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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
A humorous, gritty, autobiographical novel of a budding cartoonist, who leaves his troubled school on a Spokane Indian reservation to attend an all-white town school. Book Discussion Questions from Hachette
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Blind Marie-Laure has escaped war-torn Paris for the French seaside town of Saint-Malo along with her father and a precious jewel, determined to keep it out of Nazi hands.  German boy Gunther’s talent with radios makes him a valuable asset to the Nazi war effort, but he struggles to cope with the human cost of his intelligence.  By the end of the war, the two children’s stories intertwine as they try to hold on to their humanity in Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller.  Book Discussion Questions from Simon and Schuster
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
 In 1952, a poor Afghan father travels across the desert with his young son and daughter, about to make a decision that will have complex repercussions for years to come in this saga of family love, honor and sacrifice.    Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Kingsolver and her family eat only local food for a year, including home-raised turkeys and chickens and garden grown and canned veggies. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Art of Fielding : a novel by Chad Harbach
Hank Skirmshander looks to be a rising baseball star, but his talents take a serious dive while playing for Westish College.  His one errant throw impacts the lives of five people in unexpected ways. Book Discussion Questions from Book Browse
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Ruby Lennox gives an account of family life above a petshop in England, revealing the lives of the women in her family, from her great-grandmother's affair with a French photographer to her mother's unfulfilled dreams of Hollywood glamour. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
In this National Book Award-winning memoir, journalist Coates recounts his experience growing up black and offers penetrating insight into the state of race relations in America today.  Book Discussion Questions from the University of Central Florida College of Health and Public Affairs
Blood, Bones and Butter: the Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
A memoir of the owner and chef of Prune, a famous NYC restaurant. Hamilton writes 'the whole truth' of her life and work, including her happy young childhood, the petty crime and drug abuse of her teen years, her grueling early restaurant jobs, unconventional marriage and success as a restauranteur and chef. Book Discussion Questions from Random House
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Narrated by Death, this novel for adults and teens tells the story of Liesl Memeinger, a German girl living through the Holocaust who finds strength and wisdom in the books she steals. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Bossypants by Tina Fey
A comic memoir by the former Saturday Night Live writer, actress and star of the sitcom “30 Rock”. Book Discussion Questions from Lit Lovers
Bread and Butter by Michelle Wildgen
Madison author Wildgen tackles sibling rivalry and the cutthroat world of restaurants when brothers Britt, Leo and Harry open rival restaurants in a small town near Philadelphia.   Book Discussion Questions from Random House
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
Competition over a sudden vacancy on the town council leads the residents of tight-knit Pagford to revealing secrets and broken relationships. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Death row prisoner seeks atonement through donation of his heart to his victim's sister. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Circle by Dave Eggers
In this satire on contemporary information technology, a naive young woman gets a job at a huge social media company where she becomes relentlessly connected, and loses her own personal life and privacy. Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Choices
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
Beryl Markham has grown up in the wilds of 1920s Kenya, raised by her British father and members of the local tribes.  Her unlikely upbringing gives her a boldness that helps her become a pioneering aviator and author, as well as a deep appreciation for the beautiful and wild spirit of Africa.  But affairs of the heart are a different matter, challenging even a woman as independent and strong as Markham.  Book Discussion Questions from the author
The Color of Water by James McBride
This memoir combines accounts of McBride’s childhood in a mixed-race family and his mother’s life history, and is a powerful portrait of growing up, a meditation on race and identity, and a poignant hymn from a son to his mother. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
In this book on food and food politics, the author shows how humans have learned to transform raw ingredients into edible food, describes his adventures studying with master chefs, and argues for the importance of cooking at home. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
In this mystery novel written by J. K. Rowling under a pseudonym, a famous model dies in a fall from her apartment window, and an ex-soldier turned private detective and his temporary office assistant investigate her death. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
An autistic teen narrates this story of his adventure trying to solve a mystery surrounding the discovery of the murdered corpse of his neighbor’s pet poodle. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean
A Catholic nun shares her perspective of our system of capital punishment after she is asked to counsel Patrick Sonnier, a death-row inmate. She writes of her experiences as she gets to know Patrick, including her shock at the brutality of his crime, her sympathy with his pain and her efforts to abolish the death penalty. Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James
In this sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, set six years after Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage, the domestic tranquility of their estate at Pemberley is disrupted when a visitor is found murdered in the woods. Book Discussion Questions from Lit Lovers
