The Best Book Club Books I’ve Read in 2020 (so far)

by Heather Caliendo
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With the year half over with, it’s time to take a look at the best book club books I’ve read in 2020 (so far)!

Geez, what a year, right? Remember when we were all excited about 2020? Those were nice times.

But despite it all, books are always there for us. And there’s been some great ones published this year! I thought it would be good to do a bit of a check-in post of books already out in the world. Be sure to add these to the list if you haven’t read them yet!

As always, you can go check out my must-read book club picks 2020 article for more recommendations. I’m working on part two of that article, which will cover the second half of 2020, so keep an eye out for that.

Here’s the best book club books I’ve read in 2020 (so far)!


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett


Say hi to my favorite book of 2020! And I have a feeling it will be remain so for the rest of the year. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is incredible. The writing is exceptional and the subject matter more relevant than ever before. There are few books that truly blow me away and this one did by far.

Quick synopsis: This is a novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

Why it’s a good book club book: When I read books, I use tabs to keep track of important sections and quotes that I’ll refer back to when I write book club questions. I don’t think I’ve ever used so many tabs before—every chapter, even every line, was something to highlight in The Vanishing Half. Prepare for a long discussion because you all will have plenty to talk about. A must-read.

For more context about the book, read my review here. Check out my book club questions here


The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré is another amazing work of fiction. I remember finishing the novel and thinking, “everyone needs to read this story.”

Quick synopsis: The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams.

Why it’s a good book club book: You will love the protagonist Adunni and will root for her every step of this journey. This is a very thought-provoking read about the importance of an education. There are certain books that are so significant for readers that go beyond just an entertaining read. Don’t miss out on this one.

For more context about the book, read my review here. Check out my book club questions here.


Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Long Bright River by Liz Moore is an impactful story that will stick with you long after you finish it. This is a lengthy read but very much worth your time.

Quick synopsis: Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

Why it’s a good book club book: The outstanding character development! There are just so many layers to this story and the subject matter is relevant. No community is spared from the opioid crisis. The epidemic has hit families across the country regardless of income level. There’s so much to consider and discuss with this one.

For more context about the book, read my review here. Check out my book club questions here


Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Reese Witherspoon’s book club started off 2020 with a bang when she chose Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid! An engaging and original book and also pretty funny at parts. 

Quick synopsis: Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Why it’s a good book club book: This one is full of wit and biting social commentary. Racial biases and class divides are covered in such a unique way. Oftentimes, these types of stories are tragic, and no spoilers here, but it doesn’t go in that direction but still makes you think about the impact of choices, perceptions and biases. You definitely want to read this one.

For more context about the story, read my review here. Check out my book club questions here


In Five Years by Rebecca Serle 

Rebecca Serle writes with such unexpected emotion. What I mean by that is you go into her stories expecting a standard women’s fiction story but instead, are hit with a wave of intense feelings. She’s an author to follow and I highly recommend you read In Five Years.

Quick synopsis: A striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Why it’s a good book club book: A love story is important in novels. And this one has a love story but just not the one you expect. And I can say where the story goes is 100% surprising. Even though In Five Years is on the shorter side (250 pages), there’s so much that happens where the length does feel just right. Have tissues nearby when you read this one. Trust me.

For more context about the book, read my review here. Check out my book club questions here


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James 

So I don’t typically do scary movies or books. I seriously get freaked out. But I have to say, I was so into The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. It’s such an entertaining and fun ride.

Quick synopsis: Something hasn’t been right at the roadside Sun Down Motel for a very long time, and Carly Kirk is about to find out why in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Why it’s a good book club book: This story is scary at times but never too much and the mystery is interesting. Mysteries are fun to discuss too! The setting and the overall spooky tone makes this one stand out. I think this is a perfect one to read in the fall—especially around Halloween. 

For more context about the book, read my review here. Check out my book club questions here


Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore 

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore is a quirky story—in the best possible way. It involves time travel but it’s not heavy on the sci-fi aspect. 

Quick synopsis: A remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of order.

Why it’s a good book club book: Ahh this is such a creative book. You don’t get many answers on why Oona time travels but honestly, you don’t need it. I think you’ll also have fun discussing the different time periods Oona travels to—it’s definitely a wild ride! 

For more context about the book, read my review here. Check out my book club questions here

What’s your favorite book you’ve read so far??

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