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Sno-Isle Libraries and the Sno-Isle Foundation are proud to offer book discussion kits.
Each kit includes 10 copies of a single title. Resources for book discussions may be found at publishers' websites, bound into some editions of the book, or at www.bookreporter.com or www.readinggroupguides.com.


$64 Tomato, The
Alexander, William

A wry gardening memoir furnishes advice from a backyard gardener on growing everything from apples to zucchini, and presents his gardening experiences and the realization that the love of gardening often drove him to use costly and time-consuming methods. Reprint.

100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul
Bruno, Dave

Recounts the author's experience in restricting his personal possessions to only one hundred items, and includes his reflections on consumerism, the culture of materialism, and the personal growth he found on his journey.

100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, The
Jonasson, Jonas

... After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant). It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world...

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Alexie, Sherman

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

American Heiress, The
Goodwin, Daisy

Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts', suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage. Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Cora's story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James. "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"--Provided by publisher.

Arcadia
Groff, Lauren

From the bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton comes a lyrical and gripping story of a great American dream. In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, a musician and the group's charismatic leader; Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, the book's protagonist, Bit, who is born soon after the commune is created. While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. If he remains in love with the peaceful agrarian life in Arcadia and deeply attached to its residents - including Handy and Astrid's lithe and deeply troubled daughter, Helle - how can Bit become his own man? How will he make his way through life and the world outside of Arcadia where he must eventually live? With Arcadia , her first novel since her lauded debut, The Monsters of Templeton , Lauren Groff establishes herself not only as one of the most gifted young fiction writers at work today but also as one of our most accomplished literary artists.

Art of Fielding, The
Harbach, Chad

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.

Art of Racing in the Rain
Stein, Garth

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.

Astrid & Veronika
Olsson, Linda

A lyrical study of friendship, love, and loss chronicles the relationships between Veronika, a young writer struggling with a recent tragedy and trying to finish her novel, and Astrid, an older, reclusive neighbor who offers comfort in the form of companionship and home-cooked meals.

Atonement
McEwan, Ian

In 1935 England, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses an event involving her sister Cecilia and her childhood friend Robbie Turner, and she becomes the victim of her own imagination, which leads her on a lifelong search for truth and absolution.

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Sijie, Dai

In this novel that celebrates the joy and power of reading, two young men are sent to a remote village in China for re-education during the cultural revolution. They meet the daughter of a local tailor and discover a hidden trove of Western classical literature in Chinese translation, carrying them beyond their grim surroundings.

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Bartender's Tale, The
Doig, Ivan

Running a venerable bar in 1960 Montana while raising his twelve-year-old son, single father Tom Harry finds his world upended by the arrival of a woman from his past and her beatnik daughter, who claims Tom as her father.

Beautiful Ruins
Walter, Jess

The award-winning author of The Financial Lives of the Poets presents his most romantic and enjoyable novel yet that follows a young Italian innkeeper and his almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet, which draws him into a glittering world filled with unforgettable characters. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

Becoming Clementine
Niven, Jennifer

After her B-15 Flying Fortress is shot down over Normandy, Velva Jean Hart becomes Clementine Roux and works as a spy with the Resistance, during which time she falls in love with a fellow agent and ends up in a brutal prison.

Becoming Marie Antoinette
Grey, Juliet

This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette...Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike...

Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America
Egan, Timothy

Narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire of August, 1910, and Teddy Roosevelt's pioneering conservation efforts that helped turn public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service with consequences felt in the fires of today.

Big Girl Small
DeWoskin, Rachel

The acclaimed author of "Repeat After Me" presents a scathingly funny and moving novel about a 16-year-old girl who becomes caught in a controversy that might bring down her whole school--a scandal that has something to do with the fact Judy is three feet nine inches tall.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Fountain, Ben

A satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive "Victory Tour" at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Gladwell, Malcom

Gladwell brilliantly describes an aspect of our mental lives that we utterly rely on yet rarely analyze, namely our ability to make snap decisions or quick judgments. This groundbreaking explanation of a key aspect of human nature is enlightening, provocative, and great fun to read.

