Best Book Club Picks for May 2020

by Heather Caliendo
may 2020 book club picks - book club chat
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Let’s take a closer look at the best book club picks for May 2020! 

Do you consider May a summer month? I do. I live in Phoenix now and it definitely gets to summer temperatures in May. And I’m originally from Oklahoma and it usually gets warm in May as well. But when we lived in Denver, it could snow in May so summer started there in June. 

Well, whether it’s warm or chilly where you’re at, there’s no doubt that May is the beginning of summer books. And I have to say, I believe some of the best books are published starting in May. I’ve featured a couple May books in both my huge must read book club picks list as well as my summer book club list. But there’s so many books coming out that it deserves another post! 

Alright, let’s take a closer look at May book club picks!

The Paris Hours by Alex George 

The Paris Hours by Alex George is marketed to fans of All the Light We Cannot See. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and also much loved by book clubs. These books truly do take you to another time and place. This one covers a day in Paris during the ’20s and sounds so intriguing. 

Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost.

Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer’s notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay—but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people’s stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.

Told over the course of a single day in 1927, The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.

Click here to order the book on Amazon. Or you can order this book on Book of the Month here. Check back for my book club questions!


Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner

I love Jamie Brenner’s books – she’s one of my favorite authors. Her stories are so impactful and always very well-written. And I just love the beach settings in each of stories—it just adds something special to it. I’m really looking forward to Summer Longing.

Ruth Cooperman arrives in beautiful beachside Provincetown for her retirement, renting the perfect waterfront cottage while she searches for her forever home. After years of hard work and making peace with life’s compromises, Ruth is looking forward to a carefree summer of solitude. But when she finds a baby girl abandoned on her doorstep, Ruth turns to her new neighbors for help and is drawn into the drama of the close-knit community.

The appearance of the mystery baby has an emotional ripple effect through the women in town, including Amelia Cabral, the matriarch who lost her own child decades earlier; Elise Douglas, owner of the tea shop who gave up her dream of becoming a mother; and teenage local Jaci Barros who feels trapped by her parents’ expectations. Ruth, caring for a baby for the first time in thirty years, even reaches out to her own estranged daughter, Olivia, summoning her to Provincetown in hopes of a reconciliation.

As summer unfolds and friends and family care for the infant, alliances are made, relationships are tested, and secrets are uncovered. But the unconditional love for a child in need just might bring Ruth and the women of Provincetown exactly what they have been longing for themselves.

With heartfelt storytelling, Summer Longing is Jamie Brenner’s eagerly anticipated return to Provincetown; another unforgettable tale about motherhood, friendship, and finding your way home.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check back for my book club questions!


The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine

I always include a thriller or two on these month lists. Have you all read Liv Constantine’s books before? Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine and their books are twisty!! The Wife Stalker sounds intriguing.

Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.

Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.

Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check back for my book club questions! 

Beach Read by Emily Henry

How gorgeous is this cover for Beach Read? Doesn’t it just scream summertime? So this is another April Book of the Month pick and it sounds like such a fun story—a romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Or you can order this book on Book of the Month here. Check back for my book club questions!


Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore

Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore sounds interesting and is said to be for fans of Big Little Lies

Truth: Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, have recently moved to the idyllic beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Rebecca Coleman, widely acknowledged former leader of the Newburyport Mom Squad (having taken a step back since her husband’s shocking and tragic death eighteen months ago), has made a surprising effort to include these newcomers in typically closed-group activities. Rebecca’s teenage daughter Alexa has even been spotted babysitting Katie.

Truth: Alexa has time on her hands because of a recent falling-out with her longtime best friends for reasons no one knows—but everyone suspects have to do with Alexa’s highly popular and increasingly successful YouTube channel. Katie Griffin, who at age 11 probably doesn’t need a babysitter anymore, can’t be left alone because she has terrifying nightmares that don’t seem to jibe with the vague story Sherri has floated about the “bad divorce” she left behind in Ohio. Rebecca Coleman has been spending a lot of time with Sherri, it’s true, but she’s also been spending time with someone else she doesn’t want the Mom Squad to know about just yet.

Lie: Rebecca Coleman doesn’t have a new man in her life, and definitely not someone connected to the Mom Squad. Alexa is not seeing anyone new herself and is planning on shutting down her YouTube channel in advance of attending college in the fall. Sherri Griffin’s real name is Sherri Griffin, and a bad divorce is all she’s running from.

A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Two Truths and a Lie reminds us that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared, and the most precious things are the people we love.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check back for book club questions! 


The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang is another Book of the Month pick. It’s said to feature history “sprinkled with magic.”

China, 1937: When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, nineteen-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of more than a hundred students, faculty, and staff must walk a thousand miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by hunger, cold, and the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the student refugees who are at risk: Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure, a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.

Her family’s past has made Lian wary of forming attachments, but the students’ common duty to safeguard the Library of Legends forms unexpected bonds. Lian finds friendship and a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is murdered and another arrested, Lian realizes she must escape from the convoy before a family secret puts her in danger. Accompanied by Shao and the enigmatic maidservant Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai, hoping to reunite with her mother.

On the journey, Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and a tale from the Library of Legends, The Willow Star and the Prince. Learning Shao and Sparrow’s true identities compels Lian to confront her feelings for Shao. But there are broader consequences too, for as the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits to embark on an exodus of their own, one that changes the country’s fate forever.

Based on true events, rich in Chinese history and lore, The Library of Legends is both an illuminating exploration of China’s recent past and an evocative tale of love, sacrifice, and the extraordinary power of storytelling.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Or you can order this book on Book of the Month here. Check back for book club questions!

Happy reading! Which book will you select to read in May?

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2 comments

Sarah Slusher April 15, 2020 - 9:16 am

Library of legends sounds great! Also, can we read Beach read together?

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Heather Caliendo April 18, 2020 - 11:18 am

Ooo yes, let’s do it!

Reply

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