What Are Book Clubs Reading Before Election Day?

by Meghan

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They say it is bad form to discuss money, politics and religion in public… But they also say if you don’t heed history, you are doomed to repeat it. So what are book clubs reading before next month’s Election Day? Mom’s Book Nook is talking political and historical fiction this month!

You can still make a political book pick for this month's book club... without debating the politics of the current election! See our 30+ recommendations for our favorite political fiction, non-fiction that reads so well you'll almost forget it's true, political allegories you probably haven't picked up since high school and will appreciate so much more now that you are older and wiser, and last but not least - the original political cannon. Those theory texts cited by politicians over and over again. Also get our pick for this month's Mom's Book Nook, our virtual book club

No Debates – Just Friendly Book Banter

In just one month, we head to the polls for arguably one of the craziest Presidential elections in our country’s history… or is it? What better forum to talk politics than a group of well-read women? The best part of leaning political in book club is you can leave Donald and Hillary out of the discussion entirely, and talk fictional (or historical) political candidates based on this awesome collection of historical, political fiction. In some cases, political non-fiction is so incredulous you’d think it’s fiction – and we have a few of those on the list as well.

Historical Political Fiction

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE historical fiction fan – there’s something about reading a story set against the backdrop of historical realities that bring both into vivid life. You could argue that nearly all historical fiction carries a political bent. Any story set during periods of war or civil unrest, not just those featuring an election or political candidate, inherently address politics and the views of the day.

These picks make for amazing book club selections because you can talk about so much more than just the characters and basic storyline.  You might even learn a little history that was overlooked in your high school curriculum.


Political Allegories

Sometimes, the best way to convey your political views is by telling a story. I like to think of political allegories as the grown-up version of Aesop’s fables. These author’s seek (or sought) to warn us about the future given the implications of the present day. Can you read between the lines?

You may have read some or all of these in high school – I guarantee if you read them again today, you will understand them so much better today than you ever did as a teenager.



Political Non-Fiction

History is full of events you would think are too unbelievable to be true, and yet there are cycles in history which repeat themselves over and over again. It is important to study and understand the circumstances around major historic events so that we learn from the past (ancient and recent), and don’t repeat its mistakes.  These are a few of my favorites… and even if you don’t love Bill O’Reilly’s politics, I promise his Killing series is well worth reading.


The Most Influential Books About Politics Ever Written

And if you really want get academic and actually discuss political theory, these are the books and political works that define politics. They are quoted, referenced, and in some cases, were the texts that informed our Founding Fathers in establishing what they wanted for our country (as well as what they didn’t). If you want to be informed in politics, this is where to begin.

Mom’s Book Nook Pick

From the great list above, our pick this month for Mom’s Book Nook is Stephen King’s 11/22/63.  Believe it or not – it’s not a horror story.  I know – I was shocked Stephen King wrote outside the genre too… this book has come up repeatedly during our ‘what should we read next’ discussions, and we always pass it over because of its length. But with Election Day coming up next month, we decided to finally make it the pick and read it over two months.  We will meet to discuss 11/22/63 on the last Monday of November at 9PM ET in our Mom’s Book Nook group on Facebook!

All are welcome – to participate, just read the selection and hop on Facebook to discuss with us at the designated night and time. You can also follow us on Goodreads and Instagram.

So whether you are from a blue state or a red one, and regardless of who you plan to vote for next month, at the very least be well read on politics and history.  And hopefully, read beyond today’s headlines of Twitter feuds and scandal. Understand what political theories inform each candidate and the ramifications they may have for our country and our futures.

So curl up with a great political pick this Fall before you head to the polls. Happy reading!

What are book clubs reading this Fall? Our Election Day picks - no debate, just political fiction, non-fiction and theory!

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Katelyn Fagan October 5, 2016 - 9:22 pm

Great list! Though I’m not sure why The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is listed as a Historical Fiction? It’s a biography, aka NON-Fiction. And actually, we JUST read The Nightingale for book club last month (AMAZING book!), and read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks this year as well! I also once did The Hobbit for book club.

Meghan October 8, 2016 - 12:56 pm

Great catch! You are totally right, and my mistake! We read The Nightingale as part of Mom’s Book Nook earlier this year, and it has probably been the best book I have read in years, if ever. I love all Kristin Hannah’s work – she does such an awesome job writing real, strong female characters.


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