What My Small Book Club is Reading This Year

I am a member of two book clubs. The larger one has 13 members and we’ve been meeting monthly for 15+ years, which is amazing to me. I wrote about us here.

The other book club began very informally when four of us friends met a few years back to discuss Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies. That book led to another and then another and at some point, we became a (for the most part) monthly book club. We added two more members along the way and decided six really suits us so we’re keeping it there. So I refer to this as my small book club and the other as the big book club, because I’m so creative like that.

Recently this small book club met to plan out our books for the next year. I wasn’t at the meeting and was supposed to turn in my picks later, but the rest of the group came with so many good choices I didn’t even bother to submit mine. I thought you might like to see what we’re reading.

Note: The short descriptions below come from the books’ publishers. Also, this post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. More details here.


The Rose Code by Kate Quinn.  A heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.


The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. A finalist for last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this is a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go.


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century.


The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal. A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate, and the secrets of making a world-class beer.


Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. With meditations on youth and age, love and marriage, peace, solitude, and contentment during a brief vacation by the sea, here is Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s inimitable classic.


His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham and John Lewis. An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present—from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Jon Meacham. 


Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty. Jay Shetty, social media superstar and host of the #1 podcast On Purpose, distills the timeless wisdom he learned as a monk into practical steps anyone can take every day to live a less anxious, more meaningful life.


The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek. Longtime Jeopardy! host and television icon Alex Trebek reflects on his life and career.


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in The American City by Matthew Desmond. In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. A Pulitzer Prize winner.


The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander Newfoundland by Jim Defede. The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway’s Smash Hit Musical Come from Away. 

I love the variety in these books. A couple of these – Caste and The Dutch House – I have on my shelves and have been wanting to read. Grant and I saw Come from Away in New York last year so I’m especially interested in The Day the World Came to Town. And even though I’ve said I was tired of World War II fiction, The Rose Code is about code breakers which I’m excited to read about. In short, I’m thrilled with this list!

Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear what you thought.

P.S. You can see what my other book club – the bigger one – is reading this year here.




  1. I see you all do a lot of non fiction books. I haven’t read Caste yet but have it downloaded. You must listen to Oprah’s Book Club podcast when she has the author go through each pillar in the book. Fascinating and eye opening. I would listen to it on my daily walks. It will add to the book.

    1. Nanci, thank you so much for telling me about this. I will definitely listen!

  2. It looks like a great selection of books, Julie. I can’t wait to read The Rose Code.

    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Same! I’m all in for code breakers.

  3. Hi Julie- I began Evicted a few weeks ago and had to put it down halfway through because it was so depressing- but at the same time I’m drawn back to it so I will finish it. I’m going to take a few of your suggestions from this list and begin something new as well.

    1. Sherri, thanks for the heads up about Evicted. Let me know what you read from the list.

  4. I have read 5 of your books and all were good. I have actually been to Gander, Newfoundland, so that was a special book for me to read. I love book clubs, in my return to OP I have rejoined my book club which has been meeting for about 36 years! I was a founding member and have come and gone over the years as I have moved.

    1. 36 years! That’s wonderful, Sue. And I’m so jealous you’ve been to Gander!

  5. Wait…you’re cheating on us in the large book club?!!? 🙂

    1. Ha! You know you guys are my first loves.

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