I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

Since I’ve been really busy recently I thought it might be fun to ask my book club for some reading suggestions this week. My book club is an awesome group of women who are very eclectic readers and always have great picks though most of them aren’t huge romance fans, so it’s a bit of a change of pace to check in with them and see what they would recommend.

Here are a few:

A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman(Read the Kirkus review here.)

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I’ve heard great things about this book, and was glad to be reminded of it!

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (Kirkus review here.)

I’ve mentioned this book before and second this rec. Also loved McLain’s The Paris Wife, a novel based on the marriage between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (Kirkus review here.)

My friend says: “It’s about a family of girls, all very different. One falls in love with a guy from a show very like The Bachelor, thus the title of the book. Entertaining and light.”

I say, I’ve enjoyed a couple of books by Sittenfeld, including American Wife, and I feel like I should pick up this modern re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. However, the author’s recent criticism of the romance genre makes me check that impulse and hope for the day when I can have a conversation with her and see exactly what she’s read and who she’s pointing to when she disses romance novels. Umm, I’d hold Molly O’Keefe, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Meljean Brook, Jeannie Lin, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips (to name only a few) up to Sittenfeld any day. Different kinds of books, perhaps, but still stunning writers. Why is it that really good writers still have to put down other really great writers in order to garner some, what? Attention? Comparative acclaim? It makes me sad.

Romance_Before the Fall Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Kirkus review here.) 

My friend says: “A private jet crashes in the Atlantic with a couple of millionaires and their families on it, along with an artist. The artist and one child survive. The book then goes back before the crash and delves into the lives of the other passengers.”

I say, sounds great!

Other suggestions from my book club, past and present:

A couple of my book club friends love the Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, and I’ve yet to meet someone who’s read it and didn’t like it. The 12th installment, A Great Reckoning (You can read the Kirkus starred review here), comes out in August, so if you’re a fast reader, you may have time to read them all before then. I’ve heard so many great things about this series, from a very eclectic set of reader friends, which is often the hallmark of truly great books. (Even the Kirkus fiction editor likes them, according to a blog post from last year.) The series begins with Still Life (2006).

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

I mentioned this title before here, but my eclectic book club reader friends enjoyed it so I thought I’d mention it again.

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

We read this book a few years ago, but it was a title that impressed everyone and still comes up in conversation sometimes.

Driftless by David RhodesRomance_Driftless

Another past favorite, this book is equal parts profound, thought-provoking, and amusing, and despite a slow start, we were all mesmerized by the end, and fascinated by Rhodes’ ability to bring so many disparate stories together in skillful, unexpected ways.

Anyone read any of these? What did you think?

Diehard romance fans, what are you picking up?

Have a great week, and happy reading! (And if you see me in San Diego next week, say hi!)

Bobbi Dumas is a freelance writer, book reviewer, romance advocate and founder of ReadARomanceMonth.comShe mostly writes about books and romance for NPRThe Huffington Post and Kirkus.