Phone-In Book Club Series  > Previous TBP Book Club Selections (this page)

Previous TBP Book Club Selections

These are the books we have read in past months of the TBP Book Club.  Visit each book's individual web page for more information about the book, the author, and related reading. Some of our book clubs are recorded and posted as MP3 Podcasts on our blog at: Subscribe to the TBP blog to receive Book Club and other informative posts via email. 

Please contact a Reader's Advisory Librarian at 1-800-252-9605 or at with any questions or to RSVP to future Book Club discussions. All titles available from the TBP library. When you are ordering a title for TBP Book Club, let us know so we can get the title out to you as soon as possible. All selected titles are also available for download from BARD. Whether ordering or downloading, please let us know if you plan on joining our book club discussion.

A riveting history of the epic orbital flight that put America back into the space race. If the United States couldn’t catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War—a perilous time when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the United States to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival—and America was losing. On February 20, 1962, when John Glenn blasted into orbit aboard Friendship 7, his mission was not only to circle the planet; it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America’s sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising re-creates the tension and excitement of a flight that shifted the momentum of the space race and put the United States on the path to the moon. Drawing on new archival sources, personal interviews, and previously unpublished notes by Glenn himself, Mercury Rising reveals how the astronaut’s heroics lifted the nation’s hopes in what Kennedy called the “hour of maximum danger.” Commercial audiobook. 2021.

March 2024 - LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by Bonnie Garmus
In the early 1960s, chemist Elizabeth Zott has a lot of challenges as the only woman on her team at Hastings Research Institute. She falls for colleague Calvin Evans, but the double standards of the day eventually have her looking for a new chapter outside academia, hosting a television cooking show. Strong language and some violence. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2022. DB 107538, BR 24813, LB 13735

In this collection of personal essays adapted and expanded from his podcast, the author reviews the contradictions found within humanity. He discusses how mankind is both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough and covers topics ranging from the QWERTY keyboard to Canada geese. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021. DB 103903, LB 13412

A neuroscientist explores the intricacies of human memory and distinguishes between normal and concerning memory loss. She explains the roles of sleep, stress, and other contributing influences, and discusses why some memories last a lifetime and others are gone in a moment. Commercial audiobook. 2021. DB 102911, BR 23798

October 2023 - WEST WITH GIRAFFES by Lynda Rutledge
As the Great Depression lingers, Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. In a twelve-day road trip, Woodrow Wilson Nickel drives a custom truck to deliver the giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Some violence and some strong language. 2021. DB 102687


Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select a title that represents the state’s literary landscape to highlight at the National Book Festival. The event showcases the importance of books and reading. The festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress and takes place during Labor Day weekend in Washington, D.C.

In honor of this event, the Texas Talking Book Program will host a Bonus Book Club meeting so that our patrons can participate in the Texas Great Read initiative. More information about Texas Great Read 2023 is here. The Texas Great Read is an event sponsored by Texas Center for the Book.

September 2023 - Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor

Reexamines The Great Gatsby (DB 16147) through its female characters. Jay Gatsby is shot dead in his swimming pool. It appears to be a murder/suicide when the body of George Wilson, a local mechanic, is found in the woods nearby. Then a diamond hairpin is discovered, and three women fall under suspicion. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022. DB 106770

July 2023 - Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her mother calls for her meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, the dead body is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to a wedding being planned by Meddy and her family. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.  DB 103081

June 2023 - Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift cleaning at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2022. DB 107924; BR 24204

May 2023 - Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach

Author of Grunt (DB 86098) analyzes the investigation and crafting of policy around human-wildlife interactions and conflicts. Roach highlights the work of animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and "danger tree" faller blasters. She discusses the ways conservation efforts are influenced by human impact. Strong language and some violence. 2021. DB 105210; BR 23940; LB 13656

