Books I Would Want To Read If I Had A Book Club That Read Adult Fiction

I LOVE my book club — we are a bunch of YA loving adult ladies and we always have a great time and, when the book is right, some excellent discussion! Sometimes there are GROWNUP books I wish I could read with a book club but I don’t have a book club that READS adult fiction. So, here’s my list of grownup books that I would want to read with my imaginary adult book club. I chose 5 books I’ve READ that I think would make great book club picks and 5 books I WANT TO READ that I’d pick for book club to read.

There are a lot of GOOD books to read with other people but I always think a good book club pick is one that has some really thought-provoking themes and issues within them. Things that everyone’s life experience will make them see different, things we can relate to, etc. I think of some of my book club’s best conversations and they were definitely were these kinds of books that had something maybe controversial or relevant in it.


Books I’ve Read That I Would Want To Read Together



Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
Published: June 24, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: This book just came out last month and would bring SO MUCH conversation to the table for a book club — I couldn’t stop talking about the premise is to Will and all my thoughts. A book like that always makes for a great book club book! It takes a hot button issue that’s been in the news recently and just humanizes it leaving much room to debate and have strong opinions. There is SO much to talk about, not just one thing, so I think conversation would be SO interesting!  I love that there is even a book club kit which could be so useful to get the discussion started! Also, check out the book trailer for it!

What It’s About: Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity; the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for. Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.


Landline Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Published July 8, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

Why I’d Pick It: I think this would be SUCH a good book club pick especially for married ladies but even if you aren’t there’s a lot to talk about with ANY kind of relationships. It was such a good and thought-provoking book that I even wrote a whole discussion surrounding some of my thoughts about something the book brought up.

What It’s About: Georgie + Neal’s marriage has been off for some time and she knows it has been. It’s not an issue of not loving each other but between jobs and kids and all somehow it just has gotten a little lost. When they are a few days out from leaving for Omaha for Christmas, Georgie has a huge work opportunity arise and she has to stay in LA for it. She assumes they’ll all just stay home but is surprised when Neal decides he and the kids are still going. Scared of what this implies, Georgie wonders if it has all fallen apart for good and if/how she can fix it….until she’s given an opportunity to talk to Neal in the past.


Tell The Wolves I'm Home cover

Tell The Wolves I’m Home Carol Rifka Brunt
Published June 2012
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

Why I’d Pick It: I loved this one and I think this would make a really great book club book for many reasons — it’s well written, there’s definitely a lot to talk about and I think people will have EMOTIONS about it. Plus there’s a lot of really interesting relationships and dynamics that would be great to talk about and how society has changed in regards to certain things that are brought up in this book since the 80’s.

What It’s About: 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart. At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.


Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Published January 2007
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: So I know a lot of people HATE this book but I read it as an early 20 something, liked it and I would love to read it with a book club — especially now as I approach 29! I’m in a totally different stage in my life and would benefit from another read I think. I think there is A LOT in here to discuss and debate about life, choices and love with some of the things that Elizabeth brings up and also just discussion about her journey itself. I think it brings up strong feelings either way you feel about it and I would love to get into some good conversation with some lady friends.

What It’s About: In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want–husband, country home, successful career–but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.


Books I Haven’t Read That I Would Pick:


Friendship by Emily Gould

Friendship by Emily Gould
Published July 1st 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: I think it would be so fun to have a group of ladies together to talk about friendship and adulthood! I think we’ve all found the ups and downs of friendship in our lives and this looks like it could be a good discussion starter! I’d love some real talk about the interactions that we women have with each other!

What It’s About: Bev Tunney and Amy Schein have been best friends for years; now, at thirty, they’re at a crossroads. Bev is a Midwestern striver still mourning a years-old romantic catastrophe. Amy is an East Coast princess whose luck and charm have too long allowed her to cruise through life. Bev is stuck in circumstances that would have barely passed for bohemian in her mid-twenties: temping, living with roommates, drowning in student-loan debt. Amy is still riding the tailwinds of her early success, but her habit of burning bridges is finally catching up to her. And now Bev is pregnant. As Bev and Amy are dragged, kicking and screaming, into real adulthood, they have to face the possibility that growing up might mean growing apart. Friendship, Emily Gould’s debut novel, traces the evolution of a friendship with humor and wry sympathy. Gould examines the relationship between two women who want to help each other but sometimes can’t help themselves; who want to make good decisions but sometimes fall prey to their own worst impulses; whose generous intentions are sometimes overwhelmed by petty concerns.


