Book Discussion Kits

Book Discussion Kit Home

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 (Download a printer friendly list of book kits.)

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Bad Feminist

Gay, Roxanne

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. "Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink, all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I'm not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue." In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture. Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

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Social Justice Society & Culture Underrepresented Authors
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Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu, The

Hammer, Joshua

To save ancient Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean's Eleven in this "fast-paced narrative that is...part intellectual history, part geopolitical tract, and part out-and-out thriller" ( The Washington Post )."Part history, part scholarly adventure story, and part journalist survey....Joshua Hammer writes with verve and expertise" ( The New York Times Book Review ) about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world's greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist "has all the elements of a classic adventure novel" ( The Seattle Times ), and is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.

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Book Lovers History Society & Culture
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Baker's Secret, The

Kiernan, Stephen P.

Set in Occupied France during WWII, this follows the struggles and ingenuity of a village as they struggle to survive under a capricious and brutal occupation. A "beautifully written account of the emotional and moral struggles of a people gripped by fear in the depths of WWII" (Booklist). For those who love All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale.

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History WWII
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Bartender's Tale, The

Doig, Ivan

Running a venerable bar in 1960 Montana while raising his twelve-year-old son, single father Tom Harry finds his world upended by the arrival of a woman from his past and her beatnik daughter, who claims Tom as her father.

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Family Not so Grim
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Bear and the Nightingale, The

Arden, Katherine

"In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay." -From the publisher.

Library Journal Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books
LibraryReads Favorites
Loan Stars Favourites

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Coming of Age Sci-fi/Fantasy
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Beautiful Ruins

Walter, Jess

The award-winning author of The Financial Lives of the Poets presents his most romantic and enjoyable novel yet that follows a young Italian innkeeper and his almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet, which draws him into a glittering world filled with unforgettable characters. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

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History
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Becoming Clementine

Niven, Jennifer

After her B-15 Flying Fortress is shot down over Normandy, Velva Jean Hart becomes Clementine Roux and works as a spy with the Resistance, during which time she falls in love with a fellow agent and ends up in a brutal prison.

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History WWII
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Becoming Marie Antoinette

Grey, Juliet

This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette...Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike...

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History
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Bees, The

Paull, Laline

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen. A feat of bravery grants her access to the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

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Animals Science & Nature Sci-fi/Fantasy

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Before We Were Yours

Lisa Wingate

With an authentic voice of characters, past and present, this book tells a fictionalized version of the true tale from Depression-era America where children of poor Tennessee families were stolen and sold to wealthy families. Readers who enjoyed Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline will find emotional similarities in this story that takes place a mere decade later.
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Before the Wind

Lynch, Jim

Growing up on the Puget Sound, the Johannssen family has sailing in their blood. But Ruby left for Africa and elsewhere to do good works on land, and Bernard disappeared at sea, a fugitive and pirate. Josh, who repairs boats of all kinds in a marina south of Seattle, is pained and confused by whatever the hell went wrong with his volatile family. When the Johannssens unexpectedly reunite for the most important race in these waters, it leads to a heart-shattering revelation. Growing up on the Puget Sound, the Johannssen family has sailing in their blood, but the oldest brother, Josh, is left puzzling over what caused his siblings to flee, one to Africa, the other to points unknown as a fugitive and pirate.

Booklist Editor's Choice
2018 Whidbey Reads selection

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Family Pacific Northwest
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Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Boo, Katherine

As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds--and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.

National Book Award
ALA Notable Book
Los Angeles Times Book Prize

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Awards History International Social Justice Society & Culture
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Behold the dreamers

Mbue, Imbolo

At the intersection of "Americanah" and "The Help" comes a riveting debut novel about two marriages - one immigrant and working class, the other from the top 1% - both chasing their version of the American Dream. In the fall of 2007, Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Their situation only improves when Jende's wife Neni is hired as household help. But in the course of their work, Jende and Neni begin to witness infidelities, skirmishes, and family secrets. Then, with the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, a tragedy changes all four lives forever, and the Jongas must decide whether to continue fighting to stay in a recession-ravaged America or give up and return home to Cameroon.

PEN/Faulkner Award
Oprah Book Club Pick
Notable Books for Adults

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Awards Family Underrepresented Authors
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Being Mortal

Gawande, Atul

A prominent surgeon argues against modern medical practices that extend life at the expense of quality of life while isolating the dying, outlining suggestions for freer, more fulfilling approaches to death that enable more dignified and comfortable choices. A moving rumination of the limitations of science and the needs of loved ones.

