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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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
A New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and "one of our greatest living writers" (Shondaland) reimagines the love story in this fresh and seductive novel about a young woman seeking joy while healing from loss.
Set in 1960s California, this blockbuster debut is the hilarious, idiosyncratic and uplifting story of a female scientist whose career is constantly derailed by the idea that a woman's place is in the home, only to find herself starring as the host of America's most beloved TV cooking show.
The story of two wealthy New Yorkers in the 1920s, and at what cost they have acquired their immense fortune, is at the center of Bonds, a fictional novel that exists in conversation with the narrative of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction in this novel about money, power, intimacy, and perception that spans over a century.
A story of summer, secrets, love, and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades. Tender yet devastating, The Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity, the legacies of abuse, and the crimes and misdemeanors of families.
From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.
A chilling debut in which a detective must uncover the dark history of a luxury hotel in the Alps if she has any hope of stopping the deaths that won't let up.
Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago.
One of today's most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone--not just for people of color.
The small town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. But when her parents die in quick succession in 1981, she leaves the only home she's ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history.
This high-stakes thriller follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don't exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. And there's certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures. But then, there's this gorgeous girl on the train. Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane, showing up in a leather jacket to save August's day when she needed it most.
A profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.
A sweeping, achingly beautiful novel that moves between Germany on the eve of World War II and present day Wisconsin, unspooling a story of love, longing, and the ceaseless push and pull of motherhood.
Moving their family to what they believe will be a safer but temporary home in Houston, two young parents are forced to choose between an undocumented status in America and returning to the violence of war-torn Bogotá.
The first in a witty, fast-paced mystery series following struggling suspense novelist and single mom Finlay Donovan, whose fiction treads dangerously close to the truth as she becomes tangled in real-life murder investigations.
The Delaney family is a communal foundation. Stan and Joy are the envy of all of their friends. One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy's door. Everyone will wonder what exactly went on in that household after Savannah entered their lives that night. Because now Joy is missing, no one knows where Savannah is, and the Delaneys are reexamining their parents' marriage and their shared family history with fresh, frightened eyes.
For the past four years, Margaret Renkl's columns have offered readers of The New York Times a weekly dose of natural beauty, human decency, and persistent hope from her home in Nashville. Now more than sixty of those pieces have been brought together in this sparkling new collection.
From journalist Abe Streep, the story of coming of age on a reservation in the American West and a team uniting a community.
A hilarious, romantic, and sexy‑as‑hell story of two writers discovering their second chance at love over seven days during a steamy Brooklyn summer.
An unforgettable story about one young Black girl's attempt to find a place where she can be fully, and only, herself, inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States.
Part case studies, part meditation on the past, present and future of the disease, The Problem of Alzheimer’s traces Alzheimer's disease from its discovery and tells the story of the biomedical breakthroughs that may allow it to finally be prevented and treated by medicine.
Narratives from the past, present, and future intertwine in this soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope, and a book.
Texas, 1934. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli-like so many of her neighbors-must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life.
An inside-Washington thriller about an ambitious law clerk thrown into a life-or-death treasure hunt with major national implications when the Supreme Court justice she works for slips into a sudden coma.
A travel writer has one last shot at reconnecting with the best friend she just might be in love with. (Kirkus)
This haunting novel spanning several generations follows a Dakhóta family's struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most, told through the voices of women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss, through war and the insidious trauma of boarding schools.
An intimate, heart wrenching portrait of one small hospital that reveals the magnitude of America's healthcare crisis and offers a blueprint for how we created it.
A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country's most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted.
When her husband of a year disappears, Hannah quickly learns he is not who he said he was and is left to sort out the truth with just one ally- her husband's teenage daughter, who hates her.
When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it's not easy. She deserted them all--and her high school sweetheart--five years before with little explanation, and they've got questions.
In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, and bestselling author explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others' expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.
A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx.
A series of connected personal stories drawn from the author's life and work as an ER doctor that explores how we are all broken--physically, emotionally, and psychically--and what we can do to heal ourselves as we try to heal others.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.
Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.
The Chai House is a haunting debut novel by a Madison-area author that explores the complexity of community when individuals are unaware of their own roles in upholding systems of oppression. Swati has spent her entire life trying to live up to her family's expectations of her. She has learned it is easiest to just do what is asked of her, without resistance; a skill that has helped her survive in the early years of the Knights, an authoritarian regime. When her mother has a request for Swati, she agrees to it as it is the only way to help her young niece have some sort of future.
An electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise-- to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies -- and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.
From sixteen-year-old Dara McAnulty, a globally renowned figure in the youth climate activist movement, comes a memoir about loving the natural world and fighting to save it.
Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends--some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness.
This epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.
A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.
Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn't spoken one word to Drue in all this time--she doesn't even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media--so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless. Drue was always the one who had everything--except the ability to hold onto friends.
As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation."
Margot Lee's mother isn't returning her calls. It's a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown and finds her mother, Mina, dead under suspicious circumstances. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the facts of Mina's life as a Korean War orphan and undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.
A captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.
Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant. Benson is a Black day care teacher. They've been together for a few years, but now they're not sure why they're still a couple. There's the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other. When Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Houston for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he discovers the truth about his family and his past.
The lives of three women--transgender and cisgender--collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires.
Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered, leading her to form a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.
In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of this funny, moving novel.
A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.
From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction--a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
Antonia Vega has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves, but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words. Now she questions: How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves?
The award-winning author brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history.
A novel about faith, science, religion, and family that tells the deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, narrated by a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford school of medicine studying the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice. Chosen as the 2021-22 UW-Madison Go Big Read selection. For information about Madison Public Library book discussions and more, see madisonpubliclibrary.org/gobigread.
A gritty, voice-driven thriller about a former getaway driver who thought he had escaped the criminal life who is pulled back in by race, poverty, and his own former life of crime.
An intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz--an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis.
Edie is stumbling her way through her twenties -- sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick and clocking in and out of her admin job. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including a wife who has agreed to an open marriage -- with rules. As if navigating the constantly shifting racial politics weren't hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric's home -- though not by Eric. She becomes a hesitant ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows.
Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year, 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches the lives of two people, as well as the lives of the people they love.
Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
Jane loves most things about Duncan, aside from running into his many old girlfriends everywhere in Boyne City. While she may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash in this alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family.