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With novels that inspire discussion and debate, Our Book Bucket List of Book Club Favourites is perfect for when you want to choose the right book for your next gathering.Our recommended books are must-reads that contain something for everyone.

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Book Club Favourites

  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin

    Product Code: ANAXB
    Paperback
    Originally published as The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry. "Who the hell are you?" A.J. asks the baby. For no apparent reason, she stops crying and smiles at him. "Maya," she answers. That was easy, A.J. thinks. "How old are you?" he asks. Maya holds up two fingers. "You're two?" Maya smiles again and holds up her arms to him." A.J. Fikry, the grumpy owner of Island Books, is going through a hard time: his bookshop is failing, he has lost his beloved wife, and a prized rare first edition has been stolen. But one day A.J. finds two-year-old Maya sitting on the bookshop floor, with a note attached to her asking the owner to look after her. His life - and Maya's - is changed forever.
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  • The Bean Trees

    Barbara Kingsolver

    Product Code: ABVGZ
    Paperback
    Plucky Taylor Greer grows up poor in rural Kentucky with two goals: to avoid pregnancy and to get away. She succeeds on both counts when she buys an old car and heads west. But midway across the country motherhood catches up with her when she becomes the guardian of an abandoned baby girl she calls Turtle. In Tuscon they encounter an extraordinary array of people, and with their help, Taylor builds herself and her sweet, stunned child a life.
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  • Love in the Time of Cholera

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Product Code: AJDQU
    Paperback
    Nobel prize winner and author of One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells a tale of an unrequited love that outlasts all rivals in his masterpiece Love in the Time of Cholera. 'It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.' Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza's impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Flornetino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again. When Fermina's husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives? "The most important writer of fiction in any language". (Bill Clinton). "An exquisite writer, wise, compassionate and extremely funny". (Sunday Telegraph). "An amazing celebration of the many kinds of love between men and women". (The Times). As one of the pioneers of magic realism and perhaps the most prominent voice of Latin American literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has received international recognition for his novels, works of non-fiction and collections of short stories. Those published in translation by Penguin include Autumn of the Patriarch, Bon Voyage Mr. President, Collected Stories, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The General in his Labyrinth, Innocent Erendira and Other Stories, In the Evil Hour, Leaf Storm, Living to Tell the Tale, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, News of a Kidnapping, No-one Writes to the Colonel, Of Love and Other Demons, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor and Strange Pilgrims.
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  • The Kitchen House

    Kathleen Grissom

    Product Code: AHTKL
    Paperback
    'You must not become too friendly with them,' she said. 'They are not the same as us.' 'How?' I asked. 'How are they not the same?' When seven-year-old Irish orphan Lavinia is transported to Virginia to work in the kitchen of a wealthy plantation owner, she is absorbed into the life of the kitchen house and becomes part of the family of black slaves whose fates are tied to the plantation. But Lavinia's skin will always set her apart, whether she wishes it or not. And as she grows older, she will be torn between the life that awaits her as a white woman and the people she knows as kin. A compelling, powerful and poignant coming-of-age story about the fragility of family,and where love and loyalty prevail.
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  • A Tale for the Time Being

    Ruth L. Ozeki

    Product Code: AGDYP
    Paperback
    Within the pages of this book lies the diary of a girl called Nao. Riding the waves of a tsunami, it is making its way across the ocean. It will change the life of the person who finds it. It might just change yours, too.
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  • The Silent Wife

    ASA Harrison

    Product Code: AIJBA
    Paperback
    The New York Times bestseller Having nothing left to lose changes everything. Todd and Jodie have been together for more than twenty years. They are both aware their world is in crisis, though neither is willing to admit it. Todd is living a dual existence, while Jodie is living in denial. But she also likes to settle scores. When it becomes clear their affluent Chicago lifestyle could disintegrate at any moment, Jodie knows everything is at stake. It's only now she will discover just how much she's truly capable of...Shocking and compelling in equal measure, THE SILENT WIFE is a chilling portrayal of two people in turmoil and the lengths they will go to in order to protect themselves.
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  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    Junot Diaz

    Product Code: AAGOY
    Paperback
    Things have never been easy for Oscar. A ghetto nerd living with his Dominican family in New Jersey, he's sweet but disastrously overweight. He dreams of becoming the next J.R.R. Tolkien and he keeps falling hopelessly in love. Poor Oscar may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku - the curse that has haunted his family for generations. With dazzling energy and insight Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous lives of Oscar; his runaway sister Lola; their beautiful mother Belicia; and in the family's uproarious journey from the Dominican Republic to the US and back. Rendered with uncommon warmth and humour, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" is a literary triumph, that confirms Junot Diaz as one of the most exciting writers of our time.
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  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

    Jamie Ford

    Product Code: ADRAA
    Paperback
    1986, The Panama Hotel The old Seattle landmark has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made a startling discovery in the basement: personal belongings stored away by Japanese families sent to interment camps during the Second World War. Among the fascinated crowd gathering outside the hotel, stands Henry Lee, and, as the owner unfurls a distinctive parasol, he is flooded by memories of his childhood. He wonders if by some miracle, in amongst the boxes of dusty treasures, lies a link to the Okabe family, and the girl he lost his young heart to, so many years ago. WITH OVER A MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE, THIS CAPTIVATING DEBUT IS A STORY OF THE SACRIFICES ONE BOY MAKES FOR LOVE AND FOR HIS COUNTRY.
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  • Wild

    Cheryl Strayed

    Product Code: AHTOJ
    Paperback
    (1)
    Now an Oscar-nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon and directed by Dallas Buyers' Club's Jean-Marc Vallee, Wild is the extraordinary true story of Cheryl Strayed - a 26-year-old who decided to escape her crumbling life by walking the 1100 miles of the west coast of America.