Booklist Editors' Choice
Indies' Choice Book Awards
New York Times Notable Books
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Bettyville

Hodgman, George

When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself--an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook--in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can't bring himself to force her from the home both treasure--the place where his father's voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty's life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town--crumbling but still colorful--to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar , Hodgman's New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son's return.

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Awards Bio & Memoir Family
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Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America

Egan, Timothy

Narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire of August, 1910, and Teddy Roosevelt's pioneering conservation efforts that helped turn public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service with consequences felt in the fires of today.

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History Politics Science & Nature
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Big Little Lies

Moriarty, Liane

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's youngest ( how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline's teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline's ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

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Crime Watch It
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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Gilbert, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Gilbert "offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the "strange jewels" that are hidden within each of us."-- Provided by publisher.

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Bio & Memoir Not so Grim
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Bird Box

Malerman, Josh

Something is out there . . . Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, Malorie has long dreamed of fleeing to a place where her family might be safe. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but Malorie's wits and the children's trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster? Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey--a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motley group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside--and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted? Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman's breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

LibraryReads Favorite
Bram Stoker Award Nominee
James Herbert Award Nominee

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Sci-fi/Fantasy Watch It
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Bishop's Wife, The

Harrison, Mette

In the predominantly Mormon city of Draper, Utah, some seemingly perfect families have deadly secrets...As bishop, Kurt Wallheim is the ward's designated spiritual father, and that makes Linda the ward's unofficial mother, and her days are filled with comfort visits, community service, and informal counseling.

But Linda is increasingly troubled by the church's patriarchal structure and secrecy, especially as a disturbing situation takes shape in the ward. One cold winter morning, a neighbor, Jared Helm, appears on the Wallheims' doorstep with his 5-year-old daughter, claiming that his wife, Carrie, disappeared in the middle of the night, leaving behind everything she owns. The circumstances surrounding Carrie's disappearance become more suspicious the more Linda learns about them, and she becomes convinced that Jared has murdered his wife and painted himself as an abandoned husband...

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Crime Family
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Black Is the Body: stories from my grandmother's time, my mother's time, and mine

Emily Bernard

In a collection of memoir-like essays, Bernard, a professor in Vermont, delves into her past and present, and hope and fears of the future. With blackness as a connection between her essays she explores a variety of experiences from being part of a mass stabbing during her Yale undergrad, her Southern roots and her northern uniqueness to her interracial marriage and adopting twin Ethiopian girls with her husband. Throughout there is reflection infused with compassion, wisdom, honesty, and vulnerability.

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Society & Culture Underrepresented Authors
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Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America

Phillips, Patrick

Phillips digs into the history of a series of events in his hometown in Georgia. After a series of crimes were blamed on some of the area’s young black men, the citizens of the town saw fit to run off the entire African American population. Phillips researches the crimes and the mob mentality that followed, and shows how certain citizens of Forsyth County continued to intimidate and assault African Americans who wandered across their border for almost eighty years. This is the type of history that is far too important ever to forget. -- Amy Hall for LibraryReads.

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction
Library Reads
Notable Books for Adults

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Boat Runner, The

Murphy, Devin

Sent to a Hitler Youth Camp to secure German business for his family's Dutch company, Jacob Koopman, the privileged nephew of a fisherman, finds his world upended by the outbreak of the war, which eventually forces him to make a transformative decision about his life purpose. For fans of All The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale.

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Coming of Age History WWII
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Body is Not an Apology, The: The Power of Radical Self-love

Taylor, Sonya Renee

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world—for us all. This second edition includes stories from Taylor's travels around the world combating body terrorism and shines a light on the path toward liberation guided by love. In a brand new final chapter, she offers specific tools, actions, and resources for confronting racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia. And she provides a case study showing how radical self-love not only dismantles shame and self-loathing in us but has the power to dismantle entire systems of injustice. Together with the accompanying workbook, Your Body Is Not an Apology, Taylor brings the practice of radical self-love to life.

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Social Justice Society & Culture Underrepresented Authors
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Book of Strange New Things, The

Faber, Michel

It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC.; His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter's teachings--his Bible is their "book of strange new things." But Peter is rattled when Bea's letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter. Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable.; While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival.; Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.

