Great Group Reads Book Club

GGR 2018_Logo


Great Group Reads are books with a special appeal for bookclubs.  They are chosen from the annual Great Group Reads list. Great Group Reads is a WNBA National initiative of fiction, poetry, and memoir titles selected for book clubs. New lists are announced every October which is National Reading Group Month.

Want to know more about the Great Group Reads committee? Email Kristen Knox, GGR Chair.


2022 List

The Barrens; A Novel of Love and Death in the Canadian Arctic by Kurt Johnson and Ellie Johnson (HC, Arcade/Skyhorse, May 2022), Fiction, Nature & the Environment (link)

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim (HC, Ecco, Dec 2021), Historical Fiction, Asian-American, Romance/Saga (link)

Blue-Skinned Gods by S. J. Sindu (TP, Soho Press, Inc., Oct 2022), Fantasy Fiction, LGBT, Religious, Metaphysical, Coming-of-age (link)

A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays (HC, Blair, Sept. 2022), Biography & Autobiography, LGBTQ+, Family Relationships (link)

Drowned Town by Jayne Moore Waldrup (HC, Fireside Industries/ U. Press of Kentucky, Oct 2021), Southern Fiction, Nature & the Environment (link)

Fighting Time by Amy Banks, MD, and Isaac Knapper (TP, Regal House Publishing, Nov 2021), Autobiography, Louisiana, Judicial Errors (link)

The Foundling: A Novel by Ann Leary (TP, Scribner / Marysue Rucci Books, May 2022), Historical Fiction, Suspense, Women, Asylums (link)

Here Lies by Olivia Clare Friedman (TP, Grove Atlantic, Inc., Mar 2022), Southern Fiction, Science Fiction, Climate Change (link)

I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart (TP, Two Dollar Radio, May 2022), Historical Fiction, Russia, Ukraine, War Stories (link)

Let the Wild Grasses Grow by Kase Johnstun (TP, Torrey House Press, Oct 2021), Hispanic & Latino Fiction, Historical Fiction, The Great Depression & Dust Bowl Eras,  WWII (link)

Libertie: A Novel by Kaitlyn Greenidge (TP, AlgonquinBooks, Mar 2022), Historical Fiction, Bildungsroman, Literary Fiction (link)

Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour: Memories of Soviet Russia by Yelena and Galina Lembersky (TP, Cherry Orchard Books, Jan 2022), Memoir, Ukraine, Jewish Life, Mother-Daughter Relationship, Artist’s Life (link)

The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs by Leslie Kirk Campbell (TP, Sarabande Books, Inc. Feb 2022), Short Stories (single author), Women’s Fiction, Psychological (link)

A Map for the Missing: A Novel by Belinda Huijuan Tang  (HC, PRH—Penguin Press, Aug 2022), World Literature, 20th Century China, United States 1976-2002, Family  (link)

My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson (TP, Henry Holt & Company, Oct 2022), Short Stories (single author), African American Fiction, Literary Fiction (link)

Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty (TP, Tin House Books, Jul 2022), Short Stories (single author), Indigenous People, Penobscot Indians, Family Life (link)

Oklahoma Odyssey: A Novel by John Mort (Bison Books/U.of Nebraska Press, Apr 2022) Historical Fiction, Western (link)

Provenance: A Novel by Sue Mell (TP, Madville Publishing, LLC, Jul 2022), Literary Fiction, Family Life/ Marriage & Divorce, Siblings (link)

Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith (TP, Orange Hat Publishing, Mar 2021), Political Fiction, Mothers & Daughters, Movie Tie-In, Women/Children of Politicians (link)

The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West (HC, Park Row Books/Harlequin, Sept 2022), Historical Fiction, Southern Fiction (link)


After Francesco by Brian Malloy (John Scognamiglio Books, HC) LGBT, Contemporary Fiction, Own Voices, AIDS Epidemic / link

All Sorrows Can Be Borne by Autumn Stephens (Rare Bird Books, HC) Saga, Coming-of-Age, Family Life / link

