Book Club in a Bag includes multiple copies of a popular book, information about the author, and copies of discussion questions, all packaged in a sturdy zipper bag for you to carry. Each kit may be checked out for 8 weeks. You can view a list of titles below. Please allow some advance notice and have an alternate title choice available.
Visit or call the Adult Services department (224-543-1485) for more details or to reserve a kit. This service is partially sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Last updated: 11/1/2013
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Tired of living in oppressive poverty, bored housewife Dellarobia Turnbow, on the way to meet a lover, is detoured by a miraculous event on the Appalachian mountainside that ignites a media firestorm that changes her life forever.
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
Forced into an overcrowded lifeboat after a mysterious explosion on their trans-Atlantic ocean liner, newly widowed Grace Winter battles the elements and her fellow survivors and remembers her husband, Henry, who set his own safety aside to ensure Grace's.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer's acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Close to aging out of the foster care system, Molly Ayer takes a position helping an elderly woman named Vivian and discovers that they are more alike than different as she helps Vivian solve a mystery from her past.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
This haunting, powerful novel tells the story of a family and community nearly undone by violence. Winner of the 2012 National Book Award.
Previously Added Titles
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
A painstakingly researched debut imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.
Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
From a pampered childhood in Oxford to her difficult years as a widowed mother, Alice Liddell looks back on a remarkable life, examining how she became who she is--and how she became immortalized as Alice in Wonderland.
A Bitter Veil by Libby Fischer Hellmann
Anna and Nouri, both studying in Chicago, fall in love despite their very different backgrounds. Returning with Nouri to his native Iran, their world is abruptly turned upside down by the overthrow of the Shah, and the rise of the Islamic Republic. As events reach a fevered pitch, Anna realizes that nothing is as she thought, and no one can be trusted, not even her husband.
The Believers by Zoe Heller
After civil rights attorney Joel Litvinoff suffers a stroke, his contentious family struggles with the consolations of faith and the trials of doubt as they battle their own demons and each other. Every member is called upon to decide what, if anything, they still believe in.
The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak
A big-hearted story of eleven-year-old Gladys Cailiff and her Depression-era community turned upside down when a worldly teacher, who is fascinated with all things Arabian, moves into the small town.
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Bethia Mayfield is a restless and curious young woman growing up in Martha's Vineyard in the 1660s amid a small band of pioneering English Puritans. At age twelve, she meets Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret bond that draws each into the alien world of the other. A mesmerizing mix of fact and fiction.
Canada by Richard Ford
After his parents are arrested and imprisoned for robbing a bank, 15-year-old Dell Parsons is taken in by Arthur Remlinger who, unbeknownst to Dell, is hiding a dark and violent nature that interferes with Dell's quest to find grace and peace on the prairie of Saskatchewan.
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
A Pulitzer Prize winner weaves together sex and celebrity, empire and politics in a story that is as contemporary as it is ancient, capturing fully for the first time the operatic power of Cleopatra's life and reign.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
African-American Constable Silas Jones must confront his white former friend Larry Ott, who has lived under suspicion for twenty years since a girl disappeared while on a date with him, after another girl disappears and Larry is blamed once again.
Day After Night by Anita Diament
A tale inspired by the post-Holocaust experience is set in an immigrant holding camp in 1945 Palestine, where four women, refugees from Nazi Europe, find healing in the bonds of friendship that are forged while recounting their losses.
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
A spirited young maid on board the Titanic captures the attentions of two men including a kindhearted sailor and an enigmatic Chicago millionaire and barely escapes with her life before witnessing media scorn targeting her famous designer mistress.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Abandoned on a 1913 voyage to Australia, Nell is raised by a dock master and his wife who do not tell her until she grows up that she is not their child, a situation that causes her to return to England and eventually hand down her quest for answers to her granddaughter.
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
Newlyweds Viktor and Liesel live in decadence in their new, modern home which they name the "Landauer House," until the Germans' destructive procession across Europe force them to leave for America. Brimming with barely contained passion and cruelty, the precision of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession, and the fear of failure - the Glass Room contains it all.
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
The rigid moral codes held by devoted mid-19th-century preacher Samuel Lake are called into question when his 12-year-old daughter and his neighbors hide a young boy from his abusive father, a man who lashes out at the community when he learns about the deception.
How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
When Shoko decided to marry an American GI and leave Japan, she had her parents' blessing, her brother's scorn, and a gift from her husband-a book on how to be a proper American housewife. This debut novel is a beautifully told story of love that melds family, cultures, and survival.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.
Incognito by Michael Fosberg
Imagine discovering you are not the person you thought you were. That you have a family, a history, and an ethnicity you never knew. In a provocative and gripping tale of identity and family history Michael Fosberg probes his past to understand his racial heritage.
