Vote for your favourite books by May 27
We’ve scoured recommendations from our readers, our partner TripFiction and our own libraries at home, and narrowed our selections down to six finalists. All of these meet specific criteria – they have a strong sense of place, a compelling storyline and powerful lessons to share. In addition to choosing authors from diverse backgrounds, we’ve also ensured that all books are available in multiple formats and countries.
Now we need your help! Scroll through the list to learn more about each title. You can choose up to three, and we’ll announce the next three for 2022 in our June issue. If you have a book to add, please do so at the end and we’ll include it in our next round.
Wendy, Sally and Carolyn, your book club hosts
Learn more about our Book Club here! Book clubs are held the third Wednesday of each month at 8 pm ET. All book clubs are recorded and shared on our YouTube channel.
Join us on May 18 for our Book of the Month: Gods of Jade and Shadow, set in Mexico, with guest speaker and Maya mythology expert Trudy Woodcock.
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Remember Me, by Charity Norman – set in New Zealand
Published in March 2022
When Emily returns to New Zealand’s North Island to take care of her father, who is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, she finds her hometown still haunted by the mysterious disappearance of a young woman twenty-five years before. Now, shattering truths about the past threaten to rip the close-knit community apart.
The Whale Rider, by Witi Ihimaera – set in New Zealand
Published in May 2003
Eight-year-old Kahu is the only descendant in the line of succession for the chieftainship of the Māori village of Whangara – but she’s a girl, and the chiefs have always been men. In her struggle to fulfill her destiny, Kahu has a powerful ally: her legendary ancestor, the “whale rider.” This contemporary tale, imbued with mythology, was authored by the first Māori writer to publish both a novel and a book of short stories.
The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, by Vendela Vida – set in Morocco
Published in March 2016
On the run from a traumatic past, a woman is robbed in Casablanca – losing her passport, cash, credit cards, laptop and more – setting off a chain of noir events. Written in the second person (you), this book has been described as “part glamorous travelogue, part slow-burn mystery,” “insanely funny,” and “a spellbinding literary thriller that probes the essence and malleability of identity.”
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – set on Guernsey
Published in July 2008
It’s 1946, and an intriguing exchange of letters draws Juliet into the world of the community living on Guernsey in the British Isles. As she “meets” the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – a book club that was created as a spur-of-the-moment alibi – she uncovers the damage done by Nazi Germany’s military occupation of the Channel Islands, witnesses the strength that binds the clandestine band of book lovers, and turns her own life upside down. This epistolary novel was drafted by Schaffer and completed by her niece, Barrows, in Schaffer’s last months.
The Henna Artist, by Alka Joshi – set in India
Published in 2020
Lakshmi is 17 and fleeing an abusive husband when she arrives, alone, in Jaipur. Through hard work, caution and talent, she becomes a highly sought-after henna artist. Her work gives her access to the secrets of the upper classes, but when her husband catches up – with her younger sister in tow – the new life she has built for herself comes under threat.
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, by Michael David Lukas – set in Egypt
Published in March 2018
When he was a child, Joseph moved with his Jewish mother to the United States. His Muslim father stayed in Cairo, where his family has worked as watchmen at the Ibn Ezra Synagogue for generations. After his father dies, Joseph receives a mysterious package and travels to Egypt seeking answers. In his search for closure of unresolved family conflicts, he finds a history that goes back centuries. The novel weaves together narratives from the 11th century, 19th century (based on historical events), and contemporary times, resulting in a rich tapestry of tradition centred on a precious archive of documents guarded through the ages.
More from our Book Club
Our December book club pick is Tembi Locke’s memoir, “From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home”, about her transracial romance with her Italian husband and her grief after his untimely death.
The JourneyWoman Book Club heads to Cuba as solo traveller Wanda St. Hilaire explores love and adventure in her 2009 memoir, “The Cuban Chronicles.”
Travel with best-selling author Sara Wheeler to one of the earth’s most pristine places in “The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle.”
Set in Tanzania, “Our House in Arusha” by Sara Tucker is part of our “Once-in-a-Lifetime’ book series including Africa, Spain and Antarctica.
As part of our Once-in-a-Lifetime Travel Experiences series, we feature Alesa Teague’s Camino de Santiago memoir “The Long Road Home”.
In Emma Tennant’s memoir “A House in Corfu” we visit Greece and celebrate the joy of a timeless world, one of vine, olive and sea.