Sno-Isle Libraries and the Sno-Isle Foundation are proud to offer book discussion kits.
Each kit includes 10 copies of a single title. Resources for book discussions may be found at publishers' websites, bound into some editions of the book, or at www.bookreporter.com or www.readinggroupguides.com.
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Salt: A World HistoryKurlansky, Mark
Homer called salt a divine substance. Plato described it as especially dear to the gods. Today we take salt for granted, a common, inexpensive substance that seasons food or clears ice from roads, a word used casually in expressions ("salt of the earth," take it with a grain of salt") without appreciating their deeper meaning. However, as Mark Kurlansky so brilliantly relates in his world- encompassing new book, salt--the only rock we eat--has shaped civilization from the very beginning...Mark Kurlansky has produced a kaleidoscope of history, a multi-layered masterpiece that blends economic, scientific, political, religious, and culinary records into a rich and memorable tale.
Sandcastle Girls, TheBohjalian, Chris
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British Army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.Flash forward to the present, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents' ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed the "Ottoman Annex," Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura's grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family's history that reveals love, loss--and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.
Sarah's KeyRosnay, Tatiana de
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond.
School of Essential IngredientsBauermeister, Erica
When eight students gather in Lillian's Restaurant for cooking classes, they create more than just good food. They also create an atmosphere that allows each of them to deal with life's challenges, both in and out of the kitchen.
Secret Kept, ADe Rosnay, Tatiana
It's been thirty years since Antonie's and Melanie's mother died. But when a visit to the sea at Noirmoutier Island triggers painful memories of their haunting childhood--and Melanie lies in the hospital recovering from a near fatal accident--Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children.
Secrets of Eden: A NovelBohjalian, Christopher
After the murder of Alice Hayward and the suicide of her husband, Reverend Stephen Drew flees the pulpit and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about angels. Heather, identifying deeply with Alice's daughter, Katie, mentors the young girl but soon suspects that Alice's husband may not have killed himself ... and that Alice had secrets only her minister knew.
Sense of an Ending, TheBarnes, Julian
Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize By an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, The Sense of an Ending extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with the best-selling Arthur & George and continued with Nothing to Be Frightened Of and, most recently, Pulse. This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about--until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he'd left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he'd understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world. A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single sitting, with stunning psychological and emotional depth and sophistication, The Sense of an Ending is a brilliant new chapter in Julian Barnes's oeuvre.
Shadow Divers: the True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War IIKurson, Robert
Two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery surrounding the wreckage of a World War II German U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones.
Sherlockian, TheMoore, Graham
When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for Arthur Conan Doyle's missing diary. But after a Doylean scholar is murdered, it is Harold who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.
Short Nights of the Shadow CatcherEgan, Timothy
"Edward Curtis was dashing, charismatic, a passionate mountaineer, a famous photographer--the Annie Liebowitz of his time. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his great idea: He would try to capture on film the Native American nation before it disappeared. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egan's book tells the remarkable untold story behind Curtis's iconic photographs, following him throughout Indian country from desert to rainforest as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. Even with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, it took tremendous perseverance--six years alone to convince the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. The undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. He would die penniless and unknown in Hollywood just a few years after publishing the last of his twenty volumes. But the charming rogue with the grade-school education had fulfilled his promise--his great adventure succeeded in creating one of America's most stunning cultural achievements."-- Provided by publisher.
Silent HousePamuk, Orhan
Awaiting the arrival of her grandchildren in her home outside Istanbul, bed-ridden widow Fatma shares memories and grievances with her late husband's illegitimate son until his cousin, a right-wing nationalist, involves the family in the Turkish military coup of 1980.
Silver Linings Playbook, TheQuick, Matthew
This brilliantly written debut novel is the riotous and poignant story of how one man regains his memory and comes to terms with the magnitude of his wife's betrayal.
Sing You HomePicoult, Jodi
A stillborn baby ends Max and Zoe's marriage. Max leaves Zoe and turns to drinking. Zoe falls in love with a female school counselor, Vanessa. Max finds help for his drinking problem through his brother's church. Vanessa and Zoe get married. Vanessa offers to carry one of Zoe and Max's fertilized embryos. Zoe goes to Max to get permission to release the embryos to her but Max's new found religious fervor leads him to sue Zoe for custody.
Sisters Brothers, ThedeWitt, Patrick
When a frontier baron known as the Commodore orders Charlie and Eli Sisters, his hired gunslingers, to track down and kill a prospector named Herman Kermit Warm, the brothers journey from Oregon to San Francisco, and eventually to Warm's claim in the Sierra foothills, running into a witch, a bear, a dead Indian, a parlor of drunken floozies, and a gang of murderous fur trappers.
Sisters, TheJensen, Nancy
Growing up in hardscrabble Kentucky in the 1920s, with their mother dead and their stepfather an ever-present threat, Bertie Fischer and her older sister Mabel have no one but each other--with perhaps a sweetheart for Bertie waiting in the wings. But on the day that Bertie receives her eighth-grade diploma, good intentions go terribly wrong. A choice made in desperate haste sets off a chain of misunderstandings that will divide the sisters and reverberate through three generations of women.
Smartest Kids in the World, TheRipley, Amanda
How Do Other Countries Create "Smarter" Kids? In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they've never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. What is it like to be a child in the world's new education superpowers? In a global quest to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embed-ded in these countries for one year. Kim, fifteen, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, eighteen, exchanges a high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, seventeen, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland...
Snow Child, TheIvey, Eowyn
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees...
