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Book Discussion Questions: Breakfast at Sally’s by Richard LeMieux

Breakfast at Sallys book coverTitle:
Breakfast at Sally’s: One Homeless Man’s Inspirational Journey 
Author: Richard LeMieux
Page Count: 433 pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Tone:  Thought-provoking, Moving, Hopeful

A self-made man with his own successful company, Richard LeMieux lived a very comfortable life. After losing everything, he spent two years living out of his van and learning to rely on others’ generosity. His uplifting story cuts through stereotypes and offers a powerful look at homelessness in society.

These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

Questions composed by MPPL Staff

1. How did you feel as you were reading this story? For example, were you offended, repulsed, ashamed, indignant, uncomfortable, concerned, and/or inspired during different chapters?

2. Many reviews, including one comment on the back of the book, claim that Breakfast at Sally’s “refutes the stereotypes that the general public has about the homeless population.” Do you agree?

3. What did you think of C? What impact does he have on Richard?

4. Willow is an important part of Richard’s story. How would his experiences be different without her?

5. Describe Richard at different points in the book. How does he change? Do you find him to be sympathetic? Do you like him?

6. How reliable a narrator is Richard? Is this factual, embellished, whitewashed, or dramatized? Do you trust him? Does it matter?

7. What other characters and situations did you find memorable? What made them stand out?

8. What about those who did make an effort to help? What were their reasons or motivations?

9. How was religion depicted? What role did this play in Richard’s stories?

10. Could this story have happened in another U.S. city? LeMieux gives a lot of credit to Bremerton; is it unique in this respect?

11. Though dealing with very serious realities, Breakfast at Sally’s is hopeful and inspiring. How does LeMieux keep the story from becoming preachy or weighed down with heavy issues?

12. What did you think of the writing style? Did you appreciate the use of flashbacks?

13. How is this book relevant to our communities today? What messages might it convey about mental health, depression, compassion, or activism?

14. What difference might this book make? What can we do?

15. Did this story change your perception of the homeless? In what ways?

16. Is this an easier topic to consider due to current economic pressures? In other words, are we more likely to see this as something that could happen to ourselves or those we know and therefore more open to understanding and to wanting to take action?

17. Did you feel pressure to like this book or to be changed by it because of the subject matter?

18. Are you glad you read Breakfast at Sally’s?

Want help with your book discussion group? Check out tips, advice, and all the ways the Library can help support your group!


2015 video interview with Richard LeMieux
New York Times featured review
insights to selection as Suburban Mosaic Book of the Year
regional Salvation Army testimonials
official Breakfast at Sally’s website


Street Cat Named Bob book coverGirls Guide to Homelessness book coverHomeless at Harvard book cover
A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen
The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir by Brianna Karp
Homeless at Harvard: Finding Faith and Friendship on the Streets of Harvard Square by John Christopher Frame

Fiction: Books Under Construction

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If you haven’t seen it yet, construction has started on the second floor! Bring that construction home with you in the form of a book. While the soundtrack of clanging and banging is not included, between these pages you can bring alive the adventures of renovators turned sleuths, half-fae construction workers, summer romances with contractors, and more.

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The intense love story between a young construction worker and a struggling singer from Ohio who are swept away by each other. Can they make the sacrifices needed to sustain their love?



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A funny light mystery, Melanie Turner’s home renovation reputation is on the line when the ghost of a colleague murdered on the job starts to visit her.




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Three cousins who feel like they’ve failed at life come together to renovate a nearly condemned house. As they rebuild their house, their lives are rebuilt as well in this warm tale of friendship.



Cover of Summer at Willow LakeSummer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

Escaping a broken engagement, Olivia is spending the summer renovating her family’s old resort camp and hires a flame from her history: Contractor Connor Davis.



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A construction worker and a writer-chemist share stories of life, work, and how they intertwine, creating a thoughtful mediation.


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An urban fantasy filled with colorful characters and a carefully crafted world, Jeremy Gallow, a half-human, half-fae and happily full-time construction worker, is pulled back into a world of enchantment to uncover why fullborn-fae are dying.



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Owner of a successful construction company, Mike Wingate begins to receive terrifying threats against himself and his family in this suspenseful thriller!


Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

Hacker Hoaxer Whistleblower Spy book coverWere you one of the millions fascinated by Mr. Robot, a summer series about a young computer hacker with social anxiety disorder and his recruitment by a mysterious anarchist group? If so, you may be primed for the real-life tale Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of AnonymousGabriella Coleman, cultural anthropologist and Internet authority, offers an accessible, engrossing portrait of the prankster activist group known only as Anonymous.

Even if you don’t know them by name, you know their work; campaigns against corporations, governments, and the Church of Scientology have had far-reaching and heavily-reported impact. Whether these exploits worry you or cause you to cheer, you’ll easily lose yourself in this irreverent peek behind the curtain of anonymity.

New Books by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Margaret Atwood, and More!

picture of new releasesAlmost everyday new books arrive at the Library to be processed and then placed on the shelf or in your hands. Take a look at some of the books that have arrived most recently at the Library. Want help getting matched with a book to fit your reading mood? Ask online or at the Fiction/AV/Teen services desk on the second floor.

Newly Arrived Books:

Cover of Mycroft HolmesMycroft Holmes
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
When his fiancée abruptly departs after hearing disturbing news, Mycroft Holmes is drawn in to a treacherous investigation.

Cover of Come Rain or Come ShineCome Rain or Come Shine
by Jan Karon
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by Margaret Atwood
A married couple tries to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse, but what looks to be an answer to their prayers takes a chilling turn.

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by Noelle August
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by John Connolly
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Cover of Gold, Fame, CitrusGold, Fame, Citrus
by Claire Vaye Watkins
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Newly Arrived Audiobooks:

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by Jim Butcher
An airship’s crew becomes humanity’s lone defenders when an ancient enemy reawakens and threatens the world with monstrous creatures and perpetual darkness.

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by Lauren Frankel
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by Iris Johansen
Assisting a California sheriff in the reconstruction of a skeleton that may be a missing child, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan begins communicating with the child’s spirit.













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by Julia Keller
Prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins struggles to discover the truth when a survivor of the 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster is implicated in the murder of a development-company president.

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by Erika Swyler
A beautifully crafted debut novel about a mysterious book that holds the key to a curse that has haunted a family of traveling circus performers for generations.

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by Robert Goolrick
Money, power, and invincibility seduce a group of young Wall Street turks. Together they achieve the kind of wealth that grants them access to anything, and anyone, they want. Until, one by one, they fall.






Summaries from Novelist and Publishers.