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Book Club Picks for March 2024

Book Club Picks for March 2024

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Let’s check out some great book club picks for March 2024!

Whenever I hear the word March, I automatically think—springtime! But I know it takes longer to warm up in a lot of places. It can be hit or miss in San Diego as it’s still technically rainy season. But of course, always grateful for the rain (as long as it doesn’t flood, ha) and it makes for a very pretty spring as well.

Hope everyone is having a good reading year so far. I’m still thinking about the fantastic The Women by Kristin Hannah. So definitely be sure to have that on your TBR.

As you get ready to select your books for March, hopefully this list will help you out! It features three new releases along with two previously-released titles (and bonus, the older books have my original book club questions!). Also, if you’re looking for even more new releases throughout the year, check out my huge must-read book club picks for 2024 list.

Let’s get to it!

New Titles

The Hunter by Tana French (March 5)

If you’re fan of atmospheric crime novels, you’ll want to check out The Hunter by Tana French. Her previous novel, The Searcher, was a huge success and I anticipate The Hunter to follow suit. It’s set in the Irish countryside and features plenty of family secrets that will soon come to light. Here’s the full synopsis:

It’s a blazing summer when two men arrive in a small village in the West of Ireland. One of them is coming home. Both of them are coming to get rich. One of them is coming to die.

Cal Hooper took early retirement from Chicago PD and moved to rural Ireland looking for peace. He’s found it, more or less: he’s built a relationship with a local woman, Lena, and he’s gradually turning Trey Reddy from a half-feral teenager into a good kid going good places. But then Trey’s long-absent father reappears, bringing along an English millionaire and a scheme to find gold in the townland, and suddenly everything the three of them have been building is under threat. Cal and Lena are both ready to do whatever it takes to protect Trey, but Trey doesn’t want protecting. What she wants is revenge.

Help Wanted by Adelle Waldman (March 5)

Help Wanted is the latest novel from Adelle Waldman, who received a ton of acclaim for her debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. In Help Wanted, Adelle takes a closer look at lower wage work in America. It’s said to feature plenty of heart and humor. Here’s the full synopsis:

Every day at 3:55 a.m., members of Team Movement clock in for their shift at big-box store Town Square in a small upstate New York town. Under the eyes of a self-absorbed and barely competent boss, they empty the day’s truck of merchandise, stock the shelves, and scatter before the store opens and customers arrive.

Their lives follow a familiar if grueling routine, but their real problem is that Town Square doesn’t schedule them for enough hours—most of them are barely getting by, even while working second or third jobs. When store manager Big Will announces he is leaving, the members of Movement spot an opportunity. If they play their cards right, one of them just might land a management job, with all the stability and possibility for advancement that that implies.

The members of Team Movement—including a comedy-obsessed oddball who acts half his age, a young woman clinging on to her “cool kid” status from high school, and a college football hopeful trying to find a new path—band together to set a just-so-crazy-it-might-work plot in motion.

The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez (March 5)

From the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, comes her most recent novel: The Great Divide, which promises to be an impactful and memorable read. It’s about the construction of the Panama Canal and the people who lived and labored there. Here’s the full synopsis:

It is said that the canal will be the greatest feat of engineering in history. But first, it must be built. For Francisco, a local fisherman who resents the foreign powers clamoring for a slice of his country, nothing is more upsetting than the decision of his son, Omar, to work as a digger in the excavation zone. But for Omar, whose upbringing was quiet and lonely, this job offers a chance to finally find connection.

Ada Bunting is a bold sixteen-year-old from Barbados who arrives in Panama as a stowaway alongside thousands of other West Indians seeking work. Alone and with no resources, she is determined to find a job that will earn enough money for her ailing sister’s surgery. When she sees a young man—Omar—who has collapsed after a grueling shift, she is the only one who rushes to his aid.

John Oswald has dedicated his life to scientific research and has journeyed to Panama in single-minded pursuit of one goal: eliminating malaria. But now, his wife, Marian, has fallen ill herself, and when he witnesses Ada’s bravery and compassion, he hires her on the spot as a caregiver. This fateful decision sets in motion a sweeping tale of ambition, loyalty, and sacrifice. 

Older Titles

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

I just saw an ad for the TV Mini Series version of Apples Never Fall—with a great cast! It stars Annette Bening, Sam Neil and Alison Brie. So if your book club hasn’t read the novel yet, now is a perfect time! It’s interesting character study, very unique and generates a ton of discussion with some of Liane’s story choices. Here’s the full synopsis:

If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?

This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?

The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.

One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.

Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.

Check out my book club questions here.

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

For those looking for a historical fiction novel centered on WWII, The Book of Lost Names is a fantastic and impactful choice. It’s based on the true story from World War II where a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis. Here’s a full synopsis:

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books when her eyes lock on a photograph in the New York Times. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in more than sixty years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer, but does she have the strength to revisit old memories?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris and find refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, where she began forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

Check out my book club questions here.

Happy reading!