long-term boyfriend proposes that they experiment with an open relationship. But then Anna meets sexy, tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep. Quan quickly proves that he only looks like a bad boy; he’s patient, kind, and supportive when Anna's dad lands in the hospital and she faces daunting challenges. Readers shouldn’t expect a typical rom-com, but many will still swoon for this sensitive love story.” (Publishers Weekly)

book cover for Honor
Honor by Thrity Umrigar
“Indian American journalist Smita has reluctantly returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena--a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man--Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one's own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita's own past. While Meena's fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. A tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice.” (Algonquin Books)

book cover for Horse
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
“With exceptional characterizations, Pulitzer Prize–winner Brooks tells an emotionally impactful tale centering on the life and legacy of Lexington, a bay colt who became a racing champion in mid-nineteenth-century America. From rural Kentucky to multicultural New Orleans, Brooks' settings are pitch-perfect, and the story brings to life the important roles filled by Black horsemen in America’s past.” (Booklist)

book cover for The It Girl
The It Girl by Ruth Ware
“Ten years ago, Hannah's testimony sent John Neville to prison for the murder of Hannah's Oxford roommate and friend April Clarke-Cliveden. Now a reporter wants to meet with Hannah to share with her information he believes may prove Neville's innocence. But if Neville didn't murder April, who did? Ruth Ware once again demonstrates her literary claim as the 21st century's answer to Agatha Christie.” (Library Journal)

book cover for Lessons in Chemistry
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
“When Elizabeth Zott enters a relationship with the brilliant Calvin Evans, she cooks him meals in exchange for sharing his home. They are both scientists at a California research institute in the 1960s, and although she has to fight for basic supplies like beakers, he is celebrated for the funding his work generates. When their relationship is tragically cut short, she turns to cooking and lands a job as the chef of a television show, allowing her to support her daughter, Madeline. Stymied in her scientific career by the misogynistic attitudes of her colleagues, Elizabeth nevertheless persists in this unflinching examination of the hurdles women of the era had to overcome to be valued similarly to men in the workplace.” (Booklist)

book cover for The Lincoln Highway
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
“This playfully thought-provoking novel follows a young man newly released from a juvenile work camp through ten eventful days in 1954.” (Booklist)

book cover for The Lioness
The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian
“Katie Barstow, Hollywood’s hottest young actress, plans her honeymoon as a Serengeti safari and invites her brother, sister-in-law, and a coterie of industry friends and colleagues to come along. No sooner do their guides set up camp then they are overtaken by kidnappers. Stark and dark, violent and vivid, the Serengeti’s beauty and brutality are vibrantly infused in every scene, a grounding counterpoint to the competing dynamics of human cruelty and compassion.” (Booklist)

cover for Long Bright River
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
"Alternating its present-day mystery with a story of two sisters' childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate." (Riverhead Books)

book cover for The Love of My Life
The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh
"Emma loves her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby: she'd do anything for them. But almost everything she's told them about herself is a lie. And she might just have got away with it, if it weren't for her husband's job. Leo is an obituary writer; Emma a well-known marine biologist. When she suffers a serious illness, Leo copes by doing what he knows best - researching and writing about his wife's life. But as he starts to unravel the truth, he discovers the woman he loves doesn't really exist. Even her name isn't real. When the very darkest moments of Emma's past finally emerge, she must somehow prove to Leo that she really is the woman he always thought she was." (Pamela Dorman Books)

book cover for The Magnolia Palace
The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis
“Dual timelines seamlessly connect the lives of two women at New York's Frick Collection. In 1919, Lillian Carter is the supermodel of her day and the muse of classical sculptors; her face and figure grace hundreds of famous statues throughout New York City. When her landlord's wife is murdered, Lillian is sought as a person of interest and hides away by taking a job at the Frick mansion. There she works as private secretary to Helen Clay Frick and lives among the collection's masterpieces, including a portrait of herself. In 1966, British model Veronica Weber comes to the Frick mansion (now a museum) for a photo shoot and ends up being locked in during a storm. The two timelines meet when Veronica discovers secret messages among the Frick's masterpieces and uncovers a long-lost heirloom.” (Booklist)

book cover for The Maid
The Maid by Nita Prose
“Molly Gray is a hotel maid whom few hotel guests acknowledge or really even see. That’s fine with Molly because what’s most important to her is to be an excellent maid. Normally, Molly follows the hotel rule that maids should not befriend hotel guests, but in the case of Giselle Black, the much-younger wife of an abusive business tycoon, she makes an exception. Then Molly finds Giselle’s husband dead in his suite one day and is accused of his murder. Happily, there’s more to Molly than meets the eye. She’s rescued in a most unexpected way that’s partly down to her own plucky ingenuity. Captivating, charming, and heart-warming, with deft writing and a clever, original plot, this unusual crime novel will leave readers with a warm glow.” (Booklist)

