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The Finer Things Club Book List from The Office

If you want to become a member of the most exclusive club at The Office's Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch, read this Finer Things Club book list with extra goodies about the Finer Things Club episode in which it airs and how to host your own Finer Things Club from The Office.

Fun facts: I'm originally from Scranton and pairing books with lifestyle in this way is my JAM. (Did you catch that reference to Jim and Pam's nickname?)

Shop the full Finer Things Club book list on Amazon now.

What is The Finer Things Club?

The Finer Things Club on The Office is "the most exclusive club" at Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch. The members met monthly in the break room to discuss books, art and culture "in a very civilized way." The rules, according to member Pam Beesly are that: "there is no paper, no plastic and no work talk allowed."

Who was in The Finer Things Club?

The Office characters Pam Beesly, Oscar Martinez and Toby Flenderson are in The Finer Things Club book club. Jim Halpert was temporarily in The Finer Things Club --until he failed to read one of The Finer Things Club books, Angela's Ashes. Andy Bernard desperately wants to be granted membership but is never admitted.

How do you start a Finer Things Club?

A Finer Things Club book club should have classic and refined cultural elements. Below are a few suggestions and recommendations for your own Finer Things Club from The Office:

Read: the Classics and/or books read in the original Finer Things Club books (listed below).
Eat: finger sandwiches and passed appetizers.
Drink: tea and/or champagne.
Decorate: with a traditional tablecloth and flowers.
Wear: classy-themed attire, like berets for a French book or plaid scarves for a British book.

What was The Finer Things Club episode of The Office?

The Finer Things Club episode was in Season 4, Episode 10 of The Office: "Branch Wars." It was written by co-star and writer, Mindy Kaling, and it was directed by Joss Whedon. It originally aired in the United States on November 1, 2007 on NBC.

Watch the scene below:

Finer Things Club Book List from The Office Book Club

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars; Best for fans of memoirs, Irish book settings, and John Boyne's "The Heart's Invisible Furies"

  • Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
  • #1 New York Times bestseller

When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

This begins the uniquely unforgettable memoir Angela's Ashes. McCourt was born in Depression-era Brooklyn to Irish immigrants but raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. His mother, Angela, was poor since his father was an alcoholic.

Still, his father provides something invaluable: a story. His father tells of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is a story that is responsible for Frank’s survival, amidst extreme poverty, near starvation, numerous family tragedies, and cruelty.

He lives to tell his own tale with eloquence, and the words in Angela's Ashes feel so immediate and alive. The rich dialogue, including Catholic teachings and Irish colloquialisms, history, and songs, breathes life into an otherwise grim story. For this reason, it's especially fantastic on audio -- and difficult to put down. At the end of the day, it's about the transcendent power of hearing another person's story.


The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Best for fans of South American, Pre-World War I settings and those reading the Rory Gilmore Book List

Our Shared Shelf, Emma Watson Goodreads Book Club Pick

The House of the Spirits is the first novel of famed Isabel Allende. Set in Chile pre-World War I, it narrates the epic triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family.

The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man pursuing political power and tempered by his love for his wife Clara, who has a mystical connection to the spirit world.

When their daughter Blanca engages in a forbidden love affair, the result is Esteban's granddaughter Alba, a strong-willed girl who will one day lead the family and her country into a revolutionary future.

Ultimately, this saga is a universal story of love, magic, and fate.


Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars; best for fans of Japanese book settings and Min Jin Lee's "Pachinko"

One of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

In Memoirs of a Geisha, Nitta Sayuri tells of her life as a geisha, beginning in 1929, in a poor fishing village, when she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a geisha house at age 9.

She transforms as she learns the arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing a kimono, elaborate makeup and hair; pouring sake to reveal only the inner wrist; and competing for men and their money.

Love is an illusion as the women are trained to intrigue powerful men. It's romantic, but also very much sad and suspenseful. You're bound to get swept away and learn something new in this beloved book.

Related post: Best quotes from Memoirs of a Geisha


A Room With A View by E.M. Forester

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars; Best for fans of Italian book settings Kevin Kwan's adaptation "Sex and Vanity"

In the classic short novel A Room With a View, Lucy travels to Florence, Italy, with her cousin, assured they would get "a room with a view" of the River Arno. But, when they are given a room overlooking a courtyard, Mr. Emerson and his son George offer their own room with a view.

This opening sequence thus begins the journey of young Lucy as she comes of age by navigating through the proprieties of Edwardian-era society ultimately seeking to find true happiness.


I hope this Finer Things Club Book List from The Office book club inspired your next book club read.

Shop this full Finer Things Club book list on Amazon.

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Mns

Wednesday 24th of November 2021

So I only remember the Finer Things Club discussing “Room With a View” and “Angela’s Ashes.” How did you know about the other two books?

Jules Buono

Wednesday 24th of November 2021

Take a close look at the episode - they are on there, albeit subtly!

Kathy O

Monday 1st of March 2021

Great thoughts. Even though I was a fan of The Office, I had never heard of the finer things club, but this was really cute. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Makes me want to re-read A Room with a View. And, I couldn't agree more on Firefly Lane. I think that there is a lot of great content these days (Queen's Gambit, Dickinson, Ted Lasso) and it is hard to compete. Thanks for the inspiration on this gray day in New England!

Jules Buono

Monday 1st of March 2021

You're welcome! I am reading A Room With a View this month myself.

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