Book Club Picks 2021-2022

When I first joined my book club back in September 2011, the group was meeting again after a three-month hiatus. They didn’t meet during the summer months because it was too hectic with family vacations. We started meeting in the summer in 2013, however. Because we didn’t meet in the summer, we pick our new list of books in the middle of the year.

Every March, each person submits a list of books he or she wants to read. Then in April, we take a vote and the 12 books with the most votes win. We read them from June to May. This year’s a little different because 15 books made the cut. We could’ve done another vote to cull 12 from the 15, but we decided we wanted to double up a few times. 📚 Here are the books we picked this year:

  • Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
  • Seven Deadly Shadows by Valynne E. Maetani and Courtney Alameda
  • My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows
  • Anxious People by Frederik Backman
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Emily of New Moon by LM Montgomery
  • Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change by Maggie Smith
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I’m very happy with this list. I’m excited to read all but three of them (Anxious People, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Keep Moving).

We’re reading Giver of Stars and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek together because they’re about the same subject and there was some controversy when Giver of Stars came out. Some readers accused Jojo Moyes of plagiarizing Richardson’s novel. We thought it’d be fun to compare the two.

We’ll read Born a Crime and They Called Us Enemy in the same month because they’re both memoirs by celebrities of color. I’ve already read Born a Crime once before, but I’m excited to read it again to see if I pick anything up the second time through. I’m going to listen to it on audiobook this time.

We’re reading Seven Deadly Shadows and My Plain Jane together because they’re both written by Utah authors. A few of us at book club used to celebrate Utah Book Month in August and as an homage to our awesome bookish community, we decided to read both of these then.

Each year, I make bookmarks for everyone so we can keep track of what we’re reading. I learned how to make a houndstooth pattern in Photoshop to make this year’s bookmark. I really love how it turned out.

Have you read any of the books on our list? Which ones do you recommend?

8 replies
  1. Laurie C
    Laurie C says:

    An eclectic list! I could never get my book club to go for half of them because they won’t read fantasy or YA.
    I listened to Anxious People on audio, and thought it was good. (The only other book by Fredrik Backman that I’ve read/listened to is A Man Called Ove.) I’ve listened to I Am the Messenger and Nine Perfect Strangers, too. (This makes me wonder if I end up listening to more audiobooks than reading print or e-books each year now!) I’ve read The Picture of Dorian Gray a couple of times, but it’s short!

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I do love my book club because they’re willing to read most things. 💜 Even though I’m not necessarily excited to read Anxious People, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Keep Moving, I’ll give them a chance. 🙂

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      The print is tiny! I’ve read it before a few years ago. I’m listening to the audiobook this time around. I’m not sure if I can let you borrow it. I’ll check.

  2. Carol Ann Robb
    Carol Ann Robb says:

    Anxious People is really good & very discussible. I’m seriously considering it for our library’s book discussion group in 2022. I’m a librarian who does a lot of readers’ advisory & so far, everyone I’ve recommended it to has loved it. Keep an open mind (I also loved Man Called Ove; this is the first of Backman’s later books that I think lives up to Ove).

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      We just discussed Anxious People last week and because of the discussion, I’ve decided to read it at some point. None of his other books really interest me, but I think this one will. Thanks for recommending it as well.


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