Books Currently Available
The 19th Wife by David EbershoffAnn Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father's death. And as Ann Eliza's narrative intertwines with that of Jordan's search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love, family, and faith.
72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore CampbellTrina is eighteen and suffers from bi-polar disorder, making her paranoid, wild, and violent. Frightened by her own child, Keri searches for help, quickly learning that the mental health community can only offer her a seventy-two hour hold. After these three days Trina is off on her own again. Fed up with the bureaucracy and determined to save her daughter by any means necessary, Keri signs on for an illegal intervention known as The Program, launching them both on a terrifying journey.
The Absolutist by John BoyneIt is September 1919: twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War. But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He can no longer keep a secret and has finally found the courage to unburden himself of it. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will. The intensity of their bond brought Tristan happiness and self-discovery as well as confusion and unbearable pain.
Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund Lucy Bergmann’s astrophysicist husband discovers the existence of extraterrestrial life; their friend, anthropologist Pierre Saad, unearths from the sands of Egypt an ancient alternative version of the Book of Genesis. To religious fanatics, these discoveries have the power to rock the foundations of their faith.
Anthem by Ayn RandEquality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him--a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart from the herd--to think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn RandAtlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder--and rebirth--of man's spirit.
Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. WatsonBefore I Go to Sleep is a compelling, fast-paced psychological thriller, reminiscent of Shutter Island and Memento, in which an amnesiac who, following a mysterious accident, cannot remember her past or form new memories, desperately tries to uncover the truth about who she is—and who she can trust.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben FountainBen Fountain’s remarkable debut novel follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive "Victory Tour" at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.
Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong“What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two” are the prophetic last words that Linda Hammerick’s grandmother says to her. Growing up in small-town North Carolina in the 1970s and ’80s, Linda already knows that she is profoundly different from everyone else, including the members of her own family. She can “taste” words. In this and in other ways, her body is a mystery to her. Linda’s awkward girlhood is nonetheless enlivened and emboldened by her dancing great-uncle Harper, and Kelly, her letter-writing best friend. Linda makes her way north to college and then to New York City, trying her best to leave her past behind her like “a pair of shoes that no longer fit.” But when a family tragedy compels her to return home, Linda uncovers the startling secrets of her past.
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakSet during World War II in Germany, The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie OtsukaIn eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine BrooksIn 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.
Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurinIn 1850, fourteen-year-old Celia became the property of Robert Newsom, a prosperous and respected Missouri farmer. For the next five years, she was cruelly and repeatedly molested by her abusive master--and bore him two children in the process. But in 1855, driven to the limits of her endurance, Celia fought back. And at the tender age of eighteen, the desperate and frightened young black woman found herself on trial for Newsom's murder--the defendant in a landmark courtroom battle that threatened to undermine the very foundations of the South's most cherished institution.
Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye GibbonsA family without men, the Birches live gloriously offbeat lives in the lush, green backwoods of North Carolina. Radiant, headstrong Sophia and her shy, brilliant daughter, Margaret, possess powerful charms to ward off loneliness, despair, and the human misery that often beats a path to their door. And they are protected by the eccentric wisdom and muscular love of the remarkable matriarch Charlie Kate, a solid, uncompromising, self-taught healer who treats everything from boils to broken bones to broken hearts. Sophia, Margaret, and Charlie Kate find strength in a time when women almost always depended on men, and their bond deepens as each one experiences love and loss during World War II.
Cleopatra by Stacy ShiffHer palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.
The Color of Water by James McBrideJames McBride grew up one of twelve siblings in the all-black housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn, the son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white. The object of McBride's constant embarrassment, and his continuous fear for her safety, his mother was an inspiring figure, who through sheer force of will saw her dozen children through college, and many through graduate school.
The Cookbook Collector by Allegra GoodmanEmily and Jessamine Bach are opposites in every way: Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is the CEO of Veritech, twenty-three-year-old Jess is an environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley, romantic Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily is rational and driven, while Jess is dreamy and whimsical. Emily's boyfriend, Jonathan, is fantastically successful. Jess's boyfriends, not so much,as her employer George points out in what he hopes is a completely disinterested way.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham VergheseAn epic novel that spans continents and generations, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, compassion and redemption, exile and home that unfolds across five decades in India, Ethiopia, and America.
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo TolstoyUntil his illness, Ivan Ilyich had never reflected on his life. But he slowly comes to see his life as a terrible, huge deception which had hidden life and death. As he lays dying, his lifelong friends think of the promotions that may come their way, and his wife began to wish he would die, but she didn't want him to die because then his salary would cease. He has always avoided human connection, but through the tender ministrations of a peasant he comes to recognize the mesh of falsity in which he's lived.
Dubliners by James JoyceA collection of fifteen short-stories, Dubliners is a realistic and unique perspective on Irish middle-class life in the early 20th century, offering a depth of honesty and firsthand experience absent from the history books. Through these stories, Joyce explores much more than a historical representation of Irish life. His skill at transforming the human experience into narrative form gives the characters in these short tales a life that transcends their time and place.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyGuy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn't live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
The Fountainhead by Ayn RandOn the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism.
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi DurrowRachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., is the sole survivor of a tragic family incident. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of mixed attention her way.
