Is your book club looking for a book to read? Check out a Book Club Kit!
Book Club Kits
A book club kit contains a handy tote bag with 9 – 10 copies of one book and a discussion guide to assist book club leaders.
The kit is checked out to one group member who is responsible for all the materials. The group may keep the kit for up to 6 weeks. Book club kits may not be renewed.
The book club kits are housed at the Washington Park Library but you can pick up the kit at any St. Joseph Public Library branch. Just let a librarian know which kit you would like to check out and we will let you know if and when it is available. Kits must be returned during open hours since they cannot be returned in the bookdrop.
The Friends of the St. Joseph Public Library funded the purchase of the books.
After This by Alice McDermott. 10 copies. A portrait of an American family during the middle decades of the twentieth century evokes the social, spiritual, and political turmoil of the era as seen through the experiences of a middle-class couple and their children.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. 10 copies. (Non-fiction) Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. 10 copies. Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher’s soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe’s maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. 10 copies. Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every times she falls asleep. Her husband Ben, is a stranger who must explain their life on a daily basis. She starts a journal with the encouragement of her doctor. She opens it one day and reads “Don’t Trust Ben.” Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion.
Blue Heaven by C.J. Box. 10 copies. A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother go on the run in the woods of North Idaho, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder. Retired cops fromLos Angeles, the killers easily persuade the inexperienced sheriff to let them lead the search for the missing children. William and Annie’s unexpected savior comes in the form of an old-school rancher teetering on the brink of foreclosure
Blue Nude by Elizabeth Rosner. 9 copies. An artist who teaches others but who has lost his own inspiration, German-born painter Danzig finds a muse in the person of a new model named Merav, the Israeli-born granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, but before they can create a new future for themselves, both artist and model must come to terms with the past.
Bound by Antonya Nelson. 10 copies. Misty, a single mother, drives off a cliff. Her daughter, Cattie, is named after Misty’s childhood best friend. Catherine is childless and living with her much older husband, Oliver. It’s a shock to learn Misty is dead and she had a daughter, and that Catherine is the guardian.
The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman. 10 copies. While executive Emily questions her choices about her career and a long-distance relationship with a successful man, her environ-mental activist sister, Jessamine, struggles with her own doubts about her beliefs and love affair.
Down River by John Hart. 10 copies. Five years after fleeing toNew York in the wake of a murder acquittal, Adam Chase returns toNorth Carolina, only to find himself trapped in the middle of a new case of murder as the people around him begin to die and he becomes the prime suspect in the crimes.
Extraordinary, Ordinary People by Condoleezza Rice. (Non-fiction) 10 copies. Having served under two presidents, Rice is well-known for her icy demeanor and steely disposition. This memoir presents a young woman deeply attached to her devoted parents. Her family roots are deep in the south, and Condoleezza spent her early years in segregated Birmingham,Alabama. Rice presents a frank, poignant and loving portrait of a family.
Franklin and Eleanor: an Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley. (Non-fiction) 10 copies. In this groundbreaking account of the marriage, acclaimed biographer Hazel Rowley describes the remarkable courage and lack of convention that kept FDR and Eleanor together.
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. 10 copies. In the Midwest just after the September 11 attacks, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin comes of age amid such challenges as racism, the War on Terror, and cruelty in the name of love, as she leaves her family’s farm to attend college and takes a part-time job as a nanny.
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. 10 copies. Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant, rises from poverty to become a rich landowner with the aid of his patient wife in the 1920s.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. 10 copies. A once respected financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, hits hard times. He is offered the chance to resurrect his name, but he must research a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly 40 years. He accepts the offer and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius. Little is as it seems in this popular thriller that is the first book in a trilogy.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 10 copies. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan in Long Island New York in the roaring 1920s.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. 10 copies. In 1946, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey, who tells her about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. 10 copies. Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson,Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and often unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. 10 copies. When Elspeth Noblin dies, she leaves everything to the 20-year-old American twin daughters of her own long-estranged twin, Edie. Valentina and Julia move into Elspeth’s London flat and through a series of developing relationships a crisis develops that could pull the twins apart.
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman. 10 copies. A middle-aged woman, along with her fifteen-year-old daughter, returns to her small Massachusetts hometown for the funeral of the housekeeper who raised her and finds herself thrust into the lives of the people she left behind.
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard. 10 copies. Relates a story of love, sexual passion, painful adolescence, and betrayal as seen through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy–and the man he later becomes–looking back on the events of a single long, hot, and life-altering weekend.
