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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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 320 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 266-6300 or visit the Central Library 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
Twelve narratives spanning the twentieth century are twined together in this novel of an African-American mother and her children.
Every action has a consequence and everyone has a story. Rico is a nineteen year old college student who is the youngest member of the FAM. He struggles with his past and his future. He is torn between two women who he has feelings for but he is only in love with one.
This book club kit was purchased with the support of the Madison Public Library Foundation for a Street Lit Book Club Collection at the Goodman South Madison Library. Please call the Goodman South Madison Library at 608-266-6385 to check out this kit.
Louis Zamperini, a champion runner in the 1930s, joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1941. As a bombardier in World War II, he crash-landed in the Pacific, surviving forty-seven days on a raft and two years of abuse in Japanese POW camps. His post-war life was a happy and productive one, a relief to the reader that Hillenbrand recounts in the final quarter of the book.
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.
A dark and stormy night turns sinister when a nearby train wreck lands dozens of stranded travelers on the Torrington family and their decayed English manor on the occasion of twenty-year-old Emerald’s birthday dinner. By the end of the evening, class distinctions are muddled, an after-dinner game turns nasty, family skeletons are revealed and youngest daughter Smudge’s Great Undertaking comes to fruition. An odd and surprising romp set in a Downton Abbey-esque milieu, The Uninvited Guests takes many surprising twists to its unexpected end.
This warm and practical book by Madison area author, psychotherapist, and mindfulness teacher Mare Chapman, M.A., based on Chapman’s ‘Mindfulness for Women’ course, guides the reader through an intimate journey, showing how women form disempowering beliefs that cause them to lose themselves in relationships, and how to regain connection with their true selves through mindfulness.
This kit was added to the collection with support from the Madison Public Library Foundation.
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 Post family and friends embark on a celebratory two-week vacation in the island paradise of Mallorca. But humorous revelations of secrets and infidelities promise to turn their holiday into one they’ll never forget.
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.
The discovery of the naked frozen body of a beautiful teenage girl during a 1987 Kansas blizzard and the subsequent disappearance of the son of a judge begin this novel with surprising twists and a convincing portrait of small town life.
After living 20 years in England, Bryson reacquaints himself with America by walking the Appalachian Trail and shares his comic insight into the trail's people, politics and history. The full title is A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.
Between World War I and 1970, six million black Americans left the South for the East Coast, West Coast, or Midwest. This non-fiction book tells the story of this “Great Migration” by focusing on the lives of three of the people who made the move.
Intertwined stories of four people devastated by the war in Afghanistan: a British doctor mourning the loss of his Afghan wife and daughter; a former CIA officer; the sister of a missing Russian soldier; and an orphan raised into a Taliban madrassa.
90+ year-old Jacob Jankowski reminisces in a nursing home about his days caring for animals in a travelling circus during the Great Depression.
After enduring a rough childhood in a working-class Irish enclave in 1940s Queens, Eileen seems set for a stable life with a graduate degree in nursing and a scientist husband with a bright future. But her hopes for herself and her family are jeopardized when Edmund is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 51.
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.
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.
Three sisters, all named after Shakespearean characters by their English professor father, reunite in an Ohio college town when their mother is stricken with cancer. Drama ensues, but with a light comedic touch.
A Broadway actress returns home to small town Minnesota to care for her Down's syndrome nephew. This larger-than-life woman learns how far she's drifted from her core values, but with trademark Landvik humor.
The author of this memoir was a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with lung cancer in his mid-thirties. Writing in his last months of life, he talks about his childhood and college studies, explains why he decided to become a doctor, and describes his experiences with his illness.
After his young wife suffers brain damage and is left with the mind of a 6-year old, Aaron Maciver quietly divorces her and marries her nurse, and the two raise her as their child along with their daughter and son in this chronicle of an unusual family.
Sedaris returns with comic essays employing keen observation, absurdity and hilarity to explore everyday life from smoking to family dysfunction and death.
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?