In the Garden of Beasts
by Erik Larson
The best-selling author of Devil in the White City documents the efforts of first American ambassador to Hitler's Germany William E. Dodd to acclimate to a residence in an increasingly violent city where he is forced to associate with the Nazis while his daughter pursues a relationship with Gestapo chief Rudolf Diels.
The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
Cared for in a series of temporary homes where young women are taught mothering skills, winsome orphan toddler Henry captures the hearts of program director Martha and each of his temporary mothers while hoping for a permanent home. A soaring, heartfelt novel that spans three decades and an entire continent.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Discovering the symbolic meanings of flowers while languishing in the foster-care system, eighteen-year-old Victoria is hired by a florist when her talent for helping others is discovered, a situation that leads her to confront a painful secret from her past. A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written debut novel.
Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
A memoir from a schoolteacher of growing up in the heart of the Midwest during the Great Depression describes her close family life on an Iowa farm during a time of endless work and resourcefulness, with no tolerance for idleness or waste.
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
Stuck in small-town New Hampshire in 1855, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. Mixing fact and fiction, McNees imagines a love affair that would threaten Louisa's writing career-and inspire the story of Jo and Laurie in Little Women.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
A retired Major leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?
Manhunt: The Twelve-day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
A fascinating and vivid account of the escape of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin, takes readers along on the intensive search from the streets of Washington, D.C., through the swamps of Maryland, into the forests of Virginia, and into the lives of the men who pursued him.
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama
Driving his wife crazy after his retirement, Mr. Ali is persuaded to open a marriage bureau, and when his business becomes a success he decides to hire an assistant, Aruna who is hiding a tragic past. This is a delightfully exotic love story with engaging characters and a happy ending.
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms. Told in riveting personal narratives, the members of the McAllan and Jackson families strive for love and honor in a brutal time and place, becoming players in a tragedy on the grandest scale and finding redemption where they least expect it.
Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
Follows the stories of three young couples whose lives are irrevocably changed in the years following World War II, a period during which they struggle with difficult losses and witness profound transformations in American culture. Beautifully crafted and unforgettable, Next to Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history.
Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson
This is the compelling story of two boys, raised in the same house, who found themselves on opposite sides of the Nazi occupation. Ben Solomon is convinced that Chicago’s most honored benefactor is a former Nazi SS officer and he is determined to bring him to justice. But has he accused the wrong man?
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
The son of 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.
Perla by Carolina De Robertis
A coming-of-age tale set in post-dictatorship Buenos Aires finds privileged Correa safeguarding the interests of her family by hiding her beloved father's military past from others until an uninvited visitor forces her to confront the unease she has suppressed her entire life.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a Greenwich Village jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults witty Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well and a single-minded widow.
Russian Winter: A Novel by Daphne Kalotay
Former Bolshoi ballerina Nina Revskaya auctions off her jewelry collection and becomes overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, the friends she left behind amidst Stalinist aggression, and the dark secret that brought her to a new life in Boston.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart from the weight of the work and the loneliness. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, it is gone - but they find a young, blonde-haired girl who calls herself Faina, and seems to be a child of the woods
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Judd Foxman is thrown together with his dysfunctional family when his father dies, while at the same time coping with his wife's infidelity and the end of his marriage.
To the End of the Land by David Grossman
Fleeing to Galilee in despair when her son voluntarily rejoins the Israeli army, Ora drags along estranged family friend Avram, a former POW to whom she relates her experiences of motherhood against a backdrop of constant war and fear. A provocative antiwar novel by one of Israel's best-known writers.
Turn of Mind by Alice Laplante
Implicated in the murder of her best friend, Jennifer White, a brilliant retired surgeon with dementia, struggles with fractured memories of their complex relationship and wonders if she actually committed the crime.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
In an epic history covering the period from the end of World War I through the 1970s, a Pulitzer Prize winner chronicles the decades-long migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West through the stories of three individuals and their families. A bold, remarkable, and riveting work of non-fiction destined to become a classic.
The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson
Bookended by two wars--Vietnam and Iraq--The Year We Left home sketches the travails of an Iowa family over three decades.
You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
Fort Hood, Texas, is a place from where husbands and fathers are deployed for a year or longer, leaving behind their loved ones. Fallon’s short story collection offers a glimpse into the lives of eight different families, each coping with their individual issues and shared absences in a different way. A work of fiction, but remarkably real, and each story's characters immediately grip the reader.
The following titles are also available:
- The Art of Racing in the Rain
- Out Stealing Horses
- Still Alice
- These Is My Words
- Thirteenth Tale
- Up From Orchard Street
- Homer & Langley
- The Whistling Season
- Housekeeper and the Professor
- Blue Nude
- Gardens of Water
- The Glass Castle
- The Kitchen House
- Let the Great World Spin
- The School of Essential Ingredients
- Someone Knows My Name