Book Club Kits
We know it can sometimes be difficult to choose a book for your next book group meeting and to find enough copies for all the members of your group. We’ve made it easier for you by providing several copies of books and putting them in a canvas bag which can be checked out to your book club. We’ve included discussion questions and information about each author in a folder for each collection.
Once your book discussion group has decided on a title, send a group member to the Bellevue Public Library, or call us at (402) 293-3157, to register your club and to reserve that title. The kits will be checked out on the library card issued to your book club. Book clubs from Bellevue, La Vista, Plattsmouth and Papillion are eligible to participate.
The contact person for each club should be able to show identification and proof of current address when registering the book club. Registration allows the club to check out Book Club Kit books ONLY. No other library items can be checked out on a club’s card. Acceptance of the card is the club’s agreement to comply with the rules and regulations of the Library.
Book Club Kit Use Policies:
- The book club kits (four or more copies) check out for six weeks. These cannot be renewed.
- Book discussion kits must be returned to the main desk in the Library. DO NOT place kits in any outdoor or indoor book-drops.
- Book clubs are encouraged to return the book club kit with all materials present. Damage to or loss of kit materials may result in a fine assessment. The book club itself will determine how that amount will be resolved among its members.
New titles added June 2015 include the following: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown; The Gin and Chowder Club by Nan Rossiter; The Good Lord Bird by James McBride; The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty; The Infatuations by Javier Marias; The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd; A Long Way Home by Connie Briscoe; The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri; Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain; The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian; The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez; The Spire by Richard North Patterson; Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard; Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan; and Vanity Insanity by Mary Kay Leatherman.
Ackerman, Diane. The Zookeeper’s Wife. 368 pages (nonfiction.) When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw — and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages and hiding them in their villa.
Agee, Jonis. The River Wife. 408 pages. An earthquake brings Annie Lark’s Missouri house down on top of her. Rescued by French fur trapper Jacques Ducharme, Annie learns to love him and resolves to live out her days as his “River Wife.” More than a century later, in 1930, Hedie Rails comes to Jacques’ Landing to marry Clement Ducharme. A pregnant Hedie finds comfort in Annie’s leather-bound journals, but as she reads of the events that spelled out tragedy for the rescued bride, Hedie fears that her own life is paralleling Annie’s. (Donated by the Tattered Covers book club.)
Alcott, Kate. The Dressmaker. 306 pages. Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, but on the fourth night, disaster strikes.
Aldrich, Bess Streeter. A Lantern in Her Hand. 408 pages (2009 One Book One Nebraska Selection). In this classic story of a pioneer woman, Bess Streeter Aldrich modeled protagonist Abbie Deal on her own mother, who in 1854 had traveled by covered wagon to the Midwest. In the novel, Abbie accompanies her family to the soon-to-be-state of Nebraska. There, in 1865, she marries and settles into her own sod house. The novel describes Abbie's years of child-raising, of making a frontier home able to withstand every adversity.
Allende, Isabel. Ines of My Soul. 313 pages. Allende chronicles the brave deeds and passionate loves of Ines Surez, a spirited woman who journeys to the New World and helps establish the nation of Chile.
Atwood, Margaret. The Blind Assassin. 521 pages. A novel within a novel, this Booker Prize winner includes a story told by two unnamed lovers. Told in a style that captures the colloquialisms of the 1930s and 1940s, it unfolds layer by layer and concludes with a twist.
Benjamin, Melanie. The Aviator's Wife. 402 pages. Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America's most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. (Donated by the Trinity Book Discussion Group.)
Bin Ladin, Carmen. Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia. 214 pages (nonfiction). Carmen Bin Ladin, the sister-in-law of Osama Bin Laden, provides a penetrating look inside the Bin Laden family, Saudi society and the treatment of Saudi women.
Blake, Sarah. The Postmistress. 326 pages. In 1940, Iris James is the postmistress in coastal Franklin, MA. Iris knows more about the townspeople than she will ever say, and believes her job is to deliver secrets. Yet one day she does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it, and doesn't deliver it. Meanwhile, Frankie Bard broadcasts from overseas with Edward R. Murrow. Her dispatches beg listeners to pay heed as the Nazis bomb London nightly. Most of the townspeople of Franklin think the war can't touch them. But both Iris and Frankie know better...
Bloom, Amy. Away. 247 pages. Away is the epic and intimate story of young Lillian Leyb, a dangerous innocent, an accidental heroine. When her family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom, Lillian comes to America alone, determined to make her way in a new land. When word comes that her daughter, Sophie, might still be alive, Lillian embarks on an odyssey that takes her from the world of the Yiddish theater on New York's Lower East Side to Alaska, along the fabled Telegraph Trail toward Siberia.
Blum, Jenna. Those Who Save Us. 482 pages. Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life during WW II. Her daughter Trudy's sole evidence of the past is a portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald. (Donated by the Plattsmouth Teachers Book Club.)
Bohjalian. Chris. The Sandcastle Girls. 299 pages. An American granddaughter embarks on a journey back through her family's Armenian history, uncovering a story of love, loss -- and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. 190 pages. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper burns. Fahrenheit 451 is a short novel set in the (perhaps near) future when "firemen" burn books forbidden by the totalitarian "brave new world" regime.
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Briscoe, Connie. A Long Way Home. 400 pages. In a story that spans more than six decades, Briscoe draws from her own family history to recreate a vivid picture of slavery in the American South, focusing on a family of intelligent women slaves reared on President James Madison's Virginia plantation. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Brooks, Geraldine. Year of Wonders. 308 pages. In 1666, a young woman comes of age during an extraordinary year of love and death. Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a “plague village” in the hill country of England.
Brown, Dan. Angels and Demons. 572 pages. Robert Langdon goes to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist and uncovers a plot involving an ancient secret brotherhood and a new weapon of destruction.
Brown, Daniel James.The Boys in the Boat. 404 pages (nonfiction). In the depth of the Depression, nine working-class boys from the American West beat the odds to win gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Brown, Eleanor. Weird Sisters. 369 pages. Professor James Andreas has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, they discover that everything they've been running from might offer more than they ever expected.
Bryson, Bill. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir. 270 pages (nonfiction). Bryson pens a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the middle of the United States in the middle of the last century.
