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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Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Alexie, Sherman

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
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Amish Grace

Kraybill, Donald

On October 2, 2006, Charles Roberts entered a one room Amish school in Pennsylvania and opened fire on 10 girls, killing five and leaving the others critically wounded. This book explores the religious beliefs and practices that led the Amish community to forgive so quickly.
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Another Brooklyn

Woodson, Jacqueline

Poetic prose and strong, richly written characters drive this haunting coming-of-age story following a young black woman through flashbacks of her childhood in 1970s Brooklyn.

BACALA Literary Award
New York Times Notable

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Association of Small Bombs, The

Mahajan, Karan

After witnessing his two friends killed by a "small" bomb that detonated in a Dehli marketplace, Mansoor Ahmed becomes involved with a charismatic young activist, whose allegiances and beliefs are more changeable than he could have imagined.

National Book Award Finalist
New York Times Notable
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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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    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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    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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    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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    By Nightfall

    Cunningham, Michael

    Peter and Rebecca Harris--mid-forties denizens of Manhattan's SoHo, he a dealer, she an editor--are admirable, enviable contemporary urbanites with every reason, it seems, to be happy. Then Rebecca's much younger look-alike brother, Ethan (known in the family as Mizzy, "the mistake"), shows up for a visit.

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    Crime Family Short (less than 250 pages)
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    Christmas Jars

    Wright, Jason

    Rising newspaper reporter Hope Jensen uncovers the secret behind the "Christmas Jars" glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously given to people in need. But Hope discovers much more than she bargained for when some unexpected news sets off a chain reaction of kindness and brings above a Christmas Eve wish come true."

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    Coming of Age Family Not so Grim Short (less than 250 pages)
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    Christmas Jars Reunion

    Wright, Jason

    Hope Jensen's story continues in Christmas Jars Reunion. It's been two years since Hope was reunited with her biological mother on Christmas Eve at Chuck's Chicken 'n' Biscuits. Hope has never felt more complete. She¿s writing full-time for a family magazine and, with the help of her mother, Marianne, leading the Christmas Jars Ministry out of Chuck's quirky restaurant. To top it off, she's dating a marketing executive in a comfortable long-distance relationship. Her life is right where she wants it to be - a state of organized chaos - as another Christmas rolls around. Then her world changes forever over Thanksgiving weekend. The Maxwells hire a nephew to take over the family furniture restoration business. Someone that Hope can't stop thinking about. Then an out-of-town stranger shows up at the diner asking to help in the ministry - a stranger whose motives are yet unclear. Before the sun sets on Christmas Day, two men will try to change Hope's life forever. In the process, Hope will be reminded of the immense power of a single jar, and the healing that sometimes comes only with forgiveness.

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    Coming of Age Family Not so Grim Short (less than 250 pages)
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    Citizen An American Lyric

    Rankine, Claudia

    A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggression in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV--everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.

    National Book Critics Circle Award

    California Book Award

    PEN Center USA Award

    LA Times Book Prize

    NAACP Image Award

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    Crow Planet

    Haupt, Lyanda Lynn

    There are more crows now than ever. Their abundance is both a sign of ecological imbalance and a generous opportunity to connect with the animal world. CROW PLANET is a call to experience the wildlife in our midst, reminding us that we don't have to head to faraway places to encounter "nature." Even in the cities and suburbs where we live we are surrounded by wildlife such as crows. Through observing them we enhance our appreciation of the world's natural order, and find our own place in it. Haupt, a trained naturalist, uses science, scholarly research, myth, and personal observation to draw readers into the "crow stories" that unfold around us every day, culminating in book that transforms the way we experience our neighborhoods and our world.
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    Day the World Came to Town, The

    DeFede, 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
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    Dog Years

    Doty, 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.
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    Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

    Quinones, 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
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    Empathy Exams, The

    Jamison, Leslie

    From personal loss to phantom diseases, a bold and brilliant collection, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

    A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Essay Collection of Spring 2014 Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison's visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another's pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? By confronting pain--real and imagined, her own and others'--Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel. She draws from her own experiences of illness and bodily injury to engage in an exploration that extends far beyond her life, spanning wide-ranging territory--from poverty tourism to phantom diseases, street violence to reality television, illness to incarceration--in its search for a kind of sight shaped by humility and grace.

