Book Discussion KitsBook 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.)
Damnation SpringDavidson, Ash
Colleen and Rich Gundersen are raising their young son, Chub, on the rugged California coast. It's 1977, and life in this Pacific Northwest logging town isn't what it used to be. For generations, the community has lived and breathed timber; now that way of life is threatened. Colleen is an amateur midwife. Rich is a tree-topper. It's a dangerous job that requires him to scale trees hundreds of feet tall--a job that both his father and grandfather died doing. Colleen and Rich want a better life for their son--and they take steps to assure their future. Rich secretly spends their savings on a swath of ancient redwoods. But when Colleen, grieving the loss of a recent pregnancy and desperate to have a second child, challenges the logging company's use of the herbicides she believes are responsible for the many miscarriages in the community, Colleen and Rich find themselves on opposite sides of a budding conflict. As tensions in the town rise, they threaten the very thing the Gundersens are trying to protect: their family.
Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's AwakeningSharif, Manal
A memoir by a Saudi Arabian woman who became the unexpected leader of a movement to support women's rights describes how fundamentalism influenced her radical religious beliefs until her education, a job, and legal contradictions changed her perspectives. Daring to Drive is a remarkable celebration of resilience in the face of tyranny, the extraordinary power of education and female solidarity, and the difficulties and joys of taking the driver's seat of your own destiny. -- Inside jacket flap.
Dark MatterCrouch, Blake
One night after an evening out, Jason Dessen, forty-year-old physics professor living with his wife and son in Chicago, is kidnapped at gunpoint by a masked man, driven to an abandoned industrial site and injected with a powerful drug. As he wakes, a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend." But this life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife; his son was never born; and he's not an ordinary college professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something impossible. Is it this world or the other that's the dream? How can he possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could have imagined--one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. -- adapted from Fantastic Fiction website.
Dark MoneyMayer, Jane
Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? An investigation reveals a network of wealthy people with extreme views that have been systematically influencing and controlling academic institutions, the courts, and the United States government. --Publisher
New York Times Notable
Dark RoadsStevens, Chevy
For decades, people have been warned about the Cold Creek Highway. Hitchhikers have vanished along it over the years, and women have been known to have their cars break down... and never be seen again. When Hailey McBride decides to run away from an unbearable living situation, she thinks that her outdoor skills will help her disappear into the Cold Creek wilderness, and she counts on people thinking that she was the victim of the killer. One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek to attend a memorial for the victims of the highway, but it might as well be one week for the amount of pain that Beth is still dealing with after her sister, Amber, was murdered the previous summer. Beth has quit university, is lying to her parents, and popping pills like Tic Tacs. Maybe this will finally bring her peace. When she gets a job at a local diner where Amber once worked, she connects with people who knew her sister. Beth wants to find who killed her sister and put her own life back together, but as she gets closer to the truth, she learns that there is more than one person lying in Cold Creek.
Day the World Came to Town, TheDeFede, Jim
The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway's Smash Hit Musical Come from Away:
When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.
Come From Away Cast Recording
Death and Life of the Great Lakes, TheEgan, Dan
The Great Lakes--Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior--hold 20 percent of the world's supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan's compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.
Booklist Editors' Choice
LA Times Book Prize
Deception CoveLaukkanen, Owen
Jess Winslow reenters civilian life a new widow, with little more to her name than a falling-down house, a medical discharge for PTSD, and a loyal dog named Lucy, who helps her cope with the devastating memories of her time in Afghanistan. After fifteen years in state prison, Mason Burke owns one set of clothes, a wallet, and a photo of Lucy, the service dog he trained while behind bars. Seeking a fresh start, he sets out for Deception Cove, Washington, where the dog now lives. He arrives to find Jess facing off against the deputy county sheriff. Jess's late husband, a pilot, stole a valuable package from his drug dealer associates. The sheriff's department has seized Lucy-- and she will be destroyed if the package doesn't show up.
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, TheJurczyk, Eva
Liesl Weiss has been (mostly) happy working in the rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she's left to run things, she discovers that the library's most prized manuscript is missing. Liesl tries to sound the alarm and inform the police about the missing priceless book but is told repeatedly to keep quiet to keep the doors open and the donors happy. But then a librarian goes missing as well. Liesl must investigate both disappearances, unspooling her colleagues' pasts like the threads of a rare book binding as it becomes clear that someone in the department must be responsible for the theft. What Liesl discovers about the dusty manuscripts she has worked among for so long--and about the people who preserve and revere them--shakes the very foundation on which she has built her life.
