Half the fun of having a book club is picking your next book club book. But with so many new novels on the horizon, it can be difficult to choose the next great read for your crew. After all, the best books for discussion aren’t merely entertaining, they’re richly layered narratives packed with compelling characters, surprising twists, and provocative themes. Well, we’re here to help guide you in your search. From acclaimed debuts to powerful new novels by award-winning authors, here are our recommendations that will thrill your book club in 2022.
10 Best New Fiction Books for Book Clubs
These dazzling new releases are sure to spark discussion.
By Jean Hanff Korelitz
In The Latecomer, author Jean Hanff Korelitz follows up her New York Times bestselling literary thriller The Plot with a thought-provoking family drama. The novel centers on the Oppenheimers, a wealthy New York City clan with plenty of family issues to unpack. Parents Salo and Johanna met under tragic circumstances, and their triplet children, Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally, born during the early days of IVF, have been at odds with each other since birth. When the siblings leave for college, Johanna decides to add a fourth child to the mix, upending their fragile family dynamic. Korelitz skillfully moves from the fateful first meeting of the parents to the birth of the triplets to the present day in The Latecomer, all while delivering surprising twists and nuanced explorations of guilt, trauma, memory, privilege, and more. You won’t be able to finish it without wanting to dissect every turn.
By Alexis Schaitkin
Alexis Schaitkin’s Elsewhere is an imaginative and atmospheric novel that will enthrall book clubbers with its creativity as well as its provocative social commentary. The novel spirits readers away to a remote mountain village steeped in tradition, where girls are raised to become wives and mothers — and some of those mothers simply vanish into thin air. Why some mothers disappear is a mystery, and the community is abuzz with gossip, speculation, and judgment over the perceived transgressions of the vanished. At the novel’s center is Vera, a young woman who lost her own mother when she was just a child and who is now preparing to become a mother herself. Will the same fate befall her, or will the truth about this dark and mysterious place finally come to light?
The Kingdoms of Savannah
By George Dawes Green
George Dawes Green’s The Kingdoms of Savannah is an electrifying new mystery novel with a strong sense of place and a perplexing murder at its core. The book is set in Savannah, Georgia, a city steeped in history. When a man is murdered at a local pub and his companion vanishes without a trace, socialite and amateur detective Morgana Musgrove is tasked with solving the mystery. Morgana is a shadowy figure herself, with four grown children who are exhausted by her scheming and demanding ways. Soon, however, the kids get roped into the investigation, adding a compelling layer of family dysfunction to the mix as the Musgroves traverse the underbelly of this historic city in search of the truth.
Olga Dies Dreaming
By Xochitl Gonzalez
Olga Dies Dreaming may be author Xochitl Gonzalez’s debut, but don’t let that stop you from adding this brilliant and bestselling new novel to the top of your book club’s reading list. The acclaimed family drama is both touching and thought-provoking, exploring themes of grief, abandonment, deceit, corruption, and the tenuous bonds that hold a family together. Set in New York City circa 2017, the novel focuses on the Acevedo family: Olga is a high-profile wedding planner for Manhattan power couples; her brother Pedro is a popular Brooklyn congressman. Both appear to be thriving, yet the truth is far more complex. Olga’s outlook on life brightens when she meets Matteo, but their budding relationship forces her to confront some deep family secrets — as does the return of her mother Blanca, an activist who left the family years ago to pursue a militant political cause. Download the discussion guide.
This Time Tomorrow
By Emma Straub
From Emma Straub, the New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and All Adults Here, This Time Tomorrow is an excellent addition to your book club’s summer reading list. The new novel playfully riffs on the concept of time travel, à la 13 Going on 30, while also delivering a poignant meditation on love, loss, and aging. In it, protagonist Alice awakes on her 40th birthday to find herself back in 1996 at the age of 16. She’s dumbfounded by the flash backward through time. And yet it’s her father’s past self that intrigues her more than her own, and this return to their father–daughter relationship quickly becomes the heart of the narrative. With vivid characters, crafty humor, and emotional richness, This Time Tomorrow is sure to get your book club talking.
By Kristin Chen
Kristin Chen’s Counterfeit has everything a book club would want in a pick — it’s suspenseful, it’s fun, and it’s very funny. The book focuses on the world of luxurious handbags — or rather, the world of fake luxury handbags — and the two women who find themselves at the heart of a counterfeit scheme. Chinese American Ava Wong gets roped into the scheme by her mysterious former college roommate, Winnie Fang. Winnie enlists the straitlaced Ava because she needs someone with an American passport to serve as the respectable face of her shady dealings. Ava agrees, but when things get dicey, Winnie splits, just like she did years before, leaving Ava to deal with the repercussions. With subtlety and sly humor, Chen examines the Model Minority stereotype often assigned to Asian Americans, as well as themes of materialism, friendship, feminism, class, and culture. Download the discussion guide.
The Candy House
By Jennifer Egan
From Manhattan Beach to A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan’s books make consummate book club picks. We anticipate her newest release, The Candy House, will be just as popular among book clubbers, as it’s a dazzlingly inventive narrative that doubles as a sibling novel to the award-winning Goon Squad. The book interweaves an array of voices and perspectives stretched across decades, all connected by Bix Bouton and his all-powerful tech company, Mandala, whose “Own Your Unconscious” technology allows people to trade their memories with others. It’s the type of novel where the less teased about the plot the better — it’s best to just dive in. Download the discussion guide.
The Christie Affair
By Nina de Gramont
Reese Witherspoon picked The Christie Affair as her book club’s February read and chances are that your book club will love it too. The Christie Affair is a captivating tale of heartbreak and revenge centered on a real-life literary mystery: Agatha Christie’s 11-day disappearance in 1926. The novel follows Miss Nan O’Dea, who slips into Agatha and Archie Christie’s inner circle, eventually becoming Archie’s mistress. The book is inventive, suspenseful, and fast-paced — just the kind of novel you’ll want to discuss with friends.
When We Fell Apart
By Soon Wiley
Soon Wiley’s When We Fell Apart is a moving novel centered on Min, a Korean American man who’s shocked to discover that his seemingly happy girlfriend has committed suicide. This leads Min to uncover more about his girlfriend and why she may have wanted to die, and it also prompts him to investigate his own identity. The book is a mystery novel, a coming-of-age drama, and a poignant exploration of identity and belonging all at once. Download the discussion guide.
By Charmaine Wilkerson
Charmaine Wilkerson’s bestselling debut, Black Cake, is a great next read for any book club, as it’s packed with captivating characters and delicious twists and turns. The sweeping family saga centers on Byron and Benny, estranged siblings who inherit a black cake after their mother’s death and must piece together its meaning, with only the help of a voice recording containing a heartbreaking tale. The book’s key themes — deeply held secrets, dark betrayals, family ties, and multigenerational stories — will give your club plenty to discuss.