March 2023 - Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Teens Hetty, Byatt, and Reese go to extremes trying to uncover the dark truth about the Tox, a mysterious disease that has them in quarantine at their boarding school on a Maine island.  Violence and some strong language.  For senior high and older readers.  2019.  DB 96341

January 2023 - Goodbye to a River: A Narrative by John Graves

John Graves leads us through an exciting three-week trip down the Brazos River in this classic narrative.  An excellent history of the early inhabitants along the river is well woven into this engrossing book, with memories of events in Texas history that took place along that river.  Unrated.  DBC 26410

November 2022 - World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Poet shares twenty-eight essays exploring the impact of plants and animals on her perceptions of the world. In "Catalpa Tree," she reflects on growing up brown in a predominantly white town and the racism her mother experienced. Other species include the narwhal, axolotl, corpse flower, dragon fruit, and southern cassowary. Bestseller. 2020.  DB 100702; BR 23339

September 2022 - Personal Librarian by by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

In 1906, Belle da Costa Greene was hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library.  Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society, but she is African American passing as white.  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.  2021. DB 103929

July 2022 - Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Memoir from Academy Award-winning actor in films including Dazed and Confused and Dallas Buyers Club shares his experiences and his philosophy on life. He describes "greenlights" as the times when the universe gives us permission to try new things. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2020. DB 101312


Gulf: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis

A history of the Gulf of Mexico, extending from the Pleistocene age until the twenty-first century.  Discusses the marine environment, its role in human society, and many of the individuals whose lives were intertwined with the Gulf.  2018 Pulitzer Prize for History. 2017.  DB 88197

May 2022 - Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane

When May Attaway is granted leave from her job as a university gardener, she decides to try to reconnect with friends she has neglected.  One by one, she seeks out four of them, and her outward quest for connection also becomes an inward journey of self-discovery. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.  DB 95255; BR 22927

March 2022 - Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom

An inspirational biography of Chika Jeune, a Haitian orphan born just three days before the earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. Describes her life at an orphanage, her mysterious medical struggles, and the author’s fight to find a cure for her after taking her into his household. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019. DB 97729; LB 12661

January 2022 - The Time it Never Rained by Elmer Kelton

A cantankerous, independent-minded Texan, Charlie Flagg, fights to save his medium-sized ranch in Rio Seco during a drought.  His problems are compounded by ineffectual federal aid programs and difficulties with Mexican ranch workers.  Some strong language.  1973.  DB 49217; LB 03803

November 2021 - Hope of the Crow: Tales of Occupying Aging by Katherine Schneider

The author reflects on life with disabilities and aging through seven years of vignettes of her life. She describes her work as a grass-roots activist, her personal life, and her beliefs. 2020.  DB 101220; BR 23482

Dr. Schneider joined us for our discussion of Hope of the Crow.  Here’s an audio recording of our interview: Dr. Katherine Schneider HOPE OF THE CROW Q & A (MP3)

A transcript of our conversation with Dr. Schneider is here: DR. KATHERINE SCHNEIDER Q & A 11.16.21 (PDF)

September 2021 - Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory that Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade

An account of America’s continued fight for Texas after the crushing massacre at the Alamo.  The author describes how that defeat galvanized Texans to ultimately win independence for the state.  Unrated. Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.  2019.  DB 97726; LB 12663

July 2021 - What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Samantha Casey loves being an elementary school librarian in Galveston, Texas until her school gets a new principal: Duncan Carpenter, Samantha’s former crush.  Unfortunately, Duncan is not the fun-loving goof she once knew and is soon turning the school into a veritable prison with his safety concerns.  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  2020.  DB 99569

June 2021 - Bonus READ ACROSS TEXAS Book Club Discussion!

