Best Book Club Picks for July 2017: Psychological Thrillers, the Road to Recovery, and More

Originally published on Bookish.com, our sister company.

Is your book club scrambling for a July read? We’ve got you covered! Here, we’ve pulled the best book club picks coming out this month. Whether you’re in the mood for a memoir about a woman regaining her sight, or would prefer to lose yourself in a gripping psychological thriller, we have the book to get your club chatting. For more excellent picks, check out our Summer Previews!

In Patient H69 Vanessa Potter tells the harrowing story of her struggle with Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder. With the onset of the disorder, Potter was suddenly both blind and paralyzed. The paralysis left first, but for Potter, regaining her sight was a far larger ordeal. This book is Potter’s tale of gaining her sight back bit by bit, and she weaves scientific background about her illness, sight, and the brain into her narrative. If your book club loved Brain on Fire, then this memoir is sure to spark fascinating conversations.

Thandi has always felt caught in the middle. Born to an American father and a South African mother, she’s never felt like she truly belonged, and comments that she’s “not, like, a real black person” only solidify her feelings of isolation. When her mother dies, Thandi begins to wonder how people find the strength and will to move forward and live after experiencing tragedy. In vignettes, she meditates on race, home, grief, and motherhood. This book has been named a must-read summer novel by the Huffington PostBuzzfeedLA Daily News, and more. You don’t want to miss out on this one.

Readers, you’re likely already familiar with the work of Linda Castillo. She’s the author of the bestselling series of Kate Burkholder thrillers, and now, she’s back with a new installment that will keep you up chatting late into the night (whether or not you’ve read the other Kate Burkholder adventures). Joseph King is on the run. He escaped from prison, where he was serving time for killing his wife. Joseph immediately heads back to the Amish community he used to be a part of, and kidnaps his own children. Police Chief Kate Burkholder gets involved, and soon finds herself racing to prove Joseph’s innocence. But if Joseph didn’t kill his wife, who did?

Paula Stokes’ latest novel begins with the tragic death of a budding star. Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma to learn that a drunk driver hit the car she was riding in with her boyfriend, Dallas. Genevieve survived, but Dallas died that night. As the country lashes out at the other driver, Genevieve struggles to recall her memories of that night and fight the nagging suspicion that the full truth of what happened has yet to be revealed. There’s a pinch of mystery here, but it’s the exploration of grief, loss, and forgiveness that will captivate readers.

For book clubs that love memoirs and are interested in World War II history with a personal spin, there’s no better book to pick up this month than Inara Verzemnieks’ Among the Living and the Dead. Inara was raised in the United States but was always aware of her Latvian heritage and how World War II pulled her grandmother and her sister away from one another for half a century. In this book, Inara travels back to the village where it all began, and makes peace with the struggles her family endured.

If your book club is in the mood for an engrossing psychological thriller, look no further than Michael Robotham’s latest. Agatha and Meghan have two things in common: They’re both pregnant, and they’re both keeping secrets. One of Agatha’s secrets is that she religiously reads Meghan’s online blog. She’s obsessed with the perfect life Meghan appears to be leading, as the wife of a handsome and caring husband and the mother to two beautiful children. When Agatha realizes that their due dates are within the same month, she decides to finally approach Meghan and the interaction changes both of their lives forever. Be warned: You may have trouble sleeping after reading this dark tale. You may want to grab a nightlight when you’re picking up cheese and wine for the meeting.

For book clubs that love discussing complicated dynamics and relish sharing in dysfunctional drama that isn’t their own, then Pretend We Are Lovely will be a home run. Get acquainted with the Sobel family of Blacksburg, Virginia. Parents Francie and Tate both have issues with food, whether the problem is consuming too much or too little. They lost their son years ago, and the stress of the loss has permeated their lives and trickled down to their daughters, too. Then, Francie disappears, and the Sobel clan will have to reckon with their past in order to move forward.

Last spring, Kara Thomas thrilled young adult readers with her debut The Darkest Corners. Now she’s back with a gripping tale about a missing girl and a friendship built on lies. As the new girl in town, Kacey Young is willing to accept any friends who come her way, even with classmates who bring her to the site of a massacre to hold a seance. Kacey thought that creepy night might solidify her friendship with Bailey and Jade, but the girls ignore her the next day, and then Bailey goes missing and Kacey’s involvement in her disappearance is called into question by the police. Book clubs looking to dive into a book that explores the psychology of teenage girls will devour this new release.

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