15 Great Medical Mystery Books Beyond Robin Cook

Are you a medical mystery books fan? Medical thriller books are a sub-genre of mystery novels, and they have mysteries that center around medical procedures, diseases, injuries, and medical facilities. Robin Cook pioneered the sub-genre with his many medical mystery novels, but if you’re looking for more great medical mystery books and even some true medical mystery books, we’ve compiled a list of 15 books beyond Robin Cook. Just a note: The medical mystery sub-genre is a narrow one, with very few authors of color publishing within it. We found only two authors of color to include, but that number should be a lot higher!

1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Theo is a psychotherapist who has just secured a job at a psychiatric facility that houses patient Alicia Berenson, the woman who became famous when she refused to speak after her husband’s murder. Everyone believes she is guilty, but Theo is certain that if he can just get her to talk, the mystery can be solved.

2. The Fever by Megan Abbott

In a small, close-knit community, a girl is struck with an unexplainable seizure while in class one day, defying medical explanation. Pretty soon, other girls are falling ill, begging the question: Is it an outbreak? A contamination? Poison? As rumors swirl, long-buried secrets about the community come to light.

3. A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang

Set in 1919, this book follows three childhood friends, reunited on the cusp of adulthood. The influenza epidemic is creeping into New York City, even as war efforts have left the country exhausted. When a young woman dies at a high society party, the three friends suspect murder. And when more victims begin to stack up, they have a feeling a serial killer is at work, lurking behind the shadows of the epidemic–but how to prove it?

4. Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

When Christine and Marcus turn to a sperm donor in order to have a child, the last thing they expect is for a news bulletin flashing an image of a man that looks eerily like their sperm donor. Unsettled and pregnant, Christine begins looking into the case, all the while wondering what she will do if it turns out her baby’s biological father is a killer.

5. The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in the Jazz Age by Deborah Blum

For a nonfiction foray into medical mysteries, this excellent book details the history of poison and murder, and how New York City built a medical examiner’s office that would go on to be responsible for numerous scientific breakthroughs, and get the public to take scientific evidence seriously in courts. This is a fascinating account of murder, crime, and the scientists who diligently worked to solve so many mysteries.

6. Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

Written by the doctor who founded the Body Farm, this novel is about an anthropologist who has spent his career studying death, only to be asked to consult on a case where a woman’s mummified body has been found in interesting conditions. But as he helps the investigation, old secrets in a small mountain town are brought to light.

7. The Line Between by Tosca Lee

Wynter Lee is trying to recover from trauma when a strange disease found in the melting Alaskan permafrost wreaks havoc on her world again. The disease causes madness in its victims, but Wynter’s sister has gotten her hands on some samples that a lab in Colorado needs in order to understand how to create a cure. Now Wynter must get those samples to Colorado, even as the country descends into chaos.

8. Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Dr. Greta Helsing runs a practice for the supernatural–treating vampires, banshees, mummies, and more. It’s just the quiet sort of life she likes, but when a group of murderous monks begin to target her patients and humans alike, only Greta has the skills and insight needed to stop these murders. This is the first in a series.

9. Harvest by Tess Gerritsen

In this classic medical thriller penned by one of the genre’s legends, surgical resident Dr. Abby DiMatteo has just secured a job with her hospital’s cardiac transplant team. Abby is elated, but when she makes a fateful decision about one of her first cases, she discovers that the hospital’s transplant protocol is not entirely legal, resulting in a harrowing investigation that will put Abby’s own life in peril. Gerritsen has also written many other medical thrillers, including the popular Rizzoli and Isles series.

10. The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

In an attempt to better understand the idea of madness in the 1970’s, a Stanford psychologist and seven other colleagues went undercover as “insane” in various asylums across the country, and there they stayed until they could prove that they were in fact sane. When they were released, they had unsettling accounts of their diagnoses and treatments that became a report that revolutionized the mental health field. But Cahalan’s investigative reveals news details about this mysterious test and how nothing is as it seems.

11. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs is another popular medical mystery writer, and the author of the Bones series, which was adapted to TV. In this first book, medical examiner Temperance Brennan recognizes a case of a woman dismembered and her body spread about as one that has parallels to another in her past. She begins actively investigating herself, drawing the attention of the killer.

12. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

Set in medieval England, this book follows a woman named Adelia, a forensics expert, who is summoned by King Henry II to investigate a series of murders. These murders have suggested that a group of Jewish prisoners may be at fault, but as Adelia dives into the mystery, she finds connections to the Christian church that suggest someone else is involved–but she’ll have to survive long enough to discover who the murderer is.

13. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

For something a little more lighthearted but intriguing nonetheless, pick up this collection of weird but strange tales about chemistry, medicine, and mystery throughout history. By looking at some of the trickier elements and pointing his focus on some of history’s most prominent figures, Kean reveals the science behind so many mysteries and puzzles.

14. Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

In this first book in the Gaslight mysteries series, Thompson introduces readers to Sarah Brandt, the widow of a doctor and midwife in turn-of-the-century New York City. A murder is discovered after a routine delivery and Sarah is called upon to help the police search the victim’s room, wherein she discovers that the girl had ties to Sarah’s own past. This is the first in an excellent series about a midwife sleuth whose work often turns deadly.

15. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

Cornwell is another big name in medical mysteries, and if you haven’t read her Kay Scarpetta series yet, now is the time! In the first novel, a series of brutal stranglings shakes a community, but medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects that it’s the work of a methodical serial killer. With very little to go on, she begins investigating, hoping that her scientific work can catch a killer before he strikes again.

Find more medical mystery books

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Want to learn more about how TBR works? Check out all the details. Plus, check out our other mystery book recommendations, and our run down of the best mystery book subscription services!

The Best Science Book Subscription Services

Calling science nerds, tinkerers, and wielders of fun facts! If you are looking to feed your voracious appetite for all things science with a fiction or nonfiction book subscription service, then you’ve come to the right place. There aren’t a ton of services out there that simply focus on science books, but we’ve done our best to showcase five different science book subscription services that you might want to try out. Here we go! 

GiftLit Big Ideas

If exploring big ideas are your thing, then the GiftLit Big Ideas subscription is the perfect nonfiction book subscription for you! The Big Ideas line of GiftLit is packed full of nonfiction science titles in a variety of fields, and you can choose which books you’d like to receive from a wide variety of hardcover titles, everything from new releases to upcoming titles, and bestsellers. The subscription is available in 3, 6, and 12 month increments, starting at $89.95. The cool thing about this service is that you can also pick your books in advance, and tell GiftLit which order you’d like to receive your books in. Recent titles include Billy Bryson’s The Body: A Guide for OccupantsThe Hidden World of the Fox by Adele Brand, and On: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein. This is great subscription for readers who like to choose their titles and still want to fun of getting a new book each month.