Snow Flower and the Secret FanSee, Lisa
Two women in nineteenth-century China develop a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
Soldier's Wife, TheTrollope, Joanna
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN LOVE AND DUTY COLLIDE? DAN RILEY IS A MAJOR IN THE BRITISH ARMY. After a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, he is coming home to the wife and young daughters he adores. He's up for promotion and his ex-Army grandfather and father couldn't be prouder. The Rileys are united in support of Dan's passion for his career. But are they really? His wife, Alexa, has been offered a good teaching job she can't take because the Army may move the family at any time. Her daughter Isabel hates her boarding school--the only good educational option for Army families--and starts running away. And Dan spends all his time on the base, unable to break the strong bonds forged with his friends in battle. Soon everyone who knows the Rileys is trying to help them save their marriage, but it's up to Alexa to decide if she can sacrifice her needs and those of her family to support Dan's commitment to his work. With her trademark intelligence and grace, Joanna Trollope illuminates the complexities of modern life in this story of a family striving to balance duty and ambition.
Songs of Willow FrostFord, Jamie
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From Jamie Ford,nbsp;author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls--a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past--both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness. nbsp; Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle's Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother's listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday--or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday--William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song. nbsp; Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William's past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen. nbsp; Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford's sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home. Praise for Songs of Willow Frost nbsp; "If you liked Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, you're going to love Songs of Willow Frost . . . . tender, powerful, and deeply satisfying." --Lisa Genova nbsp; "[A] poignant tale of lost and found love." --Tampa Bay Times nbsp; "Arresting . . . [with] the kind of ending readers always hope for, but seldom get." --The Dallas Morning News nbsp; "[An] achingly tender story . . . a tale of nuance and emotion." -- The Providence Journal nbsp; "Ford crafts [a] beautiful, tender tale of love transcending the sins people perpetrate on one another and shows how the strength of our primal relationships is the best part of our human nature." --Great Falls Tribune nbsp; "Remarkable . . . likely to appeal to readers who enjoy the multi-generational novels of Amy Tan." --Bookreporter nbsp; "Jamie Ford is a first-rate novelist, and with Songs of Willow Frost he takes a great leap forward and demonstrates the uncanny ability to move me to tears." --Pat Conroy nbsp; "With vivid detail, Jamie Ford brings to life Seattle's Chinatown during the Depression and chronicles the high price those desperate times exacted from an orphaned boy and the woman he believes is his mother. Songs of Willow Frost is about innocence and the loss of it, about longing, about the power of remembered love." --Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank nbsp; "Ford's boundless compassion for the human spirit, in all its strengths and weaknesses, makes him one of our most unique and compelling storytellers." --Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand nbsp; "A beautiful novel . . . William's journey is one you'll savor, and then think about long after the book is closed." --Susan Wiggs, author of The Apple Orchard
When Kate Sandford lands an interview at her favorite music magazine, it's the chance of a lifetime. So Kate goes out to celebrate--and shows up still drunk to the interview the next morning. It's no surprise that she doesn't get the job, but her performance has convinced the editors that she'd be perfect for an undercover assignment for their gossip rag. All Kate has to do is follow "It Girl" Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop--and complete the thirty-day program--they'll reconsider her for the position at The Line. Kate takes the assignment, but when real friendships start to develop, she has to decide if what she has to gain is worth the price she'll have to pay.
Started Early, Took My DogAtkinson, Kate
Tracy Waterhouse, a retired police detective leading a quiet life, makes a snap decision to relieve habitual offender Kelly Cross of a young child he's been dragging around town. Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge. Meanwhile, detective Jackson Brodie embarks on a different sort of rescue--that of an abused dog.
Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, TheZevin, Gabrielle
Gabrielle Zevin's enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--and booksellers--that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds. On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto "No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World." A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means. A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen...And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, but large in weight. It's that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew...
Stranger's Child, TheHollinghurst, Alan
From the Man Booker Prize--winning author of The Line of Beauty: a magnificent, century-spanning saga about a love triangle that spawns a myth, and a family mystery, across generations. In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate--a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance--to his family's modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to. But what Cecil writes in Daphne's autograph album will change their and their families' lives forever: a poem that, after Cecil is killed in the Great War and his reputation burnished, will become a touchstone for a generation, a work recited by every schoolchild in England. Over time, a tragic love story is spun, even as other secrets lie buried--until, decades later, an ambitious biographer threatens to unearth them. Rich with Hollinghurst's signature gifts--haunting sensuality, delicious wit and exquisite lyricism-- The Stranger's Child is a tour de force: a masterly novel about the lingering power of desire, how the heart creates its own history, and how legends are made.
With vivid portraits that show us the traits by which you can identify a hoarder, Frost and Steketee explain the causes and outline the often ineffective treatments for the disorder while illuminating the pull that possessions exert on all of us.
Sudden CountryFisher, Karen
"A vivid and revelatory novel based on actual events of the 1847 Oregon migration, this novel follows two characters of remarkable complexity and strength in a journey of survival and redemption. Alive with incident and insight, presenting with rare scope and intimacy the complex relations among nineteenth-century traders, immigrants, and Native Americans, it is a heroic and unforgettable story of love and loss, sacrifice and understanding."
Suite FrancaiseNemirovsky, Irene
Published more than sixty years following the author's death at Auschwitz, a remarkable story of life under the Nazi occupation includes two parts--"A Storm in June," set amid the chaotic 1940 exodus from Paris on the eve of the Nazi invasion, and "Dolce," set in a German-occupied provincial village rife with jealousy, resentment, resistance, and collaboration.