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Two events focused attention on Chicago in 1893: the World’s Fair with it’s hundreds of newly built structures (all white), and the investigation into the crimes of Dr. Henry Holmes, reputedly the first American serial killer. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
In this collection of humorous essays, David Sedaris discusses childhood, family and relationships, revealing that "normal" is truly a relative term. Book Discussion Questions From Madison Public Library
Driftless by David Rhodes
Narrated with humor, suspense, and empathy, a diverse cast of characters in small town in Wisconsin get entangled in family secrets, legal battles with a corrupt milk cooperative, gambling, dogfighting, and a miracle cure, amongst other things. Book Discussion Questions from ICB
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
A memoir of a year-long journey of soul searching and self discovery through the sensual delight in Italy; meditation in India; and love in Indonesia. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Educating Esme by Esme Codell
Your first year teaching at a poor urban school can really be tough. Esme, however, has energy, wit, big ideas and a touch of cynicism. Written in diary form, we read about her successes and failures as a teacher as she experiences them over the course of a year. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
A Honduran young man rides the tops of trains through Mexico to the U.S. to reunite with his mother as chronicled by Pulitzer Prize winning author Nazario. From his family’s life of poverty in Honduras to life-risking attempts to cross the border to political realities in Mexico and the U.S., this highly engaging work is sure to challenge some of our beliefs about immigration. Chosen as UW's 2011 Go Big Read selection. Book Discussion Questions from MPL & UW Madison
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.​ Evicted was selected as the 2016 UW Go Big Read title.  Book Discussion Questions from UW Go Big Read
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Lotto and Mathilde’s marriage seems charmed, beginning with a whirlwind romance and withstanding years of poor idealism to yield financial and artistic success.  But every story has two sides, and Groff masterfully portrays a complex marriage, first from Lotto’s perspective and then a very different version from Mathilde’s point of view. Book Discussion Questions from Penguin
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Hazel knows that what time she has left is limited, ever since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  When she meets fellow cancer patient Gus, she begins to see life in a new light, and just perhaps make the most of the time that remains.  Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
A young, sheltered university student comes under the sway of a powerful businessman with dark desires. This sexually explicit novel with graphic content remains a cultural phenomena even two years after being published.  Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
  After witnessing a massive congregation of monarch butterflies, a young Tennessee farm wife sparks a debate between science and faith that leads her into a wider world than she knew before. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides.com
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
The personal dynamics and moral compromises of a married Midwestern couple, their son Joey, and their rock star friend Richard Katz are explored against a backdrop of contemporary American issues including ecological degradation and war profiteering. Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
In this pre- and post-9/11 novel Tassie, a student at thinly veiled UW-Madison, hires on as a nanny for the owner of a pricey French restaurant who adopts a mixed-race child. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Rachel, whose life has spiraled into depression and alcoholism, becomes intrigued by a couple she dubs Jess and Jason who she spots from her commuter train every day.  One day as she is passing their home, she sees Jess kissing a man who is not her husband.  Shortly after, Jess disappears entirely.  Told from the intersecting perspectives of Rachel, Jess and Anna, Jess’s neighbor, an intriguing thriller unfolds.  But who is telling the truth? Book Discussion Questions from Penguin Books
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
The final installment of the Millennium Trilogy.   Here Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are joined by a couple of secondary female characters that are strong and appealing, and this third book returns to earlier story threads to tie up loose ends. Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
A maid in the house of the artist Vermeer inspires the painter to do a portrait of her wearing his wife's pearl earring, causing a scandal that changes the young woman's life. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
Lisbeth Salander, a pierced and tattooed genius hacker, and Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist, investigate the disappearance and perhaps murder of Harriet Vanger, young scion of one one of the wealthiest families in Sweden. Book Discussion Questions from Bookbrowse
The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow
The true story of a 40-year friendship among 11 childhood friends through college, careers, marriage, motherhood, divorce, illness, and the mysterious death of one. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
Walls recalls growing up in a dysfunctional yet creative family with a brilliant, charismatic father, who was destructive and dishonest when he drank, and a free-spirited artist mother, who hated domesticity and the responsibility of raising a family. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
An earlier written sequel of To Kill a Mockingbird set in the 1950s, Go Set a Watchman casts the beloved characters of Scout and Atticus in a new light, and poses the question of how far we have really come in the battle against discrimination.  Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
