Book Club Kits: Adult Titles

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A

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie
Arnold Spirit, Jr. wants to get off the Indian, reservation where his family has lived for generations. As much as he loves his family and tribe, fourteen year old Junior sees so much poverty, self-destructive behavior, hopelessness and rampant alcoholism on the reservation that he worries that if he doesn't find a way out now - his future looks dim. His decision to enroll in the 'white school', however, has its own challenges.

 

Agincourt
Bernard Cornwell
Agincourt was a legendary battle of the Hundred Years War. Vastly outnumbered English forces defeated the French and secured the crown for Henry. Cornwell recounts this day and the events that led up to it through the fortunes of young archer Nicholas Hook, bringing the mud, blood and glory of a fighting man’s experience to vivid life.

 

Angels and Demons
Dan Brown
When a Swiss physicist is found murdered with the work "Illuminati" branded across his chest, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is called to investigate. Angels and Demons provides the thrilling pace, complex plotting and fascinating clues that are the hallmarks of Brown’s style.

 

B

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Dai Sijie
This novella tracks the lives of two teens, childhood friends who have been sent to a small Chinese village for "re-education" during Mao's Cultural Revolution. Sons of doctors and dentists, their days are now spent hauling buckets of excrement up the mountainside and mining coal. But the boys-Luo and the unnamed narrator-get a reprieve when the villagers discover their talents as storytellers, and on one of their trips into town, Lou meets the seamstress of the title and falls in love.

 

Becoming Naomi Leon
Pam Munoz Ryan
Naomi and her younger brother Owen, are living happily in Lemon Tree with their great-grandmother, until Terri Lynn, their mother, waltzes back into their life after a seven year absence.  (Children’s Literature)

 

Bel Canto
Ann Patchett
Terrorists seize an international group of hostages at an embassy party, and as the months go by, the lines between captive and captor blur.

 

The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison
An eleven-year-old African American girl prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be beautiful and accepted.

 

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Death narrates this World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood. The child arrives having just stolen her first book and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to teach her to read and to lull her to sleep when she is awakened by nightmares about her younger brother’s death. (Teen Title)

 

Breath, Eyes, Memory
Edwidge Danticat
An unforgettable novel that shimmers with the wonder and terror of its author's native Haiti. Set in the island's impoverished villages and in New York's Haitian community, this is the story of Sophie Caco, who was conceived in an act of violence, abandoned by her mother and then summoned to America. In New York, Sophie discovers that Haiti imposes harsh rules on its own. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

 

Bridge to Terabithia
Katherine Paterson
Jess and Leslie create an imaginary, secret kingdom in the woods called Terabithia that can be reached only by swinging across a creek bed on a rope. But one morning a tragic accident befalls Leslie as she ventures alone to Terabithia, and Jess's life is changed forever. (Children’s Literature)

 

C

The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger
Catcher in the Rye is the tale of Holden Caulfield, a troubled adolescent who leaves his fancy prep school for an urban walkabout.

 

City of Ember
Jeanne DuPrau
Lina and Doon live in the city of Ember where there is no natural light.  Ember is lit by an old generator that is slowly breaking down and the storerooms that hold all Ember's supplies are nearly empty. When Lina finds an ancient document that might be instructions for leaving the city, she and Doon embark on a desperate search for a way out of Ember.  (Children’s Literature)

 

City of Light
Lauren Belfer
The headmistress of an exclusive girl’s school in turn-of-the-century Buffalo tries to unravel a secret against the backdrop of politics, hydroelectric power and the Pan American Exposition.

 

Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
Alexandra Fuller
In this sequel to 'Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight', Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family. In 'Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness' Alexandra Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war- torn Africa of her own childhood.

 

The Color of Water
James McBride
An unforgettable memoir of a black man’s search to uncover his white mother’s roots and his own identity.

