Book Discussion Kits
If you belong to a book discussion group or would like to start one, you’re invited to check out our selection of book club kit titles. Each kit contains multiple copies of a title and a master book discussion guide. Funding for this collection was provided by the Friends of the Manitowoc Public Library.
In search of a book discussion kit, or multiple copies of a title that our library system does not own? Please fill out the linked form for staff to put a kit together for you.
Newest Book Club Kit Additions
The Music of Bees
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER!
A Good Morning America BUZZ PICK | A Good Housekeeping Book Club Pick | IndieNext Pick | LibraryReads Pick | Recommended by People ∙ The Washington Post ∙ Woman's World ∙ NY Post ∙ BookRiot ∙ Bookish ∙ Christian Science Monitor ∙ Nerd Daily ∙ The Tempest ∙ Midwestness ∙ The Coil ∙ Read It Forward ∙ and more!
“An exquisite debut that combines a moving tale of friendship with a fascinating primer on bees.”--People
“This heartwarming, uplifting story will make you want to call your own friends, not to mention grab some honey.”--Good Housekeeping
Three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life's curveballs, are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing--and maybe even a second chance--just when they least expect it.
Forty-four-year-old Alice Holtzman is stuck in a dead-end job, bereft of family, and now reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. Alice has begun having panic attacks whenever she thinks about how her life hasn't turned out the way she dreamed. Even the beloved honeybees she raises in her spare time aren't helping her feel better these days.
In the grip of a panic attack, she nearly collides with Jake--a troubled, paraplegic teenager with the tallest mohawk in Hood River County--while carrying 120,000 honeybees in the back of her pickup truck. Charmed by Jake's sincere interest in her bees and seeking to rescue him from his toxic home life, Alice surprises herself by inviting Jake to her farm.
And then there's Harry, a twenty-four-year-old with debilitating social anxiety who is desperate for work. When he applies to Alice's ad for part-time farm help, he's shocked to find himself hired. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among Alice, Jake, and Harry, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees--and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.
Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don't turn out the way you expect.
“A hopeful, uplifting story about the power of chosen family and newfound home and beginning again . . . but it’s the bees, with all their wonder and intricacy and intrigue, that make this story sing.”
--Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is
"Eileen Garvin's debut novel is uplifting, funny, bold, and inspirational. The Music of Bees sings!"
--Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author
West with the Night
West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.
One summer evening, Lib Hanson is confronted by her painful past when Matt Marlow, the forty-year-old son she abandoned as an infant, shows up on her porch. Fiercely independent, Lib has never revealed her son's existence--or her previous marriage--to her husband, Jack. Married nearly three decades but living in separate houses (to the confusion but acceptance of their neighbors), they enjoy an ease and comfort together in small-town Anthem, Wisconsin. But Jack is a stickler for honesty, and Lib's long-dormant secret threatens to unravel their lives.
When ten-year-old Charlie Taylor arrives at Jack's workshop shortly thereafter, he's not the first kid in town to need help with a flat tire, and Jack gladly makes the repair to his bike. The Taylors are new to Anthem, and Jack soon discovers that Charlie and his mom, Claire, are struggling to fit in, even as Charlie's dad, Dan, is thriving in his new job. Extending friendship and kindness, as well as introductions around the local café, Jack assumes a grandfatherly role. What he doesn't see is the drinking that Claire hides from everyone, or the secret son that Lib has allowed to move into her house and the growing attraction between Claire and Matt. When the terrible events of a fateful evening threaten everyone's carefully crafted lives, Jack, Lib, and their new friends must each determine the value of truth for the ones they love.
Any Other Family
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
The New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters returns with a striking and intimate new novel about three very different adoptive mothers who face the impossible question: What makes a family?
Though they look like any other family, they aren’t one—not quite. They are three sets of parents who find themselves intertwined after adopting four biological siblings, having committed to keeping the children as connected as possible.
At the heart of the family, the adoptive mothers grapple to define themselves and their new roles. Tabitha, who adopted the twins, crowns herself planner of the group, responsible for endless playdates and holidays, determined to create a perfect happy family. Quiet and steady Ginger, single mother to the eldest daughter, is wary of the way these complicated not-fully-family relationships test her long held boundaries. And Elizabeth, still reeling from rounds of failed IVF, is terrified that her unhappiness after adopting a newborn means she was not meant to be a mother at all.
As they set out on their first family vacation, all three are pushed into uncomfortably close quarters. And when they receive a call from their children’s birth mother announcing she is pregnant again, the delicate bonds the women are struggling to form threaten to collapse as they each must consider how a family is found and formed.
The Sign for Home
Longlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
When a young DeafBlind man learns the girl he thought was lost forever might still be out there, he embarks on a life-changing journey to find her—and his freedom.
Arlo Dilly is young, handsome, and eager to meet the right girl. He also happens to be DeafBlind, a Jehovah’s Witness, and under the strict guardianship of his controlling uncle. His chances of finding someone to love seem slim to none.