Science Fiction Book Club

For the reader who loves hard science fiction, this is an excellent monthly service. Science Fiction Book Club has a wide selection of hard sci-fi to fantasy, horror, paranormal, and graphic novels, and you can pick which books you’d like to receive each month. Hardcovers are available as low at $9.99, but to get started you can sign up and create an account. Then, at the beginning of each month, you’ll get the opportunity to purchase 2 credits for $14.99 each. Redeem your credits for books, or choose to skip a month. If you choose to redeem your credits for books, you’ll be able to choose from a myriad of titles, including new releases, bestsellers, and classics. Although this is primarily a fiction service, there are nonfiction titles thrown in for good measure, such as Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us by Dr. Lucy Jones and Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon by Jeff Hecht. If you’re a fiction and nonfiction reader, this is a great service to get the best of both worlds.

Kiwi Crates

For the little ones and scientists-in-training, the Kiwi crates are fun, age-appropriate science subscription services that often include books. Each crate is leveled by age, and includes a book or guide to a scientific project or activity. This is an awesome gift for kids and teens who are curious and hands-on, and will foster a love of STEM learning. While this isn’t strictly a book subscription service, most of the monthly crates in a lot of the age levels do include books. Crates start at $29.95 per month, but you’ll get a deal if you subscribe for 3, 6, or 12 month periods!

My Sci-Fi Club

If you like exploring scientific ideas and learning new things through fiction, then check out My Sci-Fi Club. It’s a cost-efficient book subscription service that lets you choose between Science Fiction, Fantasy, or a mix of both. Starting at just $16 per month, you’ll receive two new hardcover books each month. Plus, if you sign up and email the club to opt-in, you’ll get free digital short stories to start reading right away. You won’t get to preview or pick the books, but past science fiction books have included The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord and In the Shadow of Frankenstein edited by Stephen Jones. This is a great budget-friendly subscription!

TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations

If you want just science books, or a mix of science fiction and nonfiction, then pick TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. TBR is a personalized book subscription that doesn’t just take into account your genre preferences but also asks you what you want to read more of. Interesting books about diseases and medicine? Astrphysics? The history of chemistry or interesting inventions? Let us know in the reader survey and even tell us some of your favorite books and link your Goodreads profile. Then, an expert Bibliologist who reads a lot of science fiction and nonfiction will handpick three books for you, based on your tastes and requests.

You can also choose how to receive your recommendations: The recommendations-only level will get you a personalized recommendation letter in your inbox within two weeks. This is a great option for library power users and ebook and audiobook readers! If you like getting books in the mail, choose the hardcover level and get three handpicked new hardcover books from Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME in about 3-4 weeks.

Learn more about how TBR works, and explore more nonfiction book subscription services!

25 Great Short Book Club Books

Hey, we get it–life is busy, you’ve got a lot of books on your plate, and the last thing you need (or want) is for your monthly book club to pick a 500+ page doorstopper. Never fear! We’ve rounded up a list of 25 great short book club books that are perfect for discussion groups and hitting your reading goals. From must-read modern classics to new releases, there’s something here for everyone!

A note on what we mean by “short”: All of the books on this list are under 300 pages, and most of them are under 250 pages. They’re all really great reads!

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Jam has grown up in Lucille believing that there are no more monsters left. But when a creature her mother painted comes to life, it tells her there is a monster lurking among them–and they must hunt it. This is a discussion-worthy novel that was a National Book Award finalist.

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami is a book club favorite, but his books tend to be epically long. Not this one! This novella is about a boy who becomes trapped in a dangerous library, the people he meets there, and how he plots escape. 

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

In this short novel told in vignettes, Andrea Bern is contemplating her identity and what it means to be an adult when her baby niece is born with a disease that sends the family reeling. This is a bittersweet coming of age story that shows we never stop growing up.

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Terese Marie Mailhot is a survivor. After enduring hardship and a rough upbringing in the Pacific Northwest, she finds herself in treatment with a diagnosis of PTSD and bipolar disorder. She turns to writing to heal, excavating memories of her parents and past.

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

At 88, Maud has seen quite a bit of life and has decided not to put up with any nonsense. And so she sometimes resorts to a bit of crime. A bit of murder. This slim collection of comically dark short stories involving Maud and her misadventures is irreverent and fun.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

In this stunning memoir, Machado revisits the two years that she was in a relationship with an abusive woman, attempting to make sense of their connection, the domestic abuse, and start the conversation about domestic abuse between queer couples. This is a literary and brave memoir.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Two very different families from different classes are upended and united by an unplanned teenage pregnancy in Jacqueline Woodson’s latest novel for adults. This book is an exploration of family, class, community, and gentrifications.

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sittenfeld’s debut short story collection contains stories of domestic drama, and men and women adrift. Each of these stories reflect interesting truths about modern life and relationships.

Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is My Nurse by Shane Burcaw

Shane Burcaw is a hilarious blogger and disability advocate, and his latest book is a collection of comedic essays about life as a wheelchair user with a degenerative disease. From others’ weird reactions and assumptions to his transition from his parents’ house to living with his able-bodied girlfriend, this is an engaging, eye-opening read.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyan

This short story collection is an exploration of race, injustice, and brutality in modern day America, following ordinary characters in extraordinary circumstances. These stories run the race from literary to surreal to satirical, and the collection has been optioned for film adaptation.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

If your book club wants to mix things up with a classic, pick up this modern classic about a young woman’s slow mental unraveling set over the course of a summer in New York City. 

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Elwood Curtis is set to go to college, galvanized by the words and leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., when one mistake sends him to Nickel Academy, a “reform school” for black boys and teens that promises to set them on the straight and narrow. In reality, the academy abuses its students, and when Elwood and another boy make a fateful decision, it has far-reaching consequences.

Ex-Libris by Anne Fadiman

This book is a collection of columns that Fadiman wrote about the love of reading and books. This is an eclectic trove of essays that is sure to delight any reader.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

A powerful novel-in-verse, this book follows one young man and his fateful decision to grab a gun and avenge his brother’s death. He steps in an elevator going down, and on each floor the elevator stops and someone in his life gets on, challenging his perspective and desire for revenge in a moving, memorable way.

Fox 8 by George Saunders 

Fox 8 is a peculiar kind of fox, made even more strange when he teaches himself how to speak human by lurking near humans and observing them. But when the humans build a new mall and his pack is cut off from their food supply, it’s up to Fox 8 to save them. This is a short story from a unique perspective.

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

In London, a mother and daughter make their living by making the most splendid gingerbread anyone has ever tasted–but it doesn’t win the mother any friends. Instead, she becomes increasingly haunted by her home country, a place that doesn’t seem to exist on any map, and a long-ago friend she knew simply as Gretel.

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

When a woman loses her best friend in the entire world, she inherits his dog–a Great Dane who is also grieving. Although her apartment building doesn’t allow pets, she takes him in and their bond proves to be transformative.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, and William Hutton

Beneath the sea exist the descendants of pregnant African women thrown overboard by slavers. They’ve forgotten their horrible past, except for one: Yetu, who is tasked with remembering. When it becomes too much for her to bear, she flees the to surface and discovers a whole new world.

