Get the full, updated Good Morning America book club book list here, with bonus videos and personal recommendations for the best GMA books.
Best of Good Morning America Book Club
Celebrity book club posts are consistently my most popular posts, and Good Morning America book recommendations are great ones — including some of the most impactful books I have ever read.
For my top recommendations from the GMA book club picks, my two favorites from this list (and bestsellers on this blog as well) are:
Good Morning America Book Club
Read below for the fully updated Good Morning America book club list, with some personal thoughts and recommendations on my favorite GMA book club picks.
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction
I heard so many good reviews about Dominicana that I just knew I would like it, and it definitely got me out of an audiobook slump.
It’s the shocking and truly quite harrowing survival story of Ana Cancion, who is more or less forced to marry a man twice her age and move to New York City from the Dominican Republic … at age fifteen.
It’s 1965 and Ana’s family sees her marriage as their opportunity to eventually immigrate as well. But Ana’s life is nowhere near as happy or glorious as her family dreams. In fact, it’s quite difficult. Her story is emotional and shocking, and you will empathize with all she copes with as a child.
Mixed into Ana’s story is political turmoil in the Dominican Republic, causing her husband to return there to protect his family’s assets, and leaving Ana to exhale, as she takes English lessons, lies on the beach at Coney Island, and sees a movie at Radio City Music Hall.
When Ana’s husband comes back to New York City, their tension comes to a head and Ana must choose between her heart and her duties.
Dominicana reminded me of Chantel Cleeton’s books about Cuba and immigration — with both fictional and true political plot lines running parallel to each other, both immersing the reader. And it shares some themes with my favorite book, My Brilliant Friend — gender, class, education, violence.
It’s a difficult but fantastic read about the immigrant experience.
And if you are doing the Around the World Reading Challenge, you can add this book to your PDF tracker for the Dominican Republic.
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In The Family Upstairs, 25-year-old Libby Jones learns not only the identity of her parents but also that she has inherited their abandoned mansion in London’s Chelsea neighborhood. What she doesn’t know is that there are others who have been waiting for this day—and she is on a collision course to meet them.
Twenty-five years earlier, police were called to the house based on a report of a baby crying. Upon arrival, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily in her crib in the bedroom — and three dead bodies downstairs. And the four other children reported to have lived there were gone.
The Family Upstairs is the story of three entangled families, living in a house of dark secrets.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times-bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first book in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. Adeyemi has been called “the new J.K. Rowling.”
After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.
Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.
With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
- Instant New York Times bestseller
- NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR, PARADE, REAL SIMPLE, and BUZZFEED
Long Bright River is one of my Best Books of 2020, as well as one of my favorite books set in Philadelphia (where I live), so I was thrilled when it became a Good Morning America book club pick. It’s such an important and timely read.
If you are doing a 50 States of America reading challenge, this also makes a great book for Pennsylvania.
Long Bright River tackles the opioid epidemic in Kensington, a neighborhood in Philadelphia. While it’s a thriller and a page-turner, it’s one with compassion and a social conscience. The thrills are in no way gratuitous — they all have a greater purpose. And the characters are both complex and multi-faceted — not just good or evil.
The premise is that a female Philadelphia police officer and single mom Mickey searches for her estranged sister, a drug addict when she goes missing and women are increasingly being found dead in the area. The sisters also bear loads of their pasts, as they were raised by their grandmother after their mother died of an overdose.
Mickey is both dutiful and driven, but guarded, and you can’t help but root for her. As the mystery of her sister’s whereabouts unfolds, there are surprising twists, and the reader gains a deep understanding of the lengthy effects of the opioid epidemic and how it intersects with the police.
Although I read Long Bright River months before writing this post, it’s a book that has truly stayed with me, and I think about it regularly. I even wrote a full review of Long Bright River with book pairings for more about the opioid crisis. I very highly recommend it to all.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
New York Times bestseller
The story starts on a very monumental day in Dannie’s life, but when she has a dream/premonition about her life five years in the future, it’s surprisingly different than her “five-year plan.”
As In Five Years picks up, it’s seemingly clear where it’s headed, and that made it a bit boring for me in the middle. BUT, there were some twists at the end I didn’t see coming, which the author handled really well, so, in my personal opinion, it ended up being a good read overall!
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
- NATIONAL BESTSELLER
- AMAZON EDITORS’ 20 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR PICK
Oona Out of Order was a popular Bookstagram book that I kept hearing a lot of buzz about, so it was no surprise it became a pick on the Good Morning America book club list.
It’s about a woman who wakes up every New Year in a different year. This is such an interesting time travel concept, and the author handled it really well. In order to read time travel books, I think you sort of just have to let go of your logic and just give in to the story. Throughout the course of the story, Oona learns what became of people in her past, makes and breaks relationships, and gets one major surprise.