The Buried Life. What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? 208 pages (nonfiction). Four regular guys are on a mission to complete a list of 100 things before they die, and for every item they accomplish, they help a total stranger to do something on his or her own to-do list. From a popular website and former reality TV show. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Burpo, Todd. Heaven Is for Real. 163 pages (nonfiction). This is the true story of the 4-year-old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about his experience. Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place.
Cather, Willa. My Antonia. 272 pages. Antonia Shimerda is the daughter of a Bohemian pioneer immigrant in Nebraska. Through the eyes of friend and narrator Jim Burden, the reader follows her life that includes many hardships but ultimately is one of inner triumph.
Cather, Willa. O Pioneers! 206 pages.The 2013 One Book One Nebraska selection is the story of Alexandra Bergson, the daughter of Swedish immigrant farmers, whose devotion to the land sustains her against the hardships and suffering of prairie life.
Chamberlain, Diane. Necessary Lies. 334 pages. Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina, in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, this is the story of two young women, semmingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. (Donated by the OOSC Book Club.)
Chevalier, Tracy. Remarkable Creatures. 312 pages. Set on the Dorset Coast, this novel tells the story of prickly spinster Elizabeth Philpot and young, brash Mary Anning, both avid fossil collectors. When Mary discovers two never-before-seen species, ripples of fear, confusion, and disbelief rock not only the scientific community, but the religious community, as well.
Chiaverini, Jennifer. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. 356 pages. Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born a slave. A gifted seamstress, she earned her freedom by the skill of her needle, and won the friendship of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln by her devotion.
Child, Lee. The Killing Floor. 407 pages. A discharged soldier is framed for a murder by the chief of police in a small town in Georgia where he has just arrived. When the soldier learns that the murdered man was his brother, he breaks out of jail and carries out his own investigation. (Donated by the HotTotties Book Club.)
Choo, Yangsze. The Ghost Bride. 362 pages. Li Lan, the daughter of a respectable Chinese family in colonial Malaysia, hopes for a favorable marriage, but her father has lost his fortune, and she has few suitors. Instead, the wealthy Lim family urges her to become a "ghost bride" for their son, who has recently died under mysterious circumstances. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at what price?
Clark, Mary Higgins and Clark, Carol Higgins. Dashing Through the Snow. 226 pages. It's Christmastime and people begin to go missing in the village of Branscombe, NH, when two multi-million dollar lottery winning tickets are drawn. (Donated by the HotTotties Book Club.)
Clark, Mindy Starns. The Secrets of Harmony Grove. 364 pages. When New York marketing executive Samantha Collins finds herself unemployed, she moves to sleepy Harmony Grove, PA. She plans on running a bed-and-breakfast, but when the manager she lets go is found murdered, her troubles take a serious turn. (Donated by the Bellevue Bookies Book Club.)
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Cleave, Chris. Little Bee. 271 pages. Cleave creates a haunting novel about the tenuous friendship that blooms between two disparate strangers -- one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. 374 pages. Katniss lives in Panem, in what used to be the United States. As part of the surrender terms of war, each district sends one boy and one girl to appear in the deadly, televised event called, "The Hunger Games." When her sister is chosen, Kat goes in her place. (Donated by the OOSC Book Club.)
Conklin, Tara. The House Girl. 372 pages. Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre-Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, the novel follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned artist whose works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine. (Donated by the OOSC Book Club.)
Conroy, Pat. South of Broad. 524 pages. Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered -- and shadowed -- by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of high school outsiders. Their friendship is tested by marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina's dark legacy of racism and class divisions.
Conway, Jill Ker. The Road from Coorain. 271 pages (nonfiction). Conway recounts her journey from a girlhood on an Australian sheep farm to her departure for America (and eventually the presidency of Smith College).
Coplin, Amanda. The Orchardist. 426 pages. Reclusive orchardist William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. One day, two teenage girls take up on his land and discover his compassion. Just as the girls begin to trust him, men arrive with guns. Talmadge sets out on a course to protect them and to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.
Cunningham, Michael. The Hours. 226 pages. This Pulitzer Prize winter draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.
Dalby, Robert. Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly. 309 pages. The Piggly Wiggly has been the hub of the community of Second Creek, Miss., but now it may be forced to shut down. Determined to keep her favorite market open, Laurie Lepanto enlists the help of her fellow "Nitwitts," influential widows who love to socialize. With the help of handsome widower and former ballroom dancer Powell Hampton, they have the ladies of Second Creek fox-trotting back into the market. It's become the town's most festive event: waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly.
Dallas, Sandra. Prayers for Sale. 305 pages. It's 1936 and Hennie Comfort, 86, notices Nit Spindle, 17, loitering near the old sign outside of her house in Middle Swan, CO, that promises Prayers For Sale. Hennie doesn't sell prayers, never has, but there's something about the young woman that she's drawn to. The harsh conditions of life that each have endured create an instant bond and an unlikely friendship is formed. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Dallas, Sandra. Tallgrass. 305 pages. During World War II, a family finds life turned upside down when the government opens a Japanese internment camp in their small Colorado town.
Dean, Debra. The Madonnas of Leningrad. 231 pages. Moving back and forth in time between the Siege of Leningrad and modern-day America, this novel is a searing portrait of war and remembrance, of the power of love, memory, and art to offer beauty, grace, and hope in the face of overwhelming despair.
DeWitt, Patrick. The Sisters Brothers. 328 pages. Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. Henchmen Eli and Charlie Sisters will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn't share his brother's appetite for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. But in pursuit of Warm, Eli begins to question what he does for a living-and whom he does it for.
Diamant, Anita. The Red Tent. 321 pages. In the Book of Genesis, Dinah’s tale is a short, horrific detour in the narrative of Jacob and Joseph. In the Biblical tale Dinah is given no voice; here, she is the narrator of the novel, revealing the life of ancient womanhood.
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Diffenbaugh, Vanessa. The Language of Flowers. 334 pages. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria is unable to get close to anybody, her only connection to the world through flowers and their meanings. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger forces her to confront a painful secret from her past. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Didion, Joan. The Year of Magical Thinking. 227 pages (nonfiction). Didion chronicles the experience of losing her husband to a massive coronary just weeks after the two of them watched as their only daughter was put into an induced coma to save her life.
