Many people think that reading is a solitary thing to do. Literature can also be a great way to connect, talk, and build community, even though reading itself is done alone. When social activities are limited and constrained, the need to connect with other people who share your interests is stronger than ever before. More and more new book clubs have started up since the pandemic started. I’ve seen many of them start up online. In fact, I’ve been to a few book club meetings myself, like the ones for Magical Girl Society and Trihoes Book Club, and I’ve had a lot of fun. So far, I’ve made a lot of new friends.
So, if you want to start your own book club, or if you need ideas for your current group, here is a list of great books that can be fun and thought-provoking to read with other people, especially women. Please enjoy your reading and have a happy Women’s History Month!
America Is Not the Heart By Elaine Castillo
When a person is alive, how many lives can he or she have?
When a Filipino immigrant family moves to the U.S., they have to find a way to combine the home they left behind with the life they’re building here. This is a feminist, multi-generational story. It also talks about the Philippines’ violent history in the 1980s and 1990s.
An Unnecessary Woman By Rabih Alameddine
Aaliya is a reclusive Middle Eastern woman who lives alone in Beirut. She is seen as her family’s “unnecessary appendage” because she is godless, fatherless, divorced, and childless. An Unnecessary Woman is a fascinating look at a woman’s life. It also talks about art, philosophy, trauma, and the Lebanese Civil War.
The Bromance Book Club By Lyssa Kay Adams
To start off with, don’t talk about book club. He turns to a group of Nashville’s most macho men for help when his marriage is in trouble. With a steamy Regency novel as their guide, the guys help Gavin save his marriage.
The Bromance Book Club is both fun and moving. It’s great for group reading and swooning together.
The Death of Vivek Oji By Akwaeke Emezi
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they didn’t know?
During the first few pages of this book, readers learn that Vivek has died. The heart-wrenching story of a Nigerian family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious is told. Much of the story is about what happens after Vivek dies and how it hurts the people he left behind.
The Death of Vivek Oji is a book about family, loss, and grief. It promises to be a heartfelt read.
Happiness, Like Water By Chinelo Okparanta
Happiness is water. We always try to hold on to it, but it always slips between our fingers.
This collection of short stories offers a portrait of Nigerians that is surprising, shocking, heartrending, loving, and across social strata, dealing in every kind of change. From fairy tales to forbidden love, Happiness, like water, has a lot of different things in it.
The Henna Artist By Alka Joshi
The Henna Artist is set in the 1950s pink city of Jaipur, where a young woman named Lakshmi escapes an abusive marriage and becomes the most popular henna artist for wealthy, upper-class women. This first book is about an Indian woman who is trying to find happiness in a society that isn’t sure which way to go.
Homegoing By Yaa Gyasi
Gyasi’s first book starts with two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, who were born in different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Homegoing isn’t just a story about seven generations of a family, though. It’s a story that was written with love. This book talks about immigration, police violence, the slave trade, and trauma passed down from generation to generation.
The Hour of Daydreams By Renee M. Rutledge
An old Filipino folktale has been modernized in this dreamy book. The Hour of Daydreams was written in lush prose and has a modern twist. It tells the love story of a well-known doctor and a young woman with wings. This book is set in the countryside of the Philippines and talks about complicated issues about identity, marriage, and family.
Miracle Creek By Angie Kim
Do you want to protect your family?
The story is set in a small town in Virginia. It starts with a big bang. Literally. During treatment, two people are killed when the hyperbaric chamber in the treatment center catches fire, and it isn’t a mistake.
Miracle Creek is a character-driven mystery thriller that is both scary and horrifying.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous By Ocean Vuong
Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to his mother who can’t read. It’s about their lives together. He wrote the letter in his late twenties. It tells the story of his family, which started long before he was born, and gives his mother a glimpse into parts of his life she hasn’t seen.
Vuong’s first book also talks about race, class, and sexuality. It also touches on family and first love.
Pachinko By Min Jin Lee
Set in the early 1900s, Pachinko begins with a crippled fisherman’s daughter, who falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. It tells the story of four generations of a Korean family who move to Japan in the midst of Japanese colonization and political war.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo By Taylor Jenkins Reid
At the same time, this historical fiction book looks at the glamorous and scandalous life of a reclusive celebrity, and of course, her seven husbands along the way. Evelyn Hugo’s story is full of ruthless ambition, surprising friendship, and a forbidden love that will make your heart melt.
Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop By Roselle Lim
Every book by Roselle Lim is good for your soul, but Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop is a little different from the rest of them. Her second book is about a young woman who can see people’s fortunes in tea leaves. Her book is about her life and misadventures. Vanessa is taken to Paris to learn how to control her abilities, and she learns more about herself in the process. Readers who love to travel and eat will love this book!