On the fifth anniversary of a seemingly ideal couple, wife Amy disappears and her husband Nick becomes the chief suspect. The novel alternates between Nick's point of view and Amy's (via her diary entries), engaging the reader in which version of events is accurate-- if any. Book Discussion Questions from Lit Lovers
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann and Annie Barrows Shaffer
A novel in letters about the WWII German occupation of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands between France and England. An often sweet and funny book, with tinges of sadness. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Two Pulitzer Prize winning authors issue a call to arms against the oppression of women in the developing world. The book highlights individuals working to effect change -- covering topics such as sex slavery, maternal mortality, and gender-based violence. Book Discussion Questions from Book Browse
Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
A daughter born with a severe bone disease is the central focus of the family, to the detriment of her older sister and her parents’ marriage. When her mother pursues a suit against her obstetrician best friend, the family implodes. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
In 1960s Jackson, Mississippi aspiring author Skeeter, who is white, gains the trust of some of the town's black maids and departs from her newspaper advice column assignment to secretly write a book from their point of view about being 'the help.' Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
A personal reflection on upward mobility in America seen through the lens of a white, working-class family in the Midwest.  The UW-Madison Go Big Read Common Book Program selection for 2017.  Book Discussion Questions from MPL/UW-Madison
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
In this acclaimed prequel to The Lord of the Rings, hobbit Bilbo Baggins has his peaceful existence interrupted when he is persuaded to join a band of dwarfs in retrieving a famous hoard of gold far beyond the Misty Mountains.  Along the way, he encounters trolls, elves and the ferocious dragon Smaug. Book Discussion Questions from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
A chance discovery of items left behind by Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps during World War II causes Henry Lee, a Chinese-American and recent widower, to reflect on his first romance with Keiko, which ended when her family was evacuated. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of Collins’ violent trilogy, stands in for her sister in the Hunger Games, where teenagers must fight each other to the death for the entertainment of people living in a darkly envisioned near-future US. Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
In this novel by Australian Moriarty, three women are caught up in marital strife and murder when one of them finds, and reads, a letter meant to be opened after her husband’s death.  Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
Shot in the head on her way home from her Pakistan school, Malala was targeted by the Taliban because she publicly advocated for girls’ education and attended school herself. In her book, Malala blends the politics and the personal into a story not just of what happened to her, but also the difficulties-- both politically and otherwise-- in Pakistan today. Chosen as UW-Madison's 2014 Go Big Read selection. Research Guide provided by Go Big Read
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American cancer patient, wife and mother, and of her cells, known as HeLa cells. HeLa cells are used daily in labs worldwide, yet Lacks' family was unaware of their use until more than 20 years after her death. Research Guide from UW
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
This novel, based on true events in the author’s childhood, portrays the community of Elizabeth, New Jersey in the early 1950’s, when it was hit by  three major plane crashes within a few months, leaving residents to struggle with the repeated tragedies. Book Discussion Questions from Knopf
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Winner of the Booker Prize, this novel has two story threads: a granddaughter in the Himalayan foothills fall in love with her tutor, and an immigrant from the same place tries to make it in NYC. Book Discussion Questions from BookBrowse
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Sarah Grimke, a well-to-do daughter of antebellum Charleston receives a ten-year old slave girl, Hetty ‘Handful’ Grimke, on her eleventh birthday.  Both women know they are meant to do more in the wider world, and yearn to escape the respective paths of life they were born to.  Over the course of their thirty-five year relationship, their destinies overlap and intertwine through slavery, freedom and the complexities of love, against the backdrop of the abolition and early women’s movements.    Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
A group of six (including one man) meet monthly to discuss Jane Austen's novels. As the reader listens in on their discussions we hear not just about the books, but their lives and loves as well. Book Discussion Guide from the author
Jewelweed by David Rhodes
Paroled after serving time for a crime he might not have committed, Brock Bookchester is back in his hometown of Words, Wisconsin.  As he slowly tries to reconnect with family and friends, the residents of Words find that only by taking risks and making sacrifices can a community make one of its own whole again.  Revisiting the world he created in Driftless, Rhodes creates a detailed, poignant portrait of those who call small towns home.  Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Choices
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Artist and musician Smith provides a moving memoir of her freewheeling youth in New York with artist Robert Mapplethorpe at the dawn of the punk era.  Book Discussion Questions from MPL
