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Books to Go : For Book Groups

Mount Prospect Public Library offers book discussion kits specifically designed for book groups. Each kit may be checked out for six weeks and includes ten copies of a title, as well as a binder containing information about the book, biographical information on the author, and questions for discussion. To reserve a kit, contact the Fiction/AV/Teen desk in person, by calling 847/590-4070, or by e-mailing us at readers@mppl.org. This service is funded by Friends of the Mount Prospect Library.

Book Discussion Kit Guidelines

Book Discussion Kit Titles

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
From the initial formation of The Freesia Court Book Club and over the course of the next thirty years, five women in small-town Minnesota share the events, triumphs, tragedies, hardships, joys, and sorrows of their lives.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher’s soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three-year custody battle between daughter Zoe’s maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
A story inspired by the marriage between Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh traces the romance between a handsome young aviator and a shy ambassador’s daughter whose relationship is marked by wild international acclaim.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
The almost love affair between a young Italian innkeeper and a beautiful American starlet in 1962 is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
Margaret Hughes, a septuagenarian living in Seattle, takes in a series of boarders, who help her cope with her illness and whose lives become unexpectedly connected to each other.
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
To this day, Cleopatra proves to be one of the most important and controversial figures in ancient history. Married to both of her brothers, the first of which she defeated in a civil war before ordering the second’s murder, Cleopatra would also have affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony and nearly tear the Roman Empire in two. However, one Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer believes history has given Cleopatra a bad rap and sets out to tell the Egyptian queen’s true story.  Nonfiction.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in an Ethiopia on the brink of revolution, where their love for the same woman drives them apart.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
For a price, Libby Day will reconnect with the players that murdered her mother and two sisters in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Having testified that her brother Ben was the murderer on that fateful night 25 years ago, now she is not so sure as, piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges. From the writer of Gone Girl.
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Inseparable best friends Kate and Tully, two young women who, despite their very different lives, have vowed to be there for each other forever, have been true to their promise for thirty years, until events and choices in their lives tear them apart.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey—a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Many scientific and medical advances of the modern world have been made possible by cells taken from one African-American woman in 1951 without her knowledge or consent. This fascinating tale intertwines her story with that of her family’s search for answers.  Nonfiction.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria is unable to get close to anyone, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. When she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
Lark & Termite: A Novel by Jayne Anne Phillips
Set during the 1950s in West Virginia and Korea, this is the story of two children—Lark, on the verge of adulthood, and her brother, Termite, a child unable to walk and talk but filled with radiance—who grow up with their mother and aunt while their soldier-father fights for his life during the chaotic early months of the Korean War.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
After the horror of World War I, Tom Sherbourne welcomes his new job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, an isolated island with no residents aside from him and his wife Isabel. When a boat with a dead man and a young baby washes ashore, Isabel convinces Tom to let her keep the baby as their own, but the consequences to her actions may be dire.
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Fact and fiction blend in a historical novel that chronicles the relationship between seminal architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, from their meeting in Oak Park, Illinois, when they were each married to another, to the clandestine affair that shocked Chicago society.
Mozart’s Last Aria by Matt Rees
In 1791 Austria, Madame Maria Anna Berchtold von Sonnenburg journeys to Vienna to pay her final respects to her brother, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who died under mysterious circumstances, and becomes submerged in a world of suspicion and intrigue.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
At the edge of the continent, in the small town of Crosby, Maine, lives Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who deplores the changes in her town and in the world at large but doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
An Indian request in 1854 for 1,000 white brides to ensure peace is secretly approved by the U.S. government in this alternate-history novel. Their journey west is described by May Dodd, a high-society woman released from an asylum where she was incarcerated by her family for an affair.
Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John
In a fascinating true story, a wildly diverse group of young kids miraculously unite as a team against the backdrop of a Southern community that has become the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones.  Nonfiction.
The Photograph by Penelope Lively
Finding a mysterious photograph of his late wife, Kath, holding hands with another man, Glyn begins a search that proves shocking to Kath’s family and friends.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
A classic novel of romantic suspense finds the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter entering the home of her mysterious and enigmatic new husband and learning the story of the house’s first mistress, to whom the sinister housekeeper is unnaturally devoted.
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman with a troubled past who lives in a remote nineteenth-century Wisconsin town, has advertised for a reliable wife; and his ad is answered by Catherine Land, a woman who makes every effort to hide her own dark secrets.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, fourteen-year-old Joe Coutts sets out with his three friends to find the person who destroyed his family. Winner of the National Book Award.
Run by Ann Patchett
Struggling with single parenthood and a scandal that cost him his political career, Bernard Doyle fights his disappointment with his adopted son’s career choices before a violent event forces the members of his family to reconsider their priorities.
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Interweaving the stories of Kavita, Somer, and the child that binds both of their destinies, Secret Daughter poignantly explores the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love, as witnessed through the lives of two families – one Indian, one American – and the child that indelibly connects them.
Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America’s Soul by Karen Abbott
A history of America’s most famous brothel, Chicago’s Everleigh Club, which catered to some of America’s leading moguls, actors, and writers from 1900 to 1911, profiles its aristocratic proprietors and their efforts to elevate the industry to new heights.  Nonfiction.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales.
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
Young widow Anne Marie Roche, the owner of a successful Seattle bookstore, creates a list of twenty wishes, and, while acting upon her wishes, encounters an 8-year-old girl named Ellen who helps her complete her list – with unexpected results.
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Eva never really wanted to be a mother—and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered nine people two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage. Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Suffering an accident that causes her to forget the last ten years of her life, Alice is astonished to discover that she is 39, a mother of three, and in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from a man she dearly loves. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse and if it is possible to start over.
The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman
In a true story, Warsaw Zoo keepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski save the lives of hundreds of Jewish citizens in the aftermath of Germany’s invasion of Poland by smuggling them into empty cages.  Nonfiction.

Book Discussion Kit Guidelines

Book discussion kits may be checked out for six weeks. They may not be renewed.
Kits may be reserved up to a year in advance through the Fiction/AV/Teen desk in person, by calling 847/590-4070, or by e-mailing us at readers@mppl.org.
Kits should be picked up at the Fiction/AV/Teen desk.
Kits are checked out to one person. Members of the group should get their copies from the person who checked out the kit. Kits come as a set. Individual items from the kit may not be checked out.
Only one kit at a time may be checked out to an individual.
The individual who checks out the kit is responsible for the return of the complete kit, including the bag, the books, and the binder.
Overdue book discussion kits will be fined $5 per day per kit.
Failure to return book discussion kits on time may infringe on future borrowing privileges of such kits.
Book discussion kits must be returned to the Check Out (Circulation) desk during regular Library hours (Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) They may not be returned in the book drop.
Book discussion kits are available for reciprocal borrowing but may not be interlibrary loaned.