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Article  •  15 September 2020


Smart reads to talk about with your book club in spring 2020

Book club ideas and notes for the top three books we’re talking about in the office right now!

The evenings are lighter for longer, restrictions on gatherings are loosening (at the time of writing this at least!), there are a lot of fabulous new books coming out at the moment (September was a record-breaking month in terms of the number of new book releases) and we reckon it’s time to get together with your book club again. When you do, here are our top three recommendations for books that are both wonderful to read and enjoyable to talk about.

For book clubs who like emotional thrillers/dramas

This is a compelling medical novel and love story about the relationship between two exhausted and troubled junior doctors who are facing their demons, self-prescribing and finding the strength to carry on, even when it seems that all is lost. 

The Spinoff reviewer describes The Silence of Snow as “sharp, sensual and her finest yet” in this glowing review and Nicky Pellegrino cried “actual page-blurring tears” as she read it.   

Here is a note from the author and some suggested conversation starters, and here is an extract. We recommend having tissues to hand.

For book clubs who like prize-winners

If you enjoy being able to casually say “oh we’ve read that already” when books win prizes: Burnt Sugar has just been shortlisted for The 2020 Booker Prize, with the judges saying “this utterly compelling read examines a complex and unusual mother-daughter relationship with honest, unflinching realism – sometimes emotionally wrenching but also cathartic, written with poignancy and memorability.” Our team member Jaime is one of many who absolutely loved it.

Here are Book club notes, here is an extract and fingers crossed for November 17th when the winner will be announced.

For book clubs who like thrillers

Decades after a family goes missing on the West Coast, the body of one of the children is found, and the autopsy suggests he lived for several years after the disappearance… who had looked after him? And what is the meaning of the tally stick found with him? Cutting between the events around the disappearance and the current day as the boy’s aunt sets off from the UK to find out what happened, this is a gripping, ominous tale.

The Tally Stick is a great read for book clubs who like discussing puzzles, secrets and extreme circumstances. The RNZ reviewer describes it as “cinematic… literature of unease” and it is a huge staff favourite at Penguin Random House NZ.

You can read an extract here, and here are book club conversation starters.

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