We know how difficult it is to choose a book for your next book group meeting, and to find enough copies for all the members of your group. We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag. We've included discussion questions and information about each author in a folder for each collection.
There are at least 8 copies of the book in each kit. At this time we have over 400 kits for you to choose from.
Printable lists of titles are also available, without cover art, sorted by title and by author.
How can we get a kit?
Call us at 608-266-6300 and we will help you check out a kit. The kit will be checked out on the library card of the person picking them up. The person checking out the kit may choose a due date for the kit, up to 3 months from the day they pick it up. Due to high demand, please take only one or two kits at a time. Kits can be shipped to any library in Madison as well as any public library in the South Central Library System.
What if a book is lost?
If your group happens to lose a book, we ask that you replace it with another copy of the book, new or second hand, that is clean and readable.
Search our collection of kits
An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power--and limitations--of family bonds.
Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history.
A portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come, written by two-time Pulitzer-Prize finalist and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan. Chosen as the 2018-2019 UW-Madison Go Big Read selection.
Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals in which the director of a Memphis adoption organization kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country, Wingate's wrenching and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though our paths can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
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.
This warm and practical book by Madison area author, psychotherapist, and mindfulness teacher Mare Chapman, M.A., based on Chapman’s ‘Mindfulness for Women’ course, guides the reader through an intimate journey, showing how women form disempowering beliefs that cause them to lose themselves in relationships, and how to regain connection with their true selves through mindfulness.
This kit was added to the collection with support from the Madison Public Library Foundation.
A coming-of-age novel about the sexual awakening of a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Fletcher is a provocative, witty look at contemporary sexual politics and timeless moral dilemmas - a moving and funny examination of sexuality, identity, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they’re no longer sure who they are and where they belong.
A rich Nigerian boy; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. When a vital new force takes root and flourishes, their lives converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls and women now have immense physical power-- they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And everything changes ...
This story of a community and a family, whose attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby dramatically divides the town, explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood - and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Kim Phúc, informally known as “the Napalm Girl,” was immortalized as a badly burned child running from a bombing in one of the most horrifying, iconic images of the Vietnam war. Yet despite the physical and emotional pain she suffered, this memoir details how she found faith, forgiveness, and peace.
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.
This novel follows the fate of two half-sisters born in eighteenth century Ghana, and their descendants. One sister marries the British head of a slave trading colony, while the other is captured in the same colony and sold into American slavery.
A last-minute invitation to a weekend barbeque has lasting effects for three couples, and leaves them questioning their friendships and the guilt underlying even the most commonplace moments.
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.
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.
One foggy night, a private plane takes off from Martha’s Vineyard. Sixteen minutes later, it plunges straight into the sea. Only two survive. Was it an accident? Murder? Just a simple twist of fate? As each of the passengers’ stories is revealed, the answer becomes more elusive.
An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world.
This Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning novel follows the route of Cora and Caesar, two slaves who escape a brutal plantation via the Underground Railroad. But in this surreal world, the railroad is a literal track underground, and Cora and Caesar must follow a harrowing route through multiple states just ahead of a cruel slave catcher in search of real freedom.
The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.
After a tragic hunting accident in which Landreaux Irons accidentally shoots and kills his neighbor’s five-year-old-son, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition - the sweat lodge - for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and his wife will give their own five-year-old-son, LaRose, to their grieving neighbors to raise as their own.
As Lucy Barton recovers from an operation, her mother comes to visit her and the two reflect on Lucy’s life in small town Amgash, Illinois. Yet under their conversation is a tension that hints at deeper aspects to Lucy’s life.
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.
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.
A workaholic with a too-good-to-be-true romance can't stop thinking about her first love in this unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
A kiss at a christening party leads to the dissolution of marriages and the creation of a new blended family, the repercussions of which are traced through fifty years.
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.
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.
Ruth, an experienced African-American delivery nurse, is forbidden to tend to the baby of a white supremacist family, but when the child goes into cardiac arrest and no one else is able to help, she makes a fateful decision. When the baby dies in her care, she is charged with a serious crime, and must reconsider what she thought she knew about others—and herself.
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.
In this prize-winning novel of the Vietnam War, a double-agent, half-French and half-Vietnamese, leaves his homeland and comes to America after the Fall of Saigon. While building a new life in California, he continues to report back to his Communist supervisors.
The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future.
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.
One doctor's passionate and profound memoir of his experience grappling with race, bias, and the unique health problems of black Americans.
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.
A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.
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?