Doig, Ivan. The Whistling Season. 345 pages. This is the saga of how a widow from Minneapolis and her brother -- soon to become the new teacher in a tiny Montana community in 1909 -- change lives in unexpected ways.
Donoghue, Emma. The Room. 321 pages. Narrator Jack and his mother live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a shed in her kidnapper's yard. After an escape attempt, Jack is introduced to the outside world. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Dubus III, Andre. The House of Sand and Fog. 365 pages. Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, three people converge in an explosive collision course.
Edwards, Kim. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. 401 pages. In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a decision that will haunt all their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and to keep her birth a secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child as her own.
Egan, Timothy. The Worst Hard Time: the Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. 340 pages (nonfiction). Pulitzer Prize-winning Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains during the Depression.
Ellis, Joseph. His Excellency: George Washington. 320 pages (nonfiction). Ellis paints a full portrait of George Washington's life and career -- from his military years through his two terms as president. He richly details Washington's private life and illustrates the ways in which it influenced his public persona.
Enger, Leif. Peace Like a River. 312 pages. Reuben Land, 11, an asthmatic boy, has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, he finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been controversially charged with murder.
Erdrich, Louise. The Master Butcher’s Singing Club. 388 pages. What happens when a trained killer discovers that his true vocation is love? Having survived World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns home to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend who was killed in action.
Erdrich, Louise. The Round House. 321 pages. One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to reveal what happened.
Evanovich, Janet. One for the Money. 334 pages. A New Jersey bounty hunter with attitude, bail-bonds apprehension agent Stephanie Plum pursues a former vice cop, now on the run, with whom she shares a sordid history and a powerful chemistry. Donated by the Kutak Rock Book Club.)
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Fallon, Siobhan. You Know When the Men Are Gone. 226 pages. Through a series of loosely interconnected stories, Fallon tells us about the many women waiting for their men to return in Ft. Hood, TX. (Donated by the OOSC Book Club.)
Flagg, Fannie. Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven. 365 pages. Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood Springs, MO, where the most unlikely and surprising experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-old question: Why are we here?
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. 326 pages. Oskar Schell, 9, embarks on an urgent, secret mission to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center.
Ford, Jamie. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. 301 pages. The Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown, has been boarded up for decades. Now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. Henry Lee, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s and their special friendship.
Franklin, Ariana. Mistress of the Art of Death. 420 pages. In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town's Jewish community. King Henry I places the Cambridge Jews under his protection and appeals to his cousin, the King of Sicily, to send him his finest "master of the art of death." Her name is Adelia.
Franklin, Tom. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. 274 pages. In the 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas Jones were boyhood pals in a small town in rural Mississippi. Larry was the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, black single mother. But then Larry took a girl to a drive-in movie and she was never seen or heard from again. He never confessed . . . and was never charged. Twenty years later, another girl has disappeared, forcing the two men to confront a past they've buried for decades.
Gaiman, Neil. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. 181 pages. When a man returns to the Sussex country town where he grew up, he is inexplicably drawn toward the magical house at the end of the lane where he met three extraordinary women when he was 7 years old.
Genova, Lisa. Still Alice. 293 pages. Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. She receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away.
George, Alex. The Good American. 422 pages. This is the story of the Meisenheimer family, told by James, a third-generation American living in Missouri, celebrating his grandfather's music that became an anthem of love for his adopted country.
George, Anne. Murder on a Bad Hair Day. 246 pages. It's hard to believe practical, petite ex-schoolteacher Patricia Anne and amiable, ample-bodied, and outrageous Mary Alice are sisters. A common interest in local art leads to a gallery opening. A few hours later and the gallery owner is dead. Now the sisters are once again combing for clues to catch a killer with a bizarre style in art -- and murder. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Gilbert, Elizabeth. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. 334 pages (nonfiction). Leaving behind all the trappings of modern American success, Gilbert sets out for a year to explore three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures: the art of pleasure in Italy; the art of devotion in India; and then a balance between the two in Indonesia.
Goodwin, Daisy. The American Heiress. 468 pages. For daughters of the new American billionaires of the 19th century, it was the ultimate deal: marriage to a cash-strapped British Aristocrat in return for a title and social status. But money didn’t always buy them happiness.
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. 916 pages (nonfiction). Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius as she chronicles the rise of the one-term congressman/prairie lawyer from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president and then persuade them to join his cabinet.
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Goolrick, Robert. A Reliable Wife. 218 pages. Rural Wisconsin, 1907. Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for a reliable wife. But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she's not the simple, honest woman that he is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man's devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow.
Gorman, Charles. Saddle Up! 245 pages (nonfiction). Jennifer Branch was just 2 years old when her father was killed in Vietnam. When she grew up, she discovered letters he had written home and she wanted to know what her father was like from the men in his command. She found Charles Gorman, a guidance counselor in Plattsmouth, NE, who had been his radioman. It was at her request and Gorman’s own sense of urgency that he has written this memoir about his combat tour in Vietnam in 1969. (Donated by the PLTS Teachers Book Club.)
Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. 318 pages. Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a Stage IV thyroid cancer patient, had accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to re-examine her perspective on love, loss, and life. (Donated by the Bellevue Book Babes.)
Greene, Bob. Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen. 246 pages (nonfiction). Greene discovers the echoes of the most touching love story imaginable in this true tale of small-town Nebraskans who banded together to warm the hearts of lonely young men being sent off to war. (2014 One Book One Nebraska selection.)
Grissom, Kathleen. The Kitchen House. 368 pages. Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, Lavinia, 7, arrives at a tobacco plantation where she lives and works with the kitchen house slaves. Eventually, she is accepted into the world of the big house but must perilously straddle two very different worlds.
Grogan, John. Marley & Me. 305 pages (nonfiction). The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life.
Gruen, Sara. Water for Elephants. 350 pages. In 1932 Jacob Jankowski jumps onto a passing train and joins a second-rate circus. There that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.
Gunning, Sally. Bound. 307 pages. Alice Cole travels with her family from 1756 London to the New World, dreaming of a big house in Philadelphia and a new life. Her mother and brothers die on board and are buried at sea; the ship docks in Boston rather than Philadelphia; there, her father indentures her for 11 years without a backward glance. Later Alice flees an abusive household to Cape Cod where she finds friends but also discovers she is pregnant. (Donated by the Bellevue Bookies book club.)
Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. 226 pages. Christopher Boone is 15 and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. When he finds his neighbor’s dog murdered, he sets out on a journey which will turn his world upside down.
Haigh, Jennifer. Baker Towers. 334 pages. Baker Towers is an intimate exploration of love and family set in a western Pennsylvania coal town in the years following World War II. For the five Novak children, the Forties are a decade of tragedy, excitement and stunning change.
Hamill, Pete. North River. 341 pages. In 1934 Dr. James Delaney tends to his hurt, sick, and poor neighbors in New York. In his own life, Delaney is emotionally numb, haunted by the slaughters of the Great War. His only daughter has left for Mexico, and his wife Molly vanished. One snowy New Year's Day, the doctor returns home to find his 3-year-old grandson on his doorstep. Coping with this unexpected arrival, Delaney hires Rose, a tough, decent Sicilian woman with a secret in her past. Slowly, as Rose and the boy begin to care for the good doctor, the numbness in Delaney begins to melt.
Hancock, Ka. Dancing on Broken Glass. 394 pages. Lucy and Mickey probably shouldn't have fallen in love, let alone gotten married. They're both plagued with faulty genes--he has bipolar disorder, and she has a family history of breast cancer. They make the decision not to have children. But when Lucy shows up for a routine physical just shy of their 11th anniversary, she gets an impossible surprise that changes everything.
Handford, Jennifer. Daughters for a Time. 283 pages. Feelings of abandonment filled Helen at a too-young age when her mother died and her father walked out. Now 35, married, and starting her own family, she must confront her inability to bear children by accepting the idea of adopting. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Hannah, Kristin. Firefly Lane. 479 pages. They were known as the Firefly Lane girls -- a single, inseparable unit. On the surface, they were as opposite as two people could be. Kate, doomed to be uncool, had a loving family. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, had a secret home life that was destroying her. The best friends promise to be there for each other forever -- and for 30 years, that promise holds strong. Then events and choices make that promise impossible.
Hannah, Kristin. Night Road. 385 pages. After a string of foster homes and the death of her heroin-addict mother, Lexi is taken in by a newly discovered great-aunt. A friendship soon flourishes with twins Mia and Zach. A slowly growing attraction between Zach and Lexi begins, but then Lexi, Mia, and Zach collectively make a bad decision that results in a tragedy with extreme repercussions. (Donated by the Wednesday Women Book Club.
Hansen, Ron. Isn’t It Romantic? 198 pages. Mistaken identity, botched schemes and hilarious misunderstandings all play a part when Nebraskan common sense and Parisian sophistication collide in this romantic comedy by National Book Award finalist Ron Hansen.
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Harbach, Chad. The Art of Fielding. 512 pages. College baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended.
Harris, Joanne. Five Quarters of the Orange. 307 pages. Returning to the small Loire village of her childhood to run a cafe, Franboise Dartigen soon finds that hidden among her mother's recipes are clues that will lead her to the truth of long ago. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Haruf, Kent. Plainsong. 301 pages. Set in a small town in the plains of Colorado, this novel tells the interrelated stories of 8 characters whose lives undergo radical change during the course of one year.
Hicks, Robert. Widow of the South. 436 pages. This debut novel is based on the true story of Carrie McGavock. During the Civil War's Battle of Franklin, a five-hour bloodbath with 9,200 casualties, McGavock's home was turned into a field hospital where four generals died. For 40 years she tended the private cemetery on her property where more than 1,000 were laid to rest.
Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken. 473 pages. An athlete at the 1936 Olympics, Louis Zamperini became a B-24 crewman in the U.S. Army Air Force. When his plane went down in the Pacific in 1943, he spent 47 days in a life raft, then was picked up by a Japanese ship and survived starvation and torture in labor camps. Eventually repatriated, he had a spiritual rebirth and returned to Japan to promote forgiveness and healing.
Hoff, B. J. Where Grace Abides. 258 pages. Rachel loves the people of her Riverhaven Amish community, but she also deeply loves the "outsider," Jeremiah Grant, an Irish-American conductor for the Underground Railroad. Jeremiah asks the bishop for permission to join the Amish community. When an unexpectedly negative decision is rendered, delivering a heartbreaking blow to them, they try to move on with their separate lives. (Donated by the Bellevue Bookies Book Club.)
Horan. Nancy Under the Wide and Starry Sky. 480 pages. This historical fiction novel chronicles the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. Their turbulent love affair will last two decades and span the world.
Hosseini, Khaled. Kite Runner. 371 pages. Narrator Amir comes of age during the last peaceful days of the Afghanistan monarchy, then must endure revolution, invasion and a country’s struggle to triumph over violent forces.
Hosseni, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. 420 pages. Born a generation apart, Mariam and Laila are two Afghani women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. (Donated by the Hot Totties book club.)
Huffaker, Clair. The Cowboy and the Cossack. 355 pages. Fifteen Montana cowboys and five hundred longhorns are embarking on a one of a kind Wild West adventure: a cattle drive across a thousand miles of Siberia. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. 586 pages (nonfiction). This portrait of Benjamin Franklin’s public and private life also examines American and European political history of the time.
Jackson, Joshilyn. Gods in Alabama. 284 pages. Upon leaving home, Arlene makes a bargain with God, promising to forgo sex, lies and a return home if he keeps “the body” hidden. After 9 years, an unexpected visitor from home leads her to believe that God is slipping on his end of the deal. (Books donated by Ellen Hargus in honor of the Women Educators of Bellevue Book Club.)
Jacobs, Kate. The Friday Night Knitting Club. 372 pages. Walker & Daughter is Georgia Walker's little yarn shop, tucked into a quiet storefront on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The Friday Night Knitting Club was started by some of Georgia's regulars, who gather once a week to work on their latest projects and tell their stories of love, life and everything in between.
James, E. L. Fifty Shades of Grey. 514 pages. When unworldly, innocent Ana goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. She is desperate to get close to him. Grey admits he wants her, too -- but on his own terms. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Kalish, Mildred Armstrong. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression. 292 pages (nonfiction). Kalish's memoir of her Iowa childhood, set against the backdrop of the Depression, captures a vanished way of traditional living and a specific moment in American history.