book cover for The Measure
The Measure by Nikki Erlick
“It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live. From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise? As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they'll live? Enchanting and deeply uplifting, The Measure is a sweeping, ambitious, and invigorating story about family, friendship, hope, and destiny.” (William Morrow Publishing)

cover for Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
A neighborhood book club meeting takes a sinister turn when Angelica Roux--younger, sexier, and far more enigmatic than the other members--arrives unannounced. Instead of discussing the book of the month, Angelica wants to play a game where everyone shares the worst thing they've ever done. The problem is, Angelica already knows what Amy will say, and she's prepared to make her pay to be quiet. But Angelica underestimates Amy's determination to protect her family from her past. “Jackson incorporates nail-biting suspense into her trademark southern family dramas.” (Booklist)

book cover for Nightwork
Nightwork by Nora Roberts
“Harry Booth learned very early in life that he couldn’t afford to play by the rules. To help his mother pay a never-ending avalanche of medical bills, Harry began picking pockets, gradually promoting himself to nightwork, relieving wealthy households of a valuable bauble or two. After his mother’s death, Harry begins roaming around the U.S., changing his name to fit each geographic location. While indulging in his surprising penchant for higher learning, Harry meets professor’s daughter Miranda Emerson and begins seriously thinking of leaving his old life behind. But a sociopathic former client has a different plan in mind for Harry. Spine-chilling suspense and stylish romance.” (Booklist)

book cover for One Italian Summer
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
“A 30-year-old married woman from Los Angeles, finding herself adrift after her mother’s death, travels to Italy on a long-awaited vacation they had planned to take together. Katy Silver’s one and only true love is her mother. Her mother is—was—her first call, her last call, her everything. Katy tries to discover who she is as a person and what she wants once she is away from her mother’s wide-ranging opinions and expertise and her husband’s love, calmness, and happiness with routine. What Katy finds is that her mother isn’t who she thought she was, but then again, neither is she. An unconventional love story that embraces people’s flaws and selfishness as part of what makes them human.” (Kirkus)

book cover for The Other Mrs.
The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica
An engrossing domestic thriller. Sadie and Will Foust move with their two sons from Chicago to a small island off the coast of Maine to care for their niece, Imogen, after Will's sister commits suicide. The girl proves to be a handful, and the creepy old house and island folk are unwelcoming. After their neighbor Morgan is murdered, Sadie becomes a suspect, and she, in turn, becomes suspicious of her husband. Sadie has reason to question Will's fidelity, but she also begins to doubt her own sanity. The story unfolds in three female voices that sweep readers up in the dramas and secrets, past and present, that seal the fate of each character. (Booklist)

book cover for Our Missing Hearts
Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
“Set in a dystopian near future in which Asian Americans are regarded with scorn and mistrust by the government and their neighbors, Ng’s cautionary tale transports us into an American tomorrow that is all too easy to imagine—and persuasively posits that the antidotes to fear and suspicion are empathy and love. The novel’s young protagonist, Bird, was 9 when his mother—without explanation—left him and his father; his father destroyed every sign of her. Now, when Bird is 12, a letter arrives, launching him on an odyssey to locate her.” (Kirkus)

book cover for The Paper Palace
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
“A story of summer, secrets, love and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades.” (Riverhead Books)

book cover for The People We Keep
The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
“This novel is about a young songwriter longing to find a home. As she moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, April chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn’t dictate who she has to be.” (Gallery Books)

book cover for The Personal Librarian
The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
“The remarkable story of J. P. Morgan's personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation.” (Berkeley Books)

book cover for The Reading List
The Reading List by Sarah Nisha Adams
“An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.” (HarperCollins)

book cover for Reckless Girls
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins
“Six stunning twentysomethings are about to embark on a blissful, free-spirited journey--one filled with sun-drenched days and intoxicating nights. But as it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in, sending them on a dangerous spiral of discovery. When one person goes missing and another turns up dead, the remaining friends wonder what dark currents lie beneath this impenetrable paradise--and who else will be swept under its secluded chaos.” (St. Martin’s Press)

