Back to top

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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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 241 - 300 of 473. Show 5 | 10 | 20 | 40 | 60 results per page.

A Gentleman in Moscow

Cover of A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles
2016

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
 

LaRose

Cover of LaRose
Louise Erdrich
2016

After a tragic hunting accident in which Landreaux Irons accidentally shoots and kills his neighbor’s five-year-old-son, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition - the sweat lodge - for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and his wife will give their own five-year-old-son, LaRose, to their grieving neighbors to raise as their own. 
 

The Boy in the Shadows

Cover of The Boy in the Shadows
Carl-Johan Vallgren
2016

When Joel, whose then-7-year-old brother was kidnapped in a Stockholm subway station in 1970, suddenly goes missing, his wife reaches out to an old friend for help. Danny Katz, a brilliant computer programmer and recovering heroin addict, as well as a divorced father of two young girls, begins to dig behind the digital veil in search of Joel, even though the investigation quickly interferes with his duties as a parent.

The Underground Railroad

Cover of The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead
2016

This Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning novel follows the route of Cora and Caesar, two slaves who escape a brutal plantation via the Underground Railroad.  But in this surreal world, the railroad is a literal track underground, and Cora and Caesar must follow a harrowing route through multiple states just ahead of a cruel slave catcher in search of real freedom. 

Small Great Things

Cover of Small Great Things
Jodi Picoult
2016

Ruth, an experienced African-American delivery nurse, is forbidden to tend to the baby of a white supremacist family, but when the child goes into cardiac arrest and no one else is able to help, she makes a fateful decision.  When the baby dies in her care, she is charged with a serious crime, and must reconsider what she thought she knew about others—and herself.  

Fates and Furies

Cover of Fates and Furies
Lauren Groff
2015

Lotto and Mathilde’s marriage seems charmed, beginning with a whirlwind romance and withstanding years of poor idealism to yield financial and artistic success.  But every story has two sides, and Groff masterfully portrays a complex marriage, first from Lotto’s perspective and then a very different version from Mathilde’s point of view.

Circling the Sun

Cover of Circling the Sun
Paula McLain
2015

Beryl Markham has grown up in the wilds of 1920s Kenya, raised by her British father and members of the local tribes.  Her unlikely upbringing gives her a boldness that helps her become a pioneering aviator and author, as well as a deep appreciation for the beautiful and wild spirit of Africa.  But affairs of the heart are a different matter, challenging even a woman as independent and strong as Markham. 

The Girl on the Train

Cover of The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins
2015

Rachel, whose life has spiraled into depression and alcoholism, becomes intrigued by a couple she dubs Jess and Jason who she spots from her commuter train every day.  One day as she is passing their home, she sees Jess kissing a man who is not her husband.  Shortly after, Jess disappears entirely.  Told from the intersecting perspectives of Rachel, Jess and Anna, Jess’s neighbor, an intriguing thriller unfolds.  But who is telling the truth?

The Cherry Harvest

Cover of The Cherry Harvest
Lucy Sanna
2015

In the summer of 1944, most of the men have been shipped off to war, and Door County’s cherry harvest is threatened.  Faced with the possibility of losing their livelihood, the Christiansen family lobbies to use Germans housed at a nearby POW camp for labor.  But when friendships are sparked between enemies and former servicemen begin coming home with an intense hatred of Germany, the prospects for trouble are inevitable.  

The Turner House

Cover of The Turner House
Angela Flournoy
2015

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Cover of Being Mortal:  Medicine an
Atul Gawande
2014

While modern medicine has developed breathtaking advances in the pursuit to extend life, the ability of doctors treat the realities of aging and dying often runs counter to the best interests of the patient.  Surgeon Gawande examines the limitations of medicine at the end of life, and speaks with those in the profession who are turning ‘a good death’ into a quality life to the very end. 

All the Light We Cannot See

Cover of All the Light We Cannot Se
Anthony Doerr
2014

Blind Marie-Laure has escaped war-torn Paris for the French seaside town of Saint-Malo along with her father and a precious jewel, determined to keep it out of Nazi hands.  German boy Gunther’s talent with radios makes him a valuable asset to the Nazi war effort, but he struggles to cope with the human cost of his intelligence.  By the end of the war, the two children’s stories intertwine as they try to hold on to their humanity in Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller. 

Vintage

Cover of Vintage
Susan Gloss
2014

Opening up a vintage clothing shop in Madison has always been Violet’s dream, but making it a success is entirely different challenge.  Teenager April is trying to recover from a broken engagement and the looming birth of her child.  Amithi struggles with the betrayal of her husband and tension with her tradition-averse daughter.  These different women connect over vintage cloth and learn to face down the upheavals of their lives to emerge stronger together. 

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Cover of Just Mercy:  A Story of Ju
Bryan Stevenson
2014

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need. One of his first clients was Walter McMillian, a man on death row for a murder he didn’t commit. Here Stevenson details the legal journey to McMillian’s release as well as those of others he’s helped in his now thirty year career.

The Invention of Wings

Cover of The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
2014

Sarah Grimke, a well-to-do daughter of antebellum Charleston receives a ten-year old slave girl, Hetty ‘Handful’ Grimke, on her eleventh birthday.  Both women know they are meant to do more in the wider world, and yearn to escape the respective paths of life they were born to.  Over the course of their thirty-five year relationship, their destinies overlap and intertwine through slavery, freedom and the complexities of love, against the backdrop of the abolition and early women’s movements.   

Station Eleven

Cover of Station Eleven
Emily St. John Mandel
2014

In this National Book Award-nominated novel, a rag-tag group of traveling Shakespearean actors struggle to survive in a landscape that has been decimated by a global pandemic that wipes out 99% of the population.  In flashbacks, members of the group recall their lives during the pandemic and what it took for them to survive, with some surprising connections. 

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics

Cover of The Boys in the Boat:  Nin
Daniel James Brown
2013

The nine boys who made up the Olympic rowing team, sons of western loggers and hardworking laborers, may not have had the pedigree of the elite teams of the east, but they set out to prove themselves to the world at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  Author Brown captures the struggles, including the Great Depression, poverty, and the loss of family, of a team that showed the nation what pulling together meant.

Ordinary Grace

Cover of Ordinary Grace
William Kent Krueger
2013

In the summer of 1961, life in New Bremen, Minnesota moves slowly for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum.   The tragic death of a child in a train accident prompts old memories to resurface between the Drum and Brandt families, revealing the pain and dark shadows that lurked just under the surface of an idyllic life, and introducing Frank to the harsh realities of adulthood.

Where They Bury You

Cover of Where They Bury You
Steven W. Kohlhagen
2013

In August 1863, during Kit Carson's roundup of the Navajo, Santa Fe's Provost Marshal, Major Joseph Cummings, is found dead in an arroyo near what is now the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona. The murder, as well as the roughly million of today's dollars in cash and belongings in his saddlebags, is historically factual. Carson's explanation that he was shot by a lone Indian, which, even today, can be found in the U.S. Army Archives, is implausible. Who did kill Carson's ''brave and lamented'' Major?

We Need New Names

Cover of We Need New Names
NoViolet Bulawayo
2013

In Bulawayo’s semiautobiographical novel, young Darling describes her chaotic but still happy childhood during Zimbabwe’s strife-filled Lost Decade.  In the second half of the novel, the teenage Darling reflects on the promises and failures of America after she emigrates to Destroyedmichigan (Detroit).  A work that considers what one embraces in a new culture and what can’t be left behind, We Need New Names was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Award. 

Pages