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    Fahrenheit 451

    Bradbury, Ray

    A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit. This classic science fiction novel explores questions of intellectual freedom.
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    Giver, The

    Lowry, Lois

    Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
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    History of the World in 6 Glasses, A

    Standage, Tom

    From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. A History of the World in 6 Glassestells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying seamen on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Although coffee originated in the Arab world, it stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. And hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it became especially popular in Britain, with far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Finally, though carbonated drinks were invented in 18th-century Europe they became a 20th-century phenomenon, and Coca-Cola in particular is the leading symbol of globalization.

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    Food History Short (less than 250 pages) Society & Culture
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    Home

    Morrison, Toni

    "The story of a Korean war veteran on a quest to save his younger sister"-- Provided by publisher. Frank is an angry, broken veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. He is shocked out of his apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and taker her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he's hated all his life.
    Booklist Editors' Choice
    New York Times Notable Book
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    House of Hope and Fear, The

    Young, Audrey

    Opening with the view of an idealistic young doctor entering her first post-graduate job, The House of Hope and Fear explores not only the personal journey of one doctor's life and career but also the health care system as a whole. The setting is Seattle's Harborview Hospital.
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    I Am Not your Negro

    Baldwin, James

    To compose his stunning documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck mined James Baldwin s published and unpublished oeuvre, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews that are every bit as incisive and pertinent now as they have ever been. Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. His deeply personal notes for the project have never been published before. Peck s film uses them to jump through time, juxtaposing Baldwin s private words with his public statements, in a blazing examination of the tragic history of race in America. - From the publisher

    Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary
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    Life in the Garden

    Lively, Penelope

    Written like a conversation with a friend, this is a charming and poetic memoir delighting in all things gardening, from history to literature to psychology to the simple joy of a day’s labor.
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    Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun

    Manyika, Sarah Ladipo

    Morayo Da Silva, a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, lives in hip San Francisco. On the cusp of seventy-five, she is in good health and makes the most of it, enjoying road trips in her vintage Porsche, chatting to strangers, and recollecting characters from her favourite novels. Then she has a fall and her independence crumbles. Without the support of family, she relies on friends and chance encounters. A subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss, this is also a nuanced study of the erotic yearnings of an older woman. A subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss, this is also a nuanced study of the erotic yearnings of an older woman. Striking and affecting.

    Goldsmiths Prize Nominee
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    Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, The

    Sherman, Alexie

    A darkly comic short story collection paints a portrait of life on and around the Spokane Indian Reservation.
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    Long Way Gone, A

    Beah, Ishmael

    This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone , Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

    Alex Award

    Booklist Editors' Choice

    New York Times Notable Book

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    Madonnas of Leningrad

    Dean, Debra

    Bit by bit, the ravages of age are eroding Marina's grip on the everyday. And while the elderly Russian woman cannot hold on to fresh memories -- the details of her grown children's lives, the approaching wedding of her grandchild -- her distant past is preserved: vivid images that rise unbidden of her youth in war-torn Leningrad. Seamlessly moving back and forth in time between the Soviet Union and the contemporary Pacific Northwest, The Madonnas of Leningrad is a searing portrait of war and remembrance, of the power of love, memory, and art to offer beauty, grace, and hope in the face of overwhelming despair.

    Regional Author

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    Family History Pacific Northwest Short (less than 250 pages) WWII
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    Making Toast

    Rosenblatt, Roger

    When his daughter, Amy--a gifted doctor, mother, and wife--collapses and dies from an asymptomatic heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife, Ginny, leave their home on the South Shore of Long Island to move in with their son-in-law, Harris, and their three young grandchildren: six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy, and one-year-old James, known as Bubbies. Long past the years of diapers, homework, and recitals, Roger and Ginny--Boppo and Mimi to the kids--quickly reaccustom themselves to the world of small children: bedtime stories, talking toys, playdates, nonstop questions, and nonsequential thought. Though reeling from Amy's death they carry on, reconstructing a family, sustaining one another, and guiding three lively, alert, and tender-hearted children through the pains and confusions of grief.