Desperate Fortune, AKearsley, Susanna
"Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing--for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed. As Mary's gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas, she faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew--about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love"--Amazon.com.
Destiny of the RepublicMillard, Candice
A narrative account of the twentieth president's political career offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment, and Alexander Graham Bell's failed attempt to save him from an assassin'sbullet.
Diary of a misfit: a memoir and a mysteryParks, Casey
When Casey Parks came out as a lesbian in college back in 2002, she assumed her life in the rural South was over. Her mother shunned her, and her pastor asked God to kill her. But then Parks' grandmother, a stern conservative who grew up picking cotton, shared a story about her childhood friend, Roy Hudgins, a musician who was allegedly kidnapped as a baby and was "a woman who lived as a man." "Find out what happened to Roy," Casey's grandma implored. Part memoir, part investigative reporting, Diary of a Misfit is the story of Parks' life-changing journey to unravel the mysteries of Roy's life, all the while confronting ghosts of her own. For ten years, Parks knocked on strangers' doors, dug through nursing home records, and doggedly searched for Roy's own diaries, trying to uncover what Roy was like as a person-what he felt; what he thought; and how he grappled with his sense of otherness. As Parks traces Roy's story, Parks is forced to reckon with long-buried memories and emotions surrounding her own sexuality, her fraught Southern identity, her tortured yet loving relationship with her mother, and the complicated role of faith in her life. With an enormous heart and an unstinting sense of vulnerability, Parks writes about finding oneself through someone else's story, and about forging connections across the gulfs that divide us.
Dog Stars, TheHeller, Peter
A riveting, powerful novel about a pilot living in a world filled with loss--and what he is willing to risk to rediscover, against all odds, connection, love, and grace. Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life--something like his old life--exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return--not enough fuel to get him home--following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face--in the people he meets, and in himself--is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for. Narrated by a man who is part warrior and part dreamer, a hunter with a great shot and a heart that refuses to harden, The Dog Stars is both savagely funny and achingly sad, a breathtaking story about what it means to be human.
Dog YearsDoty, Mark
Dog Years is a remarkable work: a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Mark Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love. A book unlike any other, Mark Doty's surprising meditation is radiantly unsentimental yet profoundly affecting. Beautifully written, Dog Years is a classic in the making.
Don't Label Me: An Incredible Conversation for Divided TimesManji, Irshad
America's founding genius is diversity of thought. Which is why social justice activists won't win by labeling those who disagree with them. At a time when minorities are fast becoming the majority, a truly new America requires a new way to tribe out. Enter Irshad Manji and her dog, Lily. Raised to believe that dogs are evil, Manji overcame her fear of the "other" to adopt Lily. She got more than she bargained for. Defying her labels as an old, blind dog, Lily engages Manji in a taboo-busting conversation about identity, power, and politics. They're feisty. They're funny. And in working through their challenges to one another, they reveal how to open the hearts of opponents for the sake of enduring progress. Readers who crave concrete tips will be delighted. Studded with insights from epigenetics and epistemology, layered with the lessons of Bruce Lee, Ben Franklin, and Audre Lorde, punctuated with stories about Manji's own experiences as a refugee from Africa, a Muslim immigrant to the U.S., and a professor of moral courage, Don't Label Me makes diversity great again.
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted AmericaMacy, Beth
More Americans die from drugs in one year than were killed in the entire Vietnam war. Journalist Beth Macy traces the opioid epidemic from its root in the boardrooms of big pharmaceutical companies, all the way through the supply chain to towns and communities devastated by addiction and crime. Dopesick has been praised both for the painstaking and detailed research into the causes and symptoms of the epidemic, to the compassionate portraits of those affected. As Macy focuses in particular on central Appalachia, this book might make an interesting counterpoint to Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. The Boston Globe called Dopesick "An impressive feat of journalism, monumental in scope and urgent in its implications."
Carnegie Medal shortlist
Dragon Springs RoadChang, Janie
After being abandoned by her mother in 1908 Shanghai, a young Eurasian girl, Jialing, becomes the bondservant to the new owners of a grand estate until she befriends a young English girl who mysteriously disappears and forever changes her life.
Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate EpidemicQuinones, Sam
Acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma's campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive—extremely addictive—miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin—cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel—assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America. -From the publisher
National Book Critics Circle Award: General Nonfiction
Dressmaker, TheAlcott, Kate
A spirited woman survives the sinking of the Titanic only to find herself embroiled in the tumultuous aftermath of that great tragedy. Tess is one of the last people to escape into a lifeboat. When an enterprising reporter turns her employer, Lady Duff Gordon, into an object of scorn, Tess is torn between loyalty and the truth.