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Suggested Titles for Book Groups
The 19th Wife/David Ebershoff
The story of Ann Eliza Young's crusade against polygamy intertwines with a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah.
The Art of Racing in the Rain/Garth Stein
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story. Enzo, the dog, is the only one who can tell the story. One perceptive dog, Enzo combines canine simplicity with trackside wisdom in a story that goes straight to the soul.
Alias Grace/Margaret Atwood
In 1843, a 16-year-old Canadian housemaid named Grace Marks was tried for the murder of her employer and his mistress. The sensationalistic trial made headlines throughout the world, and the jury delivered a guilty verdict. Margaret Atwood reconstructs Marks's story in fictional form.
American Wife/Curtis Sittenfield
From her husband's desk in the Oval Office, First Lady Alice Blackwell can contemplate the deep incongruities of her own life. Nothing had trained her for her job as a First Lady and certainly nothing had prepared her for the painful controversies of her husband's second term.
Blue Diary/ Alice Hoffman
For more than thirteen years, devoted father and husband Ethan Ford has been running from his past. But one day the police show up at his door-and his life as an irreproachable family man and heroic volunteer fireman begins to come apart.
Broken For You/Stephanie Kallos
Septuagenarian Margaret Hughes lives alone in a mansion in Seattle. Wanda Schultz is a young woman with a broken heart. Margaret opens her house to the younger woman, launching a series of remarkable and unanticipated events.
Eilis Lacey is unable to find a job in Ireland in the years following World War II. An Irish priest from Brooklyn, New York offers to sponsor her to live and work in America, so she decides she must go, leaving her mother and sister behind. She adapts to her new life by working in a department store, until she receives devastating news from home that threatens the promise of her future.
The Devil in the White City/Erik Larson
Nonfiction. Engrossing tale of serial murders at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893
Good to a Fault/Marina Endicott
After Clara Purdy gets into a car crash, the bruises of the mother in the other car turn out to actually be late-stage cancer, prompting Clara to take in the mother's three children and their grandmother while the mother fights her disease, in a novel that explores goodness, guilt and selfish desire.
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society/Mary Ann Shaffer
Celebrating literature, love, and the power of the human spirit, this is the story of an English author living in the shadow of World War II. Unfolding in a series of letters, this enchanting novel introduces readers to Juliet Ashton and an absorbing and quirky cast of characters living in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands recently liberated from Nazi occupation.
Half-Broke Horses/Jeannette Walls
Originally conceived as a biography of her grandmother, Walls, the author of the bestselling memoir The Glass Castle, found herself filling in too many blanks for Half Broke Horses to remain a work of nonfiction, so she set out to write a novelistic recreation of her grandmother's unconventional life.
Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure/Matthew Algeo
Nonfiction. On June 19, 1953, Harry Truman did something no other former president has done before, or since: he hit the road. No Secret Service protection. Just Harry and Bess, off to visit old friends, take in a Broadway play, celebrate their wedding anniversary in the Big Apple. Matthew Algeo recounts this amazing journey and the former president's amusing attempts to keep a low profile.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter And Sweet/Jamie Ford
Jamie Ford's first novel explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, and the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II.
The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks /Rebecca Skloot
Nonfiction. Her name was Henrietta Lacks. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells became one of the most important tools in medicine. HeLa cells were vital for numerous scientific discoveries and have been bought and sold by the billions. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the history of experimentation on African Americans, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
In Defense of Food/Michael Pollan
Nonfiction. Expanding on a theme from his popular The Omnivore's Dilemma ,Pollan mounts an assault on a reigning theory of the relationship between food and health. He presents arguments for more tradition- and ecology-based approaches to eating.
The Irresistible Henry House/Grunwald, Lisa.
In the middle of the twentieth century, in a home economics program at a prominent university, orphaned babies are used to teach mothering skills to young women. These "practice babies" are handed off from one mother-in-training to the next for a few years before being sent to adoptive families. For Henry House, a practice baby, finding love and learning to trust proves to be the work of a lifetime.
