Book Club Kits by Title

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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell uses real-life examples to investigate the concept of “thin-slicing,” the way in which one’s unconscious makes instantaneous decisions. Book Discussion Guide from the author
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
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
A western reporter shares what she learned as a burka wearing woman living with a bookseller's family in Afghanistan. Life after the fall of the Taliban includes stories both horrifying and uplifting. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
Borderline by Nevada Barr
National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon is on vacation in Texas's Big Bend National Park when a guided rafting trip meets with multiple tragedies and Anna must care for a newborn baby. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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
The Boy in the Shadows by Carl-Johan Vallgren
When Joel, whose then-7-year-old brother was kidnapped in a Stockholm subway station in 1970, suddenly goes missing, his wife reaches out to an old friend for help. Danny Katz, a brilliant computer programmer and recovering heroin addict, as well as a divorced father of two young girls, begins to dig behind the digital veil in search of Joel, even though the investigation quickly interferes with his duties as a parent. As Katz begins to uncover upsetting secrets about the wealthy and powerful family at the heart of the investigation and the case takes a violent turn, he also finds a disorienting connection to his own past.  Book Discussion Questions from MPL
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown
The nine boys who made up the Olympic rowing team, sons of western loggers and hardworking laborers, may not have had the pedigree of the elite teams of the east, but they set out to prove themselves to the world at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  Author Brown captures the struggles, including the Great Depression, poverty, and the loss of family, of a team that showed the nation what pulling together meant. Book Discussion Questions from Penguin Books
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 Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Sweet ghetto nerd Oscar dreams of being a famous writer… and of falling in love. He may not get either wish, due to a curse that’s dominated his Dominican family for generations. A Pulitzer Prize winner. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
A septuagenarian invites a young woman to live in her mansion while both heal from their troubled pasts. Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
In 1950s Ireland, when Ellis Lacey is unable to find a job in her home country, she leaves reluctantly for Brooklyn, NY.  After a period of isolation she begins to find happiness, yet when a tragedy takes her back to Ireland the limitations of her old life conflict with her newfound possibilities in America. Book Discussion Questions from the Chicago Public Library
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Two brothers left their hometown in Maine to become New York City lawyers. One is now a hotshot corporate attorney, the other works for Legal Aid. When their sister in Maine needs help, both go back to assist—and secrets large and small are revealed. Book Discussion Questions from Lit Lovers
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
This is a graphic memoir by a New Yorker cartoonist, both hilarious and horrifying,  in which she uses cartoons, hand-written text, and photographs to recount the story of her parents' last years and to explore  her difficult relationship with them. Book Discussion Questions from the Jewish Book Council
Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
A young girl is killed in a car accident following Carmen's wedding. For 25 years after Carmen, her family and friends lives head in a variety of trajectories-- yet with each person carrying an emotional burden about that night. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
Private detective Jackson Brodie investigates three cases: two disappearances from long ago and a search for a witness to a murder. In typical fashion for this series, however, Brodie's personal life shares center stage with the detective work. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
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 Chatham School Affair by Thomas Cook
Young Henry was fascinated with his new school teacher, who was unconventional by the local standards of their seaside town. The adult Henry harbors a secret-- and it involves a murder in Chatham long ago. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna
In the summer of 1944, most of the men have been shipped off to war, and Door County’s cherry harvest is threatened.  Faced with the possibility of losing their livelihood, the Christiansen family lobbies to use Germans housed at a nearby POW camp for labor.  But when friendships are sparked between enemies and former servicemen begin coming home with an intense hatred of Germany, the prospects for trouble are inevitable.   Book Discussion Questions from HarperCollins
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
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
A woman of intelligence, cunning and ambition intent on consolidating and maximizing her power emerges against the romanticized, melodramatic vixen portrayed in Western history in this thoroughly researched biography of Cleopatra. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
A humorous and loving look at small town life at the beginning of the 20th century. Young Will Tweedy narrates the tale of his grandfather's romance with a younger woman, his purchase of the first automobile in the county, and life at the general store owned by his family. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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