The Pioneer Library System makes holding a book discussion as easy as checking out a kit! All you have to do is gather the friends . . . and open the book. We do the all the rest for you!

PLS maintains Book Discussion Kits that have everything you need to have a successful group reading experience. Each kit contains 10-12 copies of the listed book, bookmarks, a manual containing discussion questions, reviews, articles about the book, and information about the author. Each kit can be checked out for 6 weeks.

So whether your interests are fiction or nonfiction or romance or mystery, Pioneer Library System has a kit that you and your friends will enjoy.

To reserve a kit for pick-up at your hometown library, please call 801-4582. Please allow 3 working days for delivery.


 

1984

1984 by George Orwell

Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities. Read a sample.

 

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman

A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath acranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship. Read a sample.

A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family's remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of thebest known American paintings of the twentieth century. Read a sample.

A Place for Us

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A family caught between two cultures yields a resonant story of faith, tradition, identity and belonging. Read a sample.

A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

In this book, we come to know three generations of Whitshanks--a family with secrets and memories that are sometimes different than what others observe. The book's timeline moves back and forth with overlapping stories, just like thread on a spool. Read a sample.

Above the Waterfall

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have shapedtheir lives in contemporary Appalachia, a sheriff on the brink of retirement and a haunted park ranger confront violent forces when an elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream. Read a sample.

After Anna

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Marrying a wonderful woman after years of loneliness and single fatherhood, John finds his newfound happiness turned upside-down by the arrival of his beautiful sociopath teen daughter, whose campaign to destroy their family and untimely murder force John to prove his innocence in the face of malevolent discoveries. Read a sample.

As Bright As Heaven

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters--Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa--a chance at a better life. But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without--and what they are willing to do about it. Read a sample.
 

Before the Fall

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

"On a foggy summer night, 10 people--nine privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--board a private jet in Martha's Vineyard. The plane never reaches its destination, and the only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, the last remaining member of a wealthy media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between their gripping survival story and the backstories of the passengers, the mystery surrounding the crash heightens."--Publisher's description. Read a sample.

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Avery Stafford, a lawyer, descendant of two prominent Southern families and daughter of a distinguished senator, discovers evidence that her Grandma Judy was a victim of the Tennessee Children's Home Society and is related to a woman Avery and her father meet when he visits a nursing home. Sections describing the real-life orphanage director Georgia Tann, who stole poor children, mistreated them, and placed them for adoption with wealthy clients--including Joan Crawford and June Allyson--are vividly described, as are passages about Grandma Judy and her siblings. Read a sample.

Black River

Black River by S.M. Hulse

A former prison guard and talented fiddler returns to his Montana hometown to bury his wife and confront an inmate who, 20 years earlier, held him hostage during a prison riot. Read a sample.

Chilbury Ladies' Choir

Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir unfolds the struggles, affairs, deceptions, and triumphs of a village choir during World War II. As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to close the choir and instead "carry on singing," resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies' Choir. Read a sample.

Commonwealth

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

The Cousins and the Keatings are two California families forever intertwined and permanently shattered by infidelity. Bert Cousins leaves his wife for Beverly Keating, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Beverly, with two children of her own, leaves her husband for Bert. The six children involved are forced to forge a childhood bond based on the combined disappointment in their parents. As adults, they find their families' stories revealed in a way they couldn't possibly expect. Read a sample.

Cooking for Picasso

Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray 

A tale inspired by a little-known interlude follows the 1936 culinary affair between a reclusive Picasso at a crossroads in his life and a rebellious teen from the French Riviera, a relationship that shapes the life of the girl's granddaughter in New York more than half a century later. Read a sample.

Don't Skip Out on Me

Don't Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin

Horace Hopper has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, but dreams of something bigger. Mr. and Mrs. Reese, the aging ranchers, took him in and treated him like a son, intending to leave the ranch in his hands. But Horace, ashamed not only of his half-Paiute, half-Irish heritage, but also of the fact his parents did not want him, feels as is he doesn't belong on the ranch, or anywhere. Knowing he needs to make a name for himself, Horace decides to the only loving home he's known to prove his worth as a championship boxer. Read a sample.

