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Article  •  21 September 2022


The best books to read with your book club in spring 2022

See the Penguin Random House books that over 800,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads during the month of September.

Need a book recommendation for your next book club? Leave it to your fellow readers. Based on votes from readers in more than 800,000 book clubs registered with Book Movement, these are the top 10 Penguin Random House books that book clubs are loving lately.

The top-voted book club reads of September

Lessons in Chemistry Bonnie Garmus

Elizabeth Zott would be the first person to admit it: she’s not your average woman. Being the only female chemist on her team at the Hasting Research Institute, she stands out – and Calvin Evans notices. When life – like science – turns unpredictable, Elizabeth finds herself in a new positoin as a reluctant host of a cooking show on TV. Fun, funny and totally addictive, this fast-paced read also touches on the complex subjects of gender and society, making it a great book to discuss with your book club. 

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The Lincoln Highway Amor Towles

From the number one New York Times bestselling author, Amor Towles comes this stunning story of brotherhood and the American myth. After serving fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter Emmett Watson is finally released from the juvenile work farm where he was doing time. With both of their parents dead, Emmett wants nothing more for himself and his brother than to start a new life in California. But when two stowaways take the reigns Emmett and his brother have no choice but to join them on a fateful journey across the country to New York City.

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The Personal Librarian Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray

This historical fiction novel tells the story of J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene. Forced to hide her true identity as a black woman, she knows she must protect her secret at all costs. While she’s lucky enough to pass as white, she must go to extraordinary lengths to protect herself, her family, her legacy and her carefully-crafted identity in the racist world she inhabits.

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Anxious People Fredrik Backman

Anxious People is a darkly humorous book that will leave your book club with a lot of feelings. This comforting read will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. When a bank robbery goes wrong, seven strangers become hostages, but the longer they’re trapped together, the more they realise that the criminal is pretty helpless. As the minutes tick by, they begin to wonder what exactly is going on – with the suspicion that if it is their last day on earth, perhaps it should be a little more dramatic.  

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The Thursday Murder Club Richard Osman

The first book in Richard Osman’s series of the same name, The Thursday Murder Club follows a motley crew of geriatric mates who meet up once a week in their retirement village to investigate crime. With laugh-out-loud dialogue, plenty of plot twists and two more books to read afterwards (if you so wish), it’s the perfect book club pick.

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Black Cake Charmaine Wilkerson

If this book looks familiar, you might have seen some of the hype going around. Not only has Black Cake been praised by Oprah Daily and Barack Obama, but it’s also set to become a TV series by the same writers who adapted The Handmaid's Tale. Following the story of Byron and Benny Bennett, the book tells a tumultuous tale full of murder, cake and a puzzling inheritance.

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The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Allison Pataki

In The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post, Allison Pataki crafts a brilliant portrait of the larger-than-life Marjorie Post, heiress of the Post Cereal Company fortune. Though her life was full of beauty and glamour, she nevertheless faced her own struggles. The book covers it all, from the amazing mansions she built to the parties she threw, to the four unhappy marriages she endured, this historical fiction novel shines a light on this powerful woman and the mark she made on history.

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Book Lovers Emily Henry

We’re guessing your book club is full of book lovers, so . . . what could be better to read than Book Lovers? Nora is a cut-throat literary agent who isn’t used to taking no for an answer. Nora creates bestsellers, but there’s only one editor who seems to disagree: Charlie. When Nora’s sister persuades her to finally take a holiday, she concedes. But in a cruel twist of fate, Charlie is staying in the same small town. This enemies-to-lovers romance reads like a rom-com, with plenty of bookish moments inside.

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Malibu Rising Taylor Jenkins Reid

From bestselling author Taylor Jenkins Reid comes Malibu Rising, the story of one day when everything came crashing down. It’s 1983, Malibu, and the gorgeous supermodel Nina is doing her usual: keeping it all together. Thanks to her super-famous father, she and her siblings have been in the limelight for as long as she can remember. And as dysfunctional as they may be, Nina’s family means everything to her. Their annual end-of-summer party is the perfect way to celebrate each other, but this year things go south. By midnight everything is completely out of control, and by the morning the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames.  

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Wrong Place, Wrong Time Gillian McAllister

When Jen witnesses her typically-carefree teenage son murder a complete stranger, she knows that his life is ruined forever. She doesn’t understand what she saw, but she does know one thing: he’ll be placed in custody, and his future will be stripped away from him. But when she awakes, Jen discovers that she’s reliving the past. Working backwards to unravel the events that led to the shocking crime, she attempts to stop the murder before it happens.

Check out our book club notes for questions and conversation-starters. 

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