 

Coraline
Neil Gaiman
Coraline’s parents are always very busy so she must entertain herself.  She decides to explore her new apartment and finds a door that leads to a different world.  This world seems familiar at first but soon she learns that it is disturbingly different than her own. (Children’s Literature)

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon
Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red-but not yellow or brown-foods and screams when he is touched. When his neighbor's poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer. As the mystery leads him to the secrets of his parents' broken marriage and then into an odyssey to find his place in the world, he must fall back on deductive logic to navigate the emotional complexities of a social world that remains a closed book to him.

 

D

Dark Side of Nowhere
Neal Shusterman
Jason is fourteen years old, living in a boring small town, with boring parents, feeling alien in an adolescent body, and wishing for some kind of excitement to break up the normal routine.  And then everything changed.  Alien took on a whole new meaning and life was anything but boring. (Teen Title)

 

Devil in the White City
Erik Larson
Historical narrative of the people and events that shaped the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, including the seductive serial killer who lured its tourists to their deaths.

 

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie
Jordan Sonnenblick
Steven’s whole world revolves around girls and drumming.  Everything gets turned upside down when his annoying little brother is diagnosed with leukemia.  The family must learn how to cope with the emotional stresses being placed on each member. (Teen Title)

 

E

East of Eden
John Steinbeck
Steinbeck’s classic, sprawling novel follows the intertwined lives of the Trask and Hamilton families. This generational rivalry recreates the biblical story of Cain and Abel and the fall of Adam and Eve.

 

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Elizabeth Gilbert
Following a painful divorce and severe depression, the author leaves a successful career and travels the world for a year. On her quest to explore her own nature and learn the art of spiritual balance, she journeys to Italy, India, and Indonesia in this insightful and witty account of the year that would change her life forever.

 

Elsewhere
Gabrielle Zevin
Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall finds herself after she gets hit by a taxicab and dies.   It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different.  In this place Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth.   It is here in Elsewhere that Liz learns to live. (Teen Title)

 

The Emperor of Ocean Park
Stephen L. Carter
After the funeral of his powerful father, Talcott Garland, an African American law professor at an Ivy League university, is left to unravel the meaning of a cryptic note and carry out "the arrangements" his father left behind. Talcott soon finds himself in an investigation that entangles him with a number of questionable Washington, D.C., denizens, including attorneys and government officials, law professors, the FBI, shady underworld figures, chess masters, and friends and family. The closer he comes to unraveling his father's dark secrets, the more dangerous things become.

 

Empire Falls
Richard Russo
Empire Falls is the story of a once prosperous small town that has been on the decline for decades, and the inhabitants who remain there. Miles Roby, a middle-aged man is at the center of it all. As a young man, Miles was supposed to have left this dying town for a more fulfilling life, but when his mother became ill he returned - and never left. This is a heart-warming and at times hysterically funny tale, with a cast of characters you won't soon forget. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

 

Ethan Frome
Edith Wharton
New England farmer Ethan Frome leads a dutiful but loveless life caring for his wife Zeena.  When young Mattie enters their household she brings light and life with her.  The power of social convention and dilemma of personal responsibility play out in Ethan’s reaction to the chance she offers.

 

The Eyre Affair
Jasper Fforde
In this unusual mix of alternative history, fantasy fiction, time travel, and humor, Special Operative, Thursday Next, is a literary detective on the trail of a diabolical mastermind who kidnaps and kills characters from literary masterpieces, removing them from literature for all time.

 

F

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
Joseph Ellis

Founding Brothers takes a look at post-revolutionary war America by closely exploring the events and controversies from the nation’s early years.   Ellis does this by unflinchingly examining the politics and character of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison.

 

G

Galileo’s Daughter
Dava Sobel
In Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel tells the story of the famous scientist and his illegitimate daughter, Sister Maria Celeste. Sobel bases her book on 124 surviving letters to the scientist from the nun, whom Galileo described as "a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and tenderly attached to me." Their loving correspondence revealed much about their world: the agonies of the bubonic plague, and the hardships of monastic life.

 

Graceland
Christopher Abani
Born into poverty in the chaotic capital city of Nigeria, Elvis is tempted by the underworld and enters a life of crime, encountering beggers, musicians, and American pop culture as he tries to survive in postcolonial Nigeria.