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    Bio & Memoir Family Short (less than 250 pages)

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    Man in the Window, The

    Cohen, Jon

    Since he was disfigured in a fire sixteen years ago, recluse Louis Malone has remained hidden from the prying eyes of his neighbors in the small town of Waverly.Across town, Iris Shula, a lonely and unlovely nurse knows, at thirty-seven, it is unlikely that her Prince Charming will ever appear. But Iris is about to learn how wrong she is.When Louis accidently falls out of his second story window these two kindred souls are brought together. What unfolds is a most unlikely love story. One that will make you laugh and that will break - and remake - your heart.Book Lust Rediscoveries is a series devoted to reprinting some of the best (and now out of print) novels originally published from 1960 to 2000. Each book is personally selected by NPR commentator and Book Lust author Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction by her, as well as discussion questions for book groups and a list of recommended further reading.

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    Family Short (less than 250 pages)
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    Men Explain Things to Me

    Solnit, Rebecca

    In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters. This book features that now-classic essay with six complements, including an examination of the great feminist writer Virginia Woolf 's embrace of mystery, of not knowing, of doubt and ambiguity, a highly original inquiry into marriage equality, and a terrifying survey of the scope of contemporary violence against women.

    GoodReads Choice Award Nominee

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    Not so Grim Short (less than 250 pages) Society & Culture
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    My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me

    Teege, Jennifer

    When Jennifer Teege, a German-Nigerian woman, happened to pluck a library book from the shelf, she had no idea that her life would be irrevocably altered. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother in the book, she discovers a horrifying fact: Her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List --a man known and reviled the world over. Although raised in an orphanage and eventually adopted, Teege had some contact with her biological mother and grandmother as a child. Yet neither revealed that Teege's grandfather was the Nazi "butcher of Plaszów," executed for crimes against humanity in 1946. The more Teege reads about Amon Goeth, the more certain she becomes: If her grandfather had met her--a black woman--he would have killed her.
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    My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues

    Paul, Pamela

    For twenty-eight years, Pamela Paul has been keeping a diary that records the books she reads, rather than the life she leads. Or does it? Over time, it's become clear that this Book of Books, or Bob, as she calls him, tells a much bigger story. For Paul, as for many readers, books reflect her inner life-- her fantasies and hopes, her dreams and ideas. And her life, in turn, influences which books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, diversion or self-reflection, information or entertainment. My Life with Bob isn't about what's in those books; it's about the relationship between books and readers. My Life with Bob is a testament to the power of books to provide the perspective, courage, companionship, and ultimately self-knowledge to forge our own path"-- Provided by publisher.
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    My Name Is Lucy Barton

    Strout, Eilzabeth

    Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

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    Family History Short (less than 250 pages)
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    News of the World

    Jiles, Paulette

    In the aftermath of the American Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this morally complex, multi-layered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

    National Book Award Finalist
    Booklist Editors' Choice
    LibraryReads Favorites

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    Awards Family History Short (less than 250 pages) Youth
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    On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century

    Snyder, Timothy

    In previous books, Holocaust historian Timothy Snyder dissected the events and values that enabled the rise of Hitler and Stalin and the execution of their catastrophic policies. With Twenty Lessons, Snyder draws from the darkest hours of the twentieth century to provide hope for the twenty-first. As he writes, "Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism and communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience."

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    History Politics Short (less than 250 pages) Society & Culture
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    Our Lady of the Nile

    Mukasonga, Scholastique

    For her most recent work and first novel - Notre-Dame du Nil , originally published in March 2012 with Gallimard in French - Mukasonga immerses us in a school for young girls, called "Notre-Dame du Nil." The girls are sent to this high school perched on the ridge of the Nile in order to become the feminine elite of the country and to escape the dangers of the outside world. The book is a prelude to the Rwandan genocide and unfolds behind the closed doors of the school, in the interminable rainy season. Friendships, desires, hatred, political fights, incitation to racial violence, persecutions... The school soon becomes a fascinating existential microcosm of the true 1970s Rwanda.

