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Book Discussion Groups

Join us for Hoover Public Library's book discussion groups. Sessions are monthly. One book is discussed each session. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Feel welcome to join us! Skip Links: What We're Currently Reading, Book Club Kits.

Upcoming Second Thursday Discussions

Upcoming Insatiable Readers Discussions

New subjects coming soon.

Upcoming Nonfiction Discussions

New books coming soon.

Book Club Kits

Check it out! Everything you need for your book club is in this kit (just add readers).

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  • 8 or more copies of the title
  • Author biography
  • Reviews of the book
  • Discussion questions
  • An annotated list of other Instant Book Club Kits
Guidelines
  • Each kit checks out to one group member for a period of six weeks.
  • Kits may not be renewed.
  • Overdue fines are $1 per day.
  • Kits may be reserved up to one year in advance by calling:
    • 444-7820 for Fiction

    Please return kits in a timely manner so others who have reserved kits may have access to them when needed.

Currently Reading

Below you will see a list of what we are reading. Use the links provided to get a copy and join us for a lively discussion. Sessions are the monthly. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

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Gone at Midnight

Jake Anderson

A Los Angeles hotel with a haunting history. A missing young woman. A disturbing video followed by a shocking discovery. A cold-case mystery that has become an internet phenomenon--and for one determined journalist, a life-changing quest toward uncomfortable truths. Twenty-one-year-old Vancouver student Elisa Lam was last heard from on January 31, 2013, after she checked into downtown L.A.'s Cecil Hotel--a 600-room building with a nine-decade history of scandal and tragedy. The next day, Elisa vanished. A search of the hotel yielded nothing.

Find Gone at Midnight in the catalog.

Book Group: 
True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 • 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

by Mark Sullivan

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat.

Find Beneath a Scarlet Sky in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 10 am

As Bright As Heaven

by Susan Meissner

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters—Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa—a chance at a better life.



But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without—and what they are willing to do about it.



As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Find out more.

Book Group: 
Sunday NovelTea Book Discussion Group
Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Mrs. Everything

by Jennifer Weiner

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise. Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.
But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies.

Find Mrs. Everything in the catalog.

Book Group: 
Second Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 10 am

Evidence of Love

By John Bloom & Jim Atkinson

Candy Montgomery and Betty Gore had a lot in common: They sang together in the Methodist church choir, their daughters were best friends, and their husbands had good jobs working for technology companies in the north Dallas suburbs known as Silicon Prairie. But beneath the placid surface of their seemingly perfect lives, both women simmered with unspoken frustrations and unanswered desires. On a hot summer day in 1980, the secret passions and jealousies that linked Candy and Betty exploded into murderous rage. What happened next is usually the stuff of fiction.

Find Evidence of Love in the catalog.

Book Group: 
True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 • 6:30pm - 8:00pm

The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.

Find The Nickel Boys in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 10 am

The Book of Lost Friends

by Lisa Wingate

Best-selling author Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual "Lost Friends" advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as newly freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold away.

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s Creole half-sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of stolen inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery’s end, the pilgrimage west reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope.

Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt - until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, is suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lie the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.

-Summary from amazon.com

Find out more.

Book Group: 
Sunday NovelTea Book Discussion Group
Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Mark Sullivan

Pino Lella is an Italian teenage boy who spends his days doing what typical teenagers do: frolicking with friends and fawning over girls. As the destruction of war courses through the city of Milan, Pino loses his family home to the Allied bombs and is obliged to help Jews escape by traversing the Alps. Later on, he falls in love with a beautiful woman named Anna in whom he finds solace from the horrors of the war.

Pino's safety is