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Published December 31, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: I’ve heard SUCH good things about this and it seems like a very evocative novel. From what I hear there are some pretty interesting themes and issues in this book that would make for good discussion! Apparently it’s very thought-provoking from what I hear!

What It’s About: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.


After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published July 1st 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: Well, Estelle and Hannah raved about it and told me I MUST read it (requested it ASAP from my library) and said it was just such an honest look at marriage and relationships. I LOVE those kinds of books where I can really discuss and even open up a bit personally (provided I trusted my imaginary adult book club…which I TOTALLY DO).

What It’s About: When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes. Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for? This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.


Now I See You by Nicole C. Kear
Published June 24, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: I would want to read a memoir every now and again and this is a new one that just came on my radar and looks like it could be interesting to read with a book club because it takes a look at major life kinds of things — things that change your world and make you really take stock of what is important.

What It’s About: At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear’s biggest concern is choosing a major–until she walks into a doctor’s office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these hi-jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret. When Kear becomes a mother, just a few years shy of her vision’s expiration date, she amends her carpe diem strategy, giving up recklessness in order to relish every moment with her kids. Her secret, though, is harder to surrender – and as her vision deteriorates, harder to keep hidden. As her world grows blurred, one thing becomes clear: no matter how hard she fights, she won’t win the battle against blindness. But if she comes clean with her secret, and comes to terms with the loss, she can still win her happy ending.


Have you read any of these? Decided they would make a good book club pick for YOUR book club? And while we are at it, do you have a book club? If so, what do you read/how do you pick/what do you think makes a good book club pick? Also I’d LOVE to know a book you think would be a great book club pick/generate a lot of discussion (or if you have a book that DID that).

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Tell The Wolves I’m Home!!! Hang on a second, let me go cry under the covers for a minute … ok now I’m back. YES that would be perfect for a book club – as it is, all of us at the bookstore read it around the same time as one another and just talked about it whenever we could get the chance. I’ve always been total crap at book clubs (it’s one of the things I like least about myself, bookishly), but luckily working at a bookstore gives me that discussion outlet.

    Here’s some books I think would be great for a book club (or if you just want to read them and let’s talk because like please?): A Light Between Oceans by ML Steadman (Australia! Lighthouses! Secrets, families, babies, lies!), The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty (same author as The Husband’s Secret!), The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn (absolutely brilliant story takes you from Edwardian England through 1930), Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (OH. MY. GOD.), and anything by Tana French or Kate Morton because. just. Them. *sigh* I love books.

    &&I love your “would read” picks – some of them are new to my radar and are going on the TBR pile tonight! Great post as always, Jamie. 🙂

    • I KNOOWWW. THAT BOOK. Also, that’s so nice that you could casually talk about it with co-workers!!

      And thank you for all the recs!! You are great!!

      And yay! I’m glad you were able to get some new books on your TBR! My copy of After I Do just came in from the library so I’m stoked to start on my “want to read” list!

  2. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads says:

    Me Before You absolutely DESTROYED me when I read it last year! I had an incredibly personal connection to the story, since my dad has the same type of spinal cord injury, but I think anyone with a beating heart will find the story to be heartbreakingly beautiful!

    I have Tell the Wolves on my summer TBR pile, and am thinking of taking it on holidays with me. Is it a visit with in-laws vacation kind of book?

    • That paragraph about Me Before You just sold me even MORE. I’m sure that was so hard to read. I feel similar when I read things with cancer. It just adds a whole other element to the book.