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    Persepolis

    Satrapi, Marjane

    The great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life (NoveList).

    Alex Award
    Amelia Bloomer List
    Booklist Editors' Choice
    Library Journal Best Books
    New York Times Notable Book
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    Plain and Simple

    Bender, Sue

    Heeding a persistent inner voice, Bender searches for Amish families willing to allow her to visit and share in there daily lives. Plain and Simple vividly recounts sojourns with two Amish families, visits during which Bender enters a world without television, telephone, electric light, or refrigerators; a world where clutter and hurry are replaced with inner quiet and calm ritual; a world where a sunny kitchen "glows" and "no distinction was made between the sacred and the everyday.
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    Pomegranate Soup

    Mehran, Marsha

    To the Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of "crazed sheep and dizzying roads," they might finally find a home. From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets - an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Cafe, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern.
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    Silver Swan, The

    Delbanco, Elena

    A debut novel about a daughter grappling with the legacy of her famous and imposing cellist father, the secrets he has hidden from her, and the fate of his great Stradivarius cello. Alexander Feldmann is a revered and sought-after performer whose prodigious talent, striking good looks and worldly charm prove irresistible to all who hear and encounter him. After years of searching, he acquires a glorious cello, the Silver Swan, a rare Stradivarius masterpiece long lost to the world of music. Mariana is Alexander's only child and the maestro has large ambitions for her. By the age of nineteen she emerges as a star cellist in her own right, and is seen as the inheritor of her father's genius. There are whispers that her career might well outpace his. Mariana believes the Silver Swan will one day be hers, until a stunning secret from her father's past entwines her fate and that of the Silver Swan in ways she could never have imagined.

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    Family Short (less than 250 pages)
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    Smell of Other People's Houses, The

    Hitchcock, Bonnie-Sue

    Four lives intersect in this portrait of 1970's life in an Alaskan fishing town. Vividly told and an "exquisitely drawn, deeply heartfelt look at a time and place not often addressed. Hitchcock’s measured prose casts a gorgeous, almost otherworldly feel over the text, resulting in a quietly lovely look at the various sides of human nature and growing up in a difficult world" just one decade after statehood (Maggie Reagan, Booklist).

    Morris Award Finalist
    Carnegie Medal Shortlist
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    So You Want to Talk About Race

    Oluo, Ijeoma

    Oluo is a Seattle writer and editor. This book of essays, her debut, was written in response to the conversations forced upon her growing up as a person of color in a largely-white middle-class area of Seattle. Oluo speaks clearly and thoughtfully about her personal and work life, exposing the injustice and duplicity she has encountered, and the hurt caused by casual interactions with well-intentioned acquaintances. Throughout the book she also answers questions – about racism, about the experience of oppression, and about the best way to navigate painful, racially-charged conversations.
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    Sound of A Wild Snail Eating, The

    Bailey, Elisabeth Tova

    While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world. Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

    John Burroughs Medal
    William Saroyan International Prize
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    Stranger in the Woods, The: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

    Finkel, Michael

    "In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even in winter, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water, to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothes, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed, but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of the why and how of his secluded life--as well as the challenges he has faced returning to the world. A riveting story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded"--Publisher description.

    LibraryReads Favorite
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    Sun and Her Flowers, The

    Kaur, Rupi

    A transcendent journey about growth and healing, ancestry and honoring ones roots and expatriation, and rising up to find a home within yourself. Poetry for those who think they don't like poetry.

    GoodReads Choice Award Winner
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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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    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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    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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    Vegetarian, The

    Kang, Han

    Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams--invasive images of blood and brutality--torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It's a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that's become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.

    Man Booker International Prize
    New York Times Notable Books
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