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I can’t believe fall reading is upon us! Some of the best book club books of all time are released in the fall or late summer, in my opinion. And these book club books for fall 2023 definitely hit the mark.
Sometimes the buzzier the book recommendation, the better—at least when it comes to book clubs. It’s definitely easier to get book club readers on the same page (pun intended) if it’s a hyped book that leads to great book club discussions.
Here are the top 10 buzzy book club books to pick in the fall 2023—some of which I can’t wait to pick up myself!
Top Best Fall Books for Book Club
The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger
Is there a better author for book club discussions? I’ll wait. I love William Kent Krueger’s storytelling and rich prose. This Tender Land is another great book club book recommendation, but I think The River We Remember will be just as memorable, atmospheric, and expansive for book club readers.
The publisher describes The River We Remember as “an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.”
The River We Remember will be published on September 5, 2023, from Atria Books.
Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
I’ve been into sleuthing books since finished Charlotte Illes Is Not a Detective, and while Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers came out in March 2023, I think it’s perfect as a fall 2023 book club pick.
This is definitely a buzzy book and has been all year, so I don’t think you’ll have trouble getting other book club members on board—especially for a cozy mystery that actually has surprising twists and turns.
The publisher describes the plot as “a lonely shopkeeper [who] takes it upon herself to solve a murder in the most peculiar way in this captivating mystery by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties.”
Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers was published on March 14, 2023, from Berkley.
The Fraud by Zadie Smith
I think Zadie Smith has mastered the formula for a good book club book. There’s always so much to discuss in her work! And The Fraud is no different—historical fiction about privilege and tyranny and the themes of racism and class disparity—all unraveling from how we recount real historical events and who we choose to believe.
If your book club is full of readers who are hungry for deep discussions and made up of a more intellectual crowd, you’ll probably love The Fraud as a fall 2023 book club book.
The publisher calls The Fraud a “dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity and the mystery of ‘other people.'”
The Fraud will be published on September 5, 2023, from Penguin Press.
Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Supernatural suspense is perfect for fall, and I think Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work is perfect for book club discussions, too. It’s no secret that I loved Mexican Gothic, especially after interviewing the author and learning about all the research that went into the gothic horror novel.
Silver Nitrate is a heart-pounding thriller about the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. A sound editor and former soap opera star discover the mystery of an occultist film maker from long ago.
One of my favorite details about Silvia Moreno-Garcia is that she likes to make playlists that go with her books. Here’s the playlist for Silver Nitrate. Perfect to play in the background at your book club meeting!
The publisher describes Silver Nitrate as a “fabulous meld of Mexican horror movies and Nazi occultism: a dark thriller about the curse that haunts a legendary lost film—and awakens one woman’s hidden powers.”
Silver Nitrate was published on July 18, 2023, from Del Rey.
Everyone Here Is Lying by Shari Lapena
Who doesn’t love a whodunit thriller mystery where all the characters have secrets, which unravel in omniscient POV? I mean, seriously? I think Everyone Here Is Lying is a great book club pick for the fall in 2023, and I think it will make for some really fun book club discussion.
If your book club is looking for more addictive popcorn reads, you can’t go wrong with Shari Lapena. This is an intimate, straightforward mystery, and if you’re a fan of Ruth Ware’s thrillers, you will most likely love it.
In fact, Lisa Jewell, the next author on this list, said it was the most addictive book she’s read in ages. She said it was “so slick and disquieting and clever.”
Everyone Here Is Lying was published on July 25, 2023, from Pamela Dorman Books.
None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
None of This Is True is a propulsive psychological thriller that has taken bookstagram by storm. This is definitely a buzzy book club pick, and I think a dark, twisty psychological thriller is perfect for the fall.
If you and your book club members like strong female characters, unreliable narrators, and secret motives that affect how everyone thinks and acts, you should definitely pick up None of This Is True.
The publisher describes it as a “scintillating new psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.”
None of This is True was published on July 20, 2023, from Atria Books.
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Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue
Emma Donoghue’s buzzy new book, out this month, is perfect for a fall book club pick! I’ve always loved her her books, and Learned by Heart is based on a true story, which makes it even better.
This is a coming-of-age love story that’s heartbreaking and full of dangerous secrets, taking place in a boarding school in 19th century York. There’s lots to discuss here, and Emma Donoghue’s storytelling will hook readers of all kinds!
The publisher describes it as “emotionally intense, psychologically compelling, and deeply researched,” and an “extraordinary work of fiction by one of the world’s greatest storytellers. Full of passion and heartbreak, the tangled lives of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine form a love story for the ages.”
Learned by Heart will be published on August 29, 2023, from Little, Brown and Company.
What We Kept to Ourselves by Nancy Jooyoun Kim
What We Kept to Ourselves is a dual-timeline story about a Korean family living in California. Secrets unravel after the disappearance of their mother, and what follows is a dazzling, complex, and suspenseful family saga.
