Book Club Kits by Title

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In the Garden of Beasts: love, terror, and an American family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson
This non-fiction page turner, set in Berlin during the rise of Adolph Hitler, tells the story of the American ambassador and his daughter, whose many love affairs blinded her to the increasing menace of the new Germany. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
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
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
The drowning pool at Beckford had been a spot where accused witches were ‘tried’—drowned to prove their innocence.  Lately the pool has claimed more women, ostensibly from suicide.  But when women of the town and relatives of the dead women begin to suspect a more sinister motive behind the deaths, they reveal deceptions and betrayals at the core of their small town.   Book Discussion Questions from the author
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
An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting With Destiny by Laura Schroff
On a wet day in 1986, businesswoman Laura Schroff passed Maurice, an 11-year-boy panhandling for spare change.  She walked on, but something made her stop and go back.  That day, recounted in this true story, marked the beginning of a life-changing friendship that enriched both Schroff and Maurice, and underscores how one moment of kindness can have lasting benefits.  Book Discussion Questions from Simon and Schuster
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson
An account of the 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas and killed 6,000 people. Larson uses personal papers, letters, newspapers and government archives as the source material for this engrossing tale. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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 to find other discussions, related events, and more information. Book Discussion Questions from Madison Public Library, UW-Madison and Penguin Random House
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A boy named Amir,  born in pre-Soviet Afghanistan, befriends a servant’s son. Long after emigrating to California, Amir returns to Afghanistan to reconnect with his past and perhaps correct some of his childhood wrongs. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
A self-confessed unreliable narrator relates this mystery set in modern day Salem, Mass. The novel is filled with eccentric characters, historic details, and women's issues. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupChoices
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
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
After fifteen years and two kids, writer Georgie and Neal’s marriage is hurting.  With the appearance of a magical phone that gives her a line to the past, Georgie is presented with the chance to make things right with her husband before things get bad—or discover if she and Neal were really meant to be together.  Book Discussion Questions from Macmillan
Learning to Stay by Erin Celello
When her husband Brad returns from Iraq, Elise is thrilled to have him home.  But the traumatic brain injury he suffered on duty has turned the patient, thoughtful man she married into someone quite different.  Faced with potentially losing the man she loves, Elise receives help from an unlikely source.   Book Discussion Questions from the author's website
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
One morning, Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past. Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
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 the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
New York City in the early 1970s is portrayed in this set of connected stories including a street priest, a judge, heroin addicts, mothers of sons killed in Vietnam, and a man who walks on a cable between the World Trade Center towers in August, 1974. 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
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Bryson's own childhood in 1950s America is the focus this time. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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 Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Cleaning guru Marie Kondo outlines her method of ‘tidying up,’ going beyond a simple how-to manual to ask what our stuff means to us emotionally and what we consider to be truly precious.   Book Discussion Questions from People to People International