Book Club Kits by Title

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Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Summer in a corner of southern Appalachia serves as the setting for the adventures and struggles of three free-spirited women, who have intimate ties to the natural world. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
A paranoid schizophrenic, incarcerated in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum for murder, Dr. W.C. Minor provided tens of thousands of quotations for use in the Oxford English Dictionary for its first publication in the nineteenth century. Book Discussion Questions from Morton Grove (IL) Public Library
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
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
When she visits her liberated and loving aunt, life dramatically changes for a 15-year old Nigerian girl who has grown up in sheltered privilege with a wealthy father who is politically courageous but religiously fanatic. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
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 Weaving her own narrative and images together with historical documents, photographs, and artwork, Redniss has created a reading and viewing experience that uniquely blends art and science.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
Rage Is Back by Adam Mansbach
Former prep-school student and pot dealer Dondi discovers his long absent father Billy is back in New York, ready to resume his graffiti war against the powerful city official he thinks murdered his friend years ago.  Book Discussion Questions from LitLovers
Regeneration by Pat Barker
Patients and the doctors that treat them for shell-shock are the focus of this World War I novel based on actual people and events. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen
While her mic is accidentally on,  morning talk show host Meghan calls a guest a vulgar name on national television. Her entire world changes, including her career and relationships with her husband, grown son and  social worker sister. Book Discussion Guide from Random House
Room by Emma Donoghue
5-year old Jack narrates the story of his life from the 11 by 11 foot room where he and his mother are confined by Old Nick. Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
The Rope by Nevada Barr
Anna Pigeon's first job as a National Park employee in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area basis for this book-- Barr's 17th in the series. The setting of the desert surrounding Lake Powell and the houseboat renting tourists that populate the park are central features of this story, which reveals a broken-hearted and widowed Anna just getting started on what we know to be a long career in solving crimes. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
The Rosie Project by Graeame Simsion
In this unconventional love story, scientist Don sets out to overcome his Asperger’s syndrome and find the Perfect Wife by concocting an exhaustive, mathematically precise questionnaire.  And then he meets Rosie, who should be all wrong for him but for some reason seems just right.    Book Discussion Questions from Simon and Schuster and LitLovers
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Thirteen year old Joe’s mother is attacked and another woman is dead. Joe and his father, an Objiwe judge, seek answers and justice- each with their own methods. This  coming-of-age novel – with the added elements of a mystery and tribal politics- is an engrossing and emotional read. Book Discussion Questions from Reading Group Guides
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
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
Yes it's true-- a biography of a horse! Seabiscuit was an unlikely champion due to his physical proportion, but the cast of human characters (from owner to trainer to jockey) that believed in him produced a winner. Not just for 'horse people', this quick paced, exciting and much-admired book has been turned into an Academy Award (TM) nominated movie! Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
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
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
This Booker Prize winner is suspenseful tale of memory and self-knowledge. When Tony receives a classmate's diary from 40+ years before, it leads to a re-examination of his younger years and what he thought was true. Book Discussion Questions from Princeton Book Review
Shanghai Girls by Shanghai See
Threatened by bankruptcy, May and Pearl, two beautiful girls living in Shanghai in the 1930s, are placed in arranged marriages to Chinese men living in Los Angeles where the girls struggle to form a new life. Book Discussion Questions from ReadingGroupGuides
The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks
Lake District raised and Oxford educated Rebanks provides a poetic, loving and realistic portrait of the farms and shepherds in one of England’s most rugged regions.  Far from an elegy for a disappearing way of life, Rebanks emphasizes the importance of maintaining a connection to the land, and recognizing the worth of rural work. Book Discussion Questions from MPL
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
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Signature of All Things The heroine of this novel was born into a wealthy Philadelphia family in the year 1800; she  becomes a brilliant botanist, falls in love, studies moss and explores theories of evolution, and travels the world in her quest to understand the meaning of life. Book Discussion Questions from Penguin
The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls
After their mother abandons them, twelve year old Bean and fifteen year old Liz travel across country to Virginia to land on the doorstep of a previously unknown uncle.  While Bean learns to adjust to her new life, she watches as her beloved older sister learns the harsh lessons of life in the world of adults.   Book Discussion Questions from Simon and Schuster