January 17, 2020

Top 10 Book Discussion Guides in NoveList October – December 2019

Back when I worked in a public library, we always saw an uptick in book club attendance in January. I don’t know if it came from resolving to read more in the new year, being inside due to the cold weather, or a desire to branch out and try new things, but people seemed extra motivated to join a discussion at the start of the new year.

Due to this increase in attendance, I wanted to have our schedule planned out well in advance to entice the members to keep coming back in the coming months. One successful method of selecting books stemmed from picking titles that other book clubs were reading. Readers like getting recommendations from other readers, and I found that choosing books members may have already heard buzz about from friends and family resulted in excitement and eagerness to read and discuss those books.

Now that I work at NoveList, seeing what Book Discussion Guides are most popular is a great snapshot into what readers and librarians are discussing in their libraries. We have more than six hundred Book Discussion Guides in NoveList, each offering a synopsis, questions about the book (with suggested responses!), biographical information about the author, and between 4 and 8 additional title ideas for further reading to help book group leaders and participants get the most out of their discussions.

You can find a collection of useful information, including a link to all our Book Discussion Guides, on our Book Club Resources page (under Quick Links in the NoveList database), or by searching for ND Book Discussion Guides in our search box.


Below is a listing of the most popular Book Discussion Guides in NoveList in the last three months. I hope seeing what your fellow librarians and readers have been finding helpful in their discussions will inspire — whether it is for a book display geared towards your avid book club go-ers, as fodder for your next club selections, or suggestions for your personal “to-be-read” list.

  1. Truth by Peter Temple                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  2. The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  4. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  5. Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  6. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  7. Dracula by Bram Stoker                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  8. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  9. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  10. There There by Tommy Orange                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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Halle Eisenman is a Content Development Manager at NoveList. She is currently reading The Other Americans by Laila Lalami and listening to The AI Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole.


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