Lark & Termite by Jayne Ann Phillips. 10 copies. Set against the backdrop of the Korean War in the 1950s, a novel about family, the repercussions of war, and the bonds that sustain personal relationships focuses on a single family–Lark, her brother Termite, their mother Lola, and Termite’s soldier father, Robert Leavitt.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. 10 copies. For this novel of French bourgeois life in all its inglorious banality, Flaubert invented a paradoxically original and wholly modern style. His heroine, Emma Bovary, a bored provincial housewife, abandons her husband to pursue the libertine Rodolphe in a desperate love affair.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. 10 copies. Major Pettigrew is a very proper and droll widower who resides in thevillage ofEdgecombe St. Mary inSussex,England. He is the accidental suitor of the proprietress of the village minimart, a Pakistani widow who shares his love of Kipling and his wry look at the world.
Murder of a Medici Princess by Caroline P. Murphy. 10 copies (Non-fiction). Isabella de’ Medici (1542–1576) was unusually close to her father, Cosimo, the powerful grand duke of Tuscany whose protection allowed her to live an autonomous, glittering Florentine life apart from her debt-ridden, abusive, playboy husband in Rome. After Cosimo’s death in 1574, his eldest son and heir, Francesco, reneged on the inheritance Cosimo left Isabella and her children. Like the Kennedys or Windsors, the Medicis are a dynasty brimming with biographical gold.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroud. 10 copies. At the edge of the continent, in the small town of Crosby, Maine, lives Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who deplores the changes in her town and in the world at large but doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her.
Room by Emma Donoghue. 10 copies. In many ways Jack is a typical 5-year old. But Jack is different in a big way – he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the space with his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their world suddenly expands, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary.
Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen. 9 copies. A reworking of the author’s trilogy chronicles the legacy of E.J. Watson, a notorious desperado gunned down by his neighbors along the lawless nineteenth-century frontier of the Florida Everglades.
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. 10 copies. Forced to leave Shanghai when their father sells them toCalifornia suitors, sisters May and Pearl struggle to adapt to life in 1930sLos Angeles while still bound to old customs, as they face discrimination and confront a life-altering secret.
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. 10 copies. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, come to ShutterIsland’sAshcliffeHospital in search of an escaped mental patient, but uncover wickedness as the mysterious patient treatments propel them to the brink of insanity.
The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy. 10 copies. As World War II draws closer toGuernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but also her two daughters and mother-in-law, for him she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with one of the German soldiers who take up residence next door.
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. 10 copies. Tracy Waterhouse leads a quiet life as a retired police detective – a life that takes a surprising turn when she encounters Kelly Cross, a habitual offender, dragging a young child through town. Suddenly burdened with a small child,Tracy soon learns her parental experience is actually the least of her problems.
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. 10 copies. In 1888, Fiona Finnegan and Joe Bristow hoard shillings and pennies so they can marry and open a shop. But through a series of events they end up apart and on separate sides of theAtlantic. Misunderstandings and mistakes keep them apart as they build separate lives and incredible fortunes.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. 10 copies. When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales.
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper. 10 copies. Judd Foxman is thrown together with his dysfunctional family when his father dies, while at the same time coping with his wife’s infidelity and the end of his marriage.
The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Shine. 10 copies. Betty Weissmann is 75 when her husband of nearly 50 years announces he’s divorcing her. Betty lands in rundownWestport with her two daughters, who have problems of their own.
Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson. 10 copies. When Tillies goes into labor while her husband is overseas, she must turn to her estranged father for help. Henderson shifts to the past and has young Tillie tell the story of how her father’s military position forces the family to move, after which her mother sinks into a deep depression and withdraws from her family’s life completely. Tillie can’t process how or why her mother disappeared, so she places the blame on her father. Now, faced with the birth of her own daughter, Tillie must comes to terms with how her father chose to protect her.
What is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman. 10 copies. Seventeen year old Wyatt Hillyer is orphaned when his parents, within hours of each other, jump off two different bridges. The suicides cause Wyatt to move to a small town to live with his uncle, aunt and cousin Tilda. Setting in motion the novel’s chain of life-altering passions and the wartime perfidy at its core is the arrival of a German student Hans Mohring. Actual historical events lend narrative power to this uncannily layered story.
The Writing Class by Jincy Willett. 10 copies. Living for the writing class she teaches at the university extension, reclusive widow Amy Gallup senses something different about her latest group of students when she begins to receive scary phone calls and obscene threats that culminate in a murder.