Oona Out of Order really tied together in the end, and it left the reader to contemplate the concept of time.
The Book of V by Anna Solomon
In The Book of V., three characters’ stories overlap and ultimately collide, showing how women’s lives have and have not changed over several thousand years.
First, in 2016, Lily is a mother, a daughter, a second wife, and a writer. In her Brooklyn apartment, she grapples with her sexual and intellectual desires, while balancing her roles as a mother and a wife.
Second, Vivian Barr is seemingly the perfect politician’s wife, dedicated to helping her husband find success post-Watergate in Washington D.C. But after he demands a humiliating favor, her refusal to obey changes the course of her life.
Third, Esther is an independent woman in ancient Persia, where she and her uncle’s tribe live outside the palace walls. When an innocent mistake causes devastating consequences, she is offered as a sacrifice to the King.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
- BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB’S BOOK OF THE YEAR
- NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR
The Vanishing Half is one book from the Good Morning America book club you won’t be able to stop thinking about. This is the complex story of mesmerizing characters: light-skinned Black identical twin sisters raised in a light-skinned Black Louisiana township.
As teenage girls, they run away to New Orleans. Twin sister Stella then secretly leaves and marries a white man, beginning a new secret life as a white woman. Meanwhile, estranged twin sister Desiree marries a Black man and has a Black daughter, both dark-skinned.
With rich wording and thoughtful character choices, The Vanishing Half follows these twins and their families throughout decades, from the 1950s to the 1990s, and additional American locations, as they live separate lives and identities, oftentimes, overlapping.
It’s jam-packed with themes of race, identity, exposure, education, environment and acting that leave you wanting more and thinking about the impact of this work of art. I loved The Vanishing Half so much I wrote an entire guide to The Vanishing Half, and it is my favorite book of 2020, one of my favorite family dramas, and one of my favorite Black Lives Matter books. It gets all the stars as far as I’m concerned, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly of all the GMA books.
If you are doing a 50 States of America reading challenge, this also makes a great book for New Orleans.
Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
New York Times bestseller
From the author of the Crazy Rich Asians series, Sex and Vanity begin on the luxurious island of Capri (I just love books set in Italy), where half-Asian Lucie sees George and instantly decides she can’t stand him in this enemies to lovers trope.
Soon enough, as she tries to deny her growing feelings for George, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit involving her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and herself.
Sex and Vanity is delectably described as “moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion.” It’s pure escapism with Crazy Rich Asians vibes and has even more rich people problems than any Elin Hilderbrand novel. And it also pays homage to the classic A Room with a View.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
New York Times bestseller
In The Lions of Fifth Avenue, 1913, Laura Lyons’ husband is a writer and the superintendent of the New York Public Library, and their family lives in an apartment in the historic building. Her journalism studies lead her to a radical, all-female progressive women’s rights group. The more time she spends with him, the more she questions her identity and her traditional family role, but when valuable books are mysteriously stolen from the library, she must confront even more family problems.
Eighty years later, in 1993, Laura’s granddaughter, Sadie, is working as a curator at the New York Public Library. But her dream job quickly becomes a nightmare when materials for the exhibit she is running begin disappearing. So, she pairs up with a private security expert to uncover the truth, but she ends up learning secretive truths about her family history.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue is unique, engaging and engrossing. It’s great for those who love historical fiction with a bit of mystery and suspense.
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
New York Times Bestseller
Fifty Words for Rain is the emotional, well-crafted debut of Asha Lemmie. It’s an epic, heartfelt coming-of-age book about a biracial young woman’s journey for acceptance in post-World War II Japan.
Eight-year-old “Nori” is the child of a married Japanese aristocrat and her African American GI lover. Her mother abandoned her, and she is confined to her grandparents’ attic, enduring the scalding chemical baths she receives daily to lighten her skin.
But, by chance, her half-brother becomes an unlikely ally with whom she forms an unwavering bond, and she becomes willing to fight for her life, as decades of time pass across continents.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
- A New York Times bestseller
- Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction
The Midnight Library will resonate with lovers of time travel. Between life and death, there is a library with an infinite number of books. While one tells the story of your real life as is, another book tells of the other life you would have lived if you made different choices.
In this enchanting novel, Nora is faced with the decision of whether to change her life for a different one based on her regrets and, in doing so, follow a different career, undo old breakups and realize various dreams.
It’s a search within herself to determine what is truly fulfilling, and what makes life worth living. I found this one to be a very satisfying and immersive page-turner.
Memorial by Bryan Washington
- A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
- Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, O, the Oprah Magazine, Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, Real Simple, Kirkus Reviews, Electric Literature, and Lit Hub
In Memorial, Benson and Mike are two young guys dating and living together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson’s a Black daycare teacher, but they’re no longer sure why they’re still a couple.