The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine

Laurel and Daphne are redheaded twins obsessed with words. Once close enough to create their own language, as adults they’ve gone their separate ways. Their relationship turns contentious when they begin feuding over who should inherit a rare family dictionary.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

One day, a Korean woman decides to give up meat. This single act infuriates her husband and mystifies her family, and the novel is told from her sister, husband, and brother-in-law’s perspectives as she refuses to eat meat and begins to lose weight, paying an unimaginably high price for a decision she refuses to explain.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

Sarah Gailey reimagines history in this novella that takes a very real proposal–to introduce hippos to the American South in solve the country’s meat shortage–and builds a world where it actually happened. The result is feral hippos who rule the rivers and bayous of the south, and one man with vengeance on his mind who is contracted to solve the hippo problem.

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser

Set in the depths of winter in Michigan norther Lower Peninsula, teenager Percy is determined to track down her addict mother and bring her home. She sets out for her mother’s dealer’s rural house, and instead finds a baby abandoned by passed out adults. She makes the impulsive decision to take the child, setting in motion a chain of events that will have her running for her life and fighting to protect an innocent child.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamandi Ngozi Adichie

Adichie’s powerful argument for feminism is tailored for the modern world, advocating inclusion and intersectionality. This is a great very-short pick for book clubs during busy seasons, but it’s so full of amazing insights and truths that will generate lots of discussion.

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekial Kwaymullina

Beth, an Aboriginal teen, is dead. She passed away in a car accident and now appears to her grief-stricken detective father. She encourages him to return to work, and to take a case in a small town where a fire has claimed two lives, the bodies still unidentified. As the two investigate, they uncover dark secrets that could have consequences for Beth’s ability to move on.Whose Story is This? Old Conflicts, New Chapters by Rebecca SolnitWe know that history is told by the victors, but what does that look like now, in our current state of events? In an increasingly volatile political climate, Solnit examines the tension between old and new narratives, and how we talk about current events, what details we focus on, and whose perspectives are elevated.

Looking for more amazing short book club books for 2020? Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations!

TBR is a quarterly book subscription service that offers personalized book recommendations, and allows readers to request what they want to read more of–like short books for discussion groups! Readers fill out a survey, and then are matched with a Bibliologist who will come up with personalized recommendation letters. If you are a library user or avid ebook or audiobook reader, choose the recommendations-only level and get your recommendation letter in your inbox within two weeks. If you love receiving books in the mail, choose the hardcover level and you’ll get your personalized recommendation letter and three new hardcover books from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME, within 3-4 weeks!

And for more book club book ideas beyond short book club books, check out our best book club suggestions of 2019!

16 BORN A CRIME Book Club Questions

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is a funny, heartfelt memoir about the comedian’s early life in South Africa, and has been optioned for film. If your book club has chosen this fantastic title for your next meeting, rest easy! We’ve got a Born a Crime book club questions along with a book summary to help you prep!

16 BORN A CRIME Book Club Questions | TBR

Born A Crime summary

Noah was born to a black mother and white father in South Africa under apartheid, which meant that his existence was technically a crime. Apartheid ended when Noah was still a child, but that didn’t mean his life got any easier.

As a biracial kid, Noah often found himself caught between two worlds, not able to find a place where he was accepted without question. As a result, Noah learned six languages as a kid and used humor to bridge the gaps between people while also thinking critically about the systems of power that made up his world.

The result is a hilarious, moving, and educational memoir about an extraordinary young man.

16 Born A Crime book club questions

Now let’s get talking with the Born A Crime book club questions!

  1. Did you know who Trevor Noah was before reading his memoir? If yes, what did you expect from the book? Did the book live up to your expectations, or not?
  2. Noah begins the book about being thrown from a moving car. Why do you think he chose to begin his narrative with this anecdote?
  3. Noah describes apartheid as “institutional racism.” How much did you know about apartheid before reading this book? Were there any details that surprised you?
  4. Although Noah’s parents’ relationship was against the law and could have induced violence if discovered, his mother always made sure that Noah knew he was loved and wanted, even though he lost contact with his father for many years. How do you think this knowledge affected Noah growing up, and in his mother’s insistence that he reconnect with his father?
  5. Noah’s mother is a strong woman who taught her son to respect women, and yet she ended up marrying a man who physically abused her, Noah, and his younger brother. Discuss these contradictions, and the effect they had on young Noah.
  6. Patricia’s faith is also an extremely important aspect of the book–her faith was strong and unwavering, even in the face of great adversity. Noah tended to doubt a bit more. Discuss the effects of Patricia’s faith, and how Noah struggled with it.
  7. Despite Noah’s pain seeing his mother in an abusive marriage, discuss the effect that she has on him. He writes, “My mother showed me what was possible”–what did she show him? What advice of hers does he take to heart? How does it impact his growth?
  8. Noah speaks multiple languages–discuss how his knowledge of language affects his view of culture and helps him move between worlds.
  9. What are some of your favorite funny anecdotes from this memoir?
  10. Noah talks at length about how he didn’t exactly fit in because he was mixed-race but lived with a black mother and family. Discuss how he was viewed in South Africa, and how he is viewed here in the U.S. Do his experiences as a biracial kid and teen have parallels in the U.S.?
  11. When he was a teenager, Noah committed nonviolent petty crimes as a matter of survival. Discuss his turning point, when he thinks about selling a digital camera. What does his epiphany say about crime and injustice in general?
  12. Although Noah’s experiences in this book are rooted in South Africa, what do you think readers can take away and apply to current race relations in the U.S.?
  13. Did you read the print version of the book, or listen to the audiobook (narrated by Trevor Noah himself)? Do you think Noah’s narration adds something to the reading experience?
  14. Noah’s story and struggles deal with big topics that aren’t really all that funny: apartheid, racism, poverty, domestic abuse, crime, and danger. And yet, most readers would agree that this is a very funny book. How do you think that Noah is able to maintain such a good sense of humor about these circumstances? Do you think he’s an optimist?
  15. At multiple points throughout the book, Noah injects a bit of historical information about apartheid and South Africa between anecdotes. These moments are important to understanding the context of Noah’s experiences. As he points out, he was not taught about apartheid in a formal way, the way that German children learn about the Holocaust. Discuss the importance of reading personal stories about injustices and big moments in history. What, if anything, do you think is Noah’s message about apartheid?
  16. Would you recommend this memoir to someone who might not be familiar with Trevor Noah and his comedy? Would you read further memoirs by Noah?

