For Moira’s Seattle Times Book Club in 2021, we’ve made a procedural change: We’ll now choose books two months ahead, to give members more time to obtain and read them. That means we’ll choose two this month, for January and February, and from then on will choose one per month (i.e. we’ll vote in January for the March selection, and so on).

So — here we have six selections, all available in paperback, and all among the most acclaimed fiction of the last year. Vote for your two favorites by noon Monday, Dec. 21, and we’ll choose the top two vote-getters to kick off the year. Happy reading!

Trust Exercise” by Susan Choi. The 2019 National Book Award for Fiction winner, this novel takes place at a suburban high school for the performing arts in the 1980s.

The Topeka School” by Ben Lerner. Barack Obama named this as one of his favorite books of last year; it’s a story of a teenage debate champion and his psychologist parents set mostly in 1990s Kansas.

Lost Children Archive” by Valeria Luiselli. Another Obama and New York Times favorite, Luiselli’s novel follows an artist couple and their two children on a road trip from New York to Arizona.

The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett. From the bestselling author of “Commonwealth,” this novel is set over the course of five decades, exploring two siblings’ bond to the house of their childhood.


Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout. A sequel to Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Olive Kitteridge,” this novel continues the story of prickly, honest Olive, as she comes to terms with her life in a Maine town.

Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu. This year’s National Book Award winner for fiction (and called “one of the funniest books of the year” by the Washington Post), Yu’s novel follows a Hollywood bit player who dreams of stardom.

Also, note another procedural change. Based on feedback from members, we’re going to try having an evening meeting in January and see how that works. Mark your calendars for Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. See you then!

This story has been updated with a revised date for the January meeting of the book club. The book club discussion will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, rather than on Wednesday, Jan. 20.