    After losing everything, Cheryl decided to do something impulsive to help aid her worries and grief - and this long-distance walk took her from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon and eventually into Washington. Despite having no experience of hiking, she was determined to do it alone - following a line on a map!

    Wild gives readers an insight into the mental and physical agonies this journey of self-discovery gave Cheryl, while also showing how it helped heal her worries and find redemption. Simply, quite an incredible human story!
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  • Memoirs of a Geisha

    Arthur Golden

    Product Code: AADAZ
    Paperback
    This story is a rare and utterly engaging experience. It tells the extraordinary story of a geisha -summoning up a quarter century from 1929 to the post-war years of Japan's dramatic history, and opening a window into a half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. A young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. She tells her story many years later from the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Her memoirs conjure up the perfection and the ugliness of life behind rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the arts of geisha - dancing and singing, how to wind the kimono, how to walk and pour tea, and how to beguile the most land's powerful men.
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  • Ethan Frome

    Edith Wharton

    Product Code: AFJSR
    Paperback
    'He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface'. Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena's vivacious cousin enters their household as a 'hired girl', Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent. In one of American fiction's finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio towards their tragic destinies. "The Penguin English Library" - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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  • Unbroken

    Laura Hillenbrand

    Product Code: ADOEU
    Paperback
    Memorably brought to the big screen by director Angelina Jolie, Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken tells the story of Louis Zamperini (played in the film by Jack O'Connell) - an Olympic athlete who served as an airman during the Second World War and went through a number of torturous experiences...

    After a troubled youth, Zamperini found solace in his running and took part in the Berlin Olympics, almost running a four-minute mile. During the war, the bomber Zamperini was flying in crashed into the Pacific Ocean - surviving this, Zamperini had to fend off everything from hunger and thirst to sharks and enemy aircraft attacks. But when saviour eventually came, Zamperini would be faced with his toughest experience yet...

    The extraordinary true story of a remarkable individual and a celebration of triumph against the most brutal of tribulations, this is a poignant read. You'll be inspired as you learn how Zamperini never gave up on hope and used his powers of endurance and resilience to survive every challenge that came his way...
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  • Night

    Elie Wiesel

    Product Code: ADCNF
    Paperback
    Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of people from a survivor's perspective, "Night" is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. A compelling consideration of the darkest side of human nature and the enduring power of hope, it remains one of the most important works of the twentieth century.
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  • The Age of Innocence

    Edith Wharton

    Product Code: ADCMV
    Paperback
    The return of the beautiful Countess Olenska into the rigidly conventional society of New York sends reverberations throughout the upper reaches of society. Newland Archer, an eligible young man of the establishment is about to announce his engagement to May Welland, a pretty ingenue, when May's cousin, Countess Olenska, is introduced into their circle. The Countess brings with her an aura of European sophistication and a hint of scandal, having left her husband and claimed her independence. Her sorrowful eyes, her tragic worldliness and her air of unapproachability attract the sensitive Newland and, almost against their will, a passionate bond develops between them. But Archer's life has no place for passion and, with society on the side of May and all she stands for, he finds himself drawn into a bitter conflict between love and duty.
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  • Beloved

    Toni Morrison

    Product Code: ACIEF
    Paperback
    Terrible, unspeakable things happened to Sethe at Sweet Home, the farm where she lived as a slave for so many years until she escaped to Ohio. Her new life is full of hope but eighteen years later she is still not free. Sethe's new home is not only haunted by the memories of her past but also by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
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  • The Bookseller of Kabul

    Asne Seierstad

    Product Code: AAKVG
    Paperback
    Two weeks after September 11th, award-winning journalist Asne Seierstad went to Afghanistan to report on the conflict. In the following spring she returned to live with a bookseller and his family for several months. The Bookseller of Kabul is the fascinating account of her time spent living with the family of thirteen in their four-roomed home. Bookseller Sultan Khan defied the authorities for twenty years to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned by the communists and watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. He even resorted to hiding most of his stock in attics all over Kabul. But while Khan is passionate in his love of books and hatred of censorship, he is also a committed Muslim with strict views on family life. As an outsider, Seierstad is able to move between the private world of the women - including Khan's two wives - and the more public lives of the men. The result is an intimate and fascinating portrait of a family which also offers a unique perspective on a troubled country.
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  • Sense and Sensibility

    Jane Austen

    Product Code: AADZP
    Paperback
    Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love - and its threatened loss - the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.
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  • The Grapes of Wrath

    John Steinbeck

    Product Code: AADTY
    Paperback
    Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
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  • Animal Farm

    George Orwell

    Product Code: AADSX
    Paperback
    When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless elite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another. Orwell's chilling 'fairy story' is a timeless and devastating satire of idealism betrayed by power and corruption.
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  • Where the Heart Is

    Annie Groves

    Product Code: AABPV
    Paperback
    A fabulous drama of the Campion family, struggling to stay together as World War Two rages over Liverpool Lou Campion has joined the WAAFs, against the wishes of her parents and twin sister Sasha. Lou's always been a rebel, but now finds that if she wants to succeed she'll have to follow extremely strict rules. Can she do this or will it all end in deep disgrace? Tragedy haunts the other members of the family, as Katie's plans for the future are dashed, Fran's young husband is close to death and Bella's impossible passion has to remain a close secret. Yet even in the darkest hour there is hope. The Campions find that they have a hero in their midst and while their city is crumbling, their pride is intact.
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Find The Book People's book club recommendations and suggestions:

  • The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd