Best Book Club Picks For Fall

October 15, 2014 9:00 AM

A chill is in the air, and autumn is the perfect time to curl up with good book – and then discuss it with your book club, of course. Whether you’re looking for a rich historical novel, a new perspective on global events, or the warmth of an intimate family drama, our sister company Simon & Schuster has the reads that are sure to keep your book club’s conversation flowing.

A Sudden Light
By Garth Stein

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

The author of the beloved novel The Art of Racing in the Rain is back with this long-awaited new book. Set in the summer of 1990, A Sudden Light introduces readers to Trevor Riddell; a fourteen-year-old boy struggling with his parents trial separation when his father brings him to the ancestral family home for the first time. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune and overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound, the Riddell House is filled with secret stairways and hidden rooms. As Trevor begins to explore the estate, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets that hold the key to his family’s future. Spellbinding and atmospheric, A Sudden Light is rich with scenes of natural beauty and emotional truth that reflect Garth Stein’s keen understanding of human motivation—a triumphant work of a master storyteller at the height of his power.

For Fans Of: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The House We Grew Up In
By Lisa Jewell

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Meet the Bird family: pragmatic Meg, dreamy Beth, and tow-headed twins Rory and Rhys, and their mother, Lorelei, who collects the precious mementos of their childhood. After one tragic Easter weekend, Lorelei’s collecting slowly spirals out of control. As the years pass and her hoarding grows, so does her isolation from her husband, children, and community. When the children are called back to the house they grew up in, they are forced to confront what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago. Delving deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is an intelligent and warm story of a family’s desire to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of time.

For Fans Of: Jojo Moyes or Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

In the Shadow of the Banyan
By Vaddey Ratner

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

This unforgettable novel of a young girl coming of age amid the genocide of the Cambodian killing fields is also a beautiful celebration of innocence and the transcendent power of imagination. For seven-year-old Raami, her childhood world collapses in March of 1975, when the civil war between the US-backed government and the Khmer Rouge insurgency has reached its climax and soon her family’s privileged life is swept up in the chaos of revolution. Over the next four years, as Raami endures starvation, labor camps, and systematic violence, she clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems her father told her. Rich with history, mythology, and emotion, In The Shadow of the Banyan is an extraordinary novel of a young girl’s fight for survival.

For Fans Of: Little Bee or Sarah’s Key

The Children of the Jacaranda Tree
By Sahar Delijani

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

A haunting and kaleidoscopic novel, Children of the Jacaranda Tree centers on Iran’s violent summer of 1988. Neda is born in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where her mother is allowed to nurse her for a few months before a guard takes her away. In another part of city, three-year-old Omid witnesses the arrests of his political activist parents. More than twenty years after Tehran’s prisons were violently purged, Sheida learns that her father was one of those executed. Spanning from 1983 to 2011 and told from alternating perspectives, this stunning debut novel follows a group of mothers, fathers, children, and lovers who reveal the intimate side of the Iranian Revolution.

For Fans Of: Khaled Hosseini

The Flamethrowers
By Rachel Kushner

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

This extraordinarily ambitious novel took the world by storm and was a National Book Award finalist when it was released last year. Set in Rome, New York, and the desert of the American West in the late 1970s, The Flamethrowers captures the idealism and sometimes hypocrisy of the people involved in the intersection of art, politics, and violence. The Flamethrowers established Rachel Kushner as an emerging literary force.

For Fans Of: Jennifer Egan

The Museum of Extraordinary Things
By Alice Hoffman

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

An electric and impassioned love affair is at the heart of this spellbinding new novel from the author of The Dovekeepers. Coralie is the daughter of a Coney Island freak show impresario who delights the masses by appearing as a mermaid in her father’s “museum.” Born in the old country, Eddie is a photographer working to establish a modern life for himself on the Lower East Side. When Eddie, photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he ignites Coralie’s heart. Alice Hoffman weaves her trademark magic and romance into a story that is rich with history and a sense of place.

For Fans Of: The Night Circus or Water for Elephants