And yet, it happened once before: many years ago, at a boarding school for the Deaf, Arlo met the love of his life—a mysterious girl with onyx eyes and beautifully expressive hands which told him the most amazing stories. But tragedy struck, and their love was lost forever.
Or so Arlo thought.
After years trying to heal his broken heart, Arlo is assigned a college writing assignment which unlocks buried memories of his past. Soon he wonders if the hearing people he was supposed to trust have been lying to him all along, and if his lost love might be found again.
No longer willing to accept what others tell him, Arlo convinces a small band of misfit friends to set off on a journey to learn the truth. After all, who better to bring on this quest than his gay interpreter and wildly inappropriate Belgian best friend? Despite the many forces working against him, Arlo will stop at nothing to find the girl who got away and experience all of life’s joyful possibilities.
Beyond That, the Sea
“Spence-Ash has written the novel in eight points of view, but each character is utterly three-dimensional and distinct. This debut novel captivated me from start to finish."
—Julia Quinn, author of the Bridgerton Series
A sweeping, tenderhearted love story, Beyond That, the Sea by Laura Spence-Ash tells the story of two families living through World War II on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and the shy, irresistible young woman who will call them both her own.
As German bombs fall over London in 1940, working-class parents Millie and Reginald Thompson make an impossible choice: they decide to send their eleven-year-old daughter, Beatrix, to America. There, she’ll live with another family for the duration of the war, where they hope she’ll stay safe.
Scared and angry, feeling lonely and displaced, Bea arrives in Boston to meet the Gregorys. Mr. and Mrs. G, and their sons William and Gerald, fold Bea seamlessly into their world. She becomes part of this lively family, learning their ways and their stories, adjusting to their affluent lifestyle. Bea grows close to both boys, one older and one younger, and fills in the gap between them. Before long, before she even realizes it, life with the Gregorys feels more natural to her than the quiet, spare life with her own parents back in England.
As Bea comes into herself and relaxes into her new life—summers on the coast in Maine, new friends clamoring to hear about life across the sea—the girl she had been begins to fade away, until, abruptly, she is called home to London when the war ends.
Desperate as she is not to leave this life behind, Bea dutifully retraces her trip across the Atlantic back to her new, old world. As she returns to post-war London, the memory of her American family stays with her, never fully letting her go, and always pulling on her heart as she tries to move on and pursue love and a life of her own.
As we follow Bea over time, navigating between her two worlds, Beyond That, the Sea emerges as a beautifully written, absorbing novel, full of grace and heartache, forgiveness and understanding, loss and love.
The Lost Lights of St Kilda
1927: When Fred Lawson takes a summer job on St. Kilda, little does he realize that he has joined the last community to ever live on that beautiful, isolated island. Only three years later, St. Kilda will be evacuated, the islanders near dead from starvation. But for Fred, memories of that summer - and the island woman, Chrissie, with whom he falls in love - will never leave him. 1940: Fred has been captured behind enemy lines in France and finds himself in a prisoner-of-war camp. Beaten and exhausted, his thoughts return to the island of his youth and the woman he loved and lost. When Fred makes his daring escape, prompting a desperate journey across occupied territory, he is sustained by one thought only: finding his way back to Chrissie. The Lost Lights of St Kilda is a sweeping love story that crosses oceans and decades. It is a moving and deeply vivid portrait of two lovers, a desolate island and the extraordinary power of hope in the face of darkness.
The Seed Keeper
A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper follows a Dakhóta family's struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most.
Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, a former science teacher who tells her stories of plants, of the stars, of the origins of the Dakhóta people. Until, one morning, Ray doesn't return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato--where the reserved, bookish teenager meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they've inherited.
On a winter's day many years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home. A widow and mother, she has spent the previous two decades on her white husband's farm, finding solace in her garden even as the farm is threatened first by drought and then by a predatory chemical company. Now, grieving, Rosalie begins to confront the past, on a search for family, identity, and a community where she can finally belong. In the process, she learns what it means to be descended from women with souls of iron--women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss, through war and the insidious trauma of boarding schools.
Weaving together the voices of four indelible women, The Seed Keeper is a beautifully told story of reawakening, of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors.
Honors for The Seed Keeper:
Winner of the 2022 Minnesota Book Award in Fiction
A BuzzFeed "Best Book of Spring 2021"
A Literary Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2021"
A Bustle "Most Anticipated Debut Novel of 2021"
A Book Riot "Best Book of 2021"
A Bon Appetit "Best Summer 2021 Read"
A Thrillist "Best New Book of 2021"
A Ms. Magazine "Best Book of 2021"
A Books Are Magic "Most Anticipated Book of 2021"
Named a "Most Anticipated Book of 2021" by The Millions
A Minneapolis Star Tribune "Book to Look Forward to in 2021"
A Daily Beast "Best Summer 2021 Read"
The Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition)
Goodreads Choice winner for Nonfiction 2021 and instant #1 bestseller! A deeply moving collection of personal essays from John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down.
“The perfect book for right now.” –People
“The Anthropocene Reviewed is essential to the human conversation.” –Library Journal, starred review
The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.
Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.
John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.
