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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Tale for the Time Being, A

Ozeki, Ruth

A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be." In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace--and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox--possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki's signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home"-- Provided by publisher.
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Tattooist of Auschwitz, The

Morris, Heather

An illuminating tale of hope and courage based on interviews with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, multi-lingual tattooist Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism--but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to keep his fellow prisoners alive. One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

Goodreads Choice Award Nominee

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History Short (less than 250 pages) WWII
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Team of Rivals

Goodwin, Doris Kearns

An analysis of Abraham Lincoln's political talents identifies the character strengths and abilities that enabled his successful election above three accomplished candidates, in an account that also describes how he used the same abilities to rally former opponents in forming his cabinet and winning the Civil War. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of No Ordinary Time. Reprint. 300,000 first printing.

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Bio & Memoir History Politics Watch It
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Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, The

See, Lisa

When Li-yan has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

LibraryReads Favorite
Goodreads Choice Read Nominee

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Coming of Age Family International Sagas Underrepresented Authors
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Telling Room, The: A Story of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese

Paterniti, Michael

"Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us. In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as "the telling room." Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets--usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. Rather than the idyllic slow-food fable he first imagined, Paterniti is sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing," Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief.

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Bio & Memoir Food International

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Temporary people

Unnikrishnan, Deepak

"Guest workers of the United Arab Emirates embody multiple worlds and identities and long for home in a fantastical debut work of fiction, winner of the inaugural Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing... The author's crisp, imaginative prose packs a punch, and his whimsical depiction of characters who oscillate between two lands on either side of the Arabian Sea unspools the kind of immigrant narratives that are rarely told. An enchanting, unparalleled anthem of displacement and repatriation" -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing
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Thank You for Arguing

Heinrichs, Jay

A humorous, cheerful, and accessible book on the art of rhetoric, mixing personal anecdotes with tools and techniques used by figures throughout history and pop culture to help readers recognize and use persuasion themselves.

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Not so Grim Society & Culture
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Then Came You

Weiner, Jennifer

An unexpected love story. Jules Strauss is a Princeton senior with a full scholarship, acquaintances instead of friends, and a family she's ashamed to invite to Parents' Weekend. With the income she'll receive from donating her "pedigree" eggs, she believes she can save her father from addiction. Annie Barrow married her high school sweetheart and became the mother to two boys. After years of staying at home and struggling to support four people on her husband's salary, she thinks she's found a way to recover a sense of purpose and bring in some extra cash. India Bishop, thirty-eight (really forty-three), has changed everything about herself: her name, her face, her past. In New York City, she falls for a wealthy older man, Marcus Croft, and decides a baby will ensure a happy ending. When her attempts at pregnancy fail, she turns to technology, and Annie and Jules, to help make her dreams come true. But each of their plans is thrown into disarray when Marcus' daughter Bettina, intent on protecting her father, becomes convinced that his new wife is not what she seems. With startling tenderness and laugh-out-loud humor, Jennifer Weiner once again takes readers into the heart of women's lives in an unforgettable, timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, the rights of a parent and the measure of motherhood.

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Family Youth
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There There

Orange, Tommy

With a large cast of characters, light suspense, and insightful narration, this is an enlightening and fast-paced story depicting Native American life in a modern urban setting.


Indies’ Choice Book Award
Society of American Historians Prize for Historical Fiction
ALA Notable
New York Times Notable

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This Is How It Always Is

Frankel, Laurie

"This is Claude. He's five years old, the youngest of five brothers. He also loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They're just not sure they're ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes."-- Provided by publisher.

GoodReads Choice Award Nominee

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Coming of Age Family Pacific Northwest Social Justice Youth
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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Patchett, Ann

The New York Times bestselling author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto creates a resonant portrait of a life in this collection of writings on love, friendship, work, and art. "The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living." So begins This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, an examination of the things Ann Patchett is fully committed to--the art and craft of writing, the depths of friendship, an elderly dog, and one spectacular nun. Writing nonfiction, which started off as a means of keeping her insufficiently lucrative fiction afloat, evolved over time to be its own kind of art, the art of telling the truth as opposed to the art of making things up. Bringing her narrative gifts to bear on her own life, Patchett uses insight and compassion to turn very personal experiences into stories that will resonate with every reader.

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Bio & Memoir Family
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Thousand Pardons, A

Dee, Jonathan

What do we really want when we ask for forgiveness? Ben, a partner in a prestigious law firm, has become unpredictable at work and withdrawn at home. The change weighs heavily on his wife, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara. Then, in one afternoon, Ben's recklessness takes an alarming turn, and everything the Armsteads have built together unravels. As she is confronted with the biggest case of her career, the fallout from her marriage, and Sara's increasingly distant behavior, Helen must face the limits of accountability and her own capacity for forgiveness.

