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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.




Men We Reaped
Ward, Jesmyn

Finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award Nominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award A New York Times Notable Book "We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped." --Harriet Tubman In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life--to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth--and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own. Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue higher education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity. A brutal world rendered beautifully, Jesmyn Ward's memoir will sit comfortably alongside Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying , Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life , and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Metropolis Case, The
Gallaway, Matthew

From the smoky music halls of 1860s Paris to the tumbling skyscrapers of twenty-first-century New York, a sweeping tale of passion, music, and the human heart's yearning for connection. An unlikely quartet is bound together across centuries and continents by the strange and spectacular history of Richard Wagner's masterpiece opera Tristan and Isolde.

Midnight at the Dragon Cafe
Bates, Judy Fong

This is the story of the daughter of the only Chinese family in a small town in Ontario in the 1960's, whose life is changed over the course of one summer when she learns the burden of secrets.

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.

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.

Mother, Mother
Zailckas, Koren

Josephine Hurst has her family under control: two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home. But living in this matriarch's determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn't been easy for her family. When her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison.

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.

Museum of Extraordinary Things, The
Hoffman, Alice

The daughter of a Coney Island boardwalk curiosities museum's front man pursues an impassioned love affair with a Russian immigrant photographer who after fleeing his Lower East Side Orthodox community has captured poignant images of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. "An extraordinarily imaginative and immersive novel, this one set in New York from 1911-1925"-- Provided by publisher.

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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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.

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.

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 Summer
Bryson, Bill

Bryson examines closely the events and personalities of the summer of 1927 when America's story was one of brawling adventure, reckless optimism and delirious energy.

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.

Orphan Train
Kline, Christina Baker

"Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to 'aging out' out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life--answers that will ultimately free them both. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are"--from publisher's description

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.

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.



Ready Player One
Cline, Ernest

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut--part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner , and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed. It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world.nbsp;For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.nbsp;nbsp; For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century.nbsp;And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win . But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.nbsp; nbsp; A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

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.



Rosie Project, The
Simsion, Graeme

THE ART OF LOVE IS NEVER A SCIENCE MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who's decided it's time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie-and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don't find love, it finds you. Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion's distinctive debut will resonate with anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of great challenges. The Rosie Project is a rare find: a book that restores our optimism in the power of human connection.

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.
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