The Lace Reader/Brunonia Barry
A young woman descended from a long line of mind readers and fortune tellers has returned to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, for rest and relaxation. Any tranquility in her life is short-lived, however, when her aunt drowns under mysterious circumstances.
The Lake of Dead Languages/Carol Goodman
Goodman debuts strongly with this intricately plotted and captivating tale of buried secrets. When Jane Hudson returns to her high school alma mater, the Heart Lake School for Girls as a Latin teacher, tragic events of the past begin to resurface.
Little Bee/Cris Cleave
A haunting novel about the tenuous friendship that blooms between two disparate strangers—one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London.
Little Pink House/Jeff Benedict
Nonfiction. Award-winning investigative journalist Jeff Benedict goes behind the scenes of this case in New London about eminent domain. Suzette Kelo speaks for the first time about all the details of this true story as one woman led the charge to take on corporate America to save her home.
Look Again/Lisa Scottoline
When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a "Have You Seen This Child?" flyer in the mail, she realizes the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son. She knows her adoption was lawful, so she investigates, uncovering clues no one was meant to discover, and when she digs too deep, she risks losing the son she loves.
The Memory of Running/Ron McLarty
Smithson Ide is 43 years old and weighs 279 pounds when his parents die in an accident. Lost in memories of childhood, he uncovers his old Raleigh bicycle in the garage and begins a cross-country journey that is both hilarious and horrifying.
Nobody's Fool/Richard Russo
This slyly funny and moving novel follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat, upstate New York town--and in the lives of the unluckiest of its citizens.
Olive Kitteridge/Elizabeth Strout
At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but in these inter-connected stories, it's in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama. Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her.
People of the Book/Geraldine Brooks
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur. It traces the journey throughout centuries of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain.
Plot Against America/Philip Roth
An alternative history novel - What if Charles Lindbergh was president of the U.S. during WWII ?
The Postmistress/Sarah Blake
Set in 1940 and alternating between London during the Blitz and a fictionalized Provincetown renamed Franklin. It is not a war novel as much as it is a novel about the lives of three women whose lives intertwine through the accidents that war generates.
Prayers for Sale/Sandra Dallas
Set in the high country of Colorado during the Depression, this is the story of an unforgettable friendship between two women--eighty-six-year-old Hennie Comfort and seventeen-year-old Nit Spindle--and the deepest hardships and darkest secrets they shared with each other.
Probable Future/Alice Hoffman
At the age of thirteen, the women of the Sparrow family develop an unusual gift. Elinor can literally smell a lie. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people's dreams as they're dreaming them. Granddaughter Stella, newly a teen, has just developed the ability to see how other people will die. Three generations of estranged Sparrow women must come together to turn Stella's potential to ruin into a potential to redeem.
The Samurai's Garden/Gail Tsukiyama
An historical novel that takes place during the Sino-Japanese War, this is an exquisite story of an ill Chinese young man at his family's summer home in Japan
The Space Between Us/Thrity Umrigar
Set in modern-day India and witnessed through two compelling women, the novel shows how the lives of the rich and the poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and captures how the bonds of womanhood are pitted against the divisions of class and culture.
Still Alice/Lisa Genova
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what's it's like to literally lose your mind...
During World War II, a family finds life turned upside-down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town. Rennie has just turned thirteen and until this time, life has pretty much been predictable and fair. But the winds of change are coming, and with them, a shift in her perspective and a discovery of secrets that can destroy even the most sacred things.
The Three Weissmans of Westport/Cathleen, Schine,
Betty Weissmann has just been dumped by her husband of forty-eight years. Exiled from her elegant New York apartment by her husband's mistress, she and her two middle-aged daughters, Miranda and Annie, regroup in a run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage, in Schine's playful and devoted homage to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.