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need. One of his first clients was Walter McMillian, a man on death row for a murder he didn’t commit. Here Stevenson details the legal journey to McMillian’s release as well as those of others he’s helped in his now thirty year career. The book is a call to action, true crime page-turner and critique of the American system of justice — and was chosen as UW-Madison’s 2015 Go Big Read. Visit http://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/go-big-read-2015 to find other discussions, related events, and more information. Book Discussion Questions from Madison Public Library, UW-Madison and Penguin Random House
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Harrison William Shephard, whose father is American and mother is Mexican, lives in Mexico in the 1930s with Diego Rivera, his wife Frida Kahlo, and their houseguest Leon Trotsky. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
A teenager, whose mother, a scientific researcher, disappeared ten years earlier after a tragic accident at an elephant sanctuary, searches through her mother’s old journals in hope of finding clues that will solve the mystery of her disappearance. Book Discussion Questions from Random House
Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan
The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is traced through the personal histories of two who occupied the same house at separate times: Dalia, a woman whose family of Bulgarian Jews immigrated to Israel in 1948, and Bashir, a man whose family was driven out of Palestine. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Let's Pretend This Never Happened : (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
Jenny Lawson’s first and funny novel following the immense popularity of her blog “The Bloggess”.  Topics range from anxiety disorder to a zombie apocalypse, as described or imagined in Lawson’s quirky voice. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
On a snowy evening in 1910, Ursula Todd is born.  And dies.  And is born again.  Fated to return to life over and over, Ursula witnesses pivotal events and eventually proves that one woman can change history.    Book Discussion Questions from Little, Brown
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
An Indian boy, Piscine Patel (aka ‘Pi’) and his zookeeping family are emigrating to Canada. While on a container ship enroute to their new life, an accident at sea leaves Pi and a tiger in a lifeboat floating on the Pacific Ocean. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
A lighthouse keeper and his wife, who live on a remote island off Western Australia, are desperate to have children. When they find a baby miraculously washed up on shore, they adopt her-- a decision that leads to ethical dilemmas for everyone involved. Book Discussion Questions from Simon & Schuster
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Young Walter Moody arrives on the wild shores of 1860s New Zealand ready to make his fortune, but a chance encounter with a group of local men leads to a quest to discover the causes of several mysterious events.  A sprawling novel with strong Victorian influences, The Luminaries won the Man Booker Prize in 2013.   Book Discussion Questions from MPL and the Man Booker Prize
Making Lemonade With Ben: The Audacity to Cope by Katherine J. Perreth
In frank detail, local author Perreth recounts the journey of mothering her son Ben who was diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain hemorrhage.  In his teen years, the challenge became addressing Ben’s mental illness. Ultimately, Perreth and her son came to survive and thrive in spite of (and because of) these challenges.  Book Discussion Questions courtesy of the author
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
A young Englishwoman, Louisa Clark finds herself unemployed when the restaurant she works in is closed.  She takes a job as caretaker for Will Traynor, a recently paralyzed man, and throws herself into trying to convince him to stay alive, despite his losses. Book Discussion Questions from Penguin/Viking and MPL
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
A story of how the actions taken by a father, done with good intentions, can lead to the destruction of his family. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
A young girl discovers she's actually a hermaphrodite in her teen years. This is a story of her family's history beginning with their escape from Greece as well as her own experiences growing up in Detroit in the 1960's. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
A fictionalized portrayal of the friendship between Elizabeth Keckley, a freed slave and seamstress, and her best customer and confidante, Mary Todd Lincoln.  Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
In this humorous novel about a dysfunctional family, three siblings find that their reckless brother has drained the $2 million dollar bank account their father left them at his death, money they have all been planning to use to solve their own financial problems.  Book Discussion Questions from Harper Collins
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
This is the first in a series of gentle mysteries. Precious Ramotswe operates in Botswana, running an agency where the solving of the ‘mystery’ is often secondary to the exploration of family, customs and alternate methods of justice. Book Discussion Guide from Random House
Notes from No Man's Land by Eula Biss
Lyrical and spare essays explore race in America from a variety of angles -- some very unique.  A favorite selection for all-campus reads at several colleges and universities, Notes won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award.  Book Discussion Questions from Kansas Univ/Washington Univ.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
In this imaginative and poignant fairy tale, a man returns to his childhood home and reminisces of his otherworldly and terror-filled adventures of his youth. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
This ‘novel in stories,’ set in small town Maine, centers on Olive Kitteridge, a difficult-to-like retired teacher and her friends and acquaintances. Together they reveal their follies, foibles, difficulties and capacity for change. Book Discussion Questions from the author
Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman
This memoir, which inspired a television series, was written by a middle-class college graduate who describes the thirteen months she spent in a federal prison for drug trafficking crimes she committed in her younger days. Book Discussion Questions from the author