 

Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
A collection of the Edgar Allan Poe’s classic works in prose and verse. This Enriched Classic Edition includes a concise introduction that gives the reader important background information, a chronology of the author's life and work and a timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context. The Enriched Classics Editions enable readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

 

Gentlemen and Players
Joanne Harris
Harboring dark ties to St. Oswald's past, a young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy the school. A veteran teacher faces a formidable opponent - a master player with a bitter grudge and a strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final move, a secret game with very real, very deadly consequences.

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson
A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It is about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. It is a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

 

The Glass Castle
Jeanette Walls
The second child of a scholarly, alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family’s nomadic upbringing from the Arizona desert to Las Vegas, and an Appalachian mining town.

 

God Don’t Like Ugly
Mary Monroe
Lonely, shy and overweight Annette Goode endures years of sexual abuse by her mother’s boarder, until her new friend and confidante, the wealthy and beautiful Rhoda, takes matters into her own hands.

 

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay Gatsby, a member of the successful, newly rich class of Jazz Age America aspires to be part of the careless, extravagant lifestyle of the established rich, and attain the illicit love of a wealthy man’s wife.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Juliet Ashton’s life changes dramatically when she embarks on a unique writing project that will introduce her to a circle of friends from Guernsey, an island in the English Channel that had been occupied by the Nazis during World War II.  These brave men and women had formed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society as a cover to protect themselves from the Germans. 

 

H

The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood
A look at a future dystopian society where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only for reproduction.

 

A House for Mr. Biswas
V.S. Naipaul
The early masterpiece of V.S. Naipaul’s brilliant career, A House for Mr. Biswas is an unforgettable story inspired by Naipaul's father that has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels. In his forty-six short years, Mr. Mohun Biswas has been fighting against destiny to achieve some semblance of independence, only to face a lifetime of calamity. Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning death of his father, for which he is inadvertently responsible, Mr. Biswas yearns for a place he can call home. But when he marries into the domineering Tulsi family on whom he indignantly becomes dependent, Mr. Biswas embarks on an arduous and endless struggle to weaken their hold over him and purchase a house of his own. A heartrending, dark comedy of manners, A House for Mr. Biswas masterfully evokes a man’s quest for autonomy against an emblematic post-colonial canvas.

 

House of Dies Drear
Virginia Hamilton
In The House of Dies Drear, an African-American family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. (Children’s Literature)

 

The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende
On the day that the priest accused her of being possessed by the devil and that her Uncle Marcos's body was delivered to her house accompanied by a puppy, Clara del Valle began keeping a journal. Fifty years later, her husband Esteban and her granddaughter Alba refer to these journals as they piece together the story of their family.

 

I

In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
This nonfiction book recounts the brutal murder of the Clutter family in their Kansas home on November 15, 1959.  Though most readers know the outcome of the story, Capote builds suspense as he recounts the events leading up to the killings, the capture of the murderers, and their trial and execution.  This is a classic that set the precedent for the modern true crime genre, and raises questions about crime and violence in America.

 

In the Bleak Midwinter
Julia Spencer Fleming
Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest in Miller’s Kill, NY, is a tough ex Army chopper pilot.  A newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with Russ Van Alstyne, the town's police chief, and their search for the baby's mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Miller's Kill.   What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other-and murder...

 

In the Time of the Butterflies
Julia Alvarez
A story based on actual events evokes the horror of the Dominican Republic under dictator General Trujillo, as three sisters die in a jeep "accident".

Into Thin Air
Jon Krakauer
A first-hand account of the catastrophic expedition up Mt. Everest in 1996. Despite the expertise of the climbing group’s leaders, by the end of summit day eight, people were dead. Krakauer’s story of ill-fated adventure also recalls the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history.

 

J

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Wendy Mass
Jeremy Fink and his friend, Lizzie, undertake a fabulous adventure as they try to unlock the box which contains the meaning of life. (Children's Literature)

 

K

The Killing Sea
Richard Lewis

Two teens in Aceh, Indonesia find each other surrounded by the destruction left in the wake of the most devastating tsunami the world has ever seen.