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Family Not so Grim Short (less than 250 pages)
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Tiger's Wife, The

Obreht, Téa

Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife.

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Awards Family International Sagas Youth
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Tightrope

Mawer, Simon

As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany. It is Marian Sutro, whose existence was last known to her British controllers in autumn 1943 in Paris. One of a handful of surviving agents of the Special Operations Executive, she has withstood arrest, interrogation, incarceration, and the horrors of Ravensbrück concentration camp, but at what cost? Returned to an England she barely knows and a postwar world she doesn't understand, Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her, but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the monstrosities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the mysterious Major Fawley, the man who hijacked her wartime mission to Paris, emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War, she sees a way to make amends for the past and at the same time to find the identity that has never been hers. A novel of divided loyalties and mixed motives, Tightrope is the complex and enigmatic story of a woman whose search for personal identity and fulfillment leads her to shocking choices.

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Awards Crime History International
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Tilted World, The

Franklin, Tom

In 1927, as the Mississippi River threatens to burst its banks and engulf all in its path, two federal revenue agents investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents on the trail of a local bootlegger. This suspenseful and emotional novel explores religious symbolism, longing, romance, the ferocity of a mother's love, and the violence of a time and place nearly forgotten.

LibraryReads Favorite

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Crime History
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To Kill a Mockingbird

Lee, Harper

Scout's father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in this novel set in a small Alabama town during the 1930s.

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Classics Coming of Age Crime Family History Social Justice Youth
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To Kill a Mockingbird

Lee, Harper

Scout's father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in this novel set in a small Alabama town during the 1930s.

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Classics Coming of Age Crime Family History Social Justice Youth
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Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise, The

Stuart, Julia

When Balthazar Jones is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower of London's walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then his wife Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise "runs" away.

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Animals Family Not so Grim
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Trainwreck

Doyle, Sady

From Mary Wollstonecraft—who, for decades after her death, was more famous for her illegitimate child and suicide attempts than for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman—to Charlotte Brontë, Billie Holiday, Sylvia Plath, and even Hillary Clinton, Sady Doyle's Trainwreck dissects a centuries-old phenomenon and asks what it means now, in a time when we have unprecedented access to celebrities and civilians alike, and when women are pushing harder than ever against the boundaries of what it means to "behave."
Where did these women come from? What are their crimes? And what does it mean for the rest of us? For an age when any form of self-expression can be the one that ends you, Sady Doyle's book is as fierce and intelligent as it is funny and compassionate—an essential, timely, feminist anatomy of the female trainwreck. -From the publisher

Amelia Bloomer Lists
Booklist Editors' Choice

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Social Justice Society & Culture

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Tulalip, From My Heart: An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community

Dover, Harriette Shelton

In Tulalip, From My Heart , Harriette Shelton Dover describes her life on the Tulalip Reservation and recounts the myriad problems tribes faced after resettlement. Born in 1904, Dover grew up hearing the elders of her tribe tell of the hardships involved in moving from their villages to the reservation on Tulalip Bay: inadequate supplies of food and water, harsh economic conditions, and religious persecution outlawing potlatch houses and other ceremonial practices. Dover herself spent ten traumatic months every year in an Indian boarding school, an experience that developed her political consciousness and keen sense of justice. The first Indian woman to serve on the Tulalip board of directors, Dover describes her experiences in her own personal, often fierce style, revealing her tribe's powerful ties and enduring loyalty to land now occupied by others.
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Turner House, The

Flournoy, Angela

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts--and shapes--their family's future. The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It's a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home"-- Provided by publisher.

National Book Award Finalist
Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist
The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Shortlist

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Awards Coming of Age Family Sagas Underrepresented Authors
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Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, The

Tinti, Hannah

"Loo is twelve when she moves back to the New England fishing village of her early youth. Her father, Hawley, finds work on the boats, while she undergoes the usual heartaches of a new kid in school. But lurking over Loo are mysteries, both of the mother who passed away, of the grandmother she's forbidden to speak to. And hurtling towards both father and daughter are the ghosts of Hawley's past. Before Loo's birth, he was a professional criminal engaged in increasingly elaborate and dangerous underworld schemes. Life on the road was harsh - Samuel Hawley took "twelve bullets" in his brutal career. The scars have healed, but there is a reckoning still to come"-- Provided by publisher.

Edgar Award Nominee
LibraryReads Favorite

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Coming of Age Crime Family Sagas Youth