2013’s Best Book Club Picks

If you’ve been part of a book club, you know that the best books to read as a group are those with plenty to discuss. While it’s fun to sit and gush over a book you all loved, that only goes so far. Sometimes it’s best to let the drinks and words flow in equal measure, and you’ll need interesting or debatable characters and topics to do so. Here’s my list of 2013’s Best Book Club Picks: 

Tampa by Alissa Nutting
If you’re brave enough to tackle a book about a woman who becomes a middle school teacher to feed her sexual obsessions, your group might be able to handle anything.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Fame, jealousy and relationships all collide in Wolitzer’s amazing novel about a group of friends who meet as teens and stay in touch through adulthood. 

The Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein 
Inoffensive but thought-provoking, Grodstein’s novel focuses on an evolutionary biologist who refuses to believe in religion but helps a student write her thesis on intelligent design.

Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois
Rooted in the Amanda Knox case, but able to stand on its own, Cartwheel will have your group trying to untangle the mystery behind the death of study abroad student Lily’s roommate. 

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
Don’t rule out non-fiction! You’ll have plenty to talk about when you hear about the crazy secrets behind Scientology.

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
If your group is like the rest of the reading public, some of you will love Nora and some of you will hate her, but you’ll have a great time figuring out why. 

Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt
There is nothing better than a great romp through the pearled veneer of Southern culture. 

Margot by Jillian Cantor
The life of Margot Frank is re-imagined as a Holocaust survivor who starts over with an assumed identity in Philadelphia. 

Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas
A great psychological thriller that will have everyone in your group guessing what the next twist might be. 

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
With a questionable narrator and equally as questionable moral dilemmas, Yanagihara’s debut challenges readers at every turn.

What 2013 book would you recommend for book clubs to pick up?