Check It Out Category: Book Groups

Let’s Talk Books! What your Neighbors Have Been Reading

Curious as to what books your fellow Mount Prospect readers have been devouring? Eager to share your own discoveries? Come join us for an hour-long bookish chat with your neighbors to share everyone’s current reads! Our ongoing program Let’s Talk Books happens every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7pm. Registration is required; upcoming April dates will meet via Zoom: 4/12, 4/26.

Click on the book titles below to explore what Let’s Talk Books participants have been raving about in 2022.

Book Discussion Questions: Hidden Valley Road

hidden valley road: inside the mind of an american family book cover

Title:  Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
Author:  Robert Kolker
Type: Nonfiction

Great for Groups that Like:  Nonfiction that reads like fiction, family stories, social issues, well-researched and compassionate journalism

Summary:
Journalist Robert Kolker tells the heartrending story of a midcentury American family with 12 children, 6 of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

QUESTIONS CREATED BY MPPL STAFF:

Download a copy of the following questions.

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

The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement:  2022 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

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

What conversations did you have about mental health growing up?

Let’s start by discussing Don and Mimi. How did the idea of the American Dream or ideal family affect Mimi and Don’s parenting style?

How were the non-schizophrenic siblings affected by their schizophrenic brothers?0

At the time, mental illness/schizophrenia was blamed on the mother. What was your reaction to this? How did it make you feel about Mimi?

What did you think of the main memories in the book being from Mary and Margaret, especially towards the end?

How are the Galvins shaped by their own traumas?

What is something you learned about the field of psychiatry or schizophrenia?

While this book is about mental illness, it is also very much about family. How do you think the book defines family?

What did you think of the doctors/scientists at the forefront of schizophrenia research? Did anything surprise you about their research process?

Lindsay says her purpose for participating in this book is to bring greater empathy and compassion to people with severe mental illness. Do you think the book accomplished this?

What was the experience of reading this book like for you?

Is it ethical to publish a book like this? Does it violate the privacy of people who can’t provide consent?

What are some things you will take away from this book?

Has the book changed the way you see your own family?

OTHER RESOURCES:

National Reading Group Month

National Reading Group Month

Rally round, readers and book group enthusiasts! October is National Reading Group Month and we have book discussion resources for you as well as your book club. Our resources include: Books to Go bags (Book Discussion Kits), Book Club How-To’s, Discussion Questions, and more!

Books To Go Bags!

Books-To-Go Bags

Each Books-To-Go 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.

For more information, including how to reserve at kit for your group, you may visit our Books-To-Go webpage.

Book Discussion Questions

Staff Created Book Discussion Questions are available online. Can’t find the title your group is discussing? Email us at readers@mppl.org for book discussion questions and anything else book discussion-related or below are a few discussion guide websites.

Lit Lovers
An excellent hub for resources, including: reading guides, book club help, book reviews, and more.

Reading Group Guides
Hundreds of guides from many different publishers are available through the site-a great place to start.

Reading Group Choices
A comprehensive site containing a directory of hundreds of reading guides from a variety of publishers.

Completely Booked

Last, but not least, we have a upcoming library-led discussion on October 20th for readers in their 20s & 30s called Completely Booked!

Completely Booked book discussion group, Tuesday October 20th from 6 to 7 p.m. Calling all readers in your 20s and 30s, join us for a social book group where we will discuss a variety of genres

Meet up with other book enthusiasts every third Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registering for the discussion is required to receive the login information.

Happy Reading!

New for Book Clubs: The Dreamers, American Princess, and The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

If your group enjoys reading stories of disruption – whether thoughtful, zany, or based on real-life characters – look no further than three recent additions to the Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Be sure to check out earlier announcements, and watch for even more additions each week!

The Dreamers Dreamers book cover by Karen Thompson Walker

provocative, compelling, intricately plotted
for fans of Emily St. John Mandel, Ben H. Winters, and Richard Powers

One night in an isolated college town, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. As the mysterious illness spreads, the doctors discover those affected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, and questions of consciousness are explored in a provocative, hypnotic tale.

LibraryReads Favorite

American Princess book coverAmerican Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton

engaging, fast-paced, biographical fiction
for fans of Stephanie Barron, Jennifer Chiaverini, and Paula McLain

Alice may be the president’s daughter, but she’s nobody’s darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves–oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen book coverThe Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old by Hendrik Groen

humorous, books in translation, diary novel
for fans of Fredrik Backman, Jonas Jonasson, and Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

The riotous journal of an octogenarian who is far from reaching the end of his life traces a year in his care home in Amsterdam, revealing the ups and downs of his misadventures with the anarchic “Old-But-Not-Dead Club” and a longtime crush whom he courted to devastating effect.

Suburban Mosaic Book of the Year
Loan Stars Favourite
#1 International Bestseller

New for Book Clubs: Pachinko, The Great Alone, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Books that transport to a thrilling environment are excellent sparks for discussion, and below are three recent additions to the Book Discussion collection, each crafted with an immersive sense of place. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Check out earlier announcements, and watch for even more additions each week!

Pachinko book coverPachinko by Min Jin Lee

sweeping, emotional, family saga
for fans of Isabel Allende, Pearl S. Buck, and Khaled Hosseini

In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and move with her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question.

National Book Award Finalist
New York Times Best Book of the Year
ALA Notable Book

Great Alone book coverThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

descriptive, engaging, character-driven
for fans of Barbara Kingsolver, Jodi Picoult, and Anita Shreve

When her volatile, former POW father impulsively moves the family to mid-1970s Alaska to live off the land, young Leni and her mother are forced to confront the dangers of their lack of preparedness in the wake of a dangerous winter season.

Goodreads Choice Award Winner Best Historical Fiction
LibraryReads Favorite
New York Times Bestseller

The Death of Mrs. Westaway book coverThe Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

atmospheric, suspenseful, nonlinear
for fans of Paula Hawkins, Diane Setterfield, and Daphne Du Maurier

When Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance, she recognizes that the letter was sent to the wrong person–but also that she might successfully claim the money. It is only when she attends the funeral that she realizes there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

New York Times Bestseller
LibraryReads Favorite
Goodreads Choice Finalist Best Mystery and Thriller