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Book Club in a Bag

FAQs About BCIB

What is Book Club in a Bag?

Each bag contains 10 copies of a single title. It also contains a binder which includes: discussion questions, read-alike suggestions, reviews, an author biography, and Book Club tips. 
 

Where can I find Book Club in a Bag?

The Book Club in a Bag kits are located downstairs in Adult Services. Please see Connection Desk Staff for assistance.
 

What are the rules

Book Club in a Bag kits can be checked out for 6 weeks, but they can't be renewed. Lisle Library District card holders may place holds on Book Club in a Bag kits. Only one kit per patron may be checked out at a time. Book Club in a Bag is not available through Inter-Library Loan. Reciprocal borrowers (you folks with an LLD barcode on a different card) can check them out, but can't put them on hold. The late fee is $1 a day. There is $5 fee if they are put in the book drop (the bag probably wouldn't fit anyway). Book Club in a Bag kits must be returned to the Connection Desk.
 

Wait. This is for an entire book group. Who is responsible for the bag's contents?

Whoever checks out the Book Club in a Bag is responsible for the entire kit. This means that if you check out a Book Club in a Bag and give one of the books to your friend Chad to read, and Chad loses or damages the book (classic Chad), you are responsible for the cost (and let's face it, Chad already owes you money). Replacement costs vary by title.
 

My ideal Book Club, like my ideal wedding, is very small and personal. What if I don't need 10 copies of the book? 

Sorry, but we're unable to split up the kits. That way lies chaos. The kit has to be circulated as a full set. We also can't take one copy out of the kit if our regular copy is checked out and you want to read it. But fear not, we have extra Library copies of all of these books, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
 
Now that you know a little bit about the program, check out our current titles, listed below (you can also look at the titles in the catalogue by clicking here):
 

Everything I Never Told You

Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet. So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue - in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest of the family--Hannah--who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened. A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

The Expats

Can we ever escape our secrets? In the cobblestoned streets of Luxembourg, Kate Moore's days are filled with playdates and coffee mornings, her weekends spent in Paris and skiing in the Alps. But Kate is also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret - one that's become so unbearable that it begins to unravel her newly established expat life. She suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be; her husband is acting suspiciously; and as she travels around Europe, she finds herself looking over her shoulder, increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her. As Kate begins to dig, to uncover the secrets of thepeople around her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her marriage, and her life.

The Face of a Stranger

His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective. But the accident that felled him has left him with only half a life; his memory and his entire past have vanished. As he tries to hide the truth, Monk returns to work and is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of a Crimean War hero and man about town. Which makes Monk's efforts doubly difficult, since he's forgotten his professional skills along with everything else.

Inside the O'Briens

From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington's Disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer's. Joe O'Brien is aforty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see aneurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family's lives forever.

The Interestings

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings , Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules's now-married best friends, become shockingly successful - true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist--even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

The School of Essential Ingredients

The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students' lives. One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian's food, including a white-on-white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love and a peppery heirloom tomato sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another. Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Moving to a small country cabin, a once world-famous photographer bonds with a local man and begins to see the world around her in new, deeper dimensions while evaluating second chances at love, career, and self-understanding.

The Black Hour

For Chicago sociology professor Amelia Emmet, violence was a research topic--until a student she'd never met shot her. He also shot himself. Now he's dead and she's back on campus, trying to keep up with her class schedule, a growing problem with painkillers, and a question she can't let go: Why? All she wants is for life to get back to normal, but normal is looking hard to come by. She's thirty-eight and hobbles with a cane. Her first student interaction ends in tears (hers). Her fellow faculty members seem uncomfortable with her, and her ex--whom she may or may not still love--has moved on. Enter Nathaniel Barber, a graduate student obsessed with Chicago's violent history. Nath is a serious scholar, but also a serious mess about his first heartbreak, his mother's death, and his father's disapproval. Assigned as Amelia's teaching assistant, Nath also takes on the investigative legwork that Amelia can't do. And meanwhile, he's hoping she'll approve his dissertation topic, the reason he came to gradschool in the first place: the student attack on Amelia Emmet. Together and at cross-purposes, Amelia and Nathaniel stumble toward a truth that will explain the attack and take them both through the darkest hours of their lives.

Dead Wake

The #1 New York Times best-selling author of In the Garden of Beasts presents a 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania that discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

A story of survival and war, love and madness, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of Fuller’s parents, whom readers first met in Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, and of the price of being possessed by Africa’s uncompromising, fertile, death-dealing land. We follow Tim and Nicola Fuller hopscotching the continent, restlessly trying to establish a home. War, hardship, and tragedy follow the family even as Nicola fights to hold on to her children, her land, her sanity. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken by the continent she loves, it is the African earth that revives and nurtures her.

The Work: My Search for a Life that Matters

If your group likes inspiring and reflective memoirs, try The Work: My Search for a Life that Matters by Wes Moore. This slim book packs and powerful punch. 

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