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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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
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.
In 2027, August Helm is working as a biochemist at the University of Chicago. After he finds out about a liaison between the director of his lab and a much younger student, his position is eliminated. With his world in shambles, August goes to visit his parents in Wisconsin, where he reconnects with old friends, takes a job in a gated community, and falls madly in love with a woman whose revelations will change everything.
An electrifying novel of a young immigrant building a life for herself--a warm, dazzling, and profound saga of queer love, friendship, work, and precarity in twenty-first century America, set in Milwaukee.
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.
True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history final, and have doctors, politicians, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf in a story of sign language and lip-reading, cochlear implants and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy.
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.
Wisconsin state judge Jason Erickson finds himself embroiled in several high-stakes ethical dilemmas involving powerful political figures, groundwater polluters, a corrupt developer, and his feelings for Tara, a married environmental journalist, in this thrilling mystery set against the rich beauty of black spruces, white pines, and austere Upper Midwest lakes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From journalist Abe Streep, the story of coming of age on a reservation in the American West and a team uniting a community.
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.
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.
A travel writer has one last shot at reconnecting with the best friend she just might be in love with. (Kirkus)
In a lively collection of feature obituaries and related news stories, longtime Wisconsin State Journal reporter George Hesselberg celebrates life, sharing the most fascinating stories that came from decades of covering the obit and public safety beats.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 whip-smart and dynamic thriller about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.
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.
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.
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.
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car.
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.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Based on the author’s Instagram challenge that grew into a cultural movement, #meandwhitesupremacy, the book Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits.
A darkly enchanting reimagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a spirited young woman discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Making a Faustian bargain to live forever but never be remembered, a woman from early eighteenth-century France endures unacknowledged centuries before meeting a man who remembers her name.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of a person's life as it is, along with another book for the other life they could have lived if they had made a different choice at any point in their life. While everyone wonders how their lives might have been, what if someone had the chance to go to the library and see for themself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
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.
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."