If it’s your turn to pick the book for your club or you’re simply looking for more awesome book club suggestions, check out our list of best book club suggestions of 2019

And if that’s not enough, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. TBR is a quarterly personalized book subscription service that takes into account what you want to read more of–like funny memoirs, for example! Simply fill out our reader survey, and even link your Goodreads account (optional). Then you’ll be matched with an expert Bibliologist who will pick out three books just for you, based on your tastes, requests, and what you’ve loved in the past–and they’ll be sure to steer clear of your dealbreakers! To get your recommendations, you can choose between two subscription levels: recommendations only, or hardcover level! In the recommendations only level, you’ll get a personalized book recommendation letter emailed to your inbox within two weeks. This is great for getting book club suggestions, or for readers who love ebooks, audiobooks, and using the library. If you love getting book mail (and who doesn’t?), choose the hardcover level! You’ll be sent three new handpicked hardcover books within 3-4 weeks, fulfilled by our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME. 

Read more about how TBR works, and sign up now!

20 Excellent Sci-Fi Book Recommendations For 2020

Calling all science fiction fans! If you want to get a jump on the best new sci-fi books of 2020, we’ve got you covered! This list of new sci-fi book releases will help you plan your 2020 reading and ensure you don’t miss any of the amazing new books coming out. From standalones to sequels, exciting new debuts and new books from sci-fi greats, there are sci-fi book recommendations for every type of sci-fi reader here!

20 Excellent Sci-Fi Book Recommendations For 2020 | TBR

1. A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

A mere six years after a global pandemic fractured society, four survivors find themselves once again in danger of losing everything they’ve managed to preserve. A former pop star, a party planner, and a father and daughter find their paths crossing in this very human story about the end of the world.

Out January 14, 2020.

2. The Vanished Bird by Simon Jimenez

Nia is a space traveler who exists solely in her ship, and ages beyond the outside worlds and universe. When the lonely woman takes in a mute child who communicates via music, the two discover connection and a home in each other. But they are not safe, and the boy is being hunted.

Out January 14, 2020.

3. Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

In a near future LA, Ella has the ability to see a person’s fate when she looks at them. Her brother Kev protects them both by hiding Ella’s ability. But when he’s incarcerated and Ella is left alone, she must decide if she’ll use her abilities to create a different world for the both of them. This is a sci-fi novel with superhero vibes!

Out January 21, 2020.

4. The Seep by Chana Porter

Trina, a trans woman, and her wife Deeba live under the alien takeover called the Seep, which seems like a utopia until Deeba becomes convinced that she would have a better life in a new existence and leaves Trina behind. Devastated, Trina tries to save a boy caught in the Seep and must confront the realities of this new existence.

Out January 21, 2020.

5. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

In this near-future Western story, Esther stows away on a library wagon headed for the Southwest in order to escape an arranged marriage and the grief over her best friend’s execution for possessing contraband. Knowing Gailey’s work, their new novella is certain to be a rollicking queer adventure!

Out February 4, 2020.

6. The Resisters by Gish Jen

Gish Jen crafts a story of near future America where the Internet is part AI and surveillance and the people are tightly controlled. A young female baseball prodigy attracts the attention of officials just as the country rejoins the Olympics with the intention of beating ChinRussia–but her parents prove to be disruptors.

Out February 4, 2020.

7. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Ken Liu is a celebrated writer and translator of sci-fi and fantasy, and this new collection includes his best sci-fi and fantasy stories of recent years, plus a new, never-before-published novella!

Out February 25, 2020.

8. Docile by KM Szpara

In this strange dystopia, one can pay back debt by becoming a Docile–to become completely beholden to the holders of your contract. Elisha’s mother lost herself as a Docile and the drug she took to get through the servitude, and now Elisha is set to become a Docile and is determined not to fall to the same fate. But when his resolution runs up against his new contract holder’s beliefs about the Docile drug, a battle of nerves and wits ensues.

Out March 3, 2020.

9. The Companions by Katie Flynn

After an epidemic, California is under quarantine. The living stay in high towers, but those who die can upload their consciousnesses to a company that controls them totally. The poor are leased to the wealthy as companions, but when one companion discovers that she can defy orders, she decides to find her murderer, sparking a rebellion that will sweep the world.

Out March 3, 2020.

10. The Last Human by Zack Jordan

For an off-the-wall space adventure, pick up this book about Sarya, who is hiding her identity as the last human in the universe. She has no idea why humanity was destroyed, but when her human nature is inadvertently exposed, she’s propelled on a madcap journey to figure out just what happened to humanity and discover her own exciting fate.

Out March 24, 2020.

11. Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu

In the wake of a civil war between Earth and Mars, a group of teens from Mars are sent to Earth to try and bridge the chasm between the two planets. But for these teens, adrift and searching for identity, this journey is especially fateful as they struggle to feel at home in two very different worlds.

Out April 14, 2020.

12. The Last Emperox by John Scalzi

In this third book of the Interdependency series, the interstellar pathway called The Flow has finally collapsed, cutting off star systems from the heart of the empire. The emperox must convince her opponents that The Flow has truly collapsed and find a way to save those left stranded–or watch her empire fall.

Out April 14, 2020.

13. Critical Point by SL Huang

In this third book in the Cas Russell series, Cas discovers that the cost for winning a war against a shadow organization is that her very past–and her abilities–have been erased. And now Cas and her friends are being targeted.

Out April 28, 2020.

14. The Down Days by Ilze Hugo

In the midst of a strange outbreak of paranoia and hallucinations in a city in Africa, a woman named Faith agrees to help a young girl find her baby brother–but is he even real? Their search takes them across the paths of a large cast of characters all affected by this strange outbreak that could just be mass hysteria, or something more.

Out May 5, 2020.

15. Network Effect by Martha Wells

Murderbot fans, rejoice! The novella series is getting its first standalone full length novel about your favorite Murderbot, who must take drastic action to save some human not-friends when they’re taken hostage.

Out May 5, 2020.

16. The Eleventh Gate by Nancy Kress

Set in a galaxy embroiled in war and populated by those who’d take advantage from all sides, this space opera follows a physicist and a spoiled heir who find a jump gate and use it, and find something worth protecting and fighting for on the other side.

Out May 5, 2020.

17. Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Harrowhark has managed to win a deadly battle in Gideon the Ninth, but her mind and her body have suffered for it. Now she’s locked into the emperor’s service and must train until she’s the perfect weapon–but a ghost is hunting her and she might be losing her mind.

Out June 2, 2020.

18. The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Koral

The third in the Lady Astronaut series, this book explores an Earth reaching its expiration date due to climate change very soon, and two Lady Astronauts with different missions that are absolutely vital to saving humanity. But with political tensions heating up, their missions may be imperiled.

Out July 14, 2020.

19. Prime Deceptions by Valerie Valdez

This is the sequel to Chilling Effect. Not much is known about the plot yet, but keep an eye out for more information soon about one of our most-anticipated sci-fi book recommendations for 2020.

Out September 8, 2020.

20. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

The Eragon author has a sci-fi debut about first contact to look forward to, about a xenobiologist who finds an alien artifact while surveying a new uncolonized planet, sparking an epic battle between races and changing the course of history.

