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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.


Midwife's Apprentice, The
Cushman, Karen

This Newbery Award winning novel is about a strong young woman in medieval England who reinvents herself from homeless waif to midwife's apprentice.

Miracle at St. Anna
McBride, James

Based on the historical incident of an unspeakable massacre at the site of St. Anna Di Stazzema, a small village in Tuscany, and on the experiences of the famed Buffalo soldiers from the 92nd Division in Italy during World War II, Miracle of St. Anna is a singular evocation of war, cruelty, passion, and heroism. It is the story of four American Negro soldiers, a band of partisans, and an Italian boy who encounter a miracle -though perhaps the true miracle lies in themselves.

Monsters of Templeton
Groff, Lauren

Archaeology student Willie Upton returns to her hometown of Templeton, New York, to recuperate from a failed affair with a married professor. Willie always swore she'd never go back to Templeton, the idyllic community her ancestors established, but the town offers more than a few surprises. Applying her archaeological talents, Willie sets out to learn the truth about her family, only to find herself entangled in a mystery.

Montana 1948
Watson, Larry

The events of a summer in a small town forever alter David Hayden's view of his family: his father, the sheriff; his clear-sighted mother; his uncle, a charming and respected doctor; and the lively Sioux housekeeper, whose revelations are at the heart of the novel.

Moonflower Vine
Carleton, Jetta

On a farm in western Missouri during the first half of the twentieth century, Matthew and Callie Soames create a life for themselves and raise four headstrong daughters. Over the decades they will love, deceive, comfort, forgive - and, ultimately, they will come to cherish all the more fiercely the bonds of love that holds the family together.

Mountains Beyond Mountains
Kidder, Tracy

Paul Farmer, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti, changes the world for the better in this inspirational biography.

My Stroke of Insight
Taylor, Jill Bolte

Traces the Harvard brain scientist author's massive left-hemisphere stroke at the age of thirty-seven, during which she observed the disparate functioning of her right and left brain and came into a realization that she could tap feelings of calm and well-being from her kinesthetic right hemisphere to promote her recovery and a positive outlook.

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Namesake
Lahiri, Jhumpa

Jhumpa Lahiri's debut story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, took the literary world by storm when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. Fans who flocked to her stories will be captivated by her best-selling first novel, now in paperback for the first time.

Newlyweds, The
Freudenberger, Nell

Leaving her Bangladesh home to marry a New Yorker who wooed her online, Amina finds the marriage challenged by secrets and her struggles to find a place for herself in America.

Night Circus, The
Morgenstern, Erin

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves , and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love--a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Nineteen Minutes
Picoult, Jodi

In the aftermath of a horrific small-town shooting, lawyer Jordan McAfee finds himself defending a youth who desperately needs someone on his side, while intrepid detective Patrick DuCharme works with a primary witness in the daughter of the superior court judge assigned ot the case.

Nothing Daunted
Wickenden, Dorothy

"A captivating book about Dorothy Wickenden's grandmother, who left her affluent East Coast life to "rough it" as a teacher in Colorado in 1916"-- Provided by publisher.

Nothing to Envy
Demick, Barbara

Follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years, a chaotic period that saw the rise to power of Kim Jong Il and the devastation of a famine that killed one-fifth of the population, illustrating what it means to live under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

November 22, 1963
Braver, Adam

A tale based on the JFK assassination follows Jackie's journey from her departure for Dallas through her eventual return to the White House after the president's death and is interspersed with the stories of such characters as a motorcycle cavalcade officer, an onlooker who caught the shooting on film, and servants helping to plan the funeral.

Nowhere But Home
Palmer, Liza

After being fired from her job, Queenie Wake returns home to North Star to cook meals for death row inmates and, hoping that the bad memories of her late mother and promiscuous sister have been forgotten, discovers that some people are harder to forget than others. Original. 30,000 first printing.

Obedience
Lavender, Will

The students of Winchester University's class on Logic and Reasoning are given a strange assignment by the creepy Professor Williams, to follow a series of clues to find a missing girl who will be murdered if she has not been found by the end of the term, but as they pursue their goal, three students discover that the line between fiction and reality has started to blur.