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Sci-fi/Fantasy
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Book that Matters Most, The

Hood, Ann

A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending. -- Sharon Layburn for LibraryReads.

LibraryReads Favorite

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Book Lovers Family
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Book Thief

Zusak, Markus

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-stealing and storytelling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

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Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, The

Kim Michele Richardson

Cussy Mary Carter is one of the last of the blue people of Appalachian Kentucky. Though she faces oppression and loneliness due to her blue-tinged skin, Mary joins the WPA Pack Horse Library Project to help bring books and learning to the impoverished hill community of Troublesome Creek. This engaging and hopeful historical fiction features an inspiring female lead and fascinating details of depression-era rural life.
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Bookseller, The

Swanson, Cynthia

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn't quite work out the way Kitty had hoped. Then the dreams begin. Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It's everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted--but it only exists when she sleeps. Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn's life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn? As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

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Bookshop of Yesterdays, The

Meyerson, Amy

Filled with likable characters, a charming adventure, and plenty of literary references, this upbeat novel is a perfect read for bibliophiles who fantasize about owning a bookstore.

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Book Lovers Family Not so Grim
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Born a Crime

Noah, Trevor

The host of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah traces his wild coming of age during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed, offering insight into the farcical aspects of the political and social systems of today's world.
  • Thurber Prize for Humor
  • NAACP Image Award for Debut Author
  • Booklist Editors' Choice
  • New York Times Notible

  • Funds for this kit were generously donated by the Edmonds Lutheran Book Club. To donate funds for book kits, please contact the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation.
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    Borrower, The

    Makkai, Rebecca

    Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

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    Book Lovers Family Not so Grim Youth
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    Bosnia List, The

    Trebincevic, Kenan

    A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return. "A young survivor of the Bosnian War returns to his homeland to confront the people who betrayed his family. At age eleven, Kenan Trebincevic was a happy, karate-loving kid living with his family in the quiet Eastern European town of Brcko. Then, in the spring of 1992, war broke out and his friends, neighbors and teammates all turned on him. Pero - Kenan's beloved karate coach - showed up at his door with an AK-47, screaming: "You have one hour to leave or be killed!" Kenan's only crime: he was Muslim. This poignant, searing memoir chronicles Kenan's miraculous escape from the brutal ethnic cleansing campaign that swept the former Yugoslavia." -Publisher description
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    Boston Girl, The

    Diamant, Anita

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night , ... Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine-a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love. Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her "How did you get to be the woman you are today."

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    Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, The

    Kamkwamba, William

    A resonant, hopeful, engaging memoir showing the power of the human spirit through the author’s difficult life in Malawi and his quest to bring electricity to his village by building a windmill from scraps.

    Alex Award

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    Boy Who Loved Too Much, The: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness

    Latson, Jennifer

    A journalist describes the story of a twelve-year-old boy suffering from Williams syndrome, a genetic, developmental disorder that makes him impervious to social inhibitions and incapable of distrust, putting him at an extreme disadvantage for life in modern times. In a vivid and sympathetic telling based on three years of immersive reporting, Jennifer Latson intertwines Eli and Gayle's story with a look a the genetic basis of behavior, revealing how insights drawn from this rare condition shine a light on what makes us all human.
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    Boy, Snow, Bird

    Oyeyemi, Helen

    In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts looking, she believes, for beauty--the opposite of the life she's left behind in New York. She marries Arturo Whitman, a local widower, and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she'd become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy's daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African-Americans passing for white. And even as Boy, Snow, and Bird are divided, their estrangement is complicated by an insistent curiosity about one another. In seeking an understanding that is separate from the image each presents to the world, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.
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    Boys in the Boat, The

    Brown, Daniel James

    The dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together--a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism. An irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times--the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant.