Out September 8, 2020.

Find more sci-fi book recommendations

Do you want to stay up to date on all of the amazing new sci-fi book recommendations and releases coming in 2020 and beyond? Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book subscription service that puts you in control of what you want to receive. To get started, fill out our reader survey and tell us what you want: new sci-fi book recommendations, for example.

Then, choose between the recommendations-only level or the hardcover level. With recommendations-only, you’ll receive an email within two weeks with three personalized book recommendations from an expert Bibliologist. This is perfect for library users and ebook and audiobook lovers! If you want hardcovers, then the hardcover level will get you three brand new hardcover books from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME. Your hardcovers are also handpicked by a Bibliologist and come with a personalized letter explaining why your Bibliologist chose the books they did. Your hardcover order should arrive in 3-4 weeks from placing your order.


Check out more details about how TBR works, and take a peek at how TBR stacks up against other sci-fi book subscription services.

20 of the Best Book Club Books for 2020

A new year means a fresh slate for new book club books! As your club begins picking books for another great reading year, make sure you consider these twenty picks–the best fiction and nonfiction book club books from the end of 2019 and what will certainly be the most talked about new releases of 2020. No matter your club’s genre preferences, we’ve got some great book club ideas for everyone, from big-name authors to must-read debuts!

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

In this novel, a well-meaning white mother, Alix, is shocked when her black babysitter, Emira, is confronted while out with Alix’s toddler and accused of kidnapping her. When the contentious incident is filmed and goes viral, Alix resolves to make things right, but Emira is wary of her help, especially when the incident reveals a long-hidden secret from Alix’s past.

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

Emma Straub’s newest book is a family story that looks at three generations of a family trying their best. When grandmother Astrid is reminded of a mistake she made years ago as a young mother, it forces her to reconsider everything that she thought she knew about parenting, which has a profound effect on her three grown children, some of them parents themselves, and her granddaughter.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

Comedian Ali Wong made a name for herself with her Netflix special about pregnancy, parenting, and being a modern mother and woman. She draws upon much of the same material in this memoir, which she addresses to her daughters, about being a comedian, parenting, connecting with her roots and growing up herself. This might be a great pick for any mother-daughter book clubs, or groups with lots of young moms.

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

Comedy writer and essayist Samantha Irby is back with a brand new collection of hilarious, honest essays. Irby’s life has changed a bit since her last book–she’s married, she moved away from Chicago, and she’s also seen success with her books and as a TV writer on the Hulu show Shrill. But she’s still an awkward Midwesterner at heart and unafraid to tell about it.

The Return by Rachel Harrison

When Julie goes missing, the only person who believes that she isn’t dead is her best friend Elise–and she’s right. Julie returns two years later and Elise is overjoyed. They go on a trip with two more college friends, Molly and Mae, to reconnect. But Elise is shocked to find that Julie is very different now, and as the weekend progresses, Elise, Mae, and Molly begin to question just who this new Julie really is.

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

This powerful crime novel is set in Los Angeles during the race riots. It follows two young adults from different families: Grace Park is a sheltered Korean-American who works in her family’s pharmacy. Shawn Matthews is African-American and has already seen too much racial violence. In the aftermath of a single crime, the Park and Matthews families will be forced to face their own secrets and pasts.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Bestselling activist and motivational author Glennon Doyle’s new memoir tells of the moment that she set eyes on another woman and knew, deeply instinctively, that she was the one. Actually coming to terms with this knowledge, and taking steps to live her true life, was a lot harder. In this book, Doyle talks about her experience coming out, but also about how women are often told to stifle themselves. Here, she offers inspiration to build your own unique life.

Black Sunday Tola Rotimi Abraham

Bibike and Ariyike are twins, close as can be, living in 1990’s Lagos when their once-stable family life is threatened by political unrest, job loss, and their father’s dangerous bet that leaves them without a home. They are sent to live with their traditional grandmother when their parents’ marriage implodes, and in order to survive find themselves on two separate and very different paths.

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Set in 1953 and inspired by Erdrich’s own grandfather, this is a rich novel about a community facing upheaval. Thomas is a night watchman at the jewel bearing plant near the Turtle Mountain Reservation, and he is wary of a new bill in Congress that could have a major impact on the Chippewa nation. Patrice is a young woman who dreams of finding the sister that disappeared when she moved to Minneapolis. Their stories entwine in this gripping new book.

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

Lindy West, the author of Shrill, returns with another collection of essays critiquing our culture and media, with a special emphasis on the #MeToo movement and American politics. West urges readers to re-examine the stories they’ve been told and what they believe to be true in order to honestly address our society’s problems and address them, so we can move forward.

Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

The author of Station Eleven brings us a new story about a young woman named Vincent, first seen as a bartender on an island where she meets Alkaitis, the man who will become her husband. Later, Alkaitis is caught at the center of a Ponzi scheme, and Vincent walks away, only to reappear years later on a ship, and disappear once more. Knowing Mandel, it’s sure to be a captivating story.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

This new nonfiction history by Larson examines Winston Churchill’s role as prime minister in some of the darkest days in England. It talks about how he worked to rally the British people in the face of the Blitz, his behind-closed-doors political maneuvers, and how his work even affected his family and home life. It’s a story of Churchill’s devotion to his family, country, and to leadership during dark times.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

In 2000, fifteen-year-old Vanessa becomes entangled with her teacher, a man nearly three times her age. In 2017, that man is accused of sexual abuse by another woman, who reaches out to Vanessa, now an adult. Acknowledging what he did to her will force Vanessa to redefine her past and sense of self, but ignoring the truth could stifle her. 

Real Life by Brandon Tyler

Wallace is an introverted young African America from Alabama who feels adrift at his  Midwestern university. He holds himself at arms’ length from his classmates and friends, until a series of confrontations breaks down is reserve, forcing Wallace to come to grips with the emotional toll of existing in a space where he does not feel welcome or at ease. 

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

Alex is a lawyer who is desperate to understand her father, a real estate mogul finally on his deathbed. He’s always loomed large and mysterious in her life, but even now, as the family reconvenes in New Orleans, she’s having difficulties getting anyone, from her mother Barbra to her uncle Gary and aunt Twyla, to be honest with her about who her father really is and what he has done.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Everyone knows the name Brock Turner, a man who was sentenced to only six months in jail for assaulting a woman, sparking outrage and protests across the country. Now know the name of the woman he assaulted: Chanel Miller. But in this powerful memoir, Chanel Miller also tells you who she is, and how she struggled to respond to what happened to her and the massive amount of attention Tuner’s case received, and how she found the courage to speak up.

The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland

In River Bend, MI, three women who have made their escape from the small town return unexpectedly: Linda, her mother Paula, and Beth, one of the few black women from River Bend, with her own children. Their stories intertwine with Beth’s father, and Beth must confront what she’s been running from when a local scandal reminds her too much of her past. 