While this is a page-turner to enjoy, there’s a lot of substance and much to discuss, including the themes of motherhood, obligation, migration, and more. A moving family story and addictive plot are great ingredients for rich book club discussion!
The publisher says What We Kept to Ourselves “masterfully explores the consequences of secrets between parents and children, husbands and wives. It is the story of one unforgettable family’s search for home when all seems lost, and a powerful meditation on identity, migration, and what it means to dream in America.”
What We Kept to Ourselves will be published on October 10, 2023, from Atria Books.
Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
Pineapple Street isn’t a fall release, but I think it would be a great fall 2023 book club selection, especially if you’re looking for a palate cleanser from all the thrillers! Pineapple Street follows a flawed, interesting and very rich family in New York City.
I’ve described it as Gossip Girl for adults as it follows the secrets of New York’s one-percenters. It’s sharp, funny, and a fascinating glimpse into love and class. The book club discussion questions would be endlessly entertaining for this one! If your book club loves a good theme, I think you could really get into the setting for this one.
The publisher has described this as “full of recognizable, lovable—if fallible—characters,” and a story about the “peculiar unknowability of someone else’s family, the miles between the haves and have-nots, and the insanity of first love.”
Pineapple Street was published on March 7, 2023, from Pamela Dorman Books.
Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose
Dirty Laundry is a twisty domestic suspense debut about mothers and a murder. Need I say more?! The book follows a friend group that’s all about curating the perfect image, but things aren’t what they appear.
This one doesn’t have a fall release, but domestic thrillers in the fall are just **chef’s kiss** right?!
I have to say, if terrible characters aren’t your thing, you might want to steer clear. But if you want to gather with your girlfriends with a glass of wine, snacks, and the most delicious gossip, this is one for the books.
The publisher says Dirty Laundry “revolutionizes age-old ideas of love and deceit. What ensues is the delicious unspooling of a group of women desperate to preserve themselves.”
Dirty Laundry was published on April 4, 2023, from Ballantine Books.
Frequently Asked Questions about Choosing Book Club Books
How do you prepare for a book club?
How you prepare for a book club meeting totally depends on the vibe of the book club!
Are you primarily meeting to be chatty, catch up and maybe gush about the book or even what you’re currently reading? If so, keep the atmosphere fun and cozy. Drinks, food, blankets, and music are a must, in my opinion.
Are you looking for a more intense and focused discussion of the book every member has read together? Maybe you’ll want to send out the discussion questions ahead of time or even divide the night into “catching up time” and “book talk time.” Set up chairs in a circle so everyone can participate in the discussion.
Regardless of the book club vibe, I love to listen to a podcast inspired by the book, whether it’s put together by the author, a fellow reader, or me.
If you want to get into a themed night, perhaps the food or decorations will reflect something in the book. Get creative! I once hosted my own Midnight Dinner after reading The Night Circus (iykyk).
How do you determine books for book club?
This also depends on your group! Some book clubs prefer to have one person who puts together a reading list, and other book clubs prefer a book club voting system or book club book generator for a more random selection. You can even rotate through different members and their top pick.
I’ve done it several ways in the past, but I think my favorite is for everyone to come prepared with one to three book titles. After all the titles are written on a piece of paper, everyone shares a one-sentence pitch or blurb for the book they want to read.
Then, you pass around the piece of paper, and you put a tally mark next to the title you’re most interested in. Whichever book gets the most tally marks wins!
Do you read the same book in a book club?
Typically, everyone reads the same book so you can have an in-depth discussion. However, that’s not always the case! I’m in a “casual book club” currently where we all meet up at our local bookstore and talk about all the books.
We bounce off each other and gush about all of our latest reads—usually contemporary romance—what we liked and didn’t like, and then we meet around the corner for tacos and margaritas to talk about one book we’ve all read at some point.
What are good rules for a book club?
In general, these are 5 good rules for book clubs:
- Read books that come with book club discussion guides from the publisher. It’s easier that way.
- Some readers would prefer to only select books that are available in paperback so no one has to pay an arm and a leg for a hardback.
- Always disclose content warnings, and if it is a controversial topic, just make sure you know your group and everyone feels safe discussing heavier topics.
- Reiterate that everyone’s opinions are valid, and disagreement is okay. When we disagree, it makes for a rich discussion. Even so, mutual respect is key. Don’t trash someone’s favorite, and don’t shame someone for not liking it, period.
- Come prepared to talk spoilers. If someone hasn’t read the book and they are planning to join that month, make sure it’s clear that it’s a spoiler zone. Nothing makes a book club fizzle out more than if you’re trying to appease everyone by making it a spoiler-free club. Trust me on this one.
What are some of your favorite book club books of all time? What are your most anticipated releases in 2023 that would be perfect for fall? I’d love to know what’s on your radar and what kind of books your book club likes to read!
If you’re looking for good backlist titles to read in the fall for book club or for your personal fall reading list, check out my favorite fall books list. Many of them are also on my best audiobooks of all time list, too!