Driving Miss Norma

Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle

When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Instead, Norma--newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage--decided to hit the road. Norma took off on an unforgettable cross-country journey with three professional nomads--her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their standard poodle Ringo--in a thirty-six-foot RV. This is the charming, infectiously joyous chronicle of their experiences on the road--a transformative journey of living life on your own terms that shows us that it is never too late to begin an adventure. Read a sample.

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

They knew their love couldn't last, but they gave it their best shot, anyway. Two teens try to make love work in 1986, struggling to stay together over the course of one school year. Read a sample.

Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue--in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest of the family--Hannah--who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened. Read a sample.

Exit West

Exit West by Hamid Mosin

Presents the story of two young lovers whose furtive affair is shaped by local unrest on the eve of a civil war that erupts in a cataclysmic bombing attack, forcing them to abandon their previous home and lives. Read a sample.

Harry's Trees

Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen

A 38-year old traumatized widower fortuitously meets an 11-year old girl who sets him on a feverish road to redemption. Read a sample.

Heat and Light

Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh

Forty years ago, Bakerton coal fueled the country. Then the mines closed, and the town wore away like a bar of soap. Now Bakerton has been granted a surprise third act: it sits squarely atop the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas. To drill or not to drill? Prison guard Rich Devlin leases his mineral rights to finance his dream of farming. He doesn't count on the truck traffic and nonstop noise, his brother's skepticism or the paranoia of his wife, Shelby, who insists the water smells strange and is poisoning their frail daughter. Meanwhile his neighbors, organic dairy farmers Mack and Rena, hold out against the drilling--until a passionate environmental activist disrupts their lives. Read a sample.

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy by J D Vance

Shares the story of the author's family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past. Read a sample.

I Will Send Rain

I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows

In 1934, as the earliest storms of the Dust Bowl descend on the Bell farm in Mulehead, Oklahoma, Annie Bell and her husband and children struggle against hardship as the wheat harvest dries out and people around them pack up to leave. Read a sample.

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: one woman's obsessive search for the Golden State killer by Michelle McNamara

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area. Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was. This masterpiece, which McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death, offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman's obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle's lead researcher and a close colleague. Read a sample.

I'll Stay

I'll Stay by Karen Day

Follows the lives of two former college friends, whose string of bad choices led into a horrific encounter while on spring break in Florida, and explores how what happened that night has affected their lives in unexpected ways. Read a sample.

In the Midst of Winter

In the Midst of Winter by Isabell Allende

 New York Times and worldwide bestselling author Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil. An instant New York Times bestseller, In the Midst of Winter is about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that offers "a timely message about immigration and the meaning of home" (People). ..  Read a sample.

Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. Read a sample.

Last Bus to Wisdom

Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Doig's beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an eleven-year-old's imagination. But when Gram has tohave surgery for "female trouble" in the summer of 1951, all she can think to do is to ship Donal off to her sister in faraway Manitowoc, Wisconsin. There Donal is in for a rude surprise: Aunt Kate-bossy, opinionated, argumentative, and tyrannical--is nothing like her sister. She henpecks her good-natured husband, Herman the German (as Donal discovers him to be), and Donal can't seem to get on her good side either. After one contretemps too many, Kate decides to pack him back to the authorities in Montana on the next Greyhound. But to Donal's surprise, he's not traveling solo: Herman the German has decided to fly the coop with him. Read a sample.

Last Days of Night

Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

When electric light innovator Thomas Edison sues his only remaining rival for patent infringement, George Westinghouse hires untested Columbia Law School graduate Paul Ravath for a case fraught with lies, betrayals and deception. Read a sample.

Leaving Time

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has searched for her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared after a tragic accident. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest. Serenity Jones is a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons. Virgil Stanhope is a jaded private detective who originally investigated Alice's case. As they work together to uncover the truth, they realize that in asking hard questions, they'll have to face even harder answers. Read a sample.

Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Manhattan, 1939. New York socialite Caroline Ferriday's biggest problem is resisting the advances of a married actor. Across the Atlantic Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is affected when Germany declares war on Poland. As tensions rise Caroline's interest in aiding the war effort in France grows; she hears about the dire situation at the Ravensbrück all-female concentration camp. Kasia's carefree youth is replaced by a fervor for the Polish resistance movement. Through Ravensbrück-- and the horrific atrocities taking place there told in part by an infamous German surgeon, Herta Oberheuser-- the two women's lives converge in unprecedented ways. Read a sample.
 

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Inspired by Margaret Fishback, poet and Macy's ad-writing phenom of the 1930s, Rooney imagines an extraordinary walk through the streets of New York City on the last night of 1984, one that triggers a flood of memories for fictional ad woman Lillian Boxfish. The octogenarian muses on the changing urban landscape as she stops at favorite haunts: an intimate neighborhood bar that's just installed a TV, a restaurant where she's dined every New Year's Eve that's about to change owners, the famed Delmonico's, where she ended her marriage. Further stops include a changing lower Manhattan landscape where she meets a haunted Vietnam veteran and engages him in a "best last-line contest," a detour to a hospital emergency room with afrightened woman about to have her first baby, and a party where she's both scorned and adored by a new generation of artists, followed by a hilarious encounter with three muggers. Meanwhile, Lillian carefully recounts her celebrated career in advertising, her adored husband and son, and her emotional breakdown. Read a sample.

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned. No one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. Read a sample.

Love and Ruin

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It's the adventure she's been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly--and uncontrollably--falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest's relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man's wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers. Read a sample.

Magpie Murders

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job. Conway's latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she's convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder. Read a sample.

March, Book One

March, Book One by John Lewis

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. Read a sample.

March, Book Two

March, Book Two by John Lewis

Now, March brings the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world. After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence - but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before. Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the young activists of the movement struggle with internal conflicts as well. But their courage will attract the notice of powerful allies, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy... and once Lewis is elected chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this 23-year-old will be thrust into the national spotlight, becoming one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement and a central figure in the landmark 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Read a sample.

My Name is Lucy Barton

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Read a sample.

News of the World

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

In the winter of 1870, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd has made a fairly comfortable living in northern Texas. He travels from town to town, reading current news of ratified amendments and polar expeditions to (mostly) attentive audiences. When he's asked to deliver a 10-year-old German girl back to her relatives in San Antonio in exchange for $50 in gold, he agrees. Read a sample.

Ordinary Grace

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his 13th year, a man explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community. Read a sample.

Rise and Shine Benedict Stone

Rise and Shine Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick

In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone lives out the stagnant life of an unhappily married jeweler, until the daughter of his estranged brother arrives from America and turns his whole life upside down. Read a sample.

 

Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and asingle-minded widow. Read a sample.

Russian Winter

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

A mysterious jewel holds the key to a life-changing secret, in this breathtaking tale of love and art, betrayal and redemption. When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago. It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theater; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia that a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal--and an ingenious escape that led Nina to the West and eventually to Boston. Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian who believes that a unique set of jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together these unlikely partners begin to unravel a mystery surrounding a love letter, a poem, and a necklace of unknown provenance, setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all. Read a sample.

Small Great Things

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is an experienced labor and delivery nurse who not only knows how to guide women through labor, but also understands postdelivery needs such as a shoulder to cry on and lipstick. But her career and life change forever when she hesitates before helping a baby in cardiac arrest. Why would a nurse pause to help a patient? Ruth is African American and the baby's white supremacist parents don't want her touching their child. The hospital tells Ruth to comply with the parents' wishes, but when she's the only available nurse, should she follow orders or try to save the newborn's life? Read a sample.

Sold on a Monday

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

In Depression-era Pennsylvania, a romance develops between two lonely people fighting for the rights of an impoverished family. When reporter Ellis Reed sees two children up for sale, he is reminded of his own difficult childhood, and he snaps a photo. His editor publishes the photo unexpectedly and assigns Ellis, who has no idea what happened to the children, to write a feature article. Secretary Lily Palmer volunteers to help Ellis with his assignment but won't talk about her own family. Their relationship is shaky at first, but as the children remain unfound, concern for their welfare trumps Ellis and Lily's budding love story. The pair must fight ignorance, prejudice, and criminal activity to unravel the network of lies that hold the children prisoner, all to reunite them with their mother. Read a sample.

