The Menomonee Falls Public Library is now offering adult book club kits. They are located on the second floor, near the adult reference desk. Each kit comes in a blue zippered bag and contains multiple copies of popular titles, along with a laminated sheet of discussion questions.
Book club kits have an extended loan period of six weeks and can be renewed up to three times if there are no other requests for them.
If you’re looking to start a book club, or if you need some new suggestions for your current group, please come in and check these out!
Here is a list of kits owned by the Library:
And Then There Were None
Considered one of the greatest mysteries of all times, ten strangers, each with a dark secret, are gathered together on an isolated island by a mysterious host. One by one, they die, and before the weekend is out, there will be none. (12 books + discussion questions)
Wall street millionaire Carl Trudeau purchases an unsuspecting candidate to run for Supreme Court judge when a Mississippi court rules agains one of his chemical companies for dumping toxic waste into the towns water supply, causing a cancer cluster. (12 books + discussion questions)
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher’s soul, tries to bring together a family pulled apart by a three-year custody battle between daughter Zoe’s maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver. (10 books + discussion questions)
Big Little Lies
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her.
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, neither of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. (13 books + discussion questions)
The Book Thief
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. (10 books + discussion questions)
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. (5 books + discussion questions)
Calling Me Home
Follows the experiences of hairdresser and African-American single mom Dorrie, who while struggling with difficult family dynamics reluctantly agrees to drive an octogenarian client to a funeral several states away. (10 books + discussion questions)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
Hannah Swensen’s supplies are delivered daily by Ron LaSalle, whom she often passes on her way to work. On this fateful day, Ron’s truck is soon parked behind the store, but he fails to reappear. When Hannah finds him seated in the truck, the window open, a bullet through his chest, she’s inspired to work her way through the townspeople, looking for a motive for Ron’s death, even as she manfully resists her widowed mother’s attempts to find her a husband. (12 books + discussion questions)
Circling the Sun
Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships.
Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly. (12 books + discussion questions)
When Travis Boyette is paroled because of an inoperable brain tumor, for the first time in his life, he decides to do the right thing and tell police about a crime he committed that another man is about to be executed for. (12 books + discussion questions)
Death by Darjeeling
When a man is poisoned by tea, Theo is the prime suspect. Now she has to prove her innocence and track down the real killer-before someone else takes their last sip. Just the right blend of cozy fun and clever plotting. (15 books + discussion questions)
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners, Guy Montag, suddenly realizes their merit. (20 books + discussion questions)
The Girl on the Train
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? (5 books + discussion questions)
In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women–black and white, mothers and daughters–view one another. (10 books + discussion questions)
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock Holmes is asked to investigate the tale of a hound that haunts the lonely moors around the Baskervilles’ ancestral home. (15 books + discussion questions)
In The Hours, Michael Cunningham draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters who are struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.
The novel opens with an evocation of Woolf’s last days before her suicide in 1941, and moves to the stories of two modern American women who are trying to make rewarding lives for themselves in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family.
Clarissa Vaughan is a book editor who lives in present-day Greenwich Village; when we meet her, she is buying flowers to display at a party for her friend Richard, an ailing poet who has just won a major literary prize. Laura Brown is a housewife in postwar California who is bringing up her only son and looking for her true life outside of her stifling marriage.
With rare ease and assurance, Cunningham makes the two women’s lives converge with Virginia Woolf’s in an unexpected and heart-breaking way during the party for Richard. (10 books + discussion questions)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells– taken without her knowledge– became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. (10 books + discussion questions)
In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer, who has a terrible secret. (12 books + discussion questions)
When Faith, the seven-year-old daughter of divorced parents, suddenly begins talking to God–whom she claims is a woman–and effecting miraculous cures, she becomes the center of a controversy involving doctors, clergy, the media, and a custody battle. (12 books + discussion questions)
The Kite Runner
Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant, is a Hazara–a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him. (10 books + discussion questions)
Ladies of the Lake
Old alliances and old rivalries quickly surface when the four Barrett sisters–in order to inherit and sell the valuable property–must spend the entire summer with each other at the beloved lake of their childhood summers. But the sisters get far more than they bargained for: One will find love, and all four will gain new understanding of their late, self-absorbed grandmother, and they’ll find two mummified dead bodies walled up in the root cellar–one in a WWI doughboy’s uniform. (10 books + discussion questions)
When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a “Have You Seen This Child?” flyer in the mail, her heart stops–the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son, Will. She investigates the story behind the flyer, uncovering clues no one was meant to discover, and when she digs too deep, she risks losing her own life–and that of the son she loves. (11 books + discusssion questions)
The Lovely Bones
Brutally raped and murdered by a deceptively mild-mannered neighbor, Susie begins with a compelling description of her death. During the next ten years, she watches over her family and friends as they struggle to cope with her murder. She observes their disintegrating lives with compassion and occasionally attempts, sometimes successfully, to communicate her love to them. Although the lives of all who knew her well are shaped by her tragic death, eventually her family and friends survive their pain and grief. (12 books + discussion questions)