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Object of Beauty, An
Martin, Steve

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.

Olive Kitteridge: a Novel in Stories
Strout, Elizabeth

The larger-than-life world of Olive Kitteridge, a retired school teacher and unofficial town crier in a small coastal town in Maine, is revealed in a series of luminous stories that explore her diverse roles in many lives, including a lounge singer haunted by a past love, a young man grieving over his lost mother, her stoic husband, and her own resentful son.

Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Pollan, Michael

Offers insight into food consumption in the twenty-first century, explaining how an abundance of food varieties reveals the responsibilities of consumers to protect their health and the environment.

On Chesil Beach
McEwan, Ian

Recently married, a young couple--Florence, a talented musician and shy daughter of an aloof Oxford academic and a successful businessman, and Edward, an earnest history student with little experience of women--looks forward to the future, but cannot help but worry about their upcoming wedding night.

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On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family
See, Lisa

A family history tracing the route of the author's great- grandfather from his Chinese village to the United States, where he married a white woman and overcame the odds to become one of the richest Chinese people on "Gold Mountain," the Chinese name for the US. See's story is both particular and universal, using family anecdotes and historical documents to tell of her relatives and to illuminate the Chinese experience in a country that's ambivalent about its immigrants.

Once Upon a Time There Was You
Berg, Elizabeth

Sharing nothing in common except their 16-year-old daughter, divorced parents John and Irene reconnect in the wake of a devastating tragedy and discover things about each other that they had not revealed during their marriage.

One Thousand White Women
Fergus, Jim

One Thousand White Women begins with May Dodd's journey west, into the unknown. Yet the unknown is a far better fate than the life she left behind: committed to an insane asylum by her blueblood family for the crime of loving a man beneath her station, May finds that her only hope of freedom is to participate in a secret government program whereby women from the "civilized" world become the brides of Cheyenne warriors. What follows is the story of May's breathtaking adventures: her brief, passionate romance with the gallant young army captain John Bourke; her marriage to the great chief Little Wolf; and her conflict of being caught between two worlds, loving two men, living two lives.

Orange is the New Black
Kerman, Piper

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES - #1 "NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424--one of the millions of people who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance...

Orchardist, The
Coplin, Amanda

At the turn of the 20th century in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a gentle solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots. Then two feral, pregnant girls and armed gunmen set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.

Orphan Master's Son, The
Johnson, Adam

The son of a singer mother whose career forcibly separated her from her family and an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il. By the author of Parasites Like Us.

Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
Moore, Wes

Two kids with the same name were born blocks apart in the same decaying city within a few years of each other. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, army officer, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.

Palace Walk
Mahfouz, Naguib or Mahfuz, Najib

"Palace Walk" is the first volume of the 1988 Nobel Prize winner's Cairo Trilogy. This novel describes the dissolving family life of a wealthy domineering merchant, his shy wife and their rebellious children in post-World War I Egypt.

Paris Wife, The
McLain, Paula

Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career.

People of Forever Are Not Afraid, The
Boianjiu, Shani

A "searing debut" about three young women coming of age, experiencing "the absurdities of life and love on the precipice of violence" ( Vogue ) Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life. When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain. Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view. They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts. In a relentlessly energetic and arresting voice marked by humor and fierce intelligence, Shani Boianjiu, winner of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35," creates an unforgettably intense world, capturing that unique time in a young woman's life when a single moment can change everything.

Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm
Nicolson, Juliet

A chronicle of the glorious English summer of 1911, when the world was on the cusp of irrevocable change. Through the tight lens of four months, the author vividly renders a story of how, day by day, a nation began to lose its innocence.

Persepolis
Satrapi, Marjane

A memoir of daily life in Iran during the Islamic revolution in the 1980's is told from a young adult's perspective. The author explores the contradictions between public and private life during this time of turmoil in the format of black and white comic strips.

Plain and Simple
Bender, Sue

Heeding a persistent inner voice, Bender searches for Amish families willing to allow her to visit and share in there daily lives. Plain and Simple vividly recounts sojourns with two Amish families, visits during which Bender enters a world without television, telephone, electric light, or refrigerators; a world where clutter and hurry are replaced with inner quiet and calm ritual; a world where a sunny kitchen "glows" and "no distinction was made between the sacred and the everyday.

Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet
Smith, Alisa

Concerned about the vast distances food travels before it hits the dinner plate, the authors describe their determination to eat only foods grown locally or produced within a one-hundred-mile radius of their home, sharing their reflections on the satisfaction of eating home-grown food, the benefits and pitfalls of local eating, seasonal recipes, and more.

Pomegranate Soup
Mehran, Marsha

To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of "crazed sheep and dizzying roads," they might finally find a home. From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets - an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Cafe, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern.

Postmistress, The
Blake, Sarah

In London covering the Blitz with Edward R. Murrow, Frankie Bard meets a Cape Cod doctor in a shelter and promises that she'll deliver a letter for him when she finally returns to the United States. Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, "The Postmistress" is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women--and of two countries torn apart by war.

Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane

Wealthy Mr. Darcy and spirited Elizabeth Bennett dislike each other at first sight, and each must contend with their pride and prejudices while Elizabeth's mother plots economically advantageous marriages for all her daughters in this classic novel.

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Private Life: A Novel
Smiley, Jane

Margaret Mayfield is nearly an old maid at twenty-seven in post-Civil War Missouri when she marries Captain Andrew Jackson Jefferson Early...Margaret is a good girl who has been raised to marry, yet Andrew confounds her expectations from the moment their train leaves for his naval base in faraway California. Soon she comes to understand that his devotion to science leaves precious little room for anything, or anyone, else. When personal tragedies strike and when national crises envelop the country, Margaret stands by her husband. But as World War II approaches, Andrew's obsessions take a different, darker turn, and Margaret is forced to reconsider the life she has so carefully constructed.

Quiet
Cain, Susan

Demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations.

Reader
Schlink, Bernard

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

Reliable Wife
Goolrick, Robert

Set in rural Wisconsin in 1909, Ralph Truitt stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for "a reliable wife." But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she's not the "simple, honest woman" that Ralph is expecting.

Reservation Blues
Alexie, Sherman

Legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson appears on an Indian reservation to lead a Catholic rock band in this novel.

Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, The
Evison, Jonathan

After losing virtually everything meaningful in his life, Benjamin trains to be a caregiver, but his first client, a fiercely independent teen with muscular dystrophy, gives him more than he bargained for and soon the two embark on a road trip to visit the boy's ailing father.

Room : A Novel
Donoghue, Emma

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Round House, The
Erdrich, Louise

National Book Award Winner One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

Rules of Civility
Towles, Amor

A sophisticated and entertaining debut novel about an irresistible young woman with an uncommon sense of purpose. Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year- old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future. The story opens on New Year's Eve in a Greenwich Village jazz bar, where Katey and her boardinghouse roommate Eve happen to meet Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a ready smile. This chance encounter and its startling consequences cast Katey off her current course, but end up providing her unexpected access to the rarified offices of Conde Nast and a glittering new social circle. Befriended in turn by a shy, principled multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow who is ahead of her times, Katey has the chance to experience first hand the poise secured by wealth and station, but also the aspirations, envy, disloyalty, and desires that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her orbit, she will learn how individual choices become the means by which life crystallizes loss. Elegant and captivating, Rules of Civility turns a Jamesian eye on how spur of the moment decisions define life for decades to come. A love letter to a great American city at the end of the Depression, readers will quickly fall under its spell of crisp writing, sparkling atmosphere and breathtaking revelations, as Towles evokes the ghosts of Fitzgerald, Capote, and McCarthy.

Rumspringa
Schachtman, Tom

The trappings of the Amish way of life-the "plain" clothes and electricity-free farms-conceal a mystery: how the Amish manage to retain their young people and perpetuate their way of life for generation after generation. The key to this puzzle is the rumspringa, when Amish youth are allowed to live outside the bounds of their faith, experimenting with the larger world and its temptations: alcohol, premarital sex, telephones, drugs, wild parties, and higher education.

Sacred Hearts
Dunant, Sarah

The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God's protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina's new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to its core.
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