Favorite Quotes

"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. "


— Anna Quindlen


from "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991

Reader's Link - Book Kits (All)


View list in title order        Printable PDF Version

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
Achebe's first novel chronicles the life of Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo (Ibo) community, from the events leading up to his banishment from the community for accidentally killing a clansman, through the seven years of his exile, to his return. The novel addresses the problem of the intrusion in the 1890s of white missionaries and colonial government into tribal Igbo society. It describes the simultaneous disintegration of its protagonist Okonkwo and of his village. The novel was praised for its intelligent and realistic treatment of tribal beliefs and of psychological disintegration coincident with social unraveling.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


The Dressmaker

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.
Approximate number of books in kit: 12


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


Daughter of Fortune

Daughter of Fortune
by Isabel Allende
An orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849 and meets a Chinese herbalist, who becomes her soul mate, on the journey.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


Portrait in Sepia

Portrait in Sepia
by Isabel Allende
Lacking all memory of the first five years of her life because of a brutal trauma, Aurora del Valle is raised by her regal grandmother Paulina and eventually seeks to confront the mystery of her past.
Approximate number of books in kit: 12


Undaunted Courage

Undaunted Courage
by Stephen Ambrose
A chronicle of the two-and-a-half year journey of Lewis and Clark covers their incredible hardships, first encounters with Native Americans, the contributions of Sacajawea, and Lewis' post-journey depression.
Approximate number of books in kit: 11


The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher
When Clay Jenkins receives a box containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends the night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


Alias Grace

Alias Grace
by Margaret Atwood
Based on a sensational trial that made headlines throughout the world, a nineteenth-century housemaid endures life imprisonment for the murders of her employer and mistress, murders she may not have committed, while a doctor tries to help her recover her memories of the past.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin
by Margaret Atwood
Iris describes the 1945 death of her sister, who drives her car off a bridge, followed, two years later, by the death of her husband, in a story that features a novel-within-a-novel about two unnamed lovers who meet in a dark backstreet room.
Approximate number of books in kit: 11


Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake
by Margaret Atwood
A novel of the future explores a world that has been devastated by ecological and scientific disasters.
Approximate number of books in kit: 12


The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Elizabeth Bennett is young, clever and attractive, but her mother is a nightmare and she and her four sisters are in dire need of financial security and escape in the shape of husbands. The arrival of nice Mr. Bingley and arrogant Mr. Darcy in the neighborhood turns all their lives upside down.
Approximate number of books in kit: 12


The Sea

The Sea
by John Banville
Following the death of his wife, Max Morden retreats to the seaside town of his childhood summers, where his own life becomes inextricably entwined with the members of the vacationing Grace family.
Approximate number of books in kit: 7


The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
The lives of fifty-four-year-old concierge Rene Michel and extremely bright, suicidal twelve-year-old Paloma Josse are transformed by the arrival of a new tenant, Kakuro Ozu.
Approximate number of books in kit: 12


The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Follows a middle-aged man as he reflects on a past he thought was behind him, until he is presented with a legacy that forces him to reconsider different decisions, and to revise his place in the world.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


What We Keep

What We Keep
by Elizabeth Berg
A touching, compassionate novel of childhood and family by the author of Joy School follows one woman on a cross-country journey to see her long-estranged mother, which sparks memories of the summer she turned twelve.
Approximate number of books in kit: 7


Tangerine

Tangerine
by Edward Bloor
Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.
Approximate number of books in kit: 10


The Sandcastle Girls

The Sandcastle Girls
by Chris Bohjalian
A historical love story inspired by the author's Armenian heritage finds early 20th-century nurse Elizabeth Endicott arriving in Syria to help deliver food and medical aid to genocide refugees, a volunteer service during which she exchanges letters with an Armenian engineer and widower.
Approximate number of books in kit: 12


Tortilla Curtain

Tortilla Curtain
by T.C. Boyle
The lives of two very different couples--wealthy Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher, and Candido and America Rincon, a pair of Mexican illegals--suddenly collide, in a story that unfolds from the shifting viewpoints of the various characters.
Approximate number of books in kit: 9


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