What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism by Dan Rather

Essays from the television journalist and his longtime collaborator that celebrate the values that tend to be shared throughout America, particularly those related to patriotism.  Topics discussed include public institutions such as parks and libraries, the drive for innovation, and more. Narrated by Dan Rather. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller.  2017. DB 90479; BR 22457

The Talking Book Program is participating in the Read Across Texas initiative sponsored by the Texas Center for the Book. In honor of this event, we will be hosting a bonus book club meeting so that our patrons can participate in this year’s event. For more information visit

May 2021 - The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

1962. Elwood Curtis lives with his grandmother, works when not in school, and admires Dr. Martin Luther King.  But one innocent mistake sees him sentenced to reform school—the Nickel Academy.  There he meets Turner, whose skepticism challenges Elwood.  Their friendship has repercussions in the sadistic school.  Violence and strong language.  Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.   2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  2019.  DB 95925; BR 22817; LB 12153

 March 2021 - The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

Guides readers through the human body—how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and the ways it can fail.  Using facts—your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this—and anecdotes, creates a deeper understanding of the miracle that is you.  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.  2019.  DB 96770; LB 12649

January 2021 - The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Kentucky, 1936.  Nineteen-year-old Cussy Mary Carter has been working as part of the Pack Horse Library Project, but her father hopes she’ll marry—despite the family trait of blue skin. In addition to her father’s hopes, Cussy must also face the prejudice of the community she serves. Some violence. 2019. DB 95243; LB 12752

November 2020 - Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine F. Weiss

An account of the battle to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment when, in 1920, Tennessee was the last state whose assent was needed.  Discusses the women fighting for ratification and the opposing forces, including politicians, liquor companies, and railroad magnates.  Some strong language.  Commercial audiobook.  2018.  DB 90697; LB 09425

October 2020 - Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai

In the final days of the Vietnam War, Hang takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. When Linh is ripped from her arms, Hang is left behind. Years later she is reunited with Linh, who remembers nothing. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019.  DB 97144

Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select a title that represents the state’s literary landscape to highlight at the National Book Festival. The event showcases the importance of books and reading. The festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress and takes place during Labor Day weekend in Washington, D.C.

In honor of this event, the Texas Talking Book Program will host a Bonus Book Club meeting so that our patrons can participate in the Great Texas Read initiative. The Great Texas Read is an event sponsored by Texas Center for the Book.

September 2020 - The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Through a canny investment at the end of World War II, Cyril Conroy lifts his family out of poverty.  His first order of business is to buy the lavish Dutch House.  But this purchase brings only heartache to his loved ones—including children Danny and Maeve.  Some strong language.  Commercial audiobook.  2019.  DB 96739; BR 22980; LB 12756

July 2020 - The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Grieving widower Arthur eats lunch in the cemetery every day, to be near his wife's grave.  There he meets troubled teenage Maddy, and the pair form a friendship that helps them both out of their isolation.  Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  Commercial audiobook.  2017.  DB 89990; BR 22155

May 2020 - The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

1974. Former Vietnam prisoner of war Ernt Allbright moves his family, including wife Cora and thirteen-year-old daughter Leni, north to Alaska.  While the weather is temperate, the family survives on the generosity of locals.  But when winter descends, Ernt's mental health fractures.  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.  2018.   DB 90090

March 2020 - The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez

A writing professor is mourning the suicide of her best friend and mentor, a famous author.  She takes responsibility for Apollo, her friend's huge Great Dane, finding in the dog someone to share her immense grief.  Some descriptions of sex.  Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.  2018.  DB 90286

January 2020 - Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Memoir exploring the author's path from being raised in a fundamentalist, paranoiac Mormon family where she was homeschooled to eventually working her way to graduate degrees at Cambridge and Harvard.  Discusses hardships faced by the family, abuse at the hands of a sibling, and more.  Violence and strong language.  Bestseller.  2018.  DB 90188; BR 22656; LB 10807

December 2019 - My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

In the hospital, recovering from what should have been a simple operation, Lucy Barton gets a visit from her estranged mother. While her mother shares gossip from home, Lucy thinks back on her past and their difficult relationship. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016.  DB 83379

October 2019 - Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Jesuit priest recalls his experience working with gangs in Los Angeles County for more than two decades.  Discusses ministering in jails and starting Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program that offers education, job training, tattoo removal, and employment.  Includes spiritual reflections and vignettes of his clients.  Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2010.  DB 82282

August 2019 - Bonus READ ACROSS TEXAS Book Club Discussion!