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Li-Yan and her family, devote their lives to farming tea. Like her mother, Li-Yan is being groomed to become a midwife in her Chinese village. She yearns for more and is allowed to pursue her schooling. The arrival of outsiders seeking the Pu'er tea of Yunnan brings the modern world into this isolated village.  Read a sample.

The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

In May 1947, Charlotte "Charlie" St. Clair and her mother have crossed the Atlantic so the unwed Charlie can discreetly end her pregnancy in a Swiss clinic. A chance to search for her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared during World War II, gives Charlie the courage to break free and head to London. Rose may have been involved in the French Resistance, and her last known connection was a woman named Eve, who carries her own war secrets. Read a sample.

The Almost Sisters

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs' weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She's having a baby boy--an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old's life. But before Leia can break the news (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel's marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she's been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood. Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother's affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she's pregnant. Yet Leia she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie's been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family's freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows. Read a sample.

The Boat Runner

The Boat Runner by Devin Murphy

Sent to a Hitler Youth Camp to secure German business for his family's Dutch company, Jacob Koopman, the privileged nephew of a fisherman, finds his world upended by the outbreak of the war, which eventually forces him to make a transformative decision about his life purpose. Read a sample.

The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Set in the late-19th century, follows the experiences of an intellectually minded young widow and a pious vicar who investigate rumors about a mythical sea creature that has been blamed for a death in coastal Essex. Read a sample.

The Fifth Letter

The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty

During a laughter and wine-filled night, four women, friends since childhood, dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. The fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendship they share. Read a sample.

The Floating World

The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst

When a fragile young woman refuses to leave New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina approaches, her parents are forced to go without her, setting off a chain of events that leaves their marriage in shambles and their daughter catatonic, the victim or perpetrator of some unknown violent act. Read a sample.

The Girl Before

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

EMMA--Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant--and it does. JANE--After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space--and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home's previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before. Read a sample.

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel is a washed-up thirty-something who creates a fantasy about the seemingly perfect couple she sees during her daily train ride into London. When the woman goes missing, Rachel manages to insert herself into the investigation of the woman's disappearance. Read a sample.

The Gown

The Gown: a novel of the royal wedding by Jennifer Robson

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, thepeople of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation's recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown. Read a sample.

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood

In a future world where the birth rate has declined, fertile women are rounded up, indoctrinated as "handmaids," and forced to bear children to prominent men. Read a sample.

The Hideaway

The Hideaway by Lauren Denton

After her grandmother's death, Sara Jenkins discovers she's been left her run-down B&B in Alabama and tasked with renovating it and uncovers a box in the attic that reveals a mysterious side of her grandmother's life that ultimately impacted her own destiny. Read a sample.

The Italian Teacher

The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman

Rome, 1955. The artists gather for a picture at a party in an ancient villa. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast canvases, larger than life, is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot. From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, striving to live up to the Bavinsky name; while Natalie, a ceramicist, cannot hope to be more than a forgotten muse. Trying to burn brightly in his father's shadow, Pinch's attempts flicker and die. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, Pinch will enact an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy. Read a sample.

The Last Ballad

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash

Ella May Wiggins, a young mother desperately trying to hold her family together with the paltry nine dollars a week she earns from the textile mill two miles away, makes up her mind to join the labor union--a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town, and all that she loves. Read a sample.

 

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

Half a century after reluctantly painting a forgery of the only surviving landscape by a 17th-century female Dutch master, Sara curates an exhibit of women Dutch painters and risks exposure when both the original and her forgery arrive. Read a sample.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

Sent to America at age nine with nothing but an old guitar, Frankie Presto achieves success on the mid-twentieth-century music scene before becoming overburdened by his ability to affect people's futures through his music. Read a sample.