book cover for Remarkably Bright Creatures
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
“Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living in the Puget Sound's Sowell Bay Aquarium, is running on borrowed time as he nears the end of his life. He is befriended by Tova, the 70-year-old widow who cleans the aquarium and shines the glass of Marcellus's tank. Tova still grieves the disappearance of her only child Erik 30 years earlier, and the more recent death of her husband. An irresistibly wonderful, warm, funny, heartbreaking novel, full of gentle people (and one octopus) bravely powering through their individual scars left by lives that have beaten them up but have not brought them down.” (Library Journal)

book cover for sea of tranquility
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
“In 1912, Edwin, the third son of a wealthy British family who is sent into exile for his progressive views, has a transcendent experience in the remote Canadian woods when he is momentarily transported to a futuristic airship terminal and hears a violinist playing. Nearly a hundred years later, Vincent Smith has a similar experience as a teen. And several centuries into the future, a resident of a colony on the moon named Gaspery Roberts is sent back through time to investigate these incidents, and discover how and why they happened. Connecting characters across the centuries, Mandel (author of Station Eleven) spins a gripping and beautiful narrative that speaks to how we are all interconnected in great and small ways.” (Booklist)

book cover for The Summer Wives
The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
“A rich, romantic story of being young and falling in love. On sun-kissed Winthrop Island, a summer escape in the Long Island Sound, life is filled with lazy days playing tennis and having lunch at the club, governed by the rules of 1950s high society. When Miranda Schuyler spends her first summer on the island, she falls instantly in love with Joseph, an island native who loves her fiercely back. But Joseph is a yearlong resident a lobster fisherman and the two are torn apart by class rivalries. When they defy the rules, they find themselves caught up in the lives and lies of the previous generations' secrets.” (Booklist)

book cover for True Biz
True Biz by Sara Novic
“An electrifying narrative set at a present-day boarding school for Deaf high school students. Headmistress February Waters is a hearing ally of the Deaf community; Austin, the school’s popular kid, belongs to a generational Deaf family; and Charlie, the newly admitted transfer student, struggles to fit in because of her inability to use American Sign Language. February, determined to make Charlie’s language immersion easier, assigns Austin to be Charlie’s guide until one morning when Charlie, Austin, and his roommate go missing from the school.” (Publishers Weekly)

book cover for The Violin Conspiracy
The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb
“Ray McMillian is a Black classical musician on the rise--undeterred by the pressure and prejudice of the classical music world--when a shocking theft sends him on a desperate quest to recover his great-great-grandfather's heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world.” (Anchor Books)

book cover for We Were Never Here
We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz
“A backpacking trip has deadly consequences in this eerie psychological thriller with alluring locales, Hitchcockian tension, and possibly the best pair of female leads since Thelma and Louise.” (BookPage)

book cover for The Women’s March
The Women’s March by Jennifer Chiaverini
“An enthralling historical novel of the women's suffrage movement inspired by three courageous women who bravely risked their lives and liberty in the fight to win the vote.” (William Morrow Publishing)



book cover for All That She Carried
All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles
“The poignant tale of a family heirloom passed down through generations of Black women. Rose, an enslaved woman in 1850s South Carolina, gave her daughter, Ashley, a sack of some items on the eve of Ashley’s sale to a different owner. Rose embroidered it with a message of love that endured. Years later, Ashley’s great-granddaughter, Ruth Middleton, added her own words to the heirloom, continuing the chain of the family’s history. Filled with rare, archival photographs of objects from the era, this book will also appeal to fans of genealogy television shows.” (Booklist)

book cover for Braiding Sweetgrass
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
“As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise.” Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings--asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass--offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices.” (Milkweed Editions)

book cover for Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
“A vivacious portrait of a therapist from both sides of the couch. With great empathy and compassion, psychotherapist and Atlantic columnist and contributing editor Gottlieb chronicles the many problems facing the "struggling humans" in her stable of therapy patients. In addition to its smooth, conversational tone and frank honesty, the book is also entertainingly voyeuristic, as readers get to eavesdrop on Gottlieb's therapy sessions with intriguing patients in all states of distress. She also includes tales of her appointments with her own therapist, whom she turned to in her time of personal crisis.” (Kirkus)

book cover for The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America
The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America by Elizabeth Letts
“Penniless, homeless, and given a dire health prognosis at 63, Annie Wilkins set out to do the one thing she’d always wanted to do, see the Pacific Ocean. In late fall 1954, she loaded up her new Morgan horse, Tarzan, and with her faithful dog Depeche Toi headed south and west away from her home in rural Maine. In this era before cell phones, GPS, and credit cards, Wilkins would rely on her wits or die trying. Letts vividly portrays an audacious woman whose optimism, courage, and good humor are to be marveled at and admired.” (Booklist)