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Greg Boyle

Jesuit priest recalls his experience working with gangs in Los Angeles County for more than two decades.  Discusses ministering in jails and starting Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program that offers education, job training, tattoo removal, and employment.  Includes spiritual reflections and vignettes of his clients.  Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2010.  DB 70899

READ ACROSS TEXAS encourages communities to engage in challenging, insightful and transformative conversations.  We invite libraries and organizations across Texas to participate in this effort by using books to open dialogue and explore what “knowing your neighbor” could mean within their communities.

For more information about Read Across Texas, visit

July 2019 - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Socially awkward and perpetually cranky, Eleanor works a boring office job and avoids dealing with other people whenever possible.  She begins to open up after she develops a crush on a local musician and also becomes friendly with Raymond, the new IT guy.  Strong language.  Commercial audiobook. 2017.  DB 87829; LB 09081

May 2019 - God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright

An examination of the history, culture, demographics, economics, and politics of Texas in the early twenty-first century, along with personal reflections by the author of The Looming Tower (DB 63287; BR 17079).  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  2018.  DB 90876; LB 09378

March 2019 - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Elena Richardson and her family lead an orderly existence in Shaker Heights, Ohio, until Mia and her daughter rent a house from them.  When a neighbor tries to adopt a baby, Elena and Mia end up on opposing sides of the custody battle.  Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  Commercial audiobook.  2017. DB 89018; BR 22149

January 2019 - American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee

Examination of the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, focusing on biologist Rick McIntyre and matriarch wolf O-Six.  Discusses the impact of wolves on the Yellowstone ecosystem, O-Six’s celebrity in the early days of social media, and the sentiment of area hunters and ranchers.  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  2017.  DB 89975

November 2018 - Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate

The five Foss children are left alone at home in 1930s Mississippi and subsequently kidnapped by notorious child dealer Georgia Tann.  In the present day, Avery Stafford meets elderly May--who used to be Rill Foss and is the sister of Avery’s Grandma Judy.  Avery investigates her family’s history.  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  2017.  BR 21971; DB 88202

September 2018 - Hidden Figures: The American Dream and The Untold Story of The Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Daughter of a NASA engineer profiles the black women who worked for NASA, and its predecessor NACA, as human computers.  Discusses their lives prior to joining NACA/NASA, the challenges they faced due to gender and race discrimination, and their impact on the space program.  Basis for the 2016 movie.  2016.  BR 21798; DB 86234

July 2018 - My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

Seven-year-old Elsa is acknowledged as weird.  The grandmother she lives with is flat-out crazy, but she shares tales of the fairyland of Miamas.  When her grandmother dies, Elsa is entrusted with delivering letters of apology and learns about her place in the world.  Translated from the original 2013 Swedish edition.  2014.  DB 83204

May 2018 - News of the World by Paulette Jiles

1870. Captain Kidd rides across Texas delivering the news of the day.  He is asked to take ten-year-old Johanna Leonberger, recently rescued from a Kiowa tribe, to her family near San Antonio.  The captain must deal with Johanna's inability to reacclimate to white culture.  Some violence and some strong language.  2016.  BR 21741; DB 86668

March 2018 - Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

Memoir of growing up in the Ohio Rust Belt in a family culture rooted in Scots-Irish Appalachia.  Explores political themes affecting these community cultures through the lens of personal and familial experiences.  Discusses what it took to go from nearly failing high school to graduating from Yale Law School.  Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2016.  DB 85796; LB 08948