The Marsh King's Daughter

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne

A woman whose birth occurred as a result of her teen mother's abduction and imprisonment in an isolated marshland cabin risks the adult family that does not know her past when she uses survival skills honed in childhood to track down her murderous father. Read a sample.

The Nest

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love. Read a sample.

 

The Nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions. Vivid and exquiste in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with great monstrosities, but also great humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah's novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they turn the last page. Read a sample

The Ninth Hour

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

A portrait of the Irish-American experience is presented through the story of an Irish immigrant's suicide and how it reverberates through innumerable lives in early twentieth-century Catholic Brooklyn. Read a sample.

The Other Einstein

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage. Read a sample.

 

The Paris Architect

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money and maybe get him killed. But if he's clever enough, he'll avoid any trouble. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won't find it. He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can't resist. But when one of his hiding spaces fails horribly, and the problem of where to hide a Jew becomes terribly personal, Lucien can no longer ignore what's at stake. The Paris Architect asks us to consider what we owe each other, and just how far we'll go to make things right. Read a sample.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katrina Bivald

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look aftertheir bewildered tourist--even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of thegreat joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Read a sample.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Traces the experiences of a Jewish Slovakian who uses his position as a concentration-camp tattooist to secure food for his fellow prisoners. Based on the true story of an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor. Read a sample.

The Tumbling Turner Sisters

The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay

When their boot-stitcher father loses his job after a debilitating injury, the Turner sisters and their mother support themselves by performing on the vaudeville stage, where they confront dangers and turns of fate from the seamier side of the business. Read a sample.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Chronicles the daring survival story of a cotton plantation slave in Georgia, who, after suffering at the hands of both her owners and fellow slaves, races through the Underground Railroad with a relentless slave-catcher close behind. Read a sample.

The Widow

The Widow by Fiona Barton

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on when more bad things began to happen. . . But that woman's husband died last week. And Jean doesn't have to be her anymore. There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. Now there's no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. The truth--that's all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything. Read a sample.

The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Nellie, a young teacher, has met the man of her dreams. Nine years her senior, Richard is charming, handsome, and wealthy. He pampers Nellie like a queen--until he doesn't. Nellie is constantly thrown off-kilter--is Richard manipulating things that happen between them? Reality and deception are woven into a strange pattern of twisted understanding. As the difference in how each perceives their marriage grows wider, so does their estrangement until Richard leaves Nellie for another woman. Or so everyone believes. Who is this younger, blonde version of herself? Nellie is compelled to stalk her around Manhattan like a jealous ex. Will this woman become her replacement? Read a sample.

The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for--and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Read a sample.

 

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Anna Fox lives alone--a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times...and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble--and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? No one--and nothing--is what it seems. Read a sample.

They May Not Mean to but They Do

They May Not Mean to but They Do by Cathleen Schine

Refusing to age quietly, take antidepressants or accept the inevitable loss of her longtime husband, Joy Bergman shocks her children when, after becoming a widow, she reconnects with a former flame from her college days, turning as willful and rebellious as the younger members of their family. Read a sample.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming, and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of raping a white woman, Scout's carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice. Read a sample.

 

To the Bright Edge of the World

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

In the winter of 1885, Lieutenant Colonel Allen Forrester sets out with his men on an expedition into the newly acquired territory of Alaska. Their objective: to travel up the ferocious Wolverine River, mapping the interior and gathering information on the region's potentially dangerous native tribes. With a young and newly pregnant wife at home, Forrester is anxious to complete the journey with all possible speed and return to her. But once the crew passes beyond the edge of the known world, there's no telling what awaits them. Read a sample.

Turner House

Turner House by Angela Flournoy

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone--and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit's East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, 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. Read a sample.

Uncommon Type

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war...  Read a sample.

Understanding Comics

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud, a twelve-time Harvey and Eisner Award nominee, uses a comic book to explain and analyze the medium of comic books themselves, showing how words, lines, colors, symbols, panels and pictures all come together to create a unique and one-of-a-kind storytelling experience. Looking back at the 3000 year history of the art form, McCloud shows how this unique genre is just as important and valid as film and prose in his own funny and profound manner.