      It might wreck you sooo you might want to be careful if you read it in front of people haha

  3. Me Before You is one of my favourite books of all time. I absolutely adored it and can’t recommend it enough!

    • I think, from people’s reactions to this post, that I’ll be bumping it up sooner rather than later! have you read any of her other books?

      • I’ve read The One Plus One and The Girl You Left Behind. Me Before You is definitely my favourite, but her other books (that I’ve read!) are good too!

  4. Yes! Landline would make a great book club book – the discussions that could be had. I recently reviewed the book and it was quite hard writing my review without giving too much away – I’m always worried about revealing too much, what’s a spoiler to one may not be to another and vice versa.

    • YES I had a hard time writing out my thoughts too. SO MUCH TO SAY but I want everyone to experience it without knowing too much!

  5. I would recommend The Good Luck of Right Now (Matthew Quick) which is delightfully weird or Lydia Netzer’s How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, which is also weird and wonderful.

    • I will be making The Good Luck of Right Now a priority now…especially since I own it! 🙂 Thanks for the recs!

  6. So many great choices! I can’t wait to read Landline & I am hoping to have my book club read it too.

    My book club reads both YA and adult fiction. The two adult fiction books I highly recommend are The Wisdom of Hair by Kim Boyin and The Time Between by Karen White. Both are have that southern charm I just love in a book.
    How we pick is everyone gives a recommendation and we right it down on a slip of paper. Now, here is were it gets silly….we then throw the paper on the floor and let my friends cat, Matilda, pick. Whichever piece of paper Matilda starts playing with is the winner. Like I said…..silly. 🙂

    • Bribe your book club if you have to!! You have to read it (and then report back to me how amazing the conversation was so I can live vicariously through you haha)

      Thanks for the recs!! And I still am LOLing over how you pick your books!

  7. I just decided I am going to pick up at least 3 books you mentioned in your post! A few days ago I came to the realisation that I have read so few adult books this past year, which makes me sad, because there are lots of good adult reads out there that I know I would enjoy immensely. I don’t want to just focus on YA, I never have, but somehow it’s all I’ve been reading…
    And, since I (almost) always end up loving the books you recommend, I am picking at least three books out of this list and they’re going to become my new priority 🙂
    (what I just decided as well, is that the three books are going to be: After I do, Landline, and Eat, Pray, Love)

    • YAY which ones are you going to pick up?? And I feel the same way…before blogging I used to read mostly ALL adult fiction and in the past 4 years that number has gone down to like 2-3 a year if that. We should pick an adult book to read together to get each other motivated! (and also plan to read Free to Fall soon!)

      AND OMG LANDLINE I NEED TO KNOW ALL YOUR FEELS. And my copy of After I Do just came in from the library so I plan to start that soon.

  8. Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors, so it’s no surprise I loved Landline! I feel as though she does a really great job of writing dynamic love stories that could be about any age group, but this one happens to be about adults. That’s why I can’t get enough of her! Friendship is totally on my TBR list, and I can’t lie, the cover is what made me pick it up initially. After reading the synopsis, though, I was totally hooked!

  9. My book club reads a variety of YA and Adult! Whenever we pick the book for the month, two people each pick a book and we vote for what one we want to read in a poll on Facebook (and I think Goodreads). I haven’t read any on your list but I really want to read LANDLINE!

  10. Wow, Now I See You sounds really good. I usually stick to YA (even though I’m an adult), but I’d definitely like to check that one out.

    • It sounds SO good. I love memoirs every now and again! I used to read A LOT of them but since I started blogging 4 years ago I’ve pretty much only read YA!

  11. I read Tell the Wolves I’m Home and that was an emotional read. I also read Eat Pray Love, another great read. They both would make great club reads.

    • Such an emotional read! I’m really wanting to reread Eat, Pray, Love…maybe I should hold off and form an adult book club and make that my pick?? 😛

  12. Ashley F. says:

    I’d love to join a book club, but there aren’t too many options in/ near my city. Our library has one, but they are strictly mysteries and that isn’t my favorite genre.