January 2018 - Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel


In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight drove to Maine and disappeared into the forest.  He did not speak to another human being until he was arrested for stealing food nearly thirty years later.  Discusses his survival in the wilderness in the intervening decades.  Unrated.  Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.  2017.  DB 87555

November 2017 - Did You Ever Have a Family by William Clegg

The night before her daughter’s wedding, June Reid loses her entire family when a fire destroys their home.  Numb, she takes off across the country.  But June is not the only one affected by the tragedy, and multiple stories weave together a picture of the disaster.  Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2015.  BR 21238; DB 82942

October 2017 - The Road to Character by David Brooks

The author of The Social Animal (DB 72914) looks at the lives of ten famous men and women known for having overcome personal weakness to achieve outward success and inner worth.  Each exemplifies humility, hard work, and devotion to a cause.  Commercial audiobook.  Bestseller.  Some violence, some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  DB 81325; LB 08536

August 2017 - Friendswood by Rene Steinke

Friendswood, Texas, is a small Gulf Coast town of church suppers, oil rigs on the horizon, hurricane weather, and high school football games.  When a local disaster threatens the peace, it pulls on the common thread that runs through the community.  The town learns that the actions of a few can change the lives and well-being of many.  Strong language and some descriptions of sex.  2014.  DBC 02749; DR 04195; LB 07975

June 2017 - The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Sweden.  On his one-hundredth birthday, former demolitions expert Allan Karlsson escapes from an old folks’ home, steals a suitcase filled with money, and begins a madcap adventure running from criminals and the police.  Originally published in Swedish in 2009.  Some strong language.  2012.  DB 75820; LB 07275

April 2017 - The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown

Recounts the accomplishments of nine working-class athletes from the University of Washington who beat elite teams at home and abroad and won the gold medal for rowing at the 1936 Nazi-orchestrated Berlin Olympics.  Bestseller.  2013.  BR 21495; DB 77138; LB 08692

March 2017 - You Know When the Men are Gone by Shiobhan Fallon

There is an army of women waiting for their men to return in Fort Hood, Texas.  Through a series of loosely interconnected stories, Fallon takes the readers onto the base, inside the homes, into the marriages and families not seen by the public.  When the men are gone, babies still cry, telephones ring, Saturday morning cartoons screech, but without the men, there is a sense of muted silence, a sense of muted life.  Strong language, violence and some descriptions of sex.  2011.  DBC 07274; DT 07103; LB 06752

February 2017 - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Working-class English girl Louisa “Lou” Clark is hired as an aide to wealthy Will Traynor, a former mogul who has been paralyzed since a road accident.  Lou tries to keep the embittered Will engaged with the world, while Will encourages Lou to expand her horizons.  Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2012.  DB 76161

November 2016 - Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Twenty years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird (DB 77672), Jean Louise Finch (once known as Scout) returns home to Maycomb, Alabama.  She confronts the racism of her hometown in the 1950s, including the views of Atticus, the father she idolizes. Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2015.  DB 81896

August 2016 – The Revenant by Michael Punke

Missouri River tributaries, 1823. When a trapper is mauled by a grizzly, he is left behind with two volunteers who soon abandon him.  Deserted, defenseless, and enraged, he vows to survive--and exact his revenge. Based on the real life of fur trapper Hugh Glass. Someviolence and some strong language. 2002.  DB 59088

July 2016 – The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion

Socially stunted geneticist Don Tillman embarks on an endeavor he calls the Wife Project.  As he quantifies the qualities of a perfect wife, he encounters Rosie, who seeks Don's help in identifying her real father.  Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  Bestseller.  2013.  BR 20455; DB 78150

May 2016 - The Family Romanov: murder, rebellion and the fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming and  Paul Michael

Recounts when Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, and how he was unprepared to do so.  Details how the Romanov family lived a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution.  Commercial audiobook.  For senior high and older readers.  2014.  DB 79654