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Bloodroot: A Novel
Greene, Amy

Myra Lamb of Bloodroot Mountain has troubling "haint" blue eyes and a grandma whose touch charms people and animals alike. When their neighbor John Odom tries to tame Myra, he meets a with shocking, violent disaster.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Metaxas, Eric

"Bonhoeffer" presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.

Book Thief
Zusak, Markus

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-stealing and storytelling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

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Borgia Betrayal, The
Poole, Sara

Borgia court poisoner Francesca Giordano must battle the demons of her own dark nature to unravel a plot to destroy the Borgias, seize control of Christendom, and plunge the world into eternal darkness.

Borrower, The
Makkai, Rebecca

Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

Breakfast at Sally's
Lemieux, Richard

One day, Richard LeMieux had a happy marriage, a palatial home, and took $40,000 Greek vacations. The next, he was living out of a van with only his dog, Willow, for company. This astonishingly frank memoir tells the story of one man's resilience in the face of economic disaster...The real story of an all-too-common American condition, this is a heartfelt and stirring read.

Breakfast at Sally's: one homeless man's inspirational journey
LeMieux, Richard

One day, Richard LeMieux had a happy marriage, a palatial home, and took $40,000 Greek vacations. The next, he was living out of a van with only his dog, Willow, for company. This astonishingly frank memoir tells the story of one man's resilience in the face of economic disaster. Penniless, a failed suicide, estranged from his family, and living "the vehicular lifestyle" in Washington state, LeMieux chronicles his journey from the Salvation Army kitchens to his days with "C" a philosopher in a homeless man's clothing to his run-ins with Pastor Bob and other characters he meets on the streets. Along the way, he finds time to haunt public libraries and discover his desire to write.

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Diaz, Junot

Living with an Old World mother and rebellious sister, an urban New Jersey misfit dreams of becoming the next J.R.R. Tolkien and believes that a longstanding family curse is thwarting his efforts to find love and happiness. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Notable Book.

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Broken for You
Kallos, Stephanie

Two very different women, each with her own dark secrets--wealthy, reclusive septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, living alone with her vast collection of priceless antiques, and Wanda Schultz, a brokenhearted young woman in search of her wayward boyfriend--find new meaning and redemption in their growing friendship with each other.

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Broken Teaglass
Arsenault, Emily

...In the maze of cubicles at Samuelson Company, editors toil away in silence, studying the English language, poring over new expressions and freshly coined words all in preparation for the next new edition of the Samuelson Dictionary. Among them is editorial assistant Billy Webb, just out of college, struggling to stay awake and appear competent. But there are a few distractions. His intriguing coworker Mona Minot may or may not be flirting with him. And he's starting to sense something suspicious going on beneath this company's academic facade. Mona has just made a startling discovery: a trove of puzzling citations, all taken from the same book,The Broken Teaglass...Charged with wit and intelligence, set against a sweetly cautious love story,The Broken Teaglass is a tale that will delight lovers of words, lovers of mysteries, and fans of smart, funny, brilliantly inventive fiction.

Buddha in the Attic, The
Otsuka, Julie

Presents the stories of six Japanese mail-order brides whose new lives in early twentieth-century San Francisco are marked by backbreaking migrant work, cultural struggles, children who reject their heritage, and the prospect of wartime internment.

By Nightfall
Cunningham, Michael

Peter and Rebecca Harris--mid-forties denizens of Manhattan's SoHo, he a dealer, she an editor--are admirable, enviable contemporary urbanites with every reason, it seems, to be happy. Then Rebecca's much younger look-alike brother, Ethan (known in the family as Mizzy, "the mistake"), shows up for a visit.

Caleb's Crossing
Brooks, Geraldine

A richly imagined new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, People of the Book . Once again, Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of Caleb's Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island's glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other...

Call, The
Murphy, Yannick

When a hunting accident leaves his son in a coma, the son's veterinarian father tries to find the man responsible while maintaining normalcy for his family until an unexpected visitor asks a favor that will test his resolve and force him to come to terms with what it truly means to be a family.