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette WallsLily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodIn the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies? Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny WingfieldEvery first Sunday in June, members of the Moses clan gather for an annual reunion at a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. And every year, Samuel Lake, a vibrant and committed young preacher, brings his beloved wife, Willadee Moses, and their three children back for the festivities. In the midst of it all, Samuel and Willadee’s outspoken eleven-year-old daughter, Swan, is a bright light. Her high spirits and fearlessness have alternately seduced and bedeviled three generations of the family. But just as the reunion is getting under way, tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core and setting the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change.
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali and Delphine MinouiForced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old. Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled—not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood’s case and fought the archaic system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age.
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. CarterStephen L. Carter’s thrilling new novel takes as its starting point an alternate history: President Abraham Lincoln survives the assassination attempt at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Two years later he is charged with overstepping his constitutional authority, both during and after the Civil War, and faces an impeachment trial . . .
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik LarsonThe time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha.
The Known World by Edward P. JonesThe Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order, and chaos ensues.
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley CashFamilies are supposed to shield children from the horrors of the world, but one Sunday nine-year-old Jess Hall watches as his autistic brother is called into a little church in the mountains of North Carolina. What happens next forces Jess to question everything he once believed. Clem Barefield, the local sheriff, arrives to find a group of charismatic believers who are unwilling to utter a word about the things Jess has seen. At the center of the mystery is Carson Chambliss, a snake handling ex-convict turned preacher whose past is just as mysterious as the power he claims to possess.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa DiffenbaughThe Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
Life of Pi by Yann MartelAfter the sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan—and a 450-pound royal bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.
Nightwoods by Charles FrazierBefore the children, Luce was content with the reimbursements of the rich Appalachian landscape, choosing to live apart from the small community around her. But the coming of the children changes everything, cracking open her solitary life in difficult, hopeful, dangerous ways.
Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo CampbellAfter the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. But the river, Margo's childhood paradise, is a dangerous place for a young woman traveling alone, and she must be strong to survive, using her knowledge of the natural world and her ability to look unsparingly into the hearts of those around her.
Out of the Night That Covers Me by Pat Cunningham DevotoJohn McMillan was only eight years old when his mother died and he was ripped, without warning, from his sheltered world of books and gentility. Now on his aunt's run-down tenant farm in southern Alabama, abused by his alcoholic uncle, and completely bereft, John longs for escape--his only hope for survival. He's about to get his wish in a way no one could ever predict....
The Paris Wife by Paula McLainHadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging.
Paula by Isabel AllendeWhen Isabel Allende's daughter, Paula, became gravely ill and fell into a coma, the author began to write the story of her family for her unconscious child. In the telling, bizarre ancestors appear before our eyes; we hear both delightful and bitter childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years, the most intimate secrets passed along in whispers.
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison AllenIt’s the dubious distinction of 30-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. When a skeleton is found buried beneath the family's oldest property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town.
Silver Sparrow by Tayari JonesSet in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families --- the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa SeeLily is haunted by memories --- of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.
State of Wonder by Ann PatchettDr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have all but disappeared in the Amazon while working on what is destined to be an extremely valuable new drug, the development of which has already cost the company a fortune.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale HurstonTold in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.
Them by Nathan McCallThe story centers around Barlowe Reed, a single, forty-something African American who rents a ramshackle house on Randolph Street, just a stone's throw from the historic birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Barlowe, who works as a printer, otherwise passes the time reading and hanging out with other men at the corner store. He shares his home and loner existence with a streetwise, twentysomething nephew who is struggling to get his troubled life back on track. When Sean and Sandy Gilmore, a young white couple, move in next door, Barlowe and Sandy develop a reluctant, complex friendship as they hold probing -- often frustrating -- conversations over the backyard fence.
The Tiger's Wife by Téa ObrehtIn a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather's recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with "the deathless man." But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her: the legend of the tiger's wife.
The Traitor's Wife by Kathleen KentIn the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War.
The Uncommon Reader by Alan BennettWhen her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon KrakauerAt the core of this book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith.
Vaclav & Lena by Haley TannerVaclav and Lena seem destined for each other. They meet as children in an ESL class in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Vaclav is precocious and verbal. Lena, struggling with English, takes comfort in the safety of his adoration, his noisy, loving home, and the care of Rasia, his big-hearted mother. One day, Lena does not show up for school. She has disappeared from Vaclav and his family's lives as if by a cruel magic trick.
What are Book Club Survival Kits?
Book Club Survival Kits are a book club in a bag! Each kit contains 10 copies of the book, a sign out sheet, and a Readers Guide. The Readers Guide includes questions and reviews to spark discussion, information about the author, read-alikes, and other miscellaneous information -- one includes recipes!
The kits circulate for 8 weeks and have no late fees. However, if a kit comes back minus a book or the Readers Guide, there is a fee to replace those items.
To place a hold on a kit, or to see which ones are currently available for check out, click on Find a Book on the library's website. Or click here for the catalog. If you see a title on the left that you are interested in, search for that title and choose the record that has the call number BK CLUB at the beginning.
If you would like to suggest a book for a Book Club Survival Kit, please email me.