March 2016 – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

When Paris is invaded by the Nazis, Marie-Laure LeBlanc's father evacuates her to St. Malo to stay with her great-uncle.  Blind since the age of six, Marie-Laure must learn the town by the scale model her father has left.  Then, the Germans arrive.  Violence and descriptions  of sex.  Bestseller.  2014.  BT 03886; DB 79182; LB 08913

January 2016 – Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron

Former college football star Ruddy McCann has become a repo man, bar bouncer, and car thief.  One day Ruddy hears the voice of a dead realtor in his head demanding help in finding his murderers.  But soon the voice begins demanding Ruddy clean up his act--and his apartment.  Some strong language.  2014.  BR 21922; DB 80722

November 2015 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Sussex, England. A man returns to his childhood home for a funeral. While there, he is drawn to the farm where his friend Lettie lived with her mother and grandmother. After he enters the property, he remembers the terrifying experiences he and Lettie shared. Some violence. Bestseller.  2013.  BR 20187; DB 77198

September 2015 - Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Author recounts the three-month, 1,100-mile solo hike she took on a whim in 1995, after years of devastating personal losses. Describes her encounters with rattlesnakes, locals, fellow hikers, and her own thoughts during her trek from Los Angeles to Washington State on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strong language. Bestseller. 2012.  DB 74646

July 2015 - Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Seattle. Eighth-grader Bee's request for a family trip to Antarctica is the last straw for her mother Bernadette, who has become so socially inept that she hired a virtual assistant in India to handle her life. Just before the trip, Bernadette vanishes. Heartbroken Bee Investigates. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2012.  DB  75351; LB 12482

May 2015 - The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman

Western Australia, 1926. On an island one hundred miles from the mainland, lighthouse keepers Isabel and Tom Sherbourne discover a boat carrying a dead man and a crying baby. The decisions they make that day come back to haunt them several years later. Bestseller. 2012.  DB 75192; LB 07236

March 2015 - Unbroken: A World War Ii Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Author of Seabiscuit (DB 51968) details the life of Louis Zamperini (b. 1917), an Olympic runner and World War II bombardier, who survived a plane crash and forty-seven days adrift at sea only to become a POW in Japan. Relates Louis's later religious awakening under Billy Graham's ministry. Violence. Bestseller. 2010.  BR 21664; DB 72129; LB 07524

January 2015 - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Six months after retiring, Harold Fry receives a letter from former coworker Queenie Hennessy, who is dying of cancer. Intending to post a reply, Harold instead walks the length of England to personally deliver his note, leaving behind his wife Maureen.  Along the way Harold ruminates on his life.  Some strong language. 2012.  DB 76196; BR 20792

November 2014 - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

First published in 1925, this classic is set in the ebullient Jazz Age of the 1920s. Wealthy Jay Gatsby strives desperately to recapture his past and his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby's hedonistic pursuit of the American dream leads him to a tragic fate.  BR 00089; BR 11057; DB 16147; LB 10836

September 2014 - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

2045. Multibillionaire James Halliday dies, leaving his last will and testament online for the world to see. His massively multiplayer online game OASIS has a hidden feature--an Easter egg--and the person who finds the egg first wins Halliday's fortune. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2011.    BR 21347; DB 73772

July 2014 - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

South Carolina, 1964. Fourteen-year-old Lily rescues her African American housekeeper--and substitute mother--Rosaleen, from the hospital. Rosaleen had been beaten for trying to register to vote.  They flee to a safe place where Lily's battered late mother had also fled--a beekeeping operation run by three black sisters. Some strong language. 2002.  BR 15225; DB 55533

May 2014 - Let The Great World Spin by Collum McCann

New York City, 1974. Disparate residents--including Philippe Petit, who performs an illegal high-wire walk between the Twin Towers; the judge who hears Petit's case; and a grieving mother--encounter death, love, and salvation. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. National Book Award.  2009.  DB 70450

