Harper Lee‘s modern classic ‘To Kill a Mockingbird‘ is the most popular title read by UK reading groups. New  research commissioned by The Reading Agency also named titles by Emma Healey, Jessie Burton, Donna Tartt and Lionel Shriver.

The research shows that the benefits of book club membership went far beyond reading. 95% of people who took part reported that membership improved feelings of well-being. 80% said they enjoyed what they are reading more when discussing it with the group

When it came to deciding which books to read, most book club members said they were influenced most by fiends and word of mouth. Libraries play a key role too: many respondents commented that the books they chose came from library reading lists or were recommended by their librarian.

Book club most popular titles

Although 95% of the groups read fiction, many also read non-fiction (66%). Smaller but still substantial numbers of groups read short stories (45%) and poems (23%). The ten most popular titles were as follows:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

2. Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey

3. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

4. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

=5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

=5. The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

=5. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

=5. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce

=5. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

10. The Help – Kathryn Stockett

Karen Brodie, Head of Publisher Partnerships at The Reading Agency, said: “Reading is not just a solitary activity; sharing it with others can give us different perspectives and open our eyes to new genres and writers. This research shows that being part of a reading group brings numerous benefits and I was particularly interested to see that groups choose such a wide range of titles, focusing on those which stimulate discussion and debate.”

Read the full report