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Great Books for Book Groups: What We Discussed in 2014

Book Group BuzzOur Book Group Buzz bloggers discussed over 100 books in 2014—not bad! From older books to newer books, from fiction to nonfiction, with even a few books for younger readers thrown in, they talked about (and shared their tricks for getting other people to talk about) a truly diverse array of titles. If you can’t find something here for your own book group, well, I’d be speechless.


Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, by Elena FerranteA Life Intercepted, by Charles Martin

A Midsummer Tight’s Dream, by Louise Rennison

A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute

Americanah, by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay

Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress

The Best American Short Stories, edited by Elizabeth Strout and Heidi Pitlor

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty

The Blade Itself, by Joe Abercrombie

The Boy in the Suitcase, by Agnete Friis and Lene Kaaberbol

Brother of the More Famous Jack, by Barbara Trapido

Changing Places, by David Lodge

Children of the Jacaranda Tree, by Sahar Delijani

The Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, by Amara Lakhous

The Commandant of Lubizec, by Patrick Hicks

Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar DelijaniThe Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq, by Hassan Blasim

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin

Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmund Rostand

The Dinner, by Herman Koch

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

Euphoria, by Lily King

Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng

The Eye of the Red Tsar, by Sam Eastland

The Faraway Nearby, by Rebecca Solnit

Fatherhood and Other Stories, by Thomas H. Cook

Foreign Gods, INC., by Okey Ndibe

The Forgers, by Bradford Morrow

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill

Hell at the Breech, by Tom FranklinHell at the Breech, by Tom Franklin

The Hum and the Shiver, by Alex Bledsoe

In the Woods, by Jana French

The Last Policeman, by Ben H. Winters

Legend of a Suicide, by David Vann

Let Him Go, by Larry Watson

The Light between Oceans, by M. L. Stedman

Lord Valentine’s Castle, by Robert Silverberg

Lookaway, Lookaway, by Wilton Barnhardt

Love Minus Eighty, by Will McIntosh

The Maid’s Version, by Daniel Woodre

Marching To Zion, by Mary Glickman

Medicus, by Ruth Downie

Mink River, by Brian Doyle

My Real Children, by Jo Walton

Neverhome, by Laird Hunt

Next Life Might Be Kinder, by Howard Norman

No One You Know by Michelle RichmondNo One You Know, by Michelle Richmond

North River, by Pete Hamill

The Orphans of Race Point, by Patry Francis

Painted Horses, by Malcolm Brooks

The Persian Pickle Club, by Sandra Dallas

Prayers for the Stolen, by Jennifer Clement

The Promise, by Ann Weisgarber

Redeployment, by Phil Klay

Redshirts, by John Scalzi

The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, by Azar Nafisi

The Revolution of Every Day, by Carl Luna

Roseanna, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion

The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac, by Sharma Shields

Say Nice Things About Detroit, by Scott Lasser

Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane

The Southern Reach Trilogy, by Jeff Vandermeer

The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester

Station ElevenStation Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Stoner, by John Williams

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin

The Survivors Club, by Ben Sherwood

The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, by Elena Ferrante

Throne of the Crescent Kingdom, by Saladin Ahmed

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

The Weight of Blood, by Laura McHugh

The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown

West of Here, by Jonathon Evison

What Is Visible, by Kimberly Elkins

What Was Lost, by Catherine O’Flynn

Where Somebody Waits, by Margaret Kaufman

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, by Ian Doescher

The World of Rae English, by Lucy Rosenthal

Your Face is Mine, by Jess Row


Going Clear by Lawrence WrightAgainst Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto by Steve Almond

Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff

Drama High, by Michael Sokolove

Foul Trouble, by John Feinstein

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, by Lawrence Wright

How to Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran

Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat, by Naomi Moriyama

Life Itself, by Roger Ebert

Men We Reaped: a Memoir, by Jesmyn Ward

Mothering and Daughtering: Keeping the Bond Strong Through the Teen Years, by Sil and Eliza Reynolds

The Novel Cure, by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin

Parisians, by Graham Robb

Population 485, by Michael Perry

Poser, by Claire Dederer

Redefining Realness, by Janet Mock

Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson

So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and How it Endures, by Maureen Corrigan

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, by Jeanette Winterson

Books for Youth

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell HobanBread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban

Fortunately, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman

Nancy Drew: The Clue in the Jewel Box, by Carolyn Keene

Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Relish, by Lucy Knisley

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Frank Baum




About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of six books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Phantom Tower (2018). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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