It’s finally a new year, and what a year 2020 was. From brushing up on amateur baking skills to spending even more time at the tube, Americans have had more time for their favorite hobbies—especially getting through our to-read piles. At the top of many of those piles? Book club picks! It's nice to read with a community you can join while being a responsible socially distant individual—or even without leaving the comfort of your own bed. And starting now, PW will round up each major book club's monthly pick for you in our new column, Fully Booked.
To submit titles for inclusion in this roundup, email us.
Recommended for: When you've been stuck inside with your significant other for too long and wonder what life would be like if you escaped to a ranch while between husbands. Not that you would—but if you did.
Our reviewer says: "Johnson’s rollicking comedy sizzles, thanks to the immensely appealing voice of its aging narrator." Read more here.
The book: Outlawed by Anna North
Recommended for: When you want a good Western that isn't centered around the same tired trope of the hypermasculine heteronormative cowboy, but flips the script to feature a fierce damsel and Black and nonbinary outlaws rewriting the frontiers of gender and sexuality.
Our reviewer says: "North’s knockout latest chronicles the travails of a midwife’s daughter who joins a group of female and nonbinary outlaws near the end of the 19th century." Read more here.
The book: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Recommended for: When the answers you're searching for aren't provided by the targeted ads for tarot card readings in your area that keep popping up in your social media feeds.
Our reviewer says: "Gyasi’s meticulous, psychologically complex second novel examines the consequences of a Ghanian family’s immigration to Huntsville, Ala." Read more here.
The book: The Book of Moods by Lauren Martin
Recommended for: When your mental health is not where you want it to be and you need a reminder to look inward at how far you've come.
Our reviewer says: "Martin, founder of online writing community Words of Women, debuts with a thoughtful take on how to prevent emotional responses from becoming negative moods." Read more here.
The book: The Push by Ashley Audrain
Recommended for: When the daytime soap operas start to get stale and you wonder about what is going on inside the minds of each member of those dysfunctional families—and when your own family drama isn't enough to keep you entertained.
Our reviewer says: "This is a sterling addition to the burgeoning canon of bad seed suspense, from an arrestingly original new voice." Read more here.
The book: Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
Recommended for: When working from home just doesn't cut it anymore and you find yourself missing going into the office.
Our reviewer says: "Askaripour eviscerates corporate culture in his funny, touching debut." Read more here.
Recommended for: When you want to learn more about the history of America as told through the voices of Black and POCs—and not through the white European lens.
Our reviewer says: "Evans brings her usual wit and keen eye to her latest collection, which offers seven stories that explore the complexity of human emotions and relationships." Read more here.
The book: Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
Recommended for: When the inadequate lessons on Native American history and culture taught in American schools is not nearly enough to encapsulate the nuanced experiences and stories of Indigenous people.
Recommended for: When you're frustrated at the news while doomscrolling on Twitter and wondering how, exactly, a select group of people got to hold all the power.
Our reviewer says: "In this powerful and extraordinarily timely social history, Pulitzer winner Wilkerson investigates the origins, evolution, and inner workings of America’s 'shape-shifting, unspoken' caste system." Read more here.
The book: Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Recommended for: When you crave escape from reality and a completely different world.
Our reviewer says: "The masterful second genre-bending tale in Muir’s Locked Tomb trilogy ratchets up the horror, hijinks, and gallows humor of the series to a fever pitch." Read more here.