 

The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini
This is the story of the friendship between a wealthy boy the son of his father’s servant, both of whom are caught up in the tragic final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy and the brutality of the Taliban’s rule.

 

L

The Last Town on Earth
Thomas Mullen
A small, isolated logging community enacts the drastic measure of quarantine to protect itself from the deadly influenza epidemic of 1918. The town is changed forever when a WWI soldier attempts to enter the community and the sequence of events that follow.

 

Lean Six Sigma for Service
Michael George
This book explains how using Lean Six Sigma tools can improve service quality and value to the public while lowering the cost to an organization.

 

The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan
Half-god, half-human Percy can not stop getting into trouble.  When Zeus’ lightning bolt is stolen, everyone suspects Percy because of his mischievous history.  In an attempt to bring peace to Olympus, Percy starts a journey to find the missing lightning bolt.  As the first in the Olympian series, this book introduces readers to the wondrous life of a demigod. (Children’s Literature)

 

Links
Nuruddin Farah
Gripping, provocative, and revelatory, Links is a novel that will stand as a classic of modern world literature. Jeebleh is returning to Mogadiscio, Somalia, for the first time in twenty years. But this is not a nostalgia trip—his last residence there was a jail cell.

 

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Tiffany Baker
This small-town family drama explores themes of friendship, family, revenge and mercy with a host of memorable characters, most notably Truly Plaice - the little giant.

 

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Little Prince is a fantasy about a pilot, stranded in the Sahara, who meets a small boy from another planet who calls himself as a prince. The little prince, on a quest for knowledge, asks questions of the pilot, and tells the pilot about life on his own very small planet. This is a story of a grown-up who has almost forgotten what is important, and the story of the pilot's reconnection to his own sense of imagination and wonder.

 

Looking for Alaska
John Green
Miles leaves his Florida home to go to boarding school in rural Alabama where he meets a group of like-minded friends.  A young woman named Alaska, the love interest of many boys there, commits suicide and all must come to grips with the loss. (Teen Title)

 

Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

 

The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold
This is the tale of family, memory, love, and living told by 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who is already in heaven. Through the voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and builds out of her family's grief a hopeful and joyful story.

 

Loving Frank
Nancy Horan
This novel tells the story of the love affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

Lucky You
Carl Hiaasen
Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles--the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the Stigmata Man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the State Lottery. JoLayne wants to use her winnings to save the forest in Grange from being turned into a strip-mall. Bodean Gazzer and his buddy, Chub, have the other winning ticket, and want the whole $28 million to start their own underground militia. When Bode and Chub brutally assault her and steal her ticket, JoLayne vows to track them down, take it back--and get revenge.

 

M

The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Detective Sam Spade becomes embroiled with a mysterious client, avenges the death of his partner, and chases a priceless treasure, in this classic American private-eye novel.

 

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer
James L. Swanson
For 12 days, assisted by family and some women smitten by his legendary physical beauty, John Wilkes Booth relied on smarts, stealth and luck to elude detectives, military officers and local police after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

 

Marley and Me
John Grogan
The Grogan’s had just started their life together when they brought home a yellow Labrador puppy named, Marley.  Although innocent and loveable to the core, Marley was a ball of destruction.  He barreled through screen doors, drooled on friends, and ate nearly everything he could.  Obedience school did not help, nor did veterinarian prescribed tranquilizers.   But Marley would change the family’s lives forever.  He would share the Grogan’s joys and sorrows and show them the true meaning of unconditional love.

 

Middlesex
Jeffrey Eugenides
Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history in which genetics meets medical incompetence meets history. At the center of the story is the odd but utterly believable story of Cal Stephanides, and how this 41-year-old hermaphrodite was raised as Calliope.

 

Mistress of the Art of Death
Ariana Franklin
With the horrific killing of a Christian boy in England, Plantagenet King Henry II implores the King of Sicily to dispatch his best master of a frightful new science (12th Century forensics or the "art of death"), to solve the crime.  A mistress arrives instead.....