    ALA Notable Book
    Indies' Choice Book Award
    2015 Whidbey Reads selection

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    Awards Bio & Memoir History Pacific Northwest Watch It WWII
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    Boys in the Bunkhouse, The: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland

    Barry, Dan

    In this haunting modern Dickensian story that is a literary tour de force, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Dan Barry chronicles a shameful case of exploitation and abuse in America’s heartland, involving a group of developmentally disabled men and the advocates who helped them find justice and reclaim their lives. A luminous work told with compassion and compelling detail, The Boys in the Bunkhouse is inspired storytelling and a clarion call for vigilance—an American tale that holds lasting reverberations for all of us. -From the publisher

    ALA Notable Books
    Booklist Editors' Choice

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    History Sagas Social Justice Society & Culture
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    Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

    Kimmerer, Robin Wall

    Professor and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer shares memories of her past mixed with legends from her Potawatomi ancestors in this engaging and meditative collection of essays that invites readers to express gratitude for everyday gifts.
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    Braving the Wilderness

    Brown, Brené

    There is evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality. Social scientist Brown has conducted exhaustive research into loneliness and failed relationships. Through interviews, case studies, and surveys, she shows how many people long for - but struggle to achieve - connection with others. She investigates the things that prevent this: distractions of daily life, self doubts, even perfectionism. And she shares her own history of self-destructive and unstable behavior, and her own efforts to combat fear of rejection and find togetherness. With enthusiasm and compassion, she urges readers to venture forth into the "wilderness" of relationships and to have the courage to believe in ourselves and to reach out to others.
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    Breakfast at Sally's: one homeless man's inspirational journey

    LeMieux, Richard

    One day, Richard LeMieux had a happy marriage, a palatial home, and took $40,000 Greek vacations. The next, he was living out of a van with only his dog, Willow, for company. This astonishingly frank memoir tells the story of one man's resilience in the face of economic disaster. Penniless, a failed suicide, estranged from his family, and living "the vehicular lifestyle" in Washington state, LeMieux chronicles his journey from the Salvation Army kitchens to his days with "C" a philosopher in a homeless man's clothing to his run-ins with Pastor Bob and other characters he meets on the streets. Along the way, he finds time to haunt public libraries and discover his desire to write.
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    Breath of A Whale, The

    Calvez, Leigh

    An exploration of the elusive lives of whales in the Pacific Ocean. Leigh Calvez has spent a dozen years researching, observing, and probing the lives of the giants of the deep.

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    Brewster

    Slouka, Mark

    Still reeling from the death of his older brother, a sixteen-year-old track star befriends a street-fighting rebel and together they search for redemption amidst the social changes of 1968.

    Alex Award
    Booklist Editors' Choice

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    Awards Coming of Age Crime Family Youth
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    Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, A: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes

    Rutherford, Adam

    In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species--births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away--until now. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story--from 100,000 years ago to the present. This book will upend your thinking on Neanderthals, evolution, royalty, race, and even redheads. Plus, here is the remarkable, controversial story of how our genes made their way to the Americas--one that's still being written, as ever more of us have our DNA sequenced. Rutherford closes with "A Short Introduction to the Future of Humankind," filled with provocative questions that we're on the cusp of answering: Are we still in the grasp of natural selection? Are we evolving for better or worse? And . . . where do we go from here?

    Book Critics Circle Award Nominee
    Wellcome Book Prize Nominee

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    History International Science & Nature Society & Culture
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    Britt-Marie Was Here

    Backman, Fredrik

    Britt-Marie is a socially awkward, fussy busybody who is used to being organized. When she walks out on her cheating husband and gets a job as caretaker of the dilapidated recreation center in Borg, she is woefully unprepared for the changes. But as she takes on the task of leading the supremely untalented children's soccer team to victory, she just might find a place she belongs.

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    Broken Harbor

    French, Tana

    In the aftermath of a brutal attack that left a woman in intensive care and her husband and young children dead, brash cop Scorcher Kennedy and his rookie partner, Richie, struggle with perplexing clues and Scorcher's haunting memories of a shattering incident from his childhood.

    Library Journal Best Book
    Los Angeles Times Book Prize

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    Awards Crime International
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    Brooklyn

    Tóibín, Colm

    A leisurely paced, romantic, and deeply emotional story of a young woman forced to choose between two worlds: her home and family in Ireland, or her dreams and love in Brooklyn.

    Costa Book Award
    ALA Notable

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    Awards Coming of Age Family Watch It
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    Buddha in the Attic, The

    Otsuka, Julie

    Presents the stories of six Japanese mail-order brides whose new lives in early twentieth-century San Francisco are marked by backbreaking migrant work, cultural struggles, children who reject their heritage, and the prospect of wartime internment.
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    Bully Pulpit, The

    Goodwin, Doris Kearns

    ...Doris Kearns Goodwin's highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit -a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft-a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country's history. The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources...

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