March 2014 - The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Ingenue Hadley Richardson falls in love with war hero Ernest Hemingway, eight years her junior, in 1920s Chicago. After marrying, the couple moves to Paris and becomes part of the literary crowd.  Hadley raises their son as Hemingway begins an affair with Hadley's friend Pauline. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2011.  DB 72814;  LB 06921
January 2014 - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A miracle drug may have given sixteen-year-old cancer patient Hazel a few more years, but she is still depressed. Then Hazel meets cute Augustus during a support-group meeting and her world shifts in unexpected and inspiring ways. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers.   Commercial audiobook. 2012.  DB 74112; LB 08914

November 2013 - The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace

 Early nineteenth-century Italy. Contessa Carolina tells her parents and fiance she is going blind, but they won't listen. Only local eccentric Turri believes her. He invents a machine—a typewriter—for her, and the two fall in love. Based on a true story. 2010.  DB 71568; LB 06533

September 2013 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Sloot

Science journalist chronicles the life of African-American Henrietta Lacks, who in 1951 had cervical tissue removed and grown in culture—without her permission—producing the first continuously replicating human-cell samples for research. Discusses subsequent medical breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine and AIDS treatment. 2010.  DB 70661; LB 06814

July 2013 - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

At the Circus of Dreams magicians Celia and Marco are pitted against each other in an epic magical battle. Their mentors plan for it to have only one survivor, not foreseeing that Celia and Marco will fall in love. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2011.  BR 21370; DB 73783

May 2013 - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Enzo, a mixed-breed dog, believes he will be reincarnated as a human. He stands by his master Denny Swift's side through Denny's race-car driving career, the birth of his daughter Zo, the death of his wife Eve, and a bitter custody battle with Eve's parents. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2008.  BR 17801; DB 66787

March 2013 - Outlaw Tales of Texas:  "True Stories of the Lone Star State's Most Infamous Crooks, Culprits, and Cutthroats" by Charles L. Convis

The frontier towns of Texas were populated by some of the toughest and most dangerous characters in the West. Jim Miller went to church, left early to shoot his brother-in-law in the head, and returned before the service was over.  2008.  DBC 00048; DT 06996

January 2013 - No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer by Rachael Scdoris and Jeff Steber

No End in Sight details Scdoris’ childhood experiences with her visual impairment and how she trained and developed the skills necessary to compete in the 1,000+ mile Iditarod race.  At 16, she was the youngest athlete ever to finish a 500-mile race that helped qualify her for the big race.  She details her struggle to convince Iditarod officials to allow her to compete and how, in 2005, she became the first legally blind person to do so.  BR 16814; DB 61948

A recording, transcript, and associated bibliography can be found on the No End in Sight's book club web page linked below:

No End in Sight Book Club Page
September 2012 - Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Best-selling author Joshua Foer, joined us on September 4th as we discussed Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Foer, science journalist and 2006 U.S. Memory Championship winner, describes the year he spent working to improve his memory. He explores ancient philosophers' and medieval scholars' techniques such as the memory palace, an imagined spatial construction used to organize recollections. The book discusses savants and amnesiacs, and why memorization still matters.  DB 72817; LB 06903

A recording, transcript, and associated bibliography can be found on the Moonwalking with Einstein's web page linked below.

Moonwalking with Einstein Book Club Page

July 2012 - Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Death narrates the tale of nine-year-old Liesel from 1939 to 1943 in Nazi Germany. Liesel copes with a foster family, air raids, her friend Rudy, and a hidden Jew, sustained by the books she steals. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2006.  BR 17409; DB 62431; LB 05233

 April 2012 - Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (1962) – 50 Year Anniversary

When an atomic physicist disappears, his children begin a bizarre search.  Led by three whimsical characters, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, they manage their interplanetary journey by "wrinkling" to span space and time.  Newberry Award 1963. Prequel to A Wind in the Door (DB 41596). For grades 5-8.  BR 09403; DB 48972; LB 03203; LB 07369


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