In need of a new book club suggestion that will get your group talking? Pick of one of these nine timely reads.

By Rebecca Renner
Updated August 31, 2018
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So you want to talk about race in your book club? Oluo has the book for you. She offers takes on race in America, examining micro-aggressions, privilege, police brutality, and more. If your club has already devoured books by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates, make this your next read. To buy: $18, amazon.com.
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Has your book club been a little quiet lately? Are you feeling like there hasn’t been much to talk about because everyone in your book club has been in agreement? Maybe your book picks have been a tad bland. One solution: Consider books that dig into current events and important issues to encourage a lively discussion. Try one of these book club suggestions, and your club may never stop talking.

Amazon.com

1
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

So you want to talk about race in your book club? Oluo has the book for you. She offers takes on race in America, examining micro-aggressions, privilege, police brutality, and more. If your club has already devoured books by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates, make this your next read.

To buy: $18, amazon.com.

amazon.com

2
Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room

Life inside Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility is new to inmate Romy Hall. In her novel, The Mars Room, Kushner—who spent years doing research—lays bare the realities of life inside prisons. Use it to inspire discussions about issues of mass incarceration, criminal justice, and more..

To buy: $16, amazon.com.

Amazon

3
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn

Journalist Camille Preaker is barely out of psychiatric treatment for self-harm when she returns to her hometown to report on the murders of two young girls. If your book club wants a dark, eerie TV tie-in with plenty of twists and turns, choose this thriller.

To buy: $9, amazon.com.

Penguin Random House

4
The Incendiaries, by R.O. Kwon

Kwon’s much-awaited first novel is short but packs a big punch. In it, Phoebe Lin is drawn into a secretive cult, while Will Kendall confronts the religious fundamentalism in his past. Reading this book will spark a lively discussion about religion, extremism, and the lines drawn between personal faith and something much more dangerous.

To buy: $21, amazon.com.

Simon & Schuster

5
Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, by Sarah Smarsh

In her memoir, Heartland, Smarsh takes readers into the impoverished Kansas of her childhood as she delves into our society’s conceptions of wealth and personal worth. If your book club likes to get political, and you want to start a timely discussion about income and wealth inequality, this is your upcoming book.

To buy: $17, amazon.com.

Penguin Random House

6
The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

In her novel The Great Believers, Makkai weaves two intertwining stories: one strand in present-day Paris, the other in 1980s Chicago during the AIDs epidemic. From the way the heartbreaks of the past touch the present, to the politics of our modern world, your book club will have plenty to discuss after reading this book.

To buy: $17, amazon.com.

Barnes & Noble

7
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy

The opioid crisis has been gripping our nation. There’s no better way to learn about this difficult subject than through narrative. Macy’s nonfiction book humanizes the crisis through stories from families and first responders. Read this book to discuss the epidemic, as well as the bleak and hopeful views of the lives who are mired in it.

To buy: $18, barnesandnoble.com.

Penguin Random House

8
Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer

Female friendships are a vital part of our lives. There is no better place to discuss their importance than in a book club of your friends. In this book, Schaefer draws on her own relationships to delve into the social significance of female friendship.

To buy: $14, amazon.com.

HarperCollins

9
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited Roxane Gay

Acclaimed essayist Gay is back, this time leading the way for this incisive essay anthology that dives into the murky waters of rape culture. With voices ranging from Gabrielle Union to Lyz Lenz, this anthology offers up plenty of topics for your book club to discuss.

To buy: $26, amazon.com.