Book Club Kits by Title

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The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
54 year-old Renée and 12 year-old Paloma come from very different backgrounds, but both have a deep emotional life that they shield from the world.  An unlikely friendship forms as they share their journeys and perspectives on everyday life. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
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
Euphoria by Lily King
Inspired by events in the life of anthropologist, Margaret Mead, this is the fictional story of a love triangle among three anthropologists working in New Guinea, who display three completely different approaches to studying other cultures. Book Discussion Questions from the author's website
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
A suburban mother raising three teenage children and running a landscaping business has an ordinary life with ordinary problems until the family is engulfed in a violent tragedy. Book Discussion Questions from Random House
Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo
In the Rust Belt town of North Bath, New York, police chief Doug Raymer is convinced he’s ‘everyone’s fool’ as he grapples with the revelation his now-dead wife cheated on him, engages in an ongoing feud with the curmudgeon Sully Sullivan and otherwise tries to maintain order in a town filled with down-on-their-luck but lovable characters.  Book Discussion Questions from Knopf Doubleday
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
Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
In this memoir, Carpenter describes how she became an urban farmer after moving to an inner-city neighborhood in Oakland, California. Starting with a garden in an abandoned lot, she expands into animal husbandry with frustrating, comical and delicious results. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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
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
For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance by Victoria Zackheim
In a series of essays, women writers of all ages discuss the impact of time and illness on their bodies and the process of taking control of their body image.  Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
The novel on which the popular movie was based, this account of four women's lives in the Depression-era South is humorous, while also threaded with the more serious themes of racism, feminism, and domestic violence. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas
Dumas chronicles her life in America with a collection of zany-but-true family stories. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Yun Ling Teoh, a survivor of the brutal Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II, discovers a beautiful garden tended by the emperor’s exiled former gardener Aritomo.  Haunted by the death of her sister during the war, Yun Ling asks Aritomo to help her build a garden in memory of her sister.  But as she learns more about the garden’s intricacy and beauty, its connection to the pain and deceit of the past are also revealed.    Book Discussion Questions from Weinstein Books
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
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 Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Comedian and actress Schumer offers candid essays in her signature style about her experiences in comedy, relationships and the joys and perils of being a woman unafraid to speak her mind or bare her soul.   Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
The stories of two women, one struggling for survival in World War I-era France and the other mired in grief in modern day London, are intertwined in the fate of a painting and its disputed ownership.  Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
The Girls by Emma Cline
In this novel, set in Northern California in 1969, and based loosely on the stories of Charles Manson’s followers, a disaffected and lonely teenager meets a group of girls who follow a manipulative, charismatic, and dangerous man, and joins them. Book Discussion Questions from Penguin Random House
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
The Glass Devil by Helene Tursten
A police procedural mystery set in Sweden, where Inspector Huss solves violent crimes, yet manages a happy home life including teenage twin daughters and a husband. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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