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Kidd’s newest novel imagines the life of a woman named Ana, a rebellious young woman living during Biblical times who embraces intellectual pursuits and falls for a young man named Jesus of Nazareth. They marry and make a home in Nazareth even as resistance to Roman rule makes everyday life dangerous, culminating in an act of rebellion that sends Ana on the run to Alexandria.Blue Flowers by Carola Saavedra

When Marcus, a recently divorced man, moves into a new apartment, he begins receiving letters from a mysterious woman who only identifies herself as A. A clearly believes that her former lover still lives at this address, and writes him long letters that allude to a relationship before a violent break. Marcus becomes obsessed with A, leading to his determination to unmask her identity.

Want more great book club recommendations? Catch up with 25 Great Book Club Recommendations for 2019, and the best-recommended books of 2019. And if you looking for more great book club picks, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! It’s a quarterly book subscription service that offers you personalized book recommendations, picked out just for you by a real power reader! You can get started by filling out our survey, and then you’ll be matched with a Bibliologist who will pick out three books just for you. Choose to receive your recommendations via emailed letter, or as three brand-new books shipped from our partner, Print: A Bookstore. You’ll never be without great book club suggestions when it’s your turn to pick the book if you sign up fro TBR! Learn more here.

10 Books Like EDUCATED by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover is the moving memoir of a woman who grew up far outside society in the wilderness of Idaho, raised by parents who believed in survival, resilience, and obedience. But from a young age, Tara realized she wanted more out of life and began pursuing an education, which expanded her world. It’s been a book club favorite, and inspired a lot of great discussion points. If you loved Tara Westover’s memoir, then here are ten more amazing books like Educated, read-alikes that are a nice mix of memoir and fiction, all about complicated parents, interesting childhoods, and survival.

Memoirs about complicated parents

The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien

When Maud was a little girl, her parents wanted to raise her to be tough, no matter what. So they withheld affection and forced her to endure cruel physical tests and trials. Miraculously, Maude sustained herself through this mistreatment by befriending the animals on her parents’ farm, and imagining herself as the characters in the books that she read on the sly. She held on through cruel treatment and living conditions, until one day a stranger’s arrival facilitated her escape.

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood’s father is a religious man found a loophole that allowed him to become a Catholic priest even though he was married and a father. Patricia had long since left the church when a crisis forced her and her husband to move in with her parents temporarily, bringing her two worlds into sharp contrast. This is a memoir about religion, the religious life, a larger-than-life father, and how Patricia navigates her worlds with humor and irreverence. 

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

In this memoir, Laymon examines his relationship with his mother, a complex woman from Jackson, Mississippi. He recounts stories of his childhood, early abuse, complicated family dynamics that extend beyond his mother, his struggles with weight and anorexia, and how he eventually left for college and became a professor in New York. But his relationship with his mother, the secrets between them, and the effect they had on Laymon followed him wherever he want. This is a profound memoir about growing up with a complicated family and the emotional toll of generational trauma. 

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

For a memoir that examines family, loyalty, and what it takes for children to carve out a different path from their parents, read this remarkable memoir about Walls’s unconventional upbringing. Her parents were educated and able, and yet they could not and would not hold down jobs. The Walls children grew up moving from place to place, before settling in their paternal grandparents hometown in squalor. It would talk all of their strength and bravery to break away and move to New York City to set up their own lives, and when they did, their parents followed, becoming homeless. This incredible memoir is an unflinching examination of Walls’s parents, and her love for them even as she drew her own boundaries in adulthood.

River House by Sarahlee Lawrence

Sarahlee Lawrence grew up in rural Oregon, and as an adult became an experienced river guide, rafting some of the most dangerous rivers in the country, and world. But when she decided to put down roots, she went home to her family’s homestead and together she and her father built her a log house completely by hand. Her father has always been deeply unhappy in Oregon, and Sarahlee hopes that in engaging in this task together, she can better understand him. This is a memoir about returning home, family roots, rural living, and a father and daughter connecting over a labor of love.

Novels about surviving extreme childhoods

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

If you are fascinated by the story of a family struggling to survive in the wild, read this novel about a family living in Alaska in the 1970’s. When Ernt comes home from the Vietnam War, he decides to move his family to Alaska, the last frontier. His wife and daughter have little choice but to go along with it, and they discover a welcoming community of hardy men and women. But the true test lies in the long, brutal winter that they are ill-prepared to weather.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

If you loved the fierce survival aspect of Educated, pick up this novel about Kya Clark, a girl who has survived for years on her own in a marsh near a small town on the North Carolina coast. Kya’s existence has earned her the nickname Marsh Girl, and when two young men become intrigued by her, and Kya herself wants more out of life, they’ll set off a series of events that will lead to a death and a lot of unanswered questions.

Memoirs about survival

If the Creek Don’t Rise: My Life Out West with the Last Black Widow of the Civil War by Rita Williams

Rita’s mother died when she was four, leaving her entrusted into the care of her aunt Daisy, the last surviving Black widow of a Union soldier who moved their sharecropper family west in order to reinvent themselves. Living a subsistence lifestyle, Rita became Daisy’s last hope when it came to growing up into a woman who was “a perfect credit to her race” but her complicated feelings about race, exacting standards, and heavy expectations became too much for Rita to bear, until one day she had to break free to become her own person.

Heartberries by Therese Marie Mailhot

Therese Marie Mailhot grew up on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest, and her childhood was not easy. her mother was a social worker with a weakness for prisoners, and her father was a brilliant artist and alcoholic who was murdered. When the pain and trauma of Mailhot’s experiences come to a head with a bipolar and PTSD diagnosis, she turns to writing as a way to understand her family, heal herself, find her voice, and reconnect with those she loves.

North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person

When Cea was a child, she and her teen mother left California with her maternal grandparents to settle in the Canadian wilderness, an escape from society. They lives off the land as best they could, clothing was optional, and sex and drugs were a normal part of life. But when Cea and her mother leave when Cea is five, she begins to realize that her upbringing is not conventional and spends the next eight years pursuing a “normal” life, going to great lengths to escape until one day she makes a dramatic choice to leave everything behind at age thirteen.

If you’re looking for more readalikes to your favorite books, then check out TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book subscription service that puts readers in control of what they want to read! Fill out the reader survey to get started, which includes questions about favorite genres and books, what you want to read more of, and what you don’t like. You can include special requests, such as more books like Educated. Then, a real power reader called a Bibliologist will recommend three books just for you! Get started now.

The Best History Book Subscription Boxes

Book subscription services have exploded in popularity, and there are so many to choose from these days. Even though they vary in genre and theme, it can be difficult to find subscription services for particular genres and sub-genres. Lots of services offer YA or mystery or children’s books, but very few offer exclusively historical fiction, history books, or nonfiction. However, never fear! We’ve rounded up a list of history book subscription boxes and services so that you can find the perfect box that will help you dive into the past with an amazing book. Here we go!

