Favorites Among 14 Book Club Reads

What do you think about Book Clubs?  A few years ago, one of my friends in the neighborhood started one.  

There are 7 of us in the group and we are as diverse as it gets.  We are accountants, a PhD scientist, lawyers, a social worker, a sales person and a marketing and advertising rep!

Some of us are loud, some quiet.  Some are serious, some lighthearted.  We have both introverts and extroverts.  Though we are all different, here are a few things we have in common:  we are all women, live in the neighborhood, have children and love to read good books.

I love this book club because it allows me to share my own outlook while gaining different perspectives from the other women. The differences in our personalities and backgrounds add a wonderful level of depth to our discussions. We read books I wouldn’t have chosen based on only my interests — I would have missed out on some great reads.

Our List of 14 Book Club Reads

To read more about each of our books, click on the title.  The Emojis reflect my opinion only.  Comments are a mix of club members’ opinions.

  1. The Girl on the Train By Paula Hawkins suspenseful, dramatic
  2. The Husband’s Secret By Liane Moriartyfluffy, enjoyable
  3. Big Little Lies By Liane Moriarty fun, light, basic
  4. The Goldfinch By Donna Tartt heavy but good, suspenseful, long but eternal
  5. The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up By Marie Kondo boring, redundant, tedious
  6. All the Light We Cannot See By Anthony Doerr  heavy, sad, touching, powerful,
  7. The Thirteenth Tale By Diane Setterfield  suspenseful, magical, intense, riveting, brilliantly crafted
  8. The Boys in the Boat By Daniel James Brown boring, plodding, inspirational
  9. Missoula By Jon Krakauer college rape, alarming, ALL high school seniors should be required to read
  10. Princess By Jean Sasson maddening, fascinating, educational, sad
  11. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn By Betty Smith a classic, profound for all ages
  12. The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah heartbreaking, heavy, inspiring
  13. The Expatriates By Janice Lee fun to read, a bit unrealistic, eye opening
  14. Opening Belle By Maureen Sherry a bit sensational but quick and enjoyable read.

Our Favorite Books

The group’s book club favorites are:  All the Light We Cannot See and Goldfinch.


My book club favorites are below (with links in red above)


I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale because I usually don’t like suspense novels.  I could not put any of my top three books down.  They are great books for long drives (if you can read in a car) or flights.  I got lost in the stories which made the time pass quickly.

All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale are pretty heavy books and set during World War II.  But they are powerful and will leave you feeling grateful.

If you want a lighter book, choose #1-3 (The Girl on the Train, The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies) or #13 (The Expatriates).  I found these books to be quick reads.

And although I didn’t enjoy reading Missoula, I agree with my fellow book clubbers that every student should read this book before entering college.


The ’16 news about the judgement in the Brock Turner case highlights the need for college rape to be identified as a real issue.  The victim’s 12 page letter she read aloud in the courtroom is a haunting but beautiful example of bravery and power in support of victim advocacy.  As mothers, we all hope our boys will grow to be the Swedish bikers who stopped the horrific rape.  By shedding light on this very prevalent issue, we will work harder to ensure we raise them this way.

Which books on this list have you read?  What are some of your book club favorites not on this list?  I would love to hear about them!

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.