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 We've made it easier for you by collecting donated and withdrawn copies of discussible books and putting all the copies in a canvas bag.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 608-315-5151 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
Shot in the head on her way home from her Pakistan school, Malala was targeted by the Taliban because she publicly advocated for girls education and attended school herself. In her book, Malala blends the politics and the personal into a story not just of what happened to her, but also the difficulties-- both politically and otherwise-- in Pakistan today. Chosen as UW-Madison's 2014 Go Big Read selection.
A candid, wry, amusing collection of essays on women getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests---and life itself.
After witnessing the love prosper between her friends, Jah and Jazmin, Cassie longs for her own loving relationship. Hoping that things would evolve, Cassie gives longtime friend Rock a try. Sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride as Cassie tries to figure out her life with the support of her friends and family—the ones she actually can stand.
The story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American cancer patient, wife and mother, and of her cells, known as HeLa cells. HeLa cells are used daily in labs worldwide, yet Lacks' family was unaware of their use until more than 20 years after her death.
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? In 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, four teenage siblings visit a fortune-teller who is reputed to be able to predict the date of a person’s death; this bestselling novel by Madison author Chloe Benjamin follows them across the country and through next five decades.
This non-fiction page turner, set in Berlin during the rise of Adolph Hitler, tells the story of the American ambassador and his daughter, whose many love affairs blinded her to the increasing menace of the new Germany.
This novel, based on true events in the author’s childhood, portrays the community of Elizabeth, New Jersey in the early 1950’s, when it was hit by three major plane crashes within a few months, leaving residents to struggle with the repeated tragedies.
Winner of the Booker Prize, this novel has two story threads: a granddaughter in the Himalayan foothills fall in love with her tutor, and an immigrant from the same place tries to make it in NYC.
The drowning pool at Beckford had been a spot where accused witches were ‘tried’—drowned to prove their innocence. Lately the pool has claimed more women, ostensibly from suicide. But when women of the town and relatives of the dead women begin to suspect a more sinister motive behind the deaths, they reveal deceptions and betrayals at the core of their small town.
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.
The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade--and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the cas
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.
Bestselling author Grann presents a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history, the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
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.