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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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
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.
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?
In this unconventional and funny novel, a teenage girl assembles a mixed collection of documents to try to solve the disappearance of her mother, a former award-winning architect who found herself increasingly at odds with her life in Seattle.
Tempted by a job offer that draws her far from her home in New York, pastry chef Greenie embarks on a year that ends with her separated from her only child, and a strained marriage that culminates in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Drawing on the rich cast of characters she created in Three Junes, Glass considers the connections between those we love, and how the slightest changes can have long-lasting repercussions.
Chang tells the story of three generations of women in her family who survived the political upheaval of China during the 20th century, beginning with her grandmother, a concubine to a warlord in feudal China, her mother, who rose to a prominent position in the Communist Party, to the author, raised during the Cultural Revolution until she was sent to study in England in 1978, giving a history of China from a personal perspective.
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.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s life is explored through his relationships with four women in this novel narrated by his fictional Japanese apprentice.
Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.
Sold into a life of slavery at the Chinese silk factory in the early part of the 20th century, Pei finds friendship and independence amongst the women there despite the horrible conditions.
Four women, inseparable during their university days in 1970s Bombay, reunite when one discovers that she is dying of cancer. The thirty years since they last met, however, has seen their lives changed in ways that none expected.
A ‘fantasy’ nonfiction book by a science writer that explores what would happen to the earth’s flora and fauna, as well as our built environment, if suddenly all humans disappeared.
This nonfiction book is a compelling history of the American Dust Bowl of the 1930's, showing how years of heat and drought combined with the destruction of native prairie to cause terrible destruction to the land and misery to the farmers in Oklahoma.
Set on an Indian reservation in Montana, this saga of three generations of Indian women is told from each of their viewpoints and depicts the hardships they encounter both on and off the reservation.