 

Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer  Bradley
The conflict of opposing religious views and the feminist perspective are incorporated into the famous legend of King Arthur. The tale is told through Arthur’s sister, Morgaine, Priestess of Avalon, as she experiences the increasing domination of Christianity over Goddess worship, its effects upon Avalon, the British Isles, and family relationships.

 

Monster
Walter Dean Myers
Steve Harmon is terrified.  He is 16 years old and on trial for murder in connection with a robbery.  He insists he is innocent, but his defense attorney, and even his own father, question his involvement in the crime. (Teen Title)

 

Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie
An American passenger is murdered on board the fabled Orient Express. Hercule Poirot determines that the corpse was a renowned child kidnapper/killer, and begins to wonder about connections between the other passengers and the victim. A misplaced button, overheard conversations, a monogrammed handkerchief, and an elusive figure clad in a scarlet kimono all become clues in this variation on the theme of the English house-party.

 

My Sister’s Keeper
Jodi Picoult
Kate Fitzgerald has a rare form of leukemia. Her sister, Anna, was conceived to provide a donor match for procedures that become increasingly invasive. At 13, Anna hires a lawyer so that she can sue her parents for the right to make her own decisions about how her body is used when a kidney transplant is planned. The book explores the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding genetic planning, and the prospect of creating babies for health purposes.

 

N

The Namesake
Jhumpa Lahiri
Lahiri brings her own insight as a first generation American to the story of Gogol Ganguli.  Trying to find a place he belongs, negotiating the place between his parents’ traditional culture and his modern American life of career, friends and lovers, Gogol’s story is told with sensitivity and candor.

 

Native Son
Richard Wright
Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Native Son tells the story of Bigger Thomas, a young black man whose life spins out of control after he kills a young white woman in a moment of panic.

 

No More Dead Dogs
Gordon Korman
For detention, eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to attending rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of himself, he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve not only the play but his life as well. (Children’s Literature)

 

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith
The beloved first novel in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives." Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, Mma Ramotswe is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart-and lands her in danger-is that of a missing eleven-year-old boy who may have been snatched by witch doctors.

 

O

Of Human Bondage
W. Somerset Maugham
Of Human Bondage is W. Somerset Maugham’s acclaimed semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel.   An orphan, and born with a club foot, Philip Carey is a sensitive young man who at 18 goes in search of adventure and a philosophy of his own.  After time in Heidelberg and Paris, Philip settles in London and it is there he meets Mildred – for whom he develops an all-consuming, destructive love.

 

The Other Boleyn Girl
Phillipa Gregory
Historically based tale of Mary Boleyn, who was mistress of Henry VIII before her sister Anne insinuated herself into the King’s good graces.

 

P

A Painted House
John Grisham
It’s harvest time on an Arkansas cotton farm, and this book chronicles two months in the life of seven-year-old Luke Chandler who, before the season is over will have seen his first naked girl, peeked through a window at a loud and painful childbirth and witnessed two murders.

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde
After Dorian Gray has his self portrait painted by Basil Hallward he is so captivated by his own beauty that he pledges his soul to keep his good looks.  As Dorian is drawn into the corrupt and sensual life by Lord Henry Wotton, he stays magically youthful, while his beautiful portrait becomes a monstrosity.

 

Plot Against America
Philip Roth
An alternate history as lived by young Philip, a Jewish boy in Newark, New Jersey.  Hero and isolationist Charles Lindbergh has defeated FDR to become president in 1940.  As Lindbergh’s increasingly pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic policies take hold, Philip recounts the confusion, fear and courage that play out in his family and his country.

 

The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver
Told through the voices of the wife and four daughters of a Baptist missionary in the Belgian Congo, this story chronicles the transformation of their lives over the course of 30 years.

 

Pope Joan
Donna Woolfolk Cross
Vividly recreating life during the Dark Ages, while simultaneously painting a portrait of an unforgettable woman, "Pope Joan" explores the extraordinary life of an independent, intelligent and courageous woman who overcomes oppression and ascends to the highest religious power ("San Francisco Chronicle").

 

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
Austen’s classic story of the romance between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett despite 18th Century societal prejudice and their personal pride.