The Merlot Murders
Leland Montgomery’s death was deemed accidental, but when his dauhgter Lucie returns home from France, she finds the once-thriving family vineyard run down, collapsing under huge debt. Lucie’s godfather warns her that Leland’s demise my have been the result of an attempt to force the sale of the vineyard. Her extravagant brother and rebellious sister are determined to sell the estate, and there’s something suspicious about the vintner her father hired right before he died. When another oenophile turns up dead, asphyxiated in a tank of Merlot, Lucie–the lone holdout preventing the vineyard’s sale–realizes she’s next in line for an “accident.” Can she trust in the proverb in vino veritas–in wine there is truth–as she attempts to survive a very bad year for Merlot? (15 books + discussion questions)
My Sister’s Keeper
All her life, 13-year old Anna has helped her sister fight leukemia. Anna has provided platelets, bone marrow, and even stem cells to ensure Kate’s survival. But when their parents ask her to donate a kidney, Anna has had enough. She enlist the aid of a lawyer and announces her intention to sue for control of her own body. (12 books + discussion questions)
Nights in Rodanthe
Adrienne Willis is a woman with her life in chaos. She retreats to a small coastal town in the Outer Banks. She hopes to find the tranquility she so desperately needs. She has a wayward husband who has asked to come home and a teen-aged daughter who resents her every decision. Upon her arrival, a major storm is forecast and a guest named Dr. Paul Flanner arrives. Paul is the only other guest at the inn. He is facing his own crisis of conscience. With the storm closing in, the two turn to each other for comfort and, in one magical weekend, set in motion a life-changing romance that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives. (15 books + discussion questions)
New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. It was the Twins’ debut season; the country had a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited often and took many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder. Frank was forced to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years. Forty years later, he tells the story of discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. (10 books + 1 large print + discussion questions)
The Other Boleyn Girl
When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands. (10 books +discussion questions)
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend La. (12 books + discussion questions)
Here the local vigilante is a farmer’s wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry loves this place. He grew up here, and now — after a decade away — he has returned. Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy. (12 books + discussion questions)
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Owen Meany hits a foul ball while playing baseball in the summer of 1953 that kills his best friend’s mother, an accident that Owen is sure is the result of divine intervention. (12 books + discussion questions)
Pride and Prejudice
In early nineteenth-century England, Elizabeth Bennett, a spirited young woman, copes with the romantic entanglements of her four sisters, and her feelings for Fitzwilliam Darcy, a brooding gentleman. (15 books + discussion questions)
Red Badge of Courage
With no idea of the horrors of war, young Henry Fleming has romantic notions of the hero he will be. Those illusions are destroyed when he enters his first battle. Now he must make the most difficult decision of his life: run or fight. (18 books + 1 large print + discussion questions)
Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something’s changed, and if there’s anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it’s a good rumor.
And rumor has it…
…that Madeline, a novelist, is battling writer’s block, with a deadline looming, bills piling up, and blank pages driving her to desperation–and a desperately bad decision;
…that Grace, hard at work to transform her backyard into a garden paradise, has been collaborating a bit more closely that necessary with her ruggedly handsome landscape architect;
…that Grace’s husband, successful island real estate developer “Fast Eddie” Pancik, has embarked on quite an unusual side project;
…that the storybook romance between Madeline’s son, Brick, and Grace’s daughter Allegra is on the rocks, heading for disaster.
As the gossip escalates, and they face the possible loss of the happy lives they’ve worked so hard to create, Grace and Madeline try mightily to set the record straight–but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it. (10 books + discussion questions)
A Spool of Blue Thread
“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon.” This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family–their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog–is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet, this gathering is different; Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and to determine the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red’s father. (10 books + discussion questions)
To Kill a Mockingbird
The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic that has been translated into more than 40 languages. (15 books + discussion questions)
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared–Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor. (5 books + discussion questions)
Water for Elephants
Jacob remembers his life some 70 years ago as part of a traveling circus, having fallen in love with the horse act star, Marlena; and both of them mutually smitten with Rosie the elephant. (10 books + discussion questions)
When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi
More than any other sports figure, Vince Lombardi transformed football into a metaphor for the American experience. The nine seasons during which he led the Green Bay Packers to five world championships is the most storied period in NFL history. Lombardi became a legend, a symbol to many of leadership, discipline, perseverance, and teamwork, and to others of an obsession with winning. Maraniss captures the myth and the man, football, God, and country in a thrilling biography that has become an American classic. (10 books + discussion questions)
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage – and a life, in good times and bad – that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.
Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later – the night before New Year’s Eve – the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.
This book is Didion’s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness … about marriage and children and memory … about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself. (10 books + discussion questions)