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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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
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.
On a wet day in 1986, businesswoman Laura Schroff passed Maurice, an 11-year-boy panhandling for spare change. She walked on, but something made her stop and go back. That day, recounted in this true story, marked the beginning of a life-changing friendship that enriched both Schroff and Maurice, and underscores how one moment of kindness can have lasting benefits.
An account of the 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas and killed 6,000 people. Larson uses personal papers, letters, newspapers and government archives as the source material for this engrossing tale.
A group of six (including one man) meet monthly to discuss Jane Austen's novels. As the reader listens in on their discussions we hear not just about the books, but their lives and loves as well.
A Washington Post reporter's intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors' assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin--Paul Ryan's hometown--and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class.
Paroled after serving time for a crime he might not have committed, Brock Bookchester is back in his hometown of Words, Wisconsin. As he slowly tries to reconnect with family and friends, the residents of Words find that only by taking risks and making sacrifices can a community make one of its own whole again. Revisiting the world he created in Driftless, Rhodes creates a detailed, poignant portrait of those who call small towns home.
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 book is a call to action, true crime page-turner and critique of the American system of justice — and was chosen as UW-Madison’s 2015 Go Big Read.
A boy named Amir, born in pre-Soviet Afghanistan, befriends a servant’s son. Long after emigrating to California, Amir returns to Afghanistan to reconnect with his past and perhaps correct some of his childhood wrongs.
An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world.
A self-confessed unreliable narrator relates this mystery set in modern day Salem, Mass. The novel is filled with eccentric characters, historic details, and women's issues.
Harrison William Shephard, whose father is American and mother is Mexican, lives in Mexico in the 1930s with Diego Rivera, his wife Frida Kahlo, and their houseguest Leon Trotsky.
After fifteen years and two kids, writer Georgie and Neal’s marriage is hurting. With the appearance of a magical phone that gives her a line to the past, Georgie is presented with the chance to make things right with her husband before things get bad—or discover if she and Neal were really meant to be together.
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.
Bestselling author Michael Connelly introduces Renee Ballard, a fierce young detective fighting to prove herself on the LAPD's toughest beat--the Late Show.
When her husband Brad returns from Iraq, Elise is thrilled to have him home. But the traumatic brain injury he suffered on duty has turned the patient, thoughtful man she married into someone quite different. Faced with potentially losing the man she loves, Elise receives help from an unlikely source.
One morning, Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.
A teenager, whose mother, a scientific researcher, disappeared ten years earlier after a tragic accident at an elephant sanctuary, searches through her mother’s old journals in hope of finding clues that will solve the mystery of her disappearance.
The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is traced through the personal histories of two who occupied the same house at separate times: Dalia, a woman whose family of Bulgarian Jews immigrated to Israel in 1948, and Bashir, a man whose family was driven out of Palestine.
In this 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, after receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur Less, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past.
New York City in the early 1970s is portrayed in this set of connected stories including a street priest, a judge, heroin addicts, mothers of sons killed in Vietnam, and a man who walks on a cable between the World Trade Center towers in August, 1974.
On a snowy evening in 1910, Ursula Todd is born. And dies. And is born again. Fated to return to life over and over, Ursula witnesses pivotal events and eventually proves that one woman can change history.
An Indian boy, Piscine Patel (aka ‘Pi’) and his zookeeping family are emigrating to Canada. While on a container ship enroute to their new life, an accident at sea leaves Pi and a tiger in a lifeboat floating on the Pacific Ocean.