 

R

The Red Tent
Anita Diamant
Dinah, a minor character among women of the Old Testament, learns endurance and humanity through the female ritual practices of the time.

 

The Road
Cormac McCarthy
A man and his son journey across a burned, post-apocalyptic America toward the sea and an uncertain salvation.

 

S

Say You’re One of Them
Uwem Akpan
Each short story making up Say You’re One of Them, is a testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing situations our planet can offer.

 

The Shack
William P. Young
Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

 

Silent in the Grave
Deanna Raybourne
With the help of the mysterious private inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane, Lady Julia investigates the death of her husband and discovers a hidden world of lies and obsessions in Victorian England.

 

Silent to the Bone
E.L. Konigsburg
Connor Kane is sure that his best friend, Branwell Zamborska, couldn't have hurt Branwell's baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki is in a coma, and Branwell is in the Clarion County Juvenile Behavioral Center suspected of a horrible crime and unable to speak in order to tell what really happened the day. Connor is the only one who might be able to break through Branwell's silence. Can he prove Branwell didn't commit the act of which he's accused? (Teen Title)

 

The Sisters Grimm, Book One: Fairy-Tale Detectives
Michael Buckley
Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, are sent to live in the town of Ferryport Landing, New York with a grandmother they didn’t know existed.  While there they discover strange crimes, mysteries and a town inhabited by both fairy tale characters (Everafters) and a human population. (Children’s Literature)

 

The Sittaford Mystery
Agatha Christie
In a remote house on a bitter wintry night, a group gathers to pass the time with a seemingly innocent séance.  But when the table spells out an eerie message—“Captain Trevelyan…dead…murder,” things go from cheerful to downright creepy.  Was this just a joke…or not?  To find out, someone will need to travel six miles on foot through the snow—a dangerous journey when a killer could be watching your every move.  An isolated setting, a cast of eccentric characters, and a plot full of twists and turns make this a true Agatha Christie classic.

 

The Sleeping Doll
Jeffery Deaver
Psychopathic cult killer Daniel Pell escapes from prison.  Interrogation and kinesics expert Kathryn Dance heads the suspenseful manhunt to find him.

 

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Lisa See
Set in 19th century China, this is the story of the friendship between Snow Flower and Lily.  The two girls share the agony of foot binding at age 7, and later the joys and sorrows of arranged marriages and motherhood – until a heartbreaking misunderstanding drastically changes their relationship.

 

Sold
Patricia McCormick
Although her family is desperately poor, thirteen-year-old Lakshmi loves her mother, brother, and the simple life she leads in her small Himalayan mountain town. However, when their rice crop is wiped out and her step-father has gambled away their money, Lakshmi is told that she must go to work as a maid in the city to help support her family. She is instead sold into the sex slave trade in Calcutta until she can pay off her family debt. Will she ever be able to earn her freedom? (Teen Title)

 

The Stranger
Albert Camus
This is the troubling story of a young Algerian, Mersault, who inexplicably kills a man.  He is convicted as much for his seemingly indifferent reaction to his mother’s recent death as for the actual murder.

 

Stuck In Neutral
Terry Trueman
Shawn’s father is trying to kill him.  That’s what Shawn thinks, at least, that his father is trying to put him out of his own misery.  Shawn has cerebral palsy with severe developmental disabilities and can not communicate with the outside world.  With perfect memory, Shawn recounts the events in his life in each chapter that lead him to the present day.  (Teen Title)

 

The Sweet Hereafter
Russell Banks
In The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks tells a story that begins with a school bus accident. Using four different narrators, Banks creates a small-town morality play that addresses one of life's most agonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame?