    Me Before You is amazing and wonderful… one of my favorite books EVER. Jojo Moyes is a word wizard that knows how to sucker punch you right in the feels.

    • Have you ever checked out the Forever YA book clubs? That is how I started mine! I didn’t see anything except in downtown philly so I emailed and said where I was in the suburbs ( like bigger towns) and someone else from the same area was waiting to start one too! Worth a try! Do you think you could ask to start one at the library? and what about bookstores? Some of my local bookstores have book clubs going on!

      “word wizard that knows how to sucker punch you right in the feels” EVEN MORE SOLD.

  13. Great recommendations! I just added several of these to my toppling TBR. Although YA lit will always have my heart, I’ve been looking for more adult recommendations lately. I loved, loved, loved Landline. I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts for a review since I read it over two weeks ago, but I’m mostly a pile of nonsensical mush over that book. I also like Eat, Pray, Love, and I read her book on marriage, Committed, before I got married a couple of years ago. I think Gilbert is intereting. Her TED talk on Genius is worth a watch too. I showed it to my creative writing students on the first day of class. Finally, I MUST get my hands on After I Do. Its premise sounds right up my alley, and I’ve seen glowing reviews from respected bloggers all over the web! Happy reading!

    • I used to read pretty much solely adult fiction before I started blogging 4 years ago and then I discovered YA and really neglected my YA reads. I’m trying to incorporate more of them in my reading diet! Glad you found a few to add to your TBR!

      And ahh right?? I had NO WORDS for Landline. None that did it justice at least!! I’m going to have to check out Committed and her Ted Talk! Thanks for that rec !

  14. I’m in several book clubs, and these are definitely the types of books my adult fiction club would read. If you can’t find a club in your area, you should totally start one!

    • You’ll have to let me know if you end up reading any of these! And I’m thinking about it..I started the book club I’m in right now so we shall see if I’m daring enough to try to start another one! I’m sure I COULD find an adult fiction one. I’ll have to try to seek one out!

  15. I actually started a book club a little over 2 years ago. We read a little bit of every genre. We choose books by giving each member a turn to decide on what we’d read and go from there. We have a list that tells us whose turn is next.

    I have actually chosen TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME as my book club choice sometime last year. It was really well received. One of my book club members has read ME BEFORE YOU but she hasn’t decided whether she’ll use it for her turn or not. She liked it though!

    • That’s how we are doing the picks for our book club as well! It’s nice because we all get a say and we all have such different taste within YA that we end up reading a lot of different things!

  16. As you know, I had a VERY rough time with Me Before You because I have a loved one who is paralyzed. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the book ENRAGED me…but I suppose that would make a good book club discussion!

    • I’m really interested to see where I fall with this one because I remember our convo about it!! You know I will be texting you when I read it!

  17. I got Now I See You as an ARC and LOVED it. I couldn’t say enough good things about it when I posted my review. I don’t read a ton of memoirs, but that one was well worth it.

  18. Tell the Wolves I’m Home was so fantastic. That would be a great book club read.

    You might also try Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill. I just wrote about it on my blog and am in the process of re-reading. It’s gorgeous and sophisticated and would make for some fascinating conversation.

  19. These books all look like great book club picks! Do you think there would be enough interest among some of us in the book blogging community to start an online book club for adult fiction? We could rotate who chooses the book and then meet quarterly or so on Google Hangouts to chat. Let me know if you’re interested and we could try to put something together!

  20. I’m reading After I Do right now. It’s heartbreaking, honest and lovely. I am definitely a Taylor Jenkins Reid fan.

  21. You already know that I loved Eat Pray Love as much as you did! It really was a book that made me think, made me reevaluate and it was also just a beautiful story to read. Plus, I also love that you would include Landline (definitely got a lot of food for thought there). Having read Me Before You, I’d definitely say that’s a good discussion-worthy one. And the same goes for After I Do (WHICH IS FREAKING AMAZING AND YOU SHOULD READ IT NOW!).


  1. […] Jamie shares which books she would want to read if she had a book club that read adult fiction. […]

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