Thinking about starting a book club or suggesting a worthy pick for one you’re already a part of? Then we have a list of the best book club picks ready for the second half of the year. 

Being part of a book club has many benefits: a systematic approach to reading, a sense of community, broadened horizons, considered discussions about literature at large, sometimes heated debates about the creative aspects of writing, and often snacks! All in all, they’re a book lover’s dream.

As the first half of the year slowly gives way to the second, there are many exciting new releases and already cult-status worthy debuts that deserve to be discussed with a side of cheese and wine in good company. Do you want to know what our favourite book club picks are for the second half of 2022? Then read on to find out!

New book releases from this year

We’d be surprised if you haven’t already encountered these books either on social media, or at any bookstore across the country. And there’s a reason why! Not only are they thought-provoking, heart-warming, and often un-put-downable, but they make for great book club picks too – they are guaranteed to generate great conversations!

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Contemporary fiction

Olga Dies Dreaming is about a pair of Puerto Rican siblings, left behind by a mother chasing a militant political cause some 27 years ago. As they each struggle with their own issues, and as their mother comes barrelling back into their lives, they need to confront the effects of long-held family secrets. Set in 2017, painted across New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, this story is about political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream.

Scary Monsters by Michelle de Kretser

Dystopian contemporary

Scary Monsters is two stories in one: that of young Lili, whose parents had migrated to Australia from Asia quite some years prior, and who is now working as a language teacher in the south of France, and Lyle, who is still trying to assimilate into a near-future, post-pandemic, dystopian Australia, many years after having migrated there with his wife from Asia. This book not only gives you two stories to examine, but reading them in one order over the other certainly influences the experience, making for great book club conversations.

At Certain Points We Touch by Lauren


At Certain Points We Touch is a breath-taking coming-of-age story of first loves and last rites, written by Lauren John Joseph, a British-born, American-educated artist who works at the intersection of video, text, and live performance. Their debut novel is at once a testament to the enduring fabric of love and a heart-breaking ode to the many lessons that come with grief – often too late. This book presents many interesting talking points about lessons that will be familiar to everyone – all the while being different to anything you’ve ever read.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Historical fiction

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever. Malibu Rising chronicles one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them... and what they will leave behind. This spellbinding novel has taken over many bestselling charts, and it promises to present some exciting speculations as part of a book club. 

Ghost Lover by Lisa Taddeo

Short story collection

Ghost Lover is a short story collection by bestselling and award-winning author of Three Women and Animal, Lisa Taddeo, chronicling the lives of American women, young and old, successful and wanting: motherless, loveless and directionless. Written in Taddeo’s fresh and piercing style, this collection raises a lot of great questions for discussion around womanhood and female happiness.

Books coming out soon

If you can’t make a book club until later this year, fear not – there are many promising books released over the coming months. Whether they are by internationally bestselling authors or by emerging writers, they promise to deliver an experience best discussed among friends.

Everything Feels Like the End of the World by Else Fitzgerald

Short story collection

Everything Feels Like the End of the World is a collection of short speculative fiction exploring possible futures from an Australia not so different from our present day to one thousands of years into an unrecognisable future. At the heart of each story is the anchor of what it means to be human: grief, loss, pain and love. Winner of the 2019 Richell Prize, Fitzgerald’s writing is transformative in its imaginative detail, and the stories of this collection will each provoke a different discussion about the future of Australia.

Raised by Wolves by Jess Ho


Raised by Wolves is a fierce, funny and razor-sharp coming of age story from a savage new voice in Australia. Growing up Cantonese in the racist outer suburbs was hard enough for Jess Ho, but add in a dysfunctional family who only made peace over food, and it was clear that a normal life was never on the menu. In this biting memoir, you’ll get an insight to the Australian food scene, spearheaded by the “strange delicacies” that Ho grew up eating. A book promising to be just as delicious as thought-provoking – the perfect book club pick for socio-political conversations.

Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh

Historical fiction

Ottessa Moshfegh’s latest book promises to depart from the author’s previous style – in a grotesquely over-the-top novel of historical fiction teetering on magical realism, you’ll meet Marek, a motherless shepherd boy, who finds himself the unlikely pivot of a power struggle that puts all manner of faith to a savage test – all in a village in a mediaeval fiefdom buffeted by natural disasters. This dizzying and fantastical read will be sure to raise many questions – best discussed with equally curious and open-minded book club members.

Don’t forget to order these promising book club picks through our Booktopia affiliate link, thereby supporting Storyfest on its mission to bring a love of literature to children on the Gold Coast and in regional towns.

Buy the books here!