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Book Club Kits

bookclub kit bags

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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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

Displaying 1 - 60 of 421. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.

Trust

Cover of Trust
Hernan Diaz
2022

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.

State of Terror

Cover of State of Terror
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
2021

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. 

One Last Stop

Cover of One Last Stop
Casey McQuiston
2021

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.

Apples Never Fall

Cover of Apples Never Fall
Liane Moriarty
2021

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.

Graceland, At Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South

Cover of Graceland, At Last: Notes
Margaret Renkl
2021

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.

The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It

Cover of The Problem of Alzheimer's
Jason Karlawish
2021

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.

The Seed Keeper

Cover of The Seed Keeper
Diane Wilson
2021

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.

How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

Cover of How the Word is Passed: A
Clint Smith
2021

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.

The Vanishing Half

Cover of The Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett
2020

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.

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Cover of The House in the Cerulean
TJ Klune
2020

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

Cover of The Chai House
Priti Srivastava
2020

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.

Real Life

Cover of Real Life
Brandon Taylor
2020

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.

Big Summer

Cover of Big Summer
Jennifer Weiner
2020

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.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Cover of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indig
Robin Wall Kimmerer
2020

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."

The Last Story of Mina Lee

Cover of The Last Story of Mina Lee
Nancy Jooyoun Kim
2020

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. 

Memorial

Cover of Memorial
Bryan Washington
2020

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.

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Cover of Wintering: The Power of Re
Katherine May
2020

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.

Deacon King Kong

Cover of Deacon King Kong
James McBride
2020

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.

Afterlife

Cover of Afterlife
Julia Alvarez
2020

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?

Transcendent Kingdom

Cover of Transcendent Kingdom
Yaa Gyasi
2020

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.

Luster

Cover of Luster
Raven Leilani
2020

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.

Early Morning Riser

Cover of Early Morning Riser
Katherine Heiny
2020

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.

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