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
A troubled teenaged girl, who is helping an old woman organize her house, learns about the woman's early life as an Irish immigrant in New York City and in Minnesota, where she was sent at the age of nine, on an orphan train. Book Discussion Questions from HarperCollins
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Hadley Richardson’s marriage to Ernest Hemingway, then a young reporter, took her from small-town St. Louis to the glamour of Paris in the 1920’s. Based on letters, biographies, and memoirs, this is a fictional account of their marriage, told from Hadley's point of view. Book Discussion Questions from the author
Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry
EMT and former nurse Perry moves back to his hometown - New Auburn, WI - after years away.  His stories about his emergency calls are compelling and his ruminations on small town life unique. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Austen's classic of social manners follows Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy as they try to achieve married bliss, in spite of bad first impressions and meddling families.  Book Discussion Questions from the Madison, Wisconsin Chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA)
Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident by Bill Ayers
When Barack Obama was questioned about his 'friendship' with former Weather Underground terrorist Ayers during the Democratic primary debate during the 2008 election, the University of Chicago Professor received death threats, hate mail, had many public appearances cancelled and more. This memoir covers mostly his post-Weather Underground days, including the arc of his adult life from childcare provider to graduate student to professor-- and is a follow-up to his earlier memoir Fugitive Days. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
A former high-powered corporate attorney, herself a self-proclaimed introvert, considers how introverts have contributed to society and culture, and how they can succeed in a world that seems slanted toward extroverts. Book Discussion Questions from the author's website
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: a Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss
Radioactive is an an innovative type of book: a graphic biography that adeptly combines the author’s vibrant cyanotype prints with a narrative story of Marie and Pierre Curie and their discovery of radioactivity and its applications in the last century. Weaving her own narrative and images together with historical documents, photographs, and artwork, Redniss has created a reading and viewing experience that uniquely blends art and science. Book Discussion Questions from MPL & UW
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
A gothic tale set in 1907 Wisconsin told from two viewpoints: Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman who advertises for a wife for practical reasons, and Catherine Land, a beauty hungry for riches, posing as a dowdy daughter of a missionary. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Run by Ann Patchett
Adoption, race, class, and family are explored in this novel about three brothers and their widowed father. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
Pulitzer-prize-winning investigative journalist Moss details the ways that large food companies get customers hooked on junk-food products by deliberately manipulating salt, sugar, and fat to maximize cravings. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
The Scent of God by Beryl Bissell
A former nun recounts her cloistered life as well as her romance with a priest 25 years her senior that culminated in  marriage.  Joys and sorrows follow as she has two children, yet loses her husband to cancer and one daughter to murder. Book Discussion Questions from the author
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Small-town Georgia in 1964 is the setting for this novel of beekeeping, civil rights, and a girl's yearning for her deceased mother. Despite the difficult subjects, this novel is sad but warm and, ultimately, uplifting. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
This novel tells the story of five friends who grew up together in the fictional small town of Little Wing, Wisconsin: a famous musician, a wealthy commodities trader, a former rodeo star, and a married couple who stayed in the community as farmers. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
A music therapist whose marriage falls apart after a miscarriage subsequently finds love with another woman and wants to start a family with her new partner. At the same time, her ex-husband, a recovering alcoholic, joins an anti-gay church. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
After twelve years of political exile in Germany, Turkish poet Ka returns to Turkey, in part looking for his childhood friend, in part to report on a recent rash of suicides, and witnesses firsthand the clash between radical Islam and Western ideals. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Soloist by Steve Lopez
Journalist Lopez befriends a schizophrenic former Juilliard student playing a battered violin beside a shopping cart of belongings in L.A. Chosen by Porchlight as their Madison Cares community read. The full title is The Soloist: a Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music. Book Discussion Questions from Porchlight
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
A diverse group of high school seniors in Charleston,  S.C. are close friends in 1969 and reunite 20 years later. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
In chapters that alternate between the history of the Hmong and a highly personal story of a young Hmong girl who is severly ill with seizures, we learn about Hmong culture and the dramatic clash between it and American medicine in the early 1990s. The full title is The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. Discussion Questions from LitLovers