But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas to visit, Mike flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan, he undergoes a transformation, discovering truths about his family and his past.
Back in Texas, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, but it ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted.
And just maybe they’ll all be okay in the end.
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
This Time Next Year is a book about missed connections.
Minnie believes her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn, a man she’s never met. While their mothers both gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, Quinn was the one who received the cash prize for being the first baby born in London that year.
When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their thirtieth birthday, she finds him to be a handsome and charming business owner who seemingly has it all–while she continues to struggle. And as they continue to bump into each other, they are left wanting more in this story of fate and odds.
I’m usually not a rom-com fan, but this story had a lot of unique and deeper storylines that kept me really engaged and felt believable. I really enjoyed it!
The Push by Ashley Audrain
Instant New York Times bestseller
In The Push, Blythe is the daughter of a very imperfect mother and now wishes to be better to her own daughter, Violet. But, something seems wrong with Violet and Blythe begins resenting her. Blythe’s husband thinks she’s just imagining things.
When their son Sam is born, however, Blythe shares the most blissful connection with him. But then, their lives are then tragically changed in an instant, and Blythe must face what’s right and wrong with herself and the women in her family.
The Push is the wildest ride I’ve been on in a long time — an engrossing page-turning thriller that goes so much deeper in questioning and challenging conventional notions of motherhood, and the devastating consequences of mothering that can reverberate for generations of time.
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House takes place in Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, where Lala’s grandmother tells the story of the one-armed sister. It’s a cautionary tale about disobedient girls who journey into Baxter’s Tunnels.
As an adult, Lala lives on the beach with her husband, a petty criminal whose thwarted burglary of a beach mansion sets off a dark, deadly and consequential chain of events. A gunshot no one was meant to witness.
It’s an intimate portrayal of the interconnectedness of life, across lines of race and class, in an evolving resort town.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
- NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
- BOOKER PRIZE LONGLIST Nominee
- On PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SUMMER 2021 READING LIST
In Klara and the Sun, Nobel Prize winner Ishiguro tells the story of an “Artificial Friend” with exceptional observational qualities, who watches the behavior of those who enter the store and pass by outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will choose her.
His book deeply and meaningfully explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In Of Women and Salt, in present-day Miami, Jeanette, daughter of a Cuban immigrant, is battling addiction. She wants to learn of her family history from her mother and makes a quick decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE.
But, her mother is still grappling with the trauma of displacement and her difficult relationship with her own mother. So, Jeanette travels to Cuba to visit her grandmother and deal with secrets from the past. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, and from Cuba to Mexico, this is a story of personal and political betrayals, the choices of mothers, and the legacy of family stories.
Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s 2021 First Novel Prize
In Olympus, Texas, March is the talk of the town when he returns to Texas two years after he had an affair with his brother’s wife. Their mother June is reluctant to welcome him back and, within days, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and alliances are broken.
This book exquisitely weaves classical mythology with modern family drama and lots of psychological complexity.
The Other Black Girl by Zakaia Dalila Harris
- People Magazine Best Book of Summer
- Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Parade, Goodreads, Fortune, and BBC
- INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The Other Black Girl is about the tension between two young Black women in the white world of New York City book publishing. Nella is sick of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books, so she’s exceitd when Harlem-bred Hazel starts working there.
Then, a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel’s position, and Nella is left behind, with nasty messages at her desk. She realizes how much is at stake in this social workplace thriller.
The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
Instant New York Times Bestseller
The Personal Librarian is the story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, a Black American woman who hid her identity. As she curated a collection of rare materials for his Pierpont Morgan Library, her power in New York City society grew, none the wiser that she was actually the daughter of the first Black Harvard graduate, due to her light complexion.
You will be shocked as to the lengths she must go to in order to protect her family and her legacy in the racist world in which she lives.
The Husbands by Chandler Baker
In The Husbands, Nora is a successful attorney who also manages her home. While househunting in an exclusive suburban neighborhood, she meets a group of high-powered women with very supportive husbands.
She begins representing one resident in a wrongful death case, but as the case unfolds, she realized that the secret to having it all is one worth killing for. This book is about what it really takes to get to a world where household burdens are equally shared.
That is the complete and fully updated Good Morning America book club list. For further reading, you may also like my other celebrity book club posts (consistently my most popular posts).
If you’re still struggling to pick one of the GMA book club picks, my two favorites from GMA’s book recommendations (and bestsellers on this blog as well) are:
And if you want to create a list of books from the Good Morning America book club list to read or review the ones you have read, get all my bookish printable PDFs for FREE when you sign up for my weekly email newsletter — a quick, warm and fuzzy email with curated book pairings. (It’s like Reading Rainbow for women!)
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