More Book Club Ideas

Post by Megan and Anne, Information Services staff 

We may be biased, but book clubs are fabulous! In this series, we’ve told you why we think book clubs are wonderful, shared some clubs you can join and given you ideas for hosting your own. Now we’re here with more recommendations from the KPL collection and beyond. Each of the suggestions below starts with a KPL book club set and provides other related ideas to explore, either from our collection or free online. 

Science Fiction: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel may be particularly jarring to read in the midst of a pandemic, but it is a riveting tale that speaks of our time and culture. It takes place in the future, after a fictional swine flu pandemic devastates the world. However, it feels like the book could be set in Shakespearean England since it focuses on a travelling theatre group. All of our suggestions below feature realistic-feeling worlds with dystopian twists. You’ll see titles set in future Toronto, Seattle, the United Kingdom, and Northern Ontario. 

Historical Spy Fiction: The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff 

Inspired by true events, The Lost Girls of Paris is a fictional story about a group of women who are British spies sent to occupied France near the end of World War II. The author, Pam Jenoff, is a former U.S. foreign service officer and wrote the book based on the lives of several women who were part of a Special Operations Executive. This group was sent behind enemy lines because they were less likely to be discovered than men. We recommend these materials which also feature female spies in historical pieces. 

Young Adult Fiction: Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D Williams 

Genesis Begins Again is an important middle school read that is simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting.  

“There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant—even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?” 

Our other recommendations are also written for middle and high schoolers and handle intense topics like self-worth, race, and identity with grace.  

Non-Fiction: Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga 

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City is about the deaths of seven indigenous youth between 2000 and 2011 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Tanya Talaga, the author, is a journalist of Anishinaabe and Polish descent. We think Seven Fallen Feathers is something every Canadian should read and it was understandably shortlisted for Canada Reads in 2016. Follow it with other fictional and non-fictional reads that examine Indigenous injustice. 

More Book Clubs 

Looking for more suggestions of what to watch / listen / read next? Fill out a DiscoveREAD form and let us pick for you! Don’t have a library card yet? Get one here. Have a question? Email us at askkpl@org.