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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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
Bestselling author and scholar Ibram X. Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves in this essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.
Cussy Mary Carter is the last of her kind, her skin the color of a blue damselfly in these dusty hills. But that doesn't mean she's got nothing to offer. As a member of the Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy delivers books to the hill folk of Troublesome, hoping to spread learning in these desperate times. But not everyone is so keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and the hardscrabble Kentuckians are quick to blame a Blue for any trouble in their small town.
Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy.
A riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of immersive reporting and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy.
In this bestselling account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost.
A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup.
Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of the '60s summer when everything changed.
From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist's world--where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).
A personal story of the author's father's involvement in HUAC that offers a rich portrait of McCarthy era America.
In this atmospheric thriller, the first female sheriff in rural Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, searches for a missing girl, battles local drug dealers, and seeks the truth about the death of her parents.
Published one year after the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of Columbine offers an intimate, deeply moving account of the extraordinary teenage survivors who became activists and pushed back against the NRA and feckless Congressional leaders--inspiring millions of Americans to join their grassroots #neveragain movement.
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
A Wisconsin family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when one of their own falls under the influence of a radical church.
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her--but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he's ever known.
Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. Based on a true story rooted in America's past, this is a richly rewarding novel of women's friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.
In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.
A lifelong friendship and love blossoms between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart, both children of rookie NYPD cops and neighbors in the suburbs. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next thirty years.
A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom's The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. Located in the gap between the "Big Easy" of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows.
A page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born -- a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam -- and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity.
Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions.
When Aida Hernandez was born in 1987 in Agua Prieta, Mexico, the nearby U.S. border was little more than a worn-down fence. Eight years later, Aida's mother took her and her siblings to live in Douglas, Arizona. By then, the border had become one of the most heavily policed sites in America. Undocumented, Aida fought to make her way. She learned English, watched Friends, and, after having a baby at sixteen, dreamed of teaching dance and moving with her son to New York City. But life had other plans.
In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await--food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe in a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action.
Most business books provide a one-size-fits-all approach to career advice that overlooks the unique barriers that women of color face. In The Memo, Minda Harts offers a much-needed career guide tailored specifically for women of color. Drawing on knowledge gained from her past career as a fundraising consultant to top colleges across the country, Harts now brings her powerhouse entrepreneurial experience as CEO of The Memo LLC, a career development platform for women of color, to the page.
In his final book, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Tony Horwitz retraces landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted's journey across the American South in the 1850s, on the eve of the Civil War.
Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, in the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return.
A journalist describes the years she worked in low-paying domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.
In this guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age, Pipher draws on her own experience as a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist to explore ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face.
A stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland in 1972, during the vicious conflict known as The Troubles, and its devastating repercussions.
Maia's intensely cathartic autobiographal graphic novel charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.
From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through Britain and the last hundred years. They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .
A smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters' lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places--and be true to themselves--in a rapidly evolving world, Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history--and herstory--as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.
Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village's all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook's mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility -- but also of danger.
At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He's popular and well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne's house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers--one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they're both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain.
Three very different people must choose between their families and their most deeply held values when one devastating photo causes scandal in an already divided community in this timely exploration of wealth, privilege, and power.
Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library, award-winning reporter and author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.
In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border.
Anna Fox lives alone -- a recluse in her New York City home, drinking too much wine, watching old movies ... and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move next door: a father, a mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble -- and its shocking secrets are laid bare. In this gripping Hitchcockian thriller, no one and nothing are what they seem.
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved.
A deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging, A Place for Us follows an Indian family through the marriage of their daughter, from the parents' arrival in the United States to the return of their estranged son.
For eighty years, Radio Clinic operated on 98th and Broadway on Manhattan's Upper West Side. 'We are staying' chronicles the store's rise, struggles, and fall, and the family that owned it across those decades. Radio Clinic survived the 1977 blackout and looting but could not survive the rising rents. It is an immigrant story, a grandfather-father-daughter story, a story of a unique character a family business brings to a neighborhood, and a reflection on what has been lost as stores like these disappear.
An in-depth look at pregnancy through a scientific and feminist lens that challenges popular assumptions, offers help for navigating contradictions, and provides facts to aid with making informed decisions.
Twelve Native Americans came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending--some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent--momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything.
Many of us believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion, but how do we stand up for those values in our turbulent world? Chugh reveals the surprising causes of inequality, and offers practical tools to respectfully and effectively talk politics with family, to be a better colleague to people who don't look like you, and to avoid being a well-intentioned barrier to equality. Being the person we mean to be starts with a look at ourselves.
Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University.
The dramatic true story of the fight for food safety in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley. Detailing the complex interchanges of industry, media, and government regulation with a bracing clarity, The Poison Squad offers a prescient perspective on the enormous social and political challenges we face today. Chosen as the 2019-2020 UW-Madison Go Big Read selection.
From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female that exposes how white America's love affair with "diversity" so often falls short of its ideals.
A novel of activism and natural-world power presents interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest.
Lifelong Madison resident Muriel Simms presents a brief history of African American settlement in Madison and a collection of oral histories from twenty-five African Americans whose families arrived, survived, and thrived here in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
This kit was added to the collection with support from the Madison Public Library Foundation.
Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life in this young adult novel.
When Madeline Uraneck said hello to the Tibetan woman cleaning her office cubicle, she never imagined the moment would change her life. After learning that Tenzin Kalsang had left her husband and four children behind in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India to try to forge a better life for them, Madeline took on the task of helping her apply for US visas. When the family reunited in their new Midwestern home, Madeline became swept up in their lives, from homework and soccer games to family dinners and shared holiday traditions.
Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are there to lose weight, some are there to get a reboot on life, some are there for reasons they can't even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work.
But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.
The bestselling author returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis at a women's reproductive health services clinic.
Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? In 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, four teenage siblings visit a fortune-teller who is reputed to be able to predict the date of a person’s death; this bestselling novel by Madison author Chloe Benjamin follows them across the country and through next five decades.
The White House is the home of the President of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a U.S. President vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so? An unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world's bestselling novelist, James Patterson, The President Is Missing is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power.
The compulsively readable story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it. With history as their tantalizing canvas, these characters paint a startlingly relevant portrait of life in precarious times when the foundations of the past have failed to prepare us for the future.
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos--the Enron of Silicon Valley--by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers.
Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer until a night out with friends takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.