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Deep in the Amazon, a medical researcher making incredible discoveries is keeping them secret from the company funding her work. When the first colleague dispatched to get answers goes missing, another is sent, and readers follow along on a perilous journey full of ethical quandaries.  Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Biography of the creative entrepreneur and head of Apple, Inc. who was a complex, driven, perfectionist as well as a bully. Isaacson was granted extensive access to Jobs himself as well as his family, friends, colleagues, and competitors. Book Discussion Questions from Simon and Schuster
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
A young woman and an elderly man forge a friendship based on shared grief, until a long-harbored secret leads to surprising connections and an ethical dilemma. Book Discussion Questions from Simon & Schuster
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Chosen as UW-Madison's 2013 Go Big Read. In Japan, a teenage girl is struggling-- and writing to a future anonymous reader about it in a diary. Ten years later the diary, along with letters in Japanese and French, wash ashore in a metal lunchbox on the coast of British Columbia. The woman who finds it sets out to identify the girl to see how she's fared in the intervening years. From kamikaze pilots to zen buddhism to horticulture to erasing yourself from the internet-- this novel weaves themes and places together expertly. For Fall 2013, MPL will be offering a variety of events and hands-on programs connected to A Tale for the Time Being-- please join us! Book Discussion Questions from MPL & UW
Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
Saunders’ collection of satirical and inventive stories probes the dark side of American life, presenting a portrait of humanity both ludicrous and brutally honest. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Claire and Henry have a loving, passionate marriage with one big problem:  Henry is a time traveler, involuntarily dropping in and out of time.  This unusual love story follows Claire and Henry's relationship, as the two meet out of sync, with different memories of each other or none at all, testing the strength of their devotion in a world which could change in an instant.  Discussion Questions courtesy of LitLovers
Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry
The author chronicles a year spent restoring an old pickup, gardening, and falling in love. This memoir is filled with eccentric characters, keen observation, and humorous storytelling. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
  Twelve narratives spanning the twentieth century are twined together in this novel of an African-American mother and her children.   Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers.com
Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Louis Zamperini, a champion runner in the 1930s, joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1941. As a bombardier in World War II, he crash-landed in the Pacific, surviving forty-seven days on a raft and two years of abuse in Japanese POW camps.  His post-war life was a happy and productive one, a relief to the reader that Hillenbrand recounts in the final quarter of the book. Book Discussion Questions from Laura Hillenbrand
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Post family and friends embark on a celebratory two-week vacation in the island paradise of Mallorca.  But humorous revelations of secrets and infidelities promise to turn their holiday into one they’ll never forget.  Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
90+ year-old Jacob Jankowski reminisces in a nursing home about his days caring for animals in a travelling circus during the Great Depression. Book Discussion Guide from ReadingGroupGuides
We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
After enduring a rough childhood in a working-class Irish enclave in 1940s Queens, Eileen seems set for a stable life with a graduate degree in nursing and a scientist husband with a bright future.  But her hopes for herself and her family are jeopardized when Edmund is diagnosed with ­Alzheimer’s at age 51.  Book Discussion Questions from Simon and Schuster
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
Three sisters, all named after Shakespearean characters by their English professor father, reunite in an Ohio college town when their mother is stricken with cancer. Drama ensues, but with a light comedic touch. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
The author of this memoir was a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with lung cancer in his mid-thirties. Writing in his last months of life, he talks about his childhood and college studies, explains why he decided to become a doctor, and describes his experiences with his illness.  Book Discussion Questions from Penguin Random House
When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton
After his young wife suffers brain damage and is left with the mind of a 6-year old, Aaron Maciver quietly divorces her and marries her nurse, and the two raise her as their child along with their daughter and son in this chronicle of an unusual family. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
In this unconventional and funny novel, a teenage girl assembles a mixed collection of documents  to try to solve the disappearance of her mother, a former award-winning architect  who found herself increasingly at odds with her life in Seattle. Book Discussion Questions from Little, Brown
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
After the death of her mother and the emotional toll of many bad decisions, Strayed undertakes a hike on the arduous 1,100 mile Pacific Crest Trail and slowly heals body and soul with the help of those she meets along the way.  Book Discussion Questions from Oprah's Book Club 2.0
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
A ‘fantasy’ nonfiction book by a science writer that explores what would happen to the earth’s flora and fauna, as well as our built environment, if suddenly all humans disappeared. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
Set on an Indian reservation in Montana, this saga of three generations of Indian women is told from each of their viewpoints and depicts the hardships they encounter both on and off the reservation. Book Discussion Questions from MPL