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 in Adult Services. Please see Adult Services 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 cardholders 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 can check them out, but can't put them on hold. There is a $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 Adult Services 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 book club 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. The kit has to be circulated as a full set. We also cannot take one copy out of the kit if our regular copy is checked out. But fear not, we have extra Library copies of all of these books, so it shouldn't be 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):
The Alice Network
If your group likes richly detailed historical fiction with authentic characters try The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.
In 1947, a young American woman, pregnant and exiled by her family, travels to England to search for a long-lost cousin who disappeared in the war, there she meets and joins forces with a reclusive former spy who was involved in the Alice Network.
The Black Hour
If your group likes dark, fast-paced, psychological suspense, try The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day.
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?
Bruno, Chief of Police
If your group likes mysteries with a strong sense of place, read Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker for a mystery set in rural France, and enjoy a story filled with investigations, provincial coziness, and richly detailed meals.
Bruno is a former soldier who has embraced the pleasures and slow rhythms of country life - living in his restored shepherd’s cottage, patronizing the weekly market, and ignoring the European Union bureaucrats from Brussels. But then the murder of an elderly North African who fought in the French army changes everything and spurs this mystery series.
Crying In H Mart
If your group likes lyrical memoirs about family and relationships, read Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. The Japanese Breakfast indie pop star presents her reflections on growing up Korean-American, becoming a professional musician, and caring for her terminally ill mother.
In her memoir, Zauner reflects on growing up as one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon. She shares her struggles with her mother’s particularly high expectations of her, her painful adolescence, and treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.
The Dutch House
If your group likes character-driven family sagas, try The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.
For over three generations the Dutch House, a 1920s mansion, has served as the site of family drama with difficult memories alongside happy ones, resulting in a deep-seated nostalgia that binds siblings Maeve and Danny to the past and to the Dutch House.
If your group likes skillfully plotted thrillers with diverse characters who are complex yet likeable, try Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley.
Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.
The Japanese Lover
If your group likes stories of forbidden love that span generations and are impacted by historical events, try The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende.
This epic story of forbidden love moves from Alma’s present life in a nursing home, back in time to revisit her flight from WWII Poland to her relatives in California where she meets and falls in love with Ichimei Fukuda, the son of the family’s gardener.
Klara and the Sun
If your group likes reflective and lyrical science-fiction that focuses on characters, try Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Waiting to be chosen by a customer, an Artificial Friend programmed with high perception observes the activities of shoppers while exploring fundamental questions about what it means to love.
Ishiguro takes readers to a vaguely futuristic, technologically advanced setting for a surprising parable about love, humanity, and science. Klara is an Artificial Friend (AF) who is eventually bought by teenager Josie and learns about humans through her interactions with Josie’s family and childhood friend. When Josie becomes seriously ill, Klara pleads with the sun to make her well again and confronts the boundary between service and sacrifice.
The Library Book
If your group likes compelling, richly detailed non-fiction with a touch of the absurd, try The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
A 1986 fire inside the Los Angeles Public Library is the catalyst for this wide-ranging exploration of the history and meaning of libraries and the intriguing characters that inhabit them.
London’s Number One Dog-walking Agency
If your group likes memoirs and autobiographies that are heartwarming and accessible, with a varied cast of characters, try London’s Number One Dog-Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall.
With sharp wit, delightful observations, and plenty of canine affection, the author, a former Sotheby’s employee turned dog walker, reveals her unique and unconventional coming-of-age story, as told through the dogs she walks, and the London homes and neighborhoods they inhabit.
The Long Call
If your group likes intricately-plotted, atmospheric mysteries, like the author’s Vera Stanhope or Shetland series, try The Long Call by Ann Cleaves.
In Cleaves’ latest mystery series opener set on the lonely English coast, inspector Matthew Venn must confront his past, including his estranged mother and the restrictive church that turned its back on him, in order to solve the mystery of a body found on the beach.
If your group relishes locked room mysteries that are intricately plotted with a likable neurodivergent main character, try The Maid by Nita Prose.
When she discovers the dead body of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black in his suite, hotel maid Molly Gray finds her orderly life upended as she becomes the prime suspect in the case and is caught in a web of deception that she must try to unravel.
If your group likes engaging historical mysteries, try Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. Winspear writes the story of Maisie Dobbs who becomes the pupil of a wise family friend. In 1929, following an apprenticeship, Maisie hangs out her shingle: M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations.
In this delightful mix of mystery, war story, and romance set in WWI–era England, humble housemaid Maisie Dobbs climbs convincingly up Britain’s social ladder, becoming a university student, a wartime nurse, and ultimately a private investigator.
The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle
If your group is looking for a funny, tender story of finding one’s true self, try The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain.
The forced retirement of a shy, closeted postman in northern England creates the opportunity for him to track down his lost love, embrace his true self, connect with his community, and finally experience his life’s great adventure.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
If your group likes offbeat, engaging memoirs that insightfully explore unusual topics, try Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty.
The author describes her time as a young mortician and crematorium operator, detailing the many mundane chores and unsavory aspects with curiosity and humor, while also addressing how Americans treat death versus other cultures
If your group devours small-town police procedurals, with complex, character-driven, and richly detailed stories, try Still Life by Louise Penny.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Canada's Surete du Quebec is called to Three Pines, a tiny hamlet south of Montreal, just north of the U.S. border, to investigate the suspicious hunting "accident" that claimed the life of Jane Neal, a local fixture in the village.
This is How It Always Is
If your group enjoys thought-provoking, issue-oriented fiction, try This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel. This heartwarming and moving story will leave readers with much to discuss.
A family reshapes their ideas about family, love, and loyalty when their youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls' clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.