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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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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 121 - 180 of 464. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Parkland: Birth of a Movement

Cover of Parkland: Birth of a Movem
Dave Cullen
2019

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.

Red at the Bone

Cover of Red at the Bone
Jacqueline Woodson
2019

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.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

Cover of Maybe You Should Talk to S
Lori Gottlieb
2019

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).

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story

Cover of The Death and Life of Aida
Aaron Bobrow-Strain
2019

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.

The Yellow House

Cover of The Yellow House
Sarah M. Broom
2019

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.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Cover of On Earth We're Briefly Gor
Ocean Vuong
2019

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.

The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table

Cover of The Memo: What Women of Co
Minda Harts
2019

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.

Mrs. Everything

Cover of Mrs. Everything
Jennifer Weiner
2019

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.

Fleishman is in Trouble

Cover of Fleishman is in Trouble
Taffy Brodesser-Akner
2019

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.

Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age

Cover of Women Rowing North: Naviga
Mary Bray Pipher
2019

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.

Girl, Woman, Other

Cover of Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo
2019

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 . . .

City of Girls

Cover of City of Girls
Elizabeth Gilbert
2019

Beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction with a unique love story set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love.

How to Be an Antiracist

Cover of How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi
2019

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.

The Island of Sea Women

Cover of The Island of Sea Women
Lisa See
2019

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.

The Dutch House

Cover of The Dutch House
Ann Patchett
2019

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Cover of The Book Woman of Troubles
Kim Michele Richardson
2019

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.

Unsheltered

Cover of Unsheltered
Barbara Kingsolver
2018

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.
 

Educated: A Memoir

Cover of Educated: A Memoir
Tara Westover
2018

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 Death of Mrs. Westaway

Cover of The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Ruth Ware
2018

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person--but also that the cold-reading skills she's honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased...where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. 
 

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