History Book Club – https://www.historybookclub.com

History Book Club is a flexible monthly service that lets you choose as many or as few books you want per month. At the start of each month, members can purchase credits for $17.50 each, and then redeem them for new hardcover history books. You can always skip a month or save your credits, but History Book Club has a wide yet carefully curated selection of historical books from different time periods all around the world. The nice thing about this box is that it includes fiction and nonfiction selections, so you have a lot of flexibility and options! Plus, if you buy two or more books each month, they ship for free! Some current books available now include The Season: A Social History of the Debutante by Kristen Richardson, The Great Pretender by Susan Cahalan, and Dreams of El Dorado by H.W. Brands.

UOpen History & Politics Box – https://www.uopen.com/subscription-box/history-and-politics-book-subscription-box

Do your tastes veer towards nonfiction and politics? The UOpen History & Politics box is for you, then! This is a monthly subscription box that offers readers a new history book or politics book, plus the occasional goodie. The monthly box begins at $23, but if you buy more than one month, you can save big time. It’s a British-based box, which means overseas subscribers may have to pay more in shipping, but the wide selections of biographies and political books make it worthwhile. Past books have included The Trial of Adolf Hitler by David King and The Future of War: A History by Lawrence Freedman.

The Book Hook Up: Political Nonfiction – https://www.strandbooks.com/strand-subscriptions/

The Strand in New York City offers a Political Nonfiction subscription service as part of their array of popular Book Hookup subscriptions. Each month you’ll receive a new, signed hardcover history or political nonfiction book, plus an assortment of goodies from The Strand and their partners. This is a great service if you want to build your collection of collectable books, and it starts at $50 per month–or if you want a really good deal, nab it for just $200 for the entire year. Past books have included One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson and A Colony in a Nationby Chris Hayes.

Boxwalla – https://www.theboxwalla.com/shop/3232/book-box

Although Boxwalla isn’t strictly a history book subscription box, they pride themselves on picking books from all over the world that feature contemporary and classic authors, and look at both the past and present with special attention to Nobel laureates. Each month has a theme of a different destination, making it a really good choice for the diversely minded, global reader. The monthly subscription starts at $29.95, and includes two books each month, making it a very affordable box for the value. Past books include Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich and The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat.

TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations

TBR is one of the few personalized book recommendation services available. You start out by simply filling out the reader survey, which asks you what books, authors, and genres you love, all-time favorites and recent favorites, what you want more of, what you want to steer clear of, and what your dealbreakers are. Then, you’ll be matched with an expert Bibliologist who will pick out three books based on your survey responses. You can choose to receive your recommendations two ways: recommendations-only, which comes as a recommendations letter via email, or as hardcover books, which are shipped to you from Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME.

This is an awesome service if you want to get particular about your history book picks. For example, you can ask for nonfiction history books about a certain region, or historical fiction set during the Civil War, or history books that look at certain themes or topics. And since you will receive three recommendations each quarter, you can really mix it up! Plus, TBR allows you to offer feedback on your books and your Bibliologist, and you can always revise your requests from quarter to quarter. The recommendations-only level starts at $15 per quarter, and the hardcover level is $79 per quarter!

Want to learn more about how TBR works? Read on for more details. And if you want to explore more book subscription service options, check out our list of the best book subscription services for every type of book lover!

Daisy Jones & The Six Book Club Questions

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of the most talked about books of 2019, and for good reason. It’s a compelling novel written in the form of oral history that explores the meteoric rise to fame of a fictional singer and band in the 1970’s, and their ensuing dramatic split. It’s even been picked up by Reese Witherspoon’s book club, so you know it’s a great discussion-worthy book! If your club has decided to read it, we have 15 book club ideas that address Daisy Jones & The Six book club questions, themes, characters, and more, plus a few book club activity ideas! Go ahead and put on Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and get ready for a great book club meeting!

Daisy Jones & The Six Book Club Questions

Did you like the oral history format? Why or why not? Why do you think that Reid chose this format for the novel? Have you read any other (nonfiction) oral histories before? Did this one feel realistic to you? Book club meeting idea: Make a list of books or documentaries about 1970’s musicians to share with members.

Did you read the book in print or on audio? If you read it on audio, did you like the large cast of narrators? Did you feel like the narrators did a good job of portraying the various characters? Would you have picked someone else to narrate the various characters?

Daisy is a bit of a wild child in her early years. She says, “I had absolutely no interest in being somebody’s muse. I am not the muse. I am the somebody.” Discuss her journey a bit more. How did being taken advantage of shape her character, especially when she joined The Six?

Daisy and Billy are “pitted” against each other a lot–do you think their differences were surmountable, a misunderstanding? Or do they run deeper than that? What do you think is the real reason why Billy was so resistant to having Daisy join the band?

Many of the characters seem to be searching for something to fill a void, and they turn to music or drugs or sex. What do you think the various characters, particularly Daisy and Billy, are really looking for? Do you agree with Camila when she says about them, “The two of you think you’re lost souls, but you’re what everybody is looking for”? Did that provide any comfort for either of them?

What do you think was the turning point for Daisy and Billy to begin warming up to each other? Do you think they put into song what they couldn’t say to each other?

Were you surprised that Camila chose to stand by Billy? Do you agree with her decision? How do you feel about how she handled Daisy, both throughout the book and toward the end, when the band broke up?

Although they are fictional, do you think that Daisy and Billy would ever get in contact with each other after the book ends? Do you think it would be a good or bad idea?

Was there a character or characters that you gravitated to more than others? Which love story did you identify with or enjoy the most?

If you were alive during the 1970s, do you think that Reid captured the attitudes and feelings of the time? If you weren’t alive during the 70s (or don’t remember those years!), did you learn anything or gain any insight about the decade?

This style of narration highlights that memory is often unreliable–different characters have conflicting stories or versions of events, or have reshaped their thoughts and feelings over the years. How do you know what is supposed to be the truth? Do you think you can ever know the truth about an event or phenomenon?

Taylor Jenkins Reid includes the lyrics to the songs that Daisy Jones & The Six perform–did you like the lyrics? Did you wish that they were real songs you could listen to? If they were a real band, do you think you would have been a fan?

Although fictional, many readers have assumed that the inspiration for this book is Fleetwood Mac. How do you imagine that the band’s music would sound like–like Fleetwood Mac, or a different vibe altogether? Book club meeting idea: Watch some Youtube videos of live performances of Fleetwood Mac or any other 1970s bands.

If you had to create a playlist for the novel, what songs or albums would you include? Book club meeting Idea: Create a 1970s playlist to set the mood while everyone chats and snacks, either before or after the discussion!

Did the identity of the “author” of this book surprise you? Did it make you reconsider the story or any of the events at all?


If you enjoyed this book, what books would you recommend that are similar to Daisy Jones & The Six? If you didn’t enjoy this book, what other books would you recommend that similarly address the themes of memory, fame, and break ups? Have you read the author’s other book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?