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Kalotay, Daphne. Russian Winter. 463 pages. When Nina Revskaya puts her remarkable jewelry collection up for auction, the former Bolshoi Ballet star finds herself overwhelmed by memories.
Kava, Alex. One False Move. 384 pages. Mother-and-son-con-artists Melanie and Charlie Starks team up with an ex-con who has recently gotten away with murder to pull off the ultimate heist. But during the robbery, everything goes wrong.
Kidd, Sue Monk. The Invention of Wings. 384 pages. Jessie Sullivan returns home to South Carolina after a traumatic family incident and gets to know a monk named Brother Thomas, becoming involved in the world of the monastery where the "mermaid" chair is part of a shrine. (Books donated by the Tattered Covers book club.)
Kidd, Sue Monk. The Mermaid Chair. 384 pages. Inspired by the true story of early-19th-century abolitionist Sarah Grimke, The Invention of Wings follows the lives and evolving friendship of two women, one the rebellious daughter of a Southern plantation owner, the other an indomitable slave pursuing freedom. (Books donated by the Beneath the Covers book club.)
Kidd, Sue Monk. The Secret Life of Bees. 302 pages. Set in South Carolina in 1964, this novel tells the story of Lily Owens who’s trying to discover the secret of her dead mother’s past. When her “stand-in mother” Rosaleen insults the town’s fiercest racists, they escape and are taken in by three black beekeeping sisters.
Kingsolver, Barbara. The Poisonwood Bible. 546 pages. The Poisonwood Bible is the story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. (Donated by the MyOmahaMommies.com Book Club.)
Kingsolver, Barbara. Prodigal Summer. 444 pages. This novel is a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia.
Kline, Christina Baker. The Orphan Train. 273 pages. Baker delivers a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Group.)
Kloefkorn, William. Restoring the Burning Child. 172 pages (2008 One Book One Nebraska Selection; nonfiction). The second volume in Kloefkorn's four-part memoir, Restoring the Burnt Child describes with humor and lyrical prose the unsentimental education he received growing up in a small town in Kansas at the time of World War II.
Koppel, Lily. The Astronaut Wives Club. 272 pages (nonfiction). As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed into American royalty. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails.
Kooser, Ted. Local Wonders. 153 pages (nonfiction). Kooser describes with exquisite detail and humor the place he calls home in the rolling hills of southeastern Nebraska where nothing is too big or too small for his attention.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Lowland. 415 pages. This is a family saga steeped in history about two very different brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn apart by revolution, and a love that endures long past death. The story moves from the 1960s to the present, and from India to America and across generations.
Landay, William. Defending Jacob. 421 pages. Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban county for more than 20 years. When a shocking crime shatters their New England town, he is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.
Landvik, Lorna. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. 404 pages. This novel describes four decades of laughter, heartache, and friendship in the lives of five small-town women--members of AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons), an unofficial "club" that becomes much more.
Leatherman, Mary Kay. Vanity Insanity. 386 pages. Ben Keller knows most of the secrets and sins of the people of Omaha, Neb., growing up in the Seventies. After years of helping his single-mother in her basement hair styling salon, Ben stumbles into owning his own shop, the Vanity Insanity, and finds himself privy to the dreams and dark secrets of those who are making regular appointments to sit in his safe chair. (Donated by the Hot Totties Book Club.)
Leroy, Margaret. The Soldier's Wife. 404 pages. On the occupied island of Guernsey in WW II, Vivienne must weigh her love affair with a German soldier against the safety of her family.
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Maguire, Gregory. Wicked. 406 pages. The Wizard of Oz is one of the most watched, best-loved movies of all time. Here's a twist in the tale -- a richly comic, highly literary, and entertaining excursion into the life and times of the infamous Wicked Witch of the West.
Marra, Anthony. Constellation of Vital Phenomena. 396 pages. In a rural village in 2004 Chechnya, a failed doctor Akhmed harbors the traumatized 8-year-old daughter of a father abducted by Russian forces and treats a series of wounded rebels and refugees while exploring the shared past that binds him to the child.
Marias, Javier. Life of Pi. 352 pages. Each day before work Marla stops at the same cafe and finds herself drawn to a couple who are also there every morning. When the man is brutally murdered and Marla approaches the widow to offer her condolences, what began as mere observation turns into an increasingly complicated entanglement.
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi. 319 pages. Winner of the Booker Award, this novel tells of a metaphysical adventure as Pi, the son of a zookeeper, is marooned aboard a lifeboat with four wild animals.
Mason, Daniel. The Piano Tuner. 336 pages. In 1886 a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake receives an unusual commission from the British War Office: to travel to the remote jungles of northeast Burma and there repair a rare piano. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Mathis, Ayana. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. 320 pages. Hattie, 15, flees Georgia and heads north. Late she watches helplessly as her firstborn twins are lost to an illness that a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children. She vows to prepare them to meet an unkind world. Their lives tell the story of a mother's courage -- and a nation's tumultuous journey.
Mayhew, Anna Jean. The Dry Grass of August. 283 pages. The explosive tensions of the South in the mid-1950s are seen through the prism of a young girl's friendship with her African-American maid.
Messud, Claire. The Emperor’s Children. 478 pages. A novel of fate and fortune--of love and friendship, family and secrets, of striving and glamour, disaster and promise--this post 9/11 novel brings to life a city, a generation, and the idea of living in the moment for three friends.
McBride, James. The Color of Water. 291 pages (nonfiction). This memoir tells of McBride’s childhood in a mixed-race family. He was an adult before he discovered the truth about his mother: the daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi in rural Virginia, she had run away to Harlem, married a black man, and founded an all-black Baptist church.
McBride, James. The Good Lord Bird. 458 pages. Fleeing his violent master at the side of abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debate in the Kansas Territory, Henry pretends to be a girl to hide his identity throughout the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. 287 pages. A searing, post-apocalyptic novel, The Road boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which a father and his son are each other's world entire. It is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best of which we are capable.
McLain, Paula. The Paris Wife. 324 pages. "The Paris Wife" captures the love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris.
