Our top picks for book clubs this month


For book clubs who love intense and atmospheric novels…

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld

Evie Wyld returns with another novel in which three narratives converge over historical time. In 1720s Scotland, a priest and his son transport a witch to the coast to stop her from being killed by the village. In the years after the Second World War, Ruth finds herself the replacement wife to a recent widower and stepmother to his two young boys. Fifty years later, Viv is cataloguing the valuables left in her dead grandmother’s seaside home, when she uncovers long-held secrets of the great house. Our reviewer said: ‘This novel blends the uncanny and the violent with an intense domestic claustrophobia.’ You can read our full review here.


For book clubs who like to muse on desire and connection…

Cleanness by Garth Greenwell

As an American teacher prepares to leave Sofia, Bulgaria, the place he’s come to call home, he grapples with the intimate encounters that have marked his years abroad, each bearing uncanny reminders of his past. A queer student’s confession recalls his own first love, a stranger’s seduction devolves into paternal sadism, and a romance with a younger man opens, and heals, old wounds. Each echo reveals startling insights about what it means to seek connection: with those we love, with the places we inhabit, and with our own fugitive selves.


For book clubs made of die-hard literature buffs…

Unfinished Business by Vivian Gornick

In nine essays that meld criticism and memoir, Gornick returns to the books that have shaped her. She finds herself in contradictory figures in D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, assesses womanhood in Colette, and considers the veracity of memory in Marguerite Duras’s The Lover. She uncovers the psychological complexity of Elizabeth Bowen’s prose, and soaks in Natalia Ginzburg, ‘whose work has often made me love life more’. From a young New York reporter, to a critic exploring gender and feminism, to a woman in the jubilant solitude of older age: the characters Gornick meets in literature speak to the person she is when reading, and in reopening her favourite texts she meets characters anew.


For book clubs who want to turn towards contemporary issues…

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

In 1991 Shawn, a young African-American teen, his sister Ava, and cousin Ray, set out across LA to a screening of New Jack City. But in the volatile atmosphere of that time, they never make it inside the cinema. Nearly three decades later, Grace, a Korean-American pharmacist living and working with her parents, tries to figure out why her older sister, Miriam, still refuses to speak with their mother. Across the county, Shawn tries to ease Ray, fresh out of prison, back into everyday life, but both men are still haunted by the events of 1991. When a shocking new crime strikes the city, the lives of Grace and Shawn collide in a way which could change them forever. This is an urgent, timely and unforgettable novel about the intertwined fates of two families.


For book clubs who appreciate candid memoir and self-exploration…

The Lotus Eaters by Emily Clements

Since childhood, Emily Clements' sense of self had always been shaped by the opinions of others and the need to be liked. When a stand-off with her best friend sees nineteen-year-old Emily stranded in Vietnam, she makes the biggest decision of her life - to stay. But Emily’s attempts to bridge a yawning loneliness spur a downward spiral of recklessness, as she hurtles from one sexual encounter to the next. It will take a truly terrifying experience for her to understand that sex is both a weapon and a wound in her battle for self-worth and empowerment. Delicately interweaving past and present, this is a sharply written story that dissects the patterns of blame and shame women can form around their bodies and relationships.


For book clubs who adore strange stories full of magic and wonder…

Escape Routes by Naomi Ishiguro

A space-obsessed child conjures up a vortex in his mother’s airing cupboard. A musician finds her friendship with a flock of birds opens up unexpected possibilities. A rat catcher, summoned to a decaying royal palace, is plunged into a battle for the throne of a ruined kingdom. Two newlyweds find themselves inhibited by the arrival in their lives of an outsized and watchful stuffed bear. Whether snared in traps artfully laid for them, or those of their own making, the characters in Naomi Ishiguro’s delightfully speculative debut collection yearn for freedom and flight, and find their worlds transformed beyond their wildest imaginings.


For book clubs who crave stark and captivating language…

The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin

A Taiwanese immigrant family of six struggling to make ends meet on the outskirts of Anchorage, Alaska. When ten-year-old Gavin contracts meningitis at school, he falls into a deep coma. He wakes up a week later to learn that his little sister Ruby was infected and did not survive. Events spiral further when the father is sued for not properly installing a septic tank, which results in grave harm to a little boy. In the ensuing chaos, what really happened to Ruby finally emerges. With flowing prose that evokes the terrifying beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, The Unpassing explores the fallout after the loss of a child and the way in which a family is forced to grieve in a place that doesn’t yet feel like home.


For book clubs who enjoy reading about the personal and the political…

Fighting For Our Lives by Nick Cook

This is the inspirational story of communities directly affected by the AIDS crisis. Against a harrowing backdrop of illness and death, fear and anger, hate and discrimination, they bravely took action. During the darkest years of the epidemic, marginalised communities – mostly gay men, sex workers and people who inject drugs - came together to form organisations that gave them a voice in the corridors of power. They built an unprecedented alliance with politicians and medical experts, a three-way partnership that made Australia’s response to AIDS one of the most successful in the world. Fighting For Our Lives captures the stories of the people at the very centre of a life-or-death struggle.

Your House Will Pay

Your House Will Pay

Steph Cha

$29.99Buy now

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