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Book Discussion Kits

The Kits

To help your book discussion group, we've gathered a collection of popular paperback titles and sorted them into kits. Each bag contains eight paperback copies of the selected title and a list of suggested discussion questions. The loan period is normally two months, but a maximum of three months can be given upon request at check out. You can borrow three kits at one time and they aren't renewable.

If a Book is Lost

If your group loses a copy of the book, we just ask that you replace it with another paperback copy of the book, new or second hand, that is clean and readable.

Book Discussion Kit

Book Kits (Search Results)

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Browse Book Kits

Category - Non-Fiction

And the band played on

by Randy Shilts

An examination of the AIDS crisis critiques the federal government for its inaction, health authorities for their greed, and scientists for their desire for prestige in the face of the AIDS pandemic, in a twentieth anniversary edition of the acclaimed exposé.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

by Walter Isaacson

Chronicles the founding father's life and his multiple careers as a shopkeeper, writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, business strategist, and political leader, while showing how his faith in the wisdom of the common citizen helped forge an American national identity based on the virtues of its middle class.

The Bookseller of Kabul

by Asne Seierstad

Capturing the harsh realities of life in modern-day Afghanistan and plight of Afghan women, the Norwegian journalist provides a portrait of a committed Muslim man, a bookseller, and his family living in post-Taliban Kabul, Afghanistan.

Born a crime

by Trevor Noah

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of Apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Botany of Desire

by Michael Pollan

Focusing on the human relationship with plants, the author of Second Nature uses botany to explore four basic human desires--sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control--through portraits of four plants that embody them: the apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato.

The Boys in the Boat

by Daniel James Brown

Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of such contributors as their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

by Isabel Wilkerson

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

by Robert K. Massie

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Peter the Great presents a reconstruction of the 18th-century empress's life that includes coverage of such topics as her efforts to engage Russia in the cultural life of Europe, her creation of the Hermitage and her numerous scandal-free romantic affairs.

The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

A veiled reflection of the anticommunist witch-hunts of the 1950s, this play portrays seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts as a rigid theocracy eager to ferret out real or imagined deviations from the norm, and indicts everyone in Salem--and by extension American society--for the crimes of intolerance and blind hatred.

Dead Wake

by Erik Larson

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.

Dear America : notes of an undocumented citizen

by Jose Antonio Vargas

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Vargas, who is Filipino, learned of his undocumented status at the age of 16, when he tried to get a driver's license. With a reporter's instinct for detail, he writes about the challenges of surviving as an outsider in America.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Presents the story of a fearless young woman who became a dress-making entrepreneur in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, thus saving her family and bringing hope to the lives of dozens of women in her war-torn nation.

Einstein: his life and universe

by Walter Isaacson

A narrative portrait based on the complete body of Einstein's papers offers insight into how the iconic thinker's mind worked as well as his contributions to science, in an account that describes his two marriages, his receipt of the Nobel Prize, and the influence of his discoveries on his personal views about morality, politics, and tolerance.

Farewell to Manzanar

by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

The American-born author describes her family's experience and impressions when they were forced to relocate in a camp for the Japanese in Owens Valley, California, during World War II.

The Girls From Ames

by Jeffrey Zaslow

The story of eleven girls from Ames, Iowa, the ten women they became, and the mysterious death of their eleventh member demonstrates how female friendships can shape every aspect of women's lives.

How to be an antiracist

by Ibram Kendi

"The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society."

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Makkai

Henrietta Lacks was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, and whose cells--taken without her knowledge when she was treated for cancer in 1951--have become one of the most important tools in medicine. The Lacks family did not learn of Henrietta's cells until 20 years after her death, but these first "immortal" human cells grown in culture are still alive today: they've been bought and sold by the billions and have been vital in fighting polio, cancer, and many viruses. This incredible book explores race, bioethics, scientific research, human rights, the power of family, and the question of whether we control the very cells we're made of.

Lab Girl

by Hope Jahren

An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world

Leonardo Da Vinci

by Walter Isaacson

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson "deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo" (San Francisco Chronicle) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

Little Heathens

by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

An evocative memoir of growing up in the heart of the Midwest during the Great Depression describes life on an Iowa farm during a time of endless work, resourcefulness, family and kinship, and no tolerance for idleness or waste.

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Resources for Your Book Group

BookBrowse Book Club Resources

BookBrowse offers a wealth of resources for book clubs, including: Top 10 Book Club Recommendations, advice, reading guides, online book discussions, book club interviews - and much, much more. Free for patrons - just login with your library card!

Additional Resources

  • Amazon.com

    Amazon.com's recommendations for book discussion groups. Browsable by category.

  • SCPL Books & Reading Resources

    Links to online resources that will help you find new books, lists of award winners, and author information.

How to Start

  • Book Club How-to's

    Everything you need to start and run a successful and fun book club. -- Advice from Book Browse