McNeal, Tom. Goodnight, Nebraska. 314 pages. Randall Hunsacker is only 17, but he already has two strikes against him: his father’s death when he was 13 led to a succession of “stepfathers” moving through his life and the last one, Lenny, Randall has shot. The shooting, a suicide attempt, and a stint in juvenile hall bring him to the small town of Goodnight, Neb.
McNeal, Tom. To Be Sung Under Water. 436 pages. Judith’s first love was Willy Blunt, a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. Twenty years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?
Morgenstern, Erin. The Night Circus. 387 pages. A fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young circus magicians who have been trained since childhood for this purpose. This is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
Millard, Candice. Destiny of the Republic. 339 pages (nonfiction). This is the account of James Garfield's rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy. (Donated by the Tattered Covers Book Club.)
Miller, Rebecca. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. 239 pages. At age 50, Pippa Lee is a devoted wife, proud mother, and adored friend and neighbor. But under the surface, Pippa’s past has begun to flood in and mingle with her present a surprising past of grit, deceit, and betrayal. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Mitchard, Jacquelyn. Still Summer. 368 pages. Old friends Olivia, Tracy and Holly decide to reunite on a luxury cruise in the Caribbean. A series of devastating events unfolds, leaving the women crewless, starving and terrified. Almost overnight, what was meant to be a blissful vacation devolves into a desparate fight for survival. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Moriarty, Laura. The Chaperone. 371 pages. This is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. (Donated by the OOSC Book Club.)
Moriarty, Liane. The Husband's Secret. 464 pages. Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret, something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Mortenson, Greg. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations – One School at a Time. 349 pages (nonfiction). This is an account of one man’s campaign to build schools (especially for girls) in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia.
Morton, Kate. Distant Hours. 562 pages. A letter posted in 1941 finally reaches its destination in 1992 with powerful repercussions for Edie Burchill, a London book editor, in this enthralling romantic thriller. (Donated by the Tattered Covers book club.)
Morton, Kate. The Forgotten Garden. 560 pages. A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913 and arrives alone with nothing but a small suitcase and a single book, a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife. On her 21st birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family.
Nemirovsky, Irene. Suite Francaise. 431 pages. An extraordinary novel of French life under Nazi occupation -- discovered and published 62 years after the author's tragic death at Auschwitz.
Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife. 546 pages. This debut novel depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view.
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Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father. 453 pages (nonfiction). Obama (now the 44th U.S. President), the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American.
Obreht, Tea. The Tiger's Wife. 338 pages. Natalia, a young doctor, is on a mission to a Balkan orphanage when she receives word of her grandfather's death. In trying to discover why he attempted to find "the deathless man," an immortal vagabond, she finds a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
O'Flynn, Catherine. What Was Lost. 246 pages. Set in Birmingham, England, in the mid-1980s, adolescent loner Kate aspires to be a great detective, spending days on stakeout at her local shopping center. The narrative then jumps 20 years, when the ghost of a little girl starts appearing in service corridors of the mall. The solution may have much to do with the unsettling history of the shopping center and the effects of loneliness and loss.
Oliveira, Robin. My Name Is Mary Sutter. 364 pages. Mary Sutter is a brilliant young midwife who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Eager to run away from recent heartbreak, Mary travels to Washington, D.C., to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded. Under the guidance of two surgeons, who both fall unwittingly in love with her, and resisting her mother's pleas to return home to help with the difficult birth of her twin sister's baby, Mary pursues her medical career against all odds.
Orringer, Julie. The Invisible Bridge. 762 pages. This is an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are torn apart by war, of marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family's struggle against annihilation.
Otsuka, Julie. The Buddha in the Attic. 129 pages. The lives of "Picture Brides" brought from Japan to San Francisco are traced, from their arduous journeys, to raising children who reject their culture and language, to war.
Patchett, Ann. State of Wonder. 353 pages. Dr. Mariana Singh, a pharma researcher, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to questions about her company's future and her own past.
Patterson, Richard North. The Spire. 485 pages. Mark Darrow grew up with no real advantages, but thanks to Professor Lionel Farr, Darrow became an excellent scholar/athlete and, later, a superb trial lawyer. Now Farr offers his protege a job as his alma mater's new president. But being back on campus opens old wounds. Sixteen years ago, Darrow found the body of a female student at the base of the college bell tower, known as the spire. (Donated by the Mission Middle School Book Club.)
Paulsen, Gary. Winterdance. 272 pages (nonfiction). Fueled by an all-consuming passion for running dogs, author Gary Paulsen entered the grueling 1,180-mile Iditarod race across Alaska in dangerous ignorance and with fierce determination. For 17 days, Paulson and his team of 15 dogs ran through breathtaking and treacherous Arctic terrain. (Donated by the First Presbyterian Church Book Club.)
Pekkanen, Sarah. Skipping a Beat. 327 pages. What would you do if your husband wanted to rewrite the rules of your relationship? From the outside, Julia and Michael seem to have it all. Then Michael collapses in his office, and after he's revived, he's a different man. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War. 463 pages (nonfiction). The startling story of the Plymouth Colony -- from the flight to religious freedom to the war that ravaged New England.
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Picoult, Jodi. My Sister’s Keeper. 423 pages. Written with grace, wisdom and sensitivity, this novel is about a teen who was conceived as a bone marrow match for her sister Kate, and what happens when she begins to question who she really is.
Picoult, Jodi. Nineteen Minutes. 455 pages. Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy.
Powell, Julie. Julie & Julia. 307 pages (nonfiction). Julie Powell, nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life lived with gusto.
Powers, Kevin. The Yellow Birds. 256 pages. This novel, written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive, dropped into a war neither is prepared for. (Donated by the Family of Jolene Bethel.)
Powers, Richard. The Echo Maker. 451 pages. On a remote Nebraska road, 27-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. When he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that his sister is really an identical impostor.
Rasmussen, Rebecca. The Bird Sisters. 300 pages. Two Wisconsin sisters look back on their lives of healing birds and people and the year 1947 that forever changed their lives.
Richmond, Michelle. The Year of Fog. 400 pages. Life changes in an instant. On a foggy beach. In the seconds when Abby Mason -- photographer, fiancee, soon-to-be-stepmother -- looks into her camera and commits her greatest error. Here is the riveting tale of a family torn apart, of the search for the truth behind a child's disappearance, and of one woman's unwavering faith in the redemptive power of love. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Roberts, Cokie. Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation. 384 pages (nonfiction). Drawing upon correspondence, journals, and even recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of the fascinating women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Robinson, Marilynne. Gilead. 247 pages. In 1956, toward the end of Rev. John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son -- a tale of wisdom forged during a solitary life and how history lives through generations.
Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping. 219 pages. Ruth and her younger sister Lucille grow up haphazardly in the small town of Fingerbone in the Far West, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, the eccentric and remote sister of their dead mother.
Rosenfeld, Lucinda. I'm So Happy for You. 268 pages. Wendy's best friend, Daphne, has always been dependably prone to catastrophe. And Wendy has always been there to help. But when Daphne suddenly starts to surpass her in every way, Wendy is not so happy for her, in this darkly humorous take on female friendship. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Rosnay, Tatiana de. Sarah's Key. 293 pages. Paris, May 2002: On Vel d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to re-evaluate her marriage and her life.
Rossiter, Nan. Gin and Chowder Club. 281 pages. Set on Cape Cod, this heartfelt novel revolves around tow families tested by a secret affair. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Roth, Philip. The Plot Against America. 416 pages. In this alternate history, Pulitzer Prize winner Roth considers what it could be like for his Newark family during the menacing years of a Charles Lindbergh presidency, when American citizens who happened to be Jews would have every reason to expect the worst.
Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. 328 pages. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
Ryan, Trish. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. 305 pages (nonfiction). Ryan was the quintessential successful 30-something woman — she had a career as an attorney, a nice car, and a succession of men clamoring for her affection. Despite her accomplishments, the things by which she defined her life continually left her disappointed, especially dating. Then, she decided to give God a try. Ryan’s story of how her search for the right guy turned into the search for the right God and how she wound up with her own fairy-tale ending. (Donated by the Wednesday Women book club.)
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Sandoz, Mari. Crazy Horse. 428 pages (nonfiction). Sandoz unfurls the story of the noted Oglala Sioux warrior who fought many battles for his people's independence, culminating with wiping out Custer's troops at the Little Bighorn. Despite his apparent standoffishness, Crazy Horse was a charismatic leader and clever strategist.
Schaffert, Timothy. The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God. 230 pages. Newly divorced, Hud Smith channels his regret into writing country-western songs, contemplating life on the lam with his 8-year-old daughter, and searching cryptic postcards for news of his teenage son who has run off with the Daughters of God, an alternative Gospel-punk band.
Schiff, Stacy. Cleopatra. 328 pages (nonfiction). Pulitzer Prize winner Schiff separates fact from fiction in this treatment of a magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.
Schlink, Bernhard. The Reader. 218 pages. When he falls ill on his way home from school, 15-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. They become lovers -- then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, he gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder. (Donated by the First Presbyterian Church book club.)
Schwalbe, Will. The End of Your Life Book Club. 352 pages (nonfiction). This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a "book club" that brings them together as the mother faces an advanced form of pancreatic cancer. The result is a moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life. (Donated by the Family of Jolene Bethel.)
Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones. 328 pages. This is a tale of family, memory, love and living as told by 14-year-old Susie Salmon from her vantage point in Heaven. She recounts her rape and murder and watches her family as they cope with their grief.
See, Lisa. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. 269 pages. In 19th-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote county developed their own secret code, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.
Sendker, Jan-Philipp. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. 325 pages. After a successful New York lawyer disappears, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be -- until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman.
Setterfield, Diane. The Thirteenth Tale. 404 pages. Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of 12 enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept hidden for so long to young biographer Margaret Lea.
Shaffer, Mary Ann and Barrows, Annie. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. 304 pages. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society -- born out of necessity when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans during their island's occupation during World War II -- boasts a charming, funny and deeply human cast of characters. Juliet Ashton begins corresponding with the group and then makes a trip to the island that changes her forever. (Donated by the Tattered Covers book club.)
Shaffner, George. In the Land of Second Chances. 314 pages. The folks of Ebb, Nebraska, are revitalized when a handsome stranger comes to town selling games of chance. Wherever he is from and whoever he is, he leaves behind a town where second chances not only happen -- they transform.
Shreve, Anita. Body Surfing. 291 pages. A young widow is torn between two brothers she meets one New England summer, resulting in a harrowing and heart-wrenching story about the impossible decisions one woman must make. (Books donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Shreve, Anita. Sea Glass. 376 pages. Set in 1929 at a decaying beach house on the Atlantic Coast, "Sea Glass" unfolds
a richly engaging tale of marriage, money, and troubled times. (Books donated by the Tattered Covers book club.)
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Simon, Rachel. The Story of Beautiful Girl. 350 pages. Lynnie, a developmentally disabled white woman, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution. They escape and find refuge with Martha, a retired schoolteacher. Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl when the authorities arrive. Before Lynnie is forced to go back, she whispers to Martha: "Hide her." (Donated by the OOSC Book Club.)
Simonson, Helen. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. 358 pages. In the small English village of Edgecombe St. Mary, Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life valuing honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. Then begins an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
Simsion, Graeme. The Rosie Project. 295 pages. This is a screwball comedy about a brilliant, emotionally challenged geneticist who's determined to find a suitable wife with the help of a carefully designed questionnaire, and the patently unsuitable woman who keeps distracting him from his search. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Sittenfeld, Curtis. American Wife. 568 pages. On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband's presidency, alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House -- and the repercussions of a life lived, as she puts it, almost in opposition to itself. Sittenfeld's fictional protaganist is based loosely upon former First Lady Laura Bush.
Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. 381 pages (nonfiction). Skloot weaves together the story of Henrietta Lacks -- a woman whose cells have been unwittingly used for scientific research since the 1950s. (Donated by the Tattered Covers Book Club.)
Smith, Alexander McCall. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. 235 pages. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency consists of one woman, the engaging and sassy Precious Ramotswe, who sets up shop in Gaborone, Botswana.
Sparks, Nicholas. The Wedding. 289 pages. Attorney Wilson Lewis has been married to Jane for 30 years. After forgetting his anniversary, Wilson realizes that the passion and romance have gone out of his marriage and fears his wife no longer loves him. He decides to embark on a yearlong program to renew his romantic ties to his wife. The upcoming wedding of his daughter Anna provides him with the opportunity to bring his elaborate plan to fruition. (Donated by the myomahamommies.com book club.)