All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks (Grove Press, TP) Memoir, LGBT, Aids Epidemic, Personal Activism / link

The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese (Blair, HC) Southern Fiction, Small Town/Rural Fiction / link

A Girl is a Body of Water  by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Tin House Books, TP) Coming-of-Age, Psychological / link

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott (Dutton, HC) African-American, Southern, Literary / link

Mona at Sea by Elizabeth Gonzalez James (Santa Fe Writer’s Project, TP) Coming of Age, Latinx / link

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (Algonquin, TP) Coming of Age,Vietnamese, Cultural Heritage / link

No Hiding in Boise by Kim Hooper (Keylight Books, TP) Literary, Psychological / link

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot: A Novel by Marianne Cronin (Harper Perennial, TP) Friendship, Women’s Fiction / link

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslian Charles (Atria, HC) Historical [WWII] Fiction, Women’s Fiction / link

The Parted Earth by Anjali Enjeti (Hub City Press, HC) Literary, Asian-American, Cultural Heritage / link

The Portrait: A Novel by Ilaria Bernardini (Pegasus Books, HC) Women’s Fiction, Family Life / link

The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim (U. Of Pittsburgh Press, HC) Asian-American, Short Story Collection / link

A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria Anastasiadou (Hoopoe, TP) Cultural Heritage, Women’s Fiction / link

The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson (Milkweed Editions, TP) Native American History, Aboriginal History, Environmental / link

The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia (Dundurn Group, TP) Literary, Women’s Fiction, Cultural Heritage /link

The Third Mrs. Galway by Deirdre Sinnott (Kaylie Jones Books, HC) Hist. Fiction, Civil War Era, Women’s Fiction / link

When the Apricots Bloom by Gina Wilkinson (Kensington, TP) Biographical Fiction, Middle Eastern  / link

Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout (ECW Press, TP) Family Life, Women’s Fiction / link


(Bookshop List with links and summaries)
(Great Group Reads Flyer 2020)

Anna Eva Mimi Adam by Marina Antropow Cramer (Run Amok Books, TP)

The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah (W. W. Norton, HC)

The Bitch by Pilar Quintana (World Editions, TP)

Continental Divide by Alex Myers (University of New Orleans Press, TP)

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline (William Morrow, HC)

Godshot by Chelsea Bieker (Catapult, HC )

Goshen Road: A Novel by Bonnie Proudfoot (Swallow Press, TP)

The Hierarchies: A Novel by Ros Anderson (Dutton, HC)

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (Atria Books, HC)

In Our Midst by Nancy Jensen (Dzanc Books, HC)

Invented Lives by Andrea Goldsmith (Scribe US, TP)

The Last Goldfish by Anita Lahey (Biblioasis, TP)

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (Picador, TP)

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels (Hub City Press, HC)

The Road to Urbino by Roma Tearne (Gallic, TP)

The Royal Abduls by Ramiza Shamoun Koya (Forest Avenue Press)

Tea By the Sea by Donna Hemans (Red Hen Press, TP)

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify by Carolyn Holbrook (University of Minnesota Press, TP)

The Wanting Life by Mark Rader (Unnamed Press, TP)

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur (Mariner Books, TP)



(Full Great Group Reads list of all titles with summaries)* 

November 5th: Tomorrow’s Bread (Kensington Books, TP) Southern History, African American History, Historical Fiction, Regional Fiction

December 3rd: Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich (Univ. of Minnesota Press, TP) Women’s Fiction, Small Town & Rural Fiction,

January 7th: Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (Atria, HC) Family Life, Women’s Fiction

February 4th: Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin Books, TP) Family Life, LGBTQ, Southern History

March 3rd: The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner (Berkeley, HC) Historical/WWII, Women’s Fiction

April 7th: The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek  by Kim Michele Richardson (Sourcebooks, TP) Southern Fiction, Small Town & Rural, Women’s Fiction  –cancelled (discussed on WNBA National Bookclub page)

May 5th: The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib (St. Martins Press, HC) Women’s Fiction, Family Life, Psychological/Eating Disorders –cancelled, title pushed to June 2nd, virtual meeting via Zoom

