Looking for the best book club books for a thought-provoking chat? These book club picks are page-turners curated by historical fiction writer Meagan Church.
Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Meagan Church is here to explore those exact rhythms in her stunning debut, The Last Carolina Girl, published by Sourcebooks this week.
This captivating coming-of-age story set in 1935 North Carolina follows the story of Leah, an orphan sent to live with the wealthy Griffin family, where she experiences mistreatment and hardship.
Against the backdrop of North Carolina’s eugenics board, the novel delves into themes of poverty, power, and body autonomy. It’s a must-read for historical fiction fans looking for a book that will leave them thinking long after they’ve turned the last page.
Meagan’s heart-wrenching novel was inspired by the real-life story of her great-aunt, who was forcibly sterilized in Indiana.
Through her book, Meagan shares the research she uncovered into the United States’ history with eugenics, shedding light on a complex and difficult topic with a rich history in North Carolina.
Reading this book will be incredibly eye-opening for many readers- it certainly was for me.
In addition to discussing her writing process, Meagan shares her top book club picks for the best conversation starters on the podcast.
Thanks to the support of Patreon members, listeners have access to a bonus curated list of 13 of the best books to spark a great conversation with the titles she highly recommends for impactful conversations.
We discuss what makes a good book for discussion and curate the perfect book club selections, including our favorite books from many voices in literary fiction, nonfiction, and historical fiction.
Joining the Patreon community is an affordable way to support the show and gain access to a wealth of resources, including author interviews and curated book lists. And if you’re a fan of the show, sharing it with just one friend, leaving a like, or leaving a review can go a long way in helping the podcast reach new listeners.
Meet Meagan Church
Meagan Church is a writer passionate about uncovering overlooked stories and bringing unheard voices to light. Her writing reflects her desire to explore the nuances of who we are and to chronicle the plight and fight of those silenced by history. She received a B.A. in English from Indiana University and has built a successful career as a storyteller and freelance writer for brands, blogs, and organizations. She currently lives in North Carolina with her family.
The Best Book Club Books to Spark Conversation
Listen to the Book Gang Podcast:
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Mentioned in this episode:
The Last Carolina Girl by Meagan Church
Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary
Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Stuff of Lasting Friendship: The Millions Interviews Jessica Francis Kane
A Semi-Radical Plan to Maintain Friendships in Your 30s, 40s and Beyond on Slate
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Celebrity Book Club Deep Dive Episode You Need
Brit Bennett on Publishing The Vanishing Half During the George Floyd Protests on Vox
Radium Girls by Kate Moore
The Poisoner’s Handbook on PBS
The Poisoner’s Handbook on Hoopla
The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum
The Woman They Could not Silence by Kate Moore
The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
11 Facts About Judy Blume’s ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’ on Mental Floss
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
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