If you’re looking for more great book club guides, check out our list of book club questions for Pachinko by Min Jin Lee! If you want more great book club suggestions, here’s our list of best recommendations for 2019!

If it’s your turn to pick the next book club pick and you’re stumped, don’t worry! TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations is here to help! TBR is a quarterly book subscription service that takes into account your personal reading tastes and habits to offer personalized book recommendations for every customer. To get started, simply fill out our reader survey and answer questions about your favorite books, genres, authors, plus what you want to read more of. There’s even an option to share what you don’t like reading, and any content warnings. Then, you’ll be matched with a real power reader called a Bibliologist who reads your responses carefully and even checks out your Goodreads page to recommend three books just for you! You can receive your recommendations in a letter delivered via email, or you can opt to receive them as hardcover books shipped from our partner, Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME. Want to learn more? Get all the details.

15 Horror Movies Based on Books

What do you find scarier–horror movie or horror books? No matter what your preferred medium for frights and jump scares, quality story trumps everything, and some of the best horror movies out there are based on books! We rounded up a list of great horror movies based on books–some classics, some new horror books–that should be on all horror fans’ radars. We left out Stephen King books and adaptations because let’s be real–it’s news when he writes a book that isn’tadapted. Note: When it comes to horror movies based on books, the genre tends to skew white and male. We hope that publishing and Hollywood can strive to be more inclusive going forward.

Get ready to get scared!

The Bird Box, based on The Bird Box by Josh Malerman

In this Netflix movie, Mallory is a mother of two who has somehow managed to survive an apocalyptic event caused by a strange force that causes people to go insane and become suicidal. Just setting sight on it is enough for a person to succumb, so she must navigate her two kids to safety completely blindfolded. This story is based on Malerman’s debut novel.

Audition, based on Audition by Ryu Murakami

Aoyama is a widower who decides it’s time to begin dating again and to find the perfect woman, he holds a casting call for fake film so he can review resumés. That’s how he discovers Yamasaki, but the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that she is dangerous and not to be trusted. The movie was filmed in Japanese and is available with English subtitles, and the novel is available in English as well.

The Birds, based on the short story “The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier, collected in Don’t Look Now

Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic movie is quite the departure from its source material, but both share a common theme: the unsettling notion of birds murderous birds. The film starts innocuously enough–a young woman goes to the country with a songbird, only to find that all of the birds in the sky begin turning on humans. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “a murder of crows.”

Fear Street, based on the Fear Street novels by R.L. Stine

Who was an R.L. Stine fan as a kid? The chilling Fear Street novels are headed to the big screen in 2020, with the movie Fear Street. It’s set to be the first in a trilogy, and while we don’t know much about the movie beyond that it’s based on the books and follows a group of teens who find themselves caught up in a murder mystery that may come back to bite them, we’ve also heard the protagonists are two gay teens! 

Psycho, based on Psycho by Robert Bloch

Another Hitchcock classic based off of a book, Psycho is the chilling story of Norman Bates, the seemingly kind motel owner who watches after his mother. When a young woman checks into the motel, she’s found murdered in the shower, and viewers are left to wonder who really killed her. Bloch’s novel was based on a true story!

The Silence of the Lambs, based off of The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

The hit movie starring Jodie Foster is based on the book by the same name by Thomas Harris, which is actually the second book in his Hannibal Lecter series. In this story, an investigation by an FBI agent leads her to visit Hannibal Lecter, an imprisoned former psychiatrist with rather dark tastes. 

The Invisible Man, based on The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man film, set to release in 2020 and starring Elisabeth Moss, is an update on the classic novel by H.G. Wells. In the novel, the invisible man is a scientist who cracks invisibility but is unable to reverse it. He begins to falter and go insane, committing criminal acts in his descent. In the movie, Moss plays a woman relieved when her abusive ex-boyfriend dies by suicide, but she slowly begins to suspect he never really left–he’s just invisible.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, based on We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Merricat and her family live in a fine house but are ostracized by the local villagers, ever since her older sister was acquitted of the deaths of their parents and attempted murder of their uncle. Now they spend their days isolated, until a cousin comes to visit with nefarious intentions, pushing Merricat to her limits.

The Woman in Black, based on The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The 2012 adaptation of Hill’s novel stars Daniel Radcliffe, and is about a young solicitor who travels to a small English town to settle the affairs of a recently deceased client, and finds a ghost, the Woman in Black, is haunting the villagers–and she soon sets her sights on him.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, based on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alan Schwartz

This classic collection of short stories, with creepy artwork, has been scaring young readers for years, and now it’s a movie! Stella and her friends play a prank on a bully one Halloween night, and when they go and explore a haunted house, they find a book of scary stories that begins to play out some of the creepiest tales from the original book.

The Ring, based on Ring by Koji Suzuki

The Ring is the story of four teens who die after watching a scary videotape, and the skeptical journalist who investigates the crime. In the movie, the journalist is played by Naomi Watts, but the film is based on a Japanese novel with a similar premise but some differences–the book is set in rural Japan, and the protagonist is a male journalist who is also the uncle of one of the teens who dies.

The Turning, based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

This 2020 film is a modern update on the classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw. In the novel, a governess arrives at a manor to look after two children and quickly encounters a ghost. She suspects the children know of the ghost, but they adamantly deny it. In the movie, a new nanny arrives to take care of two orphans in Maine, and quickly realizes that something darker is at work.

Let the Right One In, based on Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In is a novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay of the film adaptation. It’s about Oskar, a boy living in a Swedish suburb who is being bullied. He makes a friend in his new next-door-neighbor, a mysterious girl, and is unaware that she is connected to mysterious deaths in their community.

The Ghost Bride, based on The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

In this story, Li is a respectable young woman in colonial Malaysia whose future is uncertain after the family fortune is lost. So she agrees to become the ghost bride to the son of the Lim family, who died under mysterious circumstances. As soon as she does, Li begins experiences supernatural phenomena and must discover a dark secret in order to save herself. The Filipino adaptation is available on Amazon Prime, and it should be hitting Netflix in 2020.

The Grudge, based off of the Ju-On franchise created by Takashi Shimizu

The Grudge is an American horror movie about a curse that is passed from person to person, causing people to murder or die by suicide. They are based off of the Ju-On franchise in Japan, which began as a series of short films that spawned novels and manga about the grudge curse.

Honorable mentions: The Haunting of Hill House and Changeling

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson inspired a new Netflix show of the same name. Netflix updated the setting and tweaked the characters so that they are a family of four siblings haunted by the time they lived in Hill House as children before their mother’s untimely death. When their youngest sister dies, they are drawn back into Hill House’s thrall. Changeling by Victor LaValle is a horror novel about a man who is excited to start a family, until something strange begins happening to his wife and child. It’s currently in development as a TV show, so pick it up before it hits the screen!


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