Starita, Joe. I Am a Man. 257 pages (nonfiction). This 2012 One Book One Nebraska selection is about Chief Standing Bear who successfully argued in Federal court in Omaha that Native Americans were "persons within the meaning of the law."
Stedman, M. L. Light Between Oceans. 352 pages. After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper. After not having a child of her own, his wife Isabel hears a baby's cries in the wind.
Stein, Garth. The Art of Racing in the Rain. 321 pages. Meet Enzo, the unforgettable canine narrator of this bittersweet and transformative story of family, love, loyalty, and hope. Enzo is a philosopher with a nearly human soul, and he's gained a wealth of knowledge from hours spent in front of the TV and from listening to the words of his owner, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Stockett, Kathryn. The Help. 451 pages. Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, MS, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town... (Donated by the Tattered Covers Book Club.)
Strayed, Cheryl. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. 336 pages (nonfiction). At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered, and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Impulsively, four years later, she decides to hike the more than thousand-mile Pacific Crest Trail alone. "Wild" powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. (Donated by the Family of Jolene Bethel.)
Strout, Elizabeth. Olive Kitteridge. 286 pages. At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her. As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life (2009 Pulitzer winner).
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Tan, Amy. The Bonesetter’s Daughter. 403 pages. As a child, Ruth was subjected to her mother's notions about curses and ghosts and her repeated threats to kill herself. But now LuLing Young seems happy. LuLing begins to write all that she can remember of her life as a girl in China. When Ruth discovers the papers, she finds each page reveals secrets about her mother's heart.
Thom, James Alexander. Follow the River. 406 pages. Mary Ingles was 23, married, and pregnant, when Shawnee Indians took her captive. For months, she lived with them, unbroken, until she escaped, following a thousand mile trail to freedom. (Donated by Buckboard Betty's Book Club.)
Thrasher, Gary. Phantom Letters. 301 pages (nonfiction). Thrasher tells of the 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron pilots in Vietnam and the emotional changes they undergo from the rigors of combat that affect their lives and ideals. (Donated by the First Presbyterian Church Book Club.)
Towles, Amor. Rules of Civility. 335 pages. On the last night of 1937, Katey is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter propels Katey on a journey into the upper echelons of society--where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.
Trigiani, Adriana. Big Stone Gap. 304 pages. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town's self-proclaimed spinster, a 35-year-old pharmacist. She lives an amiable life with good friends and lots of hobbies until the fateful day in 1978 when she suddenly discovers that she's not who she always thought she was. (Donated by the HotTotties Book Club.)
Tyler, Anne. Digging to America. 227 pages. Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport, each awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. Their lives become intertwined in this novel that explores what it is to be an American, and "outsiderness."
Umberger, Carol. Circle of Honor. 292 pages. This story of betrayal and love is set on the highlands of medieval Scotland during the time of Scotland's war for independence from England. (Donated by the Bellevue Curves Book Club.)
Umrigar, Thrity. The Space Between Us. 321 pages. In modern-day India, this is the story of Sera, a Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and her connection to Bhima, an illiterate servant hardened by a life of despair and loss.
Vasquez, Juan Gabriel. The Sound of Things Falling. 302 pages. Around 1996, when murder and bloody mayhem fueled by the drug trade were commonplace in Bogota, the young law professor Antonio Yammara befriends enigmatic stranger Ricardo Laverde. One night, assassins on motorbikes open fire on the two, killing Laverde and seriously wounding Yammara. Conflicted and at a loss to understand the damage Laverde has wrought, Yammara looks into his life story.
Vreeland, Susan. Clara and Mr. Tiffany. 423 pages. In 1893 Clara Driscoll is head of Tiffany's women's division and designs nearly all of their iconic leaded-glass lamps. She struggles to balance her desire for artistic recognition with her desire for love and companionship.
Walls, Jeannette. Glass Castle: A Memoir. 288 pages (nonfiction). Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to a dismal West Virginia mining town. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her siblings had to fend for themselves as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
Walls, Jeannette. Half Broke Horses. 288 pages. Walls re-imagines the life of her grandmother, Lily, who by age 6 was helping her father break horses. She also learned to drive a car and fly a plane, and helped manage a vast ranch in Arizona during the Great Depression. (Donated by the Book Ladies Book Club.)
Walter, Jess. Beautiful Ruins. 368 pages. Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood 50 years later.
Ward, Liza. Outside Valentine. 301 pages. Based on the Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate murders in Nebraska in the 1950s, Liza Ward’s spellbinding first novel is told from the very different points of view of three narrators mysteriously linked by a shocking crime and their efforts to heal the past.
Watson, S. J. Before I Go to Sleep. 360 pages. An amnesiac who, following a mysterious accident, cannot remember her past or form new memories desperately tries to uncover the truth about who she is, and who she can trust. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Wax, Wendy. While We Were Watching Downton Abbey. 384 pages. When the concierge of a historic Atlanta apartment building invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of "Downton Abbey," four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and with each other.
White, Karen. The Beach Trees. 432 pages. Julie meets a struggling artist who reminds her so much of her long-disappeared little sister. It's a friendship that begins a long and painful process of healing, leading her to a house on the Gulf Coast, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, and to stories of family that take her deep into the past. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Wiggs, Susan. The Apple Orchard. 325 pages. Set to inherit half of Bella Vista, a 100-acre apple orchard in a town called Archangel, along with a half-sister she's never heard of, Tess Delaney, who makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners, discovers a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family. (Donated by the Eagle Crest Book Club.)
Young, William Paul. The Shack. 252 pages. Mackenzie Allen Philips' 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, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. He decides to go, and what he finds there will change Mack's world forever.
Zaslow, Jeffrey. The Girls from Ames. 330 pages (nonfiction). Meet the Ames girls: 11 childhood friends who formed a special bond while growing up in Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to eight different states, yet managed to maintain an enduring friendship that has carried them through college and careers, marriage and more.
Zaslow, Jeffrey. The Magic Room. 285 pages (nonfiction). Zaslow takes readers to a multi-generational family-owned small-town bridal shop to explore the emotional lives of women in the 21st century. The author weaves together secrets, memories, and family tales to explore the hopes and dreams of families.
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