 

T

Tale of Despereaux
Kate DiCamillo
Meet Despereaux Tilling, a smaller than average mouse with an adventurous spirit who happens to be in love with a human princess named Pea.  Also meet Roscuro, a rat with a vendetta against Princess Pea, and Miggery Sow, a young castle servant who longs to become a princess.  They all come together in this tale of adventure and courage. (Children’s Literature)

 

A Tale of Love and Darkness
Amos Oz
It is the story of a boy growing up in the war-torn Jerusalem of the forties and fifties, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many. His mother and father, both wonderful people, were ill-suited to each other. When Oz was twelve and a half years old, his mother committed suicide, a tragedy that was to change his life. He leaves the constraints of the family and the community of dreamers, scholars, and failed businessmen and joins a kibbutz, changes his name, marries, has children, and finally becomes a writer as well as an active participant in the political life of Israel.

 

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens
Through the lives of several memorable characters, this novel depicts the distressing conditions of the working class under the oppression of the aristocracy in the years leading up to the French Revolution and consequently the brutality of the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats during the early part of the revolution. 

 

Tenderness
Robert Cormier
Eric Poole, 18, is a serial killer who has recently been released from a juvenile detention center for murdering his parents.  Lori, 15, has run away from home again.  Both are looking for tenderness in their lives, but their ideas of tenderness are very different.  Lori is looking for tenderness from Eric.  Eric is looking for the tenderness he finds in killing beautiful girls. (Teen Title)

 

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace -- One School at a Time
Greg Mortenson
In Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson, and journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the journey that led Mortenson to successfully establish schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time.

 

Timeline
Michael Crichton
When graduate students discover a 600-year-old note signed by their missing professor while reconstructing a medieval site in France, they go back in time to rescue their leader and friend.  Arriving in the middle ages during the Hundred Years War, they will need every bit of skill and knowledge they have to come back to present time.

 

Transfer
Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye has spent thirty-five years traveling the world to lead writing workshops and inspire students of all ages. In her newest collection Transfer she draws on her Palestinian American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her extensive travel experiences to create a poetry collection that attests to our shared humanity.

 

Tuck Everlasting
Natalie Babbitt
On the hottest day in August, ten year old Winnie Foster summons the courage to go beyond the iron gates of her house alone. Entering the dark woods, she discovers a secret no one could have imagined.  Will Winnie keep the secret? (Teen Title, Children’s Literature)

 

Twilight
Stephenie Meyer
When Bella Swan goes to live with her father in the small and rainy town of Forks, Washington she doesn’t realize the exciting and terrifying turn her life is about to take.  It’s here that she meets the mysterious, beautiful, and not entirely human, Edward Cullen. (Teen Title)

 

U

Uglies
Scott Westerfield
Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all. (Teen Title)

 

W

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Bill Bryson
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America. Bill Bryson introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears.

 

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen
Ninety-three year old Jacob Jankowski recalls life as a young veterinarian with a Depression-era traveling circus.  Love, murder, and an elephant named Rosie await the reader in this profoundly moving tale.

 

The Watsons Go To Birmingham
Christopher Paul Curtis
This book, often funny yet sometimes deeply moving, is told by ten-year-old Kenny and is the story of his family, the Watsons of Flint, Michigan and their trip to Birmingham, Alabama in the Summer of 1963.  What they will soon witness is one of the most tragic events in America’s history—the racially motivated bombing of a Birmingham church in which four young girls lose their lives. (Children’s Literature)

 

What You Owe Me

Bebe Moore Campbell

Tale of a black woman and a Jewish immigrant in post World War II Los Angeles.  Their illfated partnership has a profound impact upon their next generation.

 

White Teeth
Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith's dazzling first novel plays out its bounding, vibrant course in a Jamaican hair salon in North London, an Indian restaurant in Leicester Square, an Irish poolroom turned immigrant cafe, a liberal public school, a sleek science institute. A winning debut in every respect, White Teeth marks the arrival of a wondrously talented writer who takes on the big themes-faith, race, gender, history and culture and triumphs.

 

Wild Seed
Octavia Butler
He could not die, she could not be killed. Together - from Africa to the American colonies - Doro and Anyanwu create an amazing race, and a destiny that not even immortals can imagine.

 

The woman warrior : memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts
Maxine Hong Kingston
A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.

 

Y

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
Geraldine Brooks
In 1666, a young woman comes of age during an extraordinary year of love and death.