Books to Go: For Book Groups

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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, call 847/590-4070, or at readers@mppl.org. This service is funded by Friends of the Mount Prospect Library.

Books To Go Annotations 2019

Book Discussion Kit Guidelines

Book Discussion Kit Titles

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

All American Boys book cover

Two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

A multi-generational novel which begins with two motherless siblings in an Afghan village and crosses continents to explore the many ways in which family members love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another, as well as how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us at the times that matter most.

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.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, a stranger presents a new father with a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. When mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the one who can keep the darkness at bay.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

behold the dreamers book cover

When Cameroonian immigrants Jendi and Neni Jonga find jobs working for a senior executive, the American Dream seems real. In the course of their work, they begin to witness infidelities, skirmishes, and family secrets, but it is in the aftermath of a corporate collapse that tragedy changes all their lives forever.

The Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife

At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful people she meets while delivering babies in a variety of circumstances illuminate a rich and fascinating time in history.  Nonfiction.

The Circle by Dave Eggers

The Circle book cover

Hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful Internet company, Mae Holland begins to question her luck as life beyond her job grows distant, a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, and her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians book cover

Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming family that strongly opposes their son’s relationship with an American girl. What Rachel doesn’t know is that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, she might as well have a target on her back.

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth is Missing book cover

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, whom she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger. Resolving to save her friend, she discovers clues that seem only to lead her deeper into her own past, to the unsolved disappearance of her sister after World War II.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Cover of Everything I Never Told You

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . .” So begins this highly acclaimed debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation. It is both a literary thriller and a profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West book cover

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. Then they begin to hear whispers of doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously.

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

When Kristin agrees to let her husband host a bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery, even removing herself and her daughter for the evening. What she does not expect is bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Reluctantly accepting a long-estranged friend’s invitation to spend a weekend in the English countryside, reclusive writer Leonora awakens in a hospital badly injured, unable to recall what happened and confronting a growing certainty that someone involved has died.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings book cover

When Charleston debutante Sarah is given ownership of ten-year-old handmaid Handful on her eleventh birthday, it marks the beginning of a thirty-five-year complex journey as each strives to establish a meaningful life on her own terms.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

The Kitchen House

Seven-year-old Irish orphan Lavinia is transported to Virginia to work in the kitchen of a wealthy plantation owner and finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds.  When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world, three gifted siblings orphaned by a shipwreck off the Virgin Islands grow up to raise three generations from 1916 to the 1970s, adapting to the unique language, rhythm, and magic of island life over 60 years.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

The Last Mrs. Parrish book cover

Amber Patterson is tired of being a nobody: an invisible woman who melts into the background. She deserves more. Daphne Parrish, with her model looks, picture-perfect mansion and millionaire husband, Jackson, she has everything Amber wants. Amber’s envy could eat her alive. Before long, she has become Daphne’s closest friend, and is catching the eye of Jackson. But a skeleton from her past could destroy everything.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Less book cover

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town? ANSWER: You accept them all.

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

When Quinn Cruz receives a cryptic message from her older sister, Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. But when a haunted-looking Nora shows up just hours later with a frightened young girl, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Mothers book cover

Set in Southern California and narrated by the elder church women of their black community, this story begins with a secret. It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken beauty who takes up with the local pastor’s son. Though the two aren’t serious, the pregnancy (and cover-up) that results will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Necessary Lies book cover

Caring for her family on their mid-20th-century tobacco farm after the loss of her parents, 15-year-old Ivy connects with county social worker Jane, who strains her personal and professional relationships with her advocacy of Ivy’s family.

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

The One-in-a-Million Boy book cover

After the sudden death of his son, Quinn seeks forgiveness for his paternal shortcomings by completing one of the boy’s unfinished Boy Scout badges. He soon discovers that his son had talked a spry 104-year-old immigrant into gunning for the world record for Oldest Licensed Driver. Despite himself, Quinn picks up where the boy left off, forging a friendship that allows him to know the son he never understood.

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale book cover

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail statio. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea book cover

Winter 1945. Four refugees. Four secrets. Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies, war. As thousands desperately flee in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, but when tragedy strikes, they must fight for the same thing: survival.

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

Ferociously witty and outspoken, comedian Lindy West bravely shares essays from her own life, including her transition from quiet to feminist-out-loud, coming of age in a popular culture that is hostile to women (especially fat, funny women) and how keeping quiet is not an option for any of us.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven book cover

After a virulent flu sweeps the world, a troupe of musicians and Shakespearean actors roams the scattered outposts of a nation under collapse. The rise of a dangerous prophet, a rare graphic novel, and a carefully curated Museum of Civilization are only a few of the rich elements woven through this audacious novel that questions what humanity longs for when nearly all seems lost.

This Is How It Always by Laurie Frankel

A family reshapes their ideas about family, love and loyalty when youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls’ clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty book cover

The story of Sam and Clementine, an ordinary yet busy married couple trying to balance work and family life. After the couple is invited by Clementine’s old friend Erika to a neighbor’s barbecue party, a spiral of intrigue, lust, and betrayal is unleashed.

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Cover of The Turner House

The Turners’ house has seen thirteen children grown and gone, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. When 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.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes book cover

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No. When Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge to say YES to unexpected invitations just for one year, Shonda reluctantly agreed and the result was nothing short of transformative. Nonfiction.

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Young Jane Young book cover

Aviva Grossman [is] an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss. How does one go on after this? In Aviva’s case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine.

Book Discussion Kit Guidelines

  • 1. Book discussion kits may be checked out for six (6) weeks. They may not be renewed.
  • 2. Kits may be reserved up to a year in advance through the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk. This may be done in person, by calling 847/253-5675 extension 4070, or by emailing readers@mppl.org.
  • 3. Kits should be picked up at the Fiction/AV/Teen Services Desk and a staff member will walk the kit down to the Circulation Desk for checkout.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. Only one kit at a time may be checked out to an individual. A three day exception can be made if the practice of the book group is to collect the old books and distribute the new books at the same meeting.
  • 6. The individual who checks out the kit is responsible for the return of the complete kit, including the bag, the books, and the binder.
  • 7. Overdue book discussion kits will be fined $5.00 per day.
  • 8. Failure to return book discussion kits on time may infringe on future borrowing privileges of such kits.
  • 9. Book discussion kits must be returned to the Circulation Desk for check-in during open Library hours (9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 12 noon – 5 p.m.). They may not be returned in the book drop or using the automated check-in system.
  • 10. Book discussion kits are available for reciprocal borrowing but may not be Interlibrary Loaned.

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