10 Best Book Club Books for Summer 2020

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10 discussion worthy books

Is your book club looking for exciting new titles that will spark a lively conversation?

With discussion points on family relationships, racism, immigration policy, and mental health, my summer book club recommendations don’t hold back. Even better, these book club books are all a whole lot of fun to read.

Whether you belong to a book club or not, you’ll find plenty of food for thought in this summer reading list.

Hot New 2020 Releases for Your Book Club

Florence Adler Swims Forever book cover

Florence Adler Swims Forever

by Rachel Beanland

In 1934, while training to swim across the English Channel, Florence Adler drowns off the New Jersey coast. Florence’s sister Fannie is on bedrest for an extremely high-risk pregnancy, and her family is terrified the news will send Fannie into premature labor again. Thus, the devastated family decides to keep the death quiet, grieving in secret. Rachel Beanland’s debut novel is stunning; an insightful tale based on the author’s own family history that you don’t want to miss. Read more…

Code Name Helene book cover

Code Name Helene

by Ariel Lawhon

If your book club loves WWII historical fiction, you’ll want to introduce them to Ariel Lawhon’s latest novel based on the life of Nancy Wake, one of the most decorated women of the war. Lawhon brilliantly splits the narrative into two timelines. You first meet Nancy as she parachutes into France in 1944 to direct the French Resistance as a Britsh spy. Intertwined, Lawhon shows you Nancy’s pre-war years, including her touching courtship with her husband Henri Fiocca. As the past catches up with the future, you begin to understand the strength and sacrifices of a fierce woman caught up in a horrible war. Read more

American Dirt book cover

American Dirt

by Jeanine Cummins

Controversy surrounded this January release about a Mexican woman fleeing to the United States. Book store owner Lydia is horrified to find out her best customer is the leader of the local cartel. When her husband incurs his wrath, Lydia and her son become migrants, desperate to find safety in the US. Your book club will have plenty to discuss about who exactly should tell what stories and how our reading choices influence the publishing industry. Read more

dear-emmie-blue book cover

Dear Emmie Blue

by Lia Louis

Balancing a heartwarming romance with deeper thoughts on friendship, loyalty, and sexual trauma, Dear Emmie Blue will charm your book club if they want a light summer read. At sixteen, Emmie Blue released a balloon in England bearing her most desperate secret. Across the channel, Lucas finds her balloon, and a life-long friendship ensues. Once Lucas gets engaged, Emmie Blue realizes that she can’t leave her life up to fate. Read more

The Girl From Widow Hills book cover

The Girl From The Widow Hills

by Megan Miranda

As a child, Olivia captivated the nation when she disappeared while sleepwalking and was miraculously rescued days later. Now twenty years later, Olivia as moved away and changed her name, trying to escape her notoriety. When she begins sleepwalking again, she wakes up one night to the dead body of someone she used to know. Gripping from start to finish, Megan Miranda’s new psychological thriller would be a fun book to read together. Read more

Such A Fun Age

Such A Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

Racial tensions are extremely high right now and would be an important topic for your summer book club. Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist is the top nonfiction title. However, if you want to stick to fiction, try Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age. Reid’s story centers on two women: Alix, a blogger who’s goal is to empower women, and Emira, who babysits Alix’s two-year-old to help pay the bills. When Emira is stopped at the grocery store one night for simply being a black girl with a white toddler, Alix takes it upon herself to befriend and empower Emira. Reid’s story will certainly spark a conversation at book club night about racism and privilege. Read more

Unbeatable Book Club Recommendations

Ask Again Yes book cover

Ask Again Yes

by Mary Beth Keane

The lives of two New York cops become interconnected when they move next door to each other. Though their children, Kate and Peter, become inseparable, Peter’s mom’s precarious mental health drives a wedge between the adults, and, eventually, a horrific tragedy drives away Peter’s family. When Kate and Peter fall in love as adults, the two families must confront the past. A gorgeous tale of love and forgiveness, this family drama was one of the best books of 2019. Read more

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine book cover

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is not like other people. She always says exactly what she thinks and prefers to spend her time talking to her mother on the phone. When Eleanor and her unkempt coworker Raymond help a gentleman after a fall, they develop a friendship and Eleanor recognizes that she is not completely fine. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll fall in love with this memorable story. Read more

100 Days of Sunlight book cover

100 Days of Sunlight 

by Abbie Emmons

After a car crash, Tessa is left completely blind, though her doctors believe it’s only temporary. Into her life walks the eternal optimist Weston who is determined to help her see the joy in life’s struggles. However, Tessa doesn’t know that Weston is a double amputee and Weston refuses to let anyone tell her. This adorable young adult novel will pull at your heartstrings and is an excellent choice for teens and adults alike. Read more

Everything I never Told You book cover

Everything I Never Told You

by Celeste Ng

Although best known for her novel Little Fires Everywhere, which was recently adapted by Hulu, I’d like to draw your attention Celeste Ng’s debut novel instead. Everything I Never Told You starts with the drowning of Lydia, the beloved daughter of James and Marilyn Lee. As Lydia’s parents and siblings struggle to cope with her death, Ng explores the cracks in this mixed-race family that lead to Lydia’s death. With exquisite writing, your book club will love to chat about the damage parents’ unfulfilled dreams can have on their children. Read more

Now that you’ve found some excellent summer book club recommendations, it’s time to have a vibrant conversation about deeper themes and meanings.

Don’t stop there.

The best book club books are ones that not only prompt you to think differently but also to act upon those promptings.

Once you know better, you must do better. Examine your life and see where you have room for improvement. Let’s take our readings to heart and change ourselves so that we can change the world.


Tired of reading overrated bestsellers, Rachael started a book blog to help people read more great books. From the top books of the decade to the hottest new books coming out, Booklist Queen has you covered with book recommendations and reading challenges.


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