72 Great Novels for Book Clubs

The heart of a great book club is great discussion books, but a great book isn’t necessarily the same thing as a great book club book (More on this later). If you’re looking for a fiction title for your book club that will provide plenty of material for discussion, here are 72 possibilities. And if you need still more ideas, many of the authors mentioned below have additional titles that would make fantastic discussion books. Don’t forget to see what else they’ve written!

A heads-up! I haven’t read all of these, but I’ve compiled the list based on my own reading, and recommendations from trusted friends and resources. Titles I’ve read are marked with an (*)

Thought-Provoking Fiction Titles for Great Book Club Discussions

72 Great Book Club Novels

Classic Novels

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  2. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  4. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  5. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  6. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  9. The Odyssey by Homer
  10. * Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  11. * The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Diversify Your Reading

  1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  2. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  3. Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende
  4. Silence by Shusaku Endo
  5. The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
  6. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  7. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  8. The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
  9. * A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri
  10. The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  12. Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Modern Classics

  1. * A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  2. * Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
  3. * Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  4. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  5. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
  7. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  8. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  9. * Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  10. * To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  11. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  12. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Experience Another Era

  1. * Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
  2. The Heaven Tree by Edith Pargeter
  3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  4. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  5. The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith
  6. The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson
  7. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  9. * Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  11. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  12. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume


  1. * Velma Still Cooks in Leeway by Vinita Hampton Wright
  2. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  3. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  4. The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
  5. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  6. * The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
  7. * What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  8. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  9. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  10. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
  11. Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  12. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Try a New Genre

  1. * The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  2. * The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  5. Shane by Jack Schaefer
  6. * Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
  7. A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell
  8. A Taste for Death by P. D. James
  9. * Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  10. * The Martian by Andy Weir
  11. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  12. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Booked | Reading Together | A Series All about Book ClubsBooked: Reading Together

This is part of the Booked: Reading Together series. Throughout October, I’m writing all about book clubs.

Check out the archives in case you missed a post.

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Recent Readaloud: Dinosaurs Before Dark
Two years ago: 31 Days of More Great Nonfiction: The Grand Tour
Three years ago: My One Tip for How to Read More and 31 Days of Great Nonfiction: Heat

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  1. Love the list! Our group has read Station Eleven, What Alice Forgot, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, The Secret Keeper, and The Book Thief.

  2. Kathy Stevens says:

    Looks like posts I would enjoy.

  3. They’re so many great books on this list that you haven’t read. 😉

    • I know it. There are a handful more on the list that I’ve technically read, but I remember almost nothing of them so I’m not counting them. High school reading – it made such an impact on me. 😉

      I read a lot more nonfiction and genre fiction, so these types of novels aren’t my typical reading fare – although I’m starting to read them more thanks to my book club!

      Also, stay tuned, and you might recognize a few of the titles popping up on here in the future. 🙂

  4. I would also say The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goldman.

  5. Wow, what a great list you’ve compiled. You’ve got a couple on here that my book club recently read and I hadn’t heard of anywhere else. (The Language of Flowers, for example.) It’s always nice to find a new, great book that isn’t all over the blogosphere and Bookstagram.

    I think there are a lot of good books on here you haven’t gotten to yet! I hope you’ll update the list and let us know when you’ve read more of them!


  1. […] I hope you’ll look at my suggested titles – last Friday I shared an extensive list of fiction titles, and this Friday I’ll be posting nonfiction options. Next week I’ll provide some […]

  2. […] Try 72 Great Novels for Book Clubs […]

  3. […] title announcement. (I’ll give you a hint though: If you’ve read my suggestions for fiction and nonfiction you’ll probably recognize many of the books – I’m trying to pick […]

  4. […] 72 Great Novels for Book Clubs […]

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