This is a signed edition.
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
“This funny and fresh take on a classic tale manages to comment on gender roles, racial disparities, and white privilege all while creeping me all the way out. So good.”—Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl
Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this New York Times best-selling horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town.
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.
One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in.
Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.
An international bestseller and one of The Times' "Top 50 Novels Published in the 21st Century," Claire Keegan's piercing contemporary classic Foster is a heartbreaking story of childhood, loss, and love; now released as a standalone book for the first time ever in the US
It is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A child is taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when or if she will be brought home again. In the Kinsellas' house, she finds an affection and warmth she has not known and slowly, in their care, begins to blossom. But there is something unspoken in this new household--where everything is so well tended to--and this summer must soon come to an end.
Winner of the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award and published in an abridged version in the New Yorker, this internationally bestselling contemporary classic is now available for the first time in the US in a full, standalone edition. A story of astonishing emotional depth, Foster showcases Claire Keegan's great talent and secures her reputation as one of our most important storytellers.
Remarkably Bright Creatures
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF SUMMER by: Chicago Tribune * The View * Southern Living * USA Today
"Remarkably Bright Creatures [is] an ultimately feel-good but deceptively sensitive debut. . . . Memorable and tender." -- Washington Post
For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus
After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.
Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors--until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.
Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.
Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Soon to be a major television event from Pascal Pictures, starring Tom Holland.
Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, the USA Today and #1 Amazon Charts bestseller Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man's incredible courage and resilience during one of history's darkest hours.
Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He's a normal Italian teenager--obsessed with music, food, and girls--but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.
In an attempt to protect him, Pino's parents force him to enlist as a German soldier--a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler's left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich's most mysterious and powerful commanders.
Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.
Fans of All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, and Unbroken will enjoy this riveting saga of history, suspense, and love.
The Honey Bus
An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature's most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee.
Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.
May turned to her grandfather and the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of neurosis and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May's childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature.
The bees became a guiding force in May's life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.
The Santa Suit
From Mary Kay Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author of Hello, Summer, comes a novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances in The Santa Suit.
When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn't bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it's a full-time job sorting through all of it.
At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it's from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?
Ivy's quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.
Beach Glass & Other Broken Things
Because of Bethlehem
Because of Winn-Dixie
Before I Let Go
Before You Know Kindness: A Novel
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Beyond That, the Sea
The Bone House
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel
The Book Woman's Daughter: A Novel
Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Brave New World
Breath, Eyes, Memory
Burn Baby Burn
Christmas Cake Murder
The Christmas Town
"Co. Aytch": A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love
The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan
Educated: A Memoir
The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners
Everything on a Waffle
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Gentleman in Moscow
A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana
Girl with a Pearl Earring
The Glass Castle: A Memoir
The Greatest Generation
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America
The Hating Game
The Hidden Legacy: A Novel
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
The Hindi-Bindi Club
Home for Christmas
The Honey Bus
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel
The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel
The Hunger Games
The Husband's Secret
I Am Malala: The girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
In a Dark, Dark Wood
Inn at Lake Devine
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster
The Invisible Husband of Frick Island
The Irish Cowboy
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
The Last Chance Library
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
Law of Similars
Lessons in Chemistry
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel
Lights Out in Lincolnwood: A Novel
Lilac Girls: A Novel
A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories
Looking for Me
The Lost Lights of St Kilda
Loving Frank: A Novel
A Man Called Ove: A Novel
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
Memoir of the Sunday Brunch
Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
The Midnight Library
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind: A Novel
The Mourning Hours
The Music of Bees
My Name Is Mary Sutter
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love
Ordinary Grace: A Novel
Other People's Houses
Our Missing Hearts
Our Souls at Night
Parkland: Birth of a Movement
The Patron Saint of Liars
Patty Jane's House of Curl: A Novel
The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Pride and Prejudice
The Princess Bride
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
The Promise: How One Woman Made Good on Her Extraordinary Pact to Send a Classroom of 1st Graders to College
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Red at the Bone
Remarkably Bright Creatures
Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts
The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America
Road from Coorain
Room: A Novel
The Rosie Project
The Santa Suit
The Savage Garden
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel
The Second Sister
The Seed Keeper
The Seventeen Second Miracle
The Sign for Home
Skipping Christmas: A Novel
Small Things Like These
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel
So Long Chester Wheeler
Sold on a Monday: A Novel
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
Still Alice: A Novel
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat: A Novel
The Tortilla Curtain
A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel
The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction
Those Who Save Us
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Time Traveler's Wife: A Novel
To Kill a Mockingbird
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Two Rivers: A Novel
The Wedding Dress
The Whistling Season
The World's Largest Man: A Memoir
Walking Across Egypt
Water for Elephants
We are Unprepared: A Novel
We Begin at the End
West with the Night
Where the Crawdads Sing
Where the Forest Meets the Stars
Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
Whistling in the Dark
Wingshooters: A Novel
Kits designed to keep the conversation going, complete with multiple copies of the selected title and a master discussion guide. Please note: you must see library staff to place holds on kits.