Thought-Provoking Book Club Books

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize.

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Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

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The Martian

Andy Weir

Six days 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.

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Ender’s Game

Orson Scott Card

The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation. Is Ender the general Earth so desperately needs? The only way to find out is to throw him into ever-harsher training at Battle School, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins.

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The Time Traveler’s Wife

Audrey Niffenegger

Passionately in love, Clare and Henry vow to hold onto each other and their marriage as they struggle with the effects of Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a condition that casts Henry involuntarily into the world of time travel.

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The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

In 1946, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey, who tells her about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation.

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Orphan Train

Christina Baker Kline

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying children whose fates would be determined by luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood of hard labor and servitude? Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear.

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The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed the Wife Project, using a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful. And on a quest of her own to find her biological father—a search that Don, a professor of genetics, might just be able to help her with.

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Me Before You

Jojo Moyes

Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer's acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living.

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What Alice Forgot

Liane Moriarty

Suffering an accident that causes her to forget the last 10 years of her life, Alice is astonished to discover that she is 39 years old, a mother of three children and in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from a man she dearly loves.

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A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul.

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The Secret Keeper

Kate Morton

Withdrawing from a family party to the solitude of her tree house, 16-year-old Laurel Nicolson witnesses a shocking murder that throughout a subsequent half century shapes her beliefs, her acting career and the lives of three strangers from vastly different cultures.

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The Language of Flowers

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria Jones is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life.

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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin

A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.

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The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah

The story of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.

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The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

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The Chosen

Chaim Potok

The story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again.

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The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

Life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

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The Color Purple

Alice Walker

This is the story of two sisters--one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South--who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle

When Dr Watson agrees to share lodgings with Sherlock Holmes, he soon finds himself involved in a shocking and mysterious murder case. What will Holmes discover when he examines the body? There are no marks on the dead man, so why is there so much blood at the scene of the crime? Can the famous detective and his new friend discover the truth before the murderer strikes again?

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith

Francie Nolan, avid reader, penny candy connoisseur and adroit observer of human nature, has much to ponder in colourful, turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. Francie learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny. She is her father's child--romantic and hungry for beauty. But she is her mother's child, too--deeply practical and in constant need of truth.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel García Márquez, Gregory Rabassa

Pipes and kettledrums herald the arrival of gypsies on their annual visit to Macondo, the newly founded village where José Arcadio Buendía and his strong-willed wife, Ursula, have started their new life. As the mysterious Melquíades excites Aureliano Buendía and his father with new investions and tales of adventure, neither can know the significance of the indecipherable manuscript that the old gypsy passes into their hands. Through plagues of insomnia, civil war, hauntings and vendettas, the many tribulations of the Buendía household push memories of the manuscript aside. Few remember its existence and only one will discover the hidden message that it holds.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

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The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri

On the heels of an arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Ashoke does his best to adapt while his wife pines for home. When their son, Gogol, is born, the task of naming him betrays their hope of respecting old ways in a new world. And we watch as Gogol stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs.

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The Hundred Secret Senses

Amy Tan

Kwan, a seventeen-year-old half-sister from China, turns young Olivia's world upside-down with her stories of ghosts of another time, tales that have a profound impact on Olivia's life and imagination, until she discovers a way to reconcile the ghosts of the past with her dreams of the future.

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Of Love and Shadows

Isabel Allende

Irene Beltrán is a force to be reckoned with. As a magazine journalist, an unusual profession for a woman with her privileged upbringing, she is constantly challenging the oppressive regime. Her investigative partner is photographer Francisco Leal, the son of impoverished Spanish Marxist émigrés. Together, they are an inseparable team and—despite Irene’s engagement to an army captain—form a passionate connection. When an assignment leads them to uncover an unspeakable crime, they are determined to reveal the truth in a nation overrun by terror and violence.

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Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe

Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditional society, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought by the British conquest of Nigeria. Yet, as in classic tragedy, Okonkwo's character as well as external forces contribute to his downfall.

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Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet is a bright, lively young woman with four sisters, and a mother determined to marry them to wealthy men. At a party near the Bennets’ home in the English countryside, Elizabeth meets the wealthy, proud Fitzwilliam Darcy. Elizabeth initially finds Darcy haughty and intolerable, but circumstances continue to unite the pair. Mr. Darcy finds himself captivated by Elizabeth’s wit and candor, while her reservations about his character slowly vanish.

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Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë

As darkness falls, a man caught in a snowstorm is forced to shelter at the strange, grim house Wuthering Heights. It is a place he will never forget. There he will come to learn the story of Cathy- how she was forced to choose between her well-meaning husband and the dangerous man she had loved since she was young. How her choice led to betrayal and terrible revenge - and continues to torment those in the present. How love can transgress authority, convention, even death.

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Les Miserables

Victor Hugo

Trying to forget his past and live an honest life, ex-convict Jean Valjean risks his freedom to take care of a motherless young girl during a period of political unrest in Paris.

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Edmund Dantes, unjustly convicted of aiding the exiled Napoleon, escapes after fourteen years of imprisonment and seeks his revenge in Paris.

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