June 2nd: The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib (St. Martins Press, HC) Women’s Fiction, Family Life, Psychological/Eating Disorders

July 14th: The Tubman Command: A Novel by Elizabeth Cobbs (Arcade, HC) Civil War, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction

August 4th: Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice (ECW Press, TP) Dystopian Fiction, Native American & Aboriginal–cancelled, new date tba

September 8th: All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir  by Nicole Chung (Catapult, HC) Adoption & Fostering, Personal Memoir, Cultural/Ethnic Stories–cancelled, new date tba

October 6th: Tonic and Balm by Stephanie Allen (Shade Mountain Press, TP) Fiction, African American Studies, Early 20th Century Fiction–cancelled, new date tba

November 3rd: Death of A Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein (Kaylie Jones Books, TP)Mystery & Detective Series, Historical Fiction


(Full Great Group Reads list of all titles with summaries)

November: America for Beginners by Leah Franqui (William Morrow)

December:  Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese  (Milkweed Editions)

January: Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce (Scribner)

February: Shores Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story by Irene Butter (White River Press)

March: The Lido by Libby Page (Simon & Schuster)

April: The Vain Conversation by Anthony Grooms (Story River Books)

May: The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sunjata Massey (Soho Crime)

June: Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury)

July: A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass (Anchor)

August: Maggie Boylan by Michael Henson (Swallow Press)

September: The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers (Algonquin)

October: As Wide as the Sky by Jessica Pack (Kensington) * Plus, picks for 2020 decided this night!



2017-18 (Full Great Group Reads list)

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Mothers and Other Strangers by Gina Sorell (Prospect Park Books)

News of the World by Paulette Jiles (William Morrow Paperbacks)

One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain (U. of South Carolina Press)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central)

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

So Much Blue by Percival Everett (Graywolf Press)

The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler (Ecco)

The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman (Kensington)

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (Scribner)

The Velveteen Daughter by Laurel Davis Huber (She Writes Press)

The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (Picador)


2016-17 (Full Great Group Reads list)

300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson (Harper Paperbacks)

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (Atria)

Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh (Ecco)

Miss Jane by Brad Watson (W.W. Norton & Company)

Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks (Hub City Press)

The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman (Feminist Press)

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (MIRA/Harlequin)

The Drone Eats With Me: A Gaza Diary by Atef Abu Saif (Beacon Press)

The Honeymoon by Dinitia Smith (Other Press)

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommended by Katarina Bivald (Sourcebooks Landmark)

The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra (Hogarth)

This is Your Life, Harriett Chance! by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin)


2015-16 (Full Great Group Reads list)

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (McSweeny’s)

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (Gallery Books/Scout Press)

Dietland by Sarai Walker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Henna House by Nomi Eve (Scribner)

Landfall by Ellen Urbani (Forest Avenue Press)

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jeannine Capó Crucet (St. Martin’s Press)

Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell (Maiden Lane Press)

No. 4 Imperial Lane by Jonathan Weisman (Twelve)

Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade (William Morrow)

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton (Grand Central)

The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora (Grove Press)

Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim (Crown)


2014-15 (Full Great Group Reads list)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (Black Cat)

August Euphoria by Lily King (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani (Atria)

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (Penguin)

Marching to Zion by Mary Glickman (Open Road Media)

The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis (Harper Perennial)

The Promise by Ann Weisgarber (Skyhorse)

The Rose Project by Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster)

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin)

The World of Rae English by Lucy Rosenthal (Black Lawrence)

What is Visible by Kimberly Elkins (Twelve)


2013-14 (Full Great Group Reads list)

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Hogarth)

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver (Harper)

How It All Began by Penelope Lively (Penguin)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur Books)

Margot by Jillian Cantor (Riverhead)

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Atria)

The House Girl by Tara Conklin (William Morrow)

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell (Amy Einhorn Books)

The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper Perennial)

Wash by Margaret Wrinkle (Atlantic Monthly Press)

tj books