Canada
Ford, Richard

After his parents are arrested and imprisoned for robbing a bank, fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons is taken in by Arthur Remlinger who, unbeknownst to Dell, is hiding a dark and violent nature that interferes with Dell's quest to find grace and peace on the prairie of Saskatchewan.

Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, The
Dilloway, Margaret

Gal wants her rose to win in a major competition and bring that rose to market. But one afternoon her teenaged niece Riley arrives unannounced. Filled with gorgeous details of the art of rose breeding, this is a testament to the redemptive power of love.

Cat's Table, The
Ondaatje, Michael

Boarding a 1950s ship and sequestered to an out-of-sight dining table with other marginalized children, an eleven-year-old boy shares rollicking adventures while traveling to various world regions, learning about jazz, women, and a shackled prisoner along the way.

Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam
Brock, Pope

John R. Brinkley became America's richest and most famous surgeon in the early part of the 20th century based on an outlandish surgical practice. He went on to run for governor of Kansas, build the world's most powerful radio transmitter, and continue to kill and maim patients with his medical practice. He introduced country music and blues to the nation and became a seminal force in rock and roll.

Charterhouse of Parma
Stendhal (Beyle, Marie-Henri)

Stendhal narrates a young aristocrat's adventures in Napoleon's army and in the court of Parma, illuminating the process the whole cloth of European history. This classic tale was described by Balzac, "Never before have the hearts of princes, ministers, courtiers, and women been depicted like this... one sees perfection in every detail."

Chemistry of Tears, The
Carey, Peter

Forced to hide her grief when her married lover dies unexpectedly, museum curator Catherine Gehrig works in solitude to restore a 19th-century automaton and finds comfort in the journals of its adventurous commissioner. By the two-time Man Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda. 50,000 first printing.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany
Vreeland, Susan

Louis Comfort Tiffany staffs his studio with female artisans--a decision that protects him from strikes by the all-male union--but refuses to employ women who are married. Lucky for him, Clara Driscoll's romantic misfortunes insure that she can continue to craft the jewel-toned glass windows and lamps that catch both her eye and her imagination.

Cleopatra : A Life
Schiff, Stacy

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Though her life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.

Commoner
Schwartz, John Burnham

In 1959, a young woman marries the Crown Prince of Japan and is controlled at every turn, suffering a nervous breakdown after finally giving birth to a son. Thirty years later, now Empress herself, she plays a crucial role in persuading another young woman to accept the marriage proposal of her son, with tragic consequences.

Cottage for Sale
Whouley, Kate

When Kate Whouley saw the classified ad for an abandoned vacation cottage, she began to dream. Transport the cottage through four Cape Cod towns. Attach it to my three-room house. Create more space for my work and life. Smart, single, and self-employed, Kate was used to fending for herself. But she wasn't prepared for half the surprises, complications, and self-discoveries of her house-moving adventure.

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Franklin, Tom

"...set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county-and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town. More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades" --Publisher description.

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Crow Planet
Haupt, Lyanda Lynn

Illustrated with lovely b&w woodcuts by Daniel Cautrell, Haupt's book is part memoir, part musing on the challenges, common thinking, and realities of interacting with nature while living in a city. Based on her own study of the crows of Seattle and including many personal anecdotes about her own family, Haupt's text does not answer any questions so much as draw attention to various issues that arise from human's fraught relationship with the natural world. An accessible read, the work concludes with a bibliography, but is not indexed. Annotation c2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Cutting for Stone
Verghese, Abraham

Focusing on the world of medicine, this epic first novel by well-known doctor/author Verghese follows a man on a mythic quest to find his father. It begins with the dramatic birth of twins slightly joined at the skull, their father serving as surgeon and their mother dying on the table. The horrorstruck father vanishes, and the now separated boys are raised by two Indian doctors living on the grounds of a mission hospital in early 1950s Ethiopia. The boys both gravitate toward medical practice, with Marion the more studious one and Shiva a moody genius and loner.

Dark Places
Flynn, Gillian

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas." As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived-and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her. The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details-proof they hope may free Ben-Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she'll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she'll admit her testimony wasn't so solid after all. As Libby's search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985.

Defending Jacob
Landay, William

Andy Barber has been an ADA in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But after a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.
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