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HARDCOVER FICTION1. Billy Summers. Stephen King. Scribner

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Owens’ 2018 tale of a mysterious murder and a young woman who lives in a North Carolina marsh sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. “Surprise bestsellers are often works that chime with the times,” wrote Mark Lawson in The Guardian, noting that the book, though set in the past, “is, in its treatment of racial and social division and the fragile complexities of nature, obviously relevant. But these themes will reach a huge audience through the writer’s old-fashioned talents for compelling character, plotting and landscape description.” (Penguin, $14.99)

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This almost-instant bestseller caused a tremendous stir in the literary world. Both mysterious and heartbreaking, “13 Reasons Why” is a story that gets right to the heart of what it means to be a teenager.

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Cora and Caesar are the fearless protagonists in this historical novel. The pair are slaves in Georgia during the 1800s who embark on a road toward freedom via the Underground Railroad, encountering dozens of experiences that challenge them both physically and morally.

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“Flash Boys” is the ultimate Wall Street expose. This bestseller follows a squad of skeptics as they seek to reveal how market systems are rigged to benefit those involved most closely in their practices. They give up their high-paying jobs and luxurious lifestyles in order to launch a massive investigation into the strange, and oftentimes illegal, methods that Wall Street uses to generate billions of dollars for its most valued investors.

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Multiple book clubs have made a fairly seamless transition to virtual platforms, but you don’t have to have an established group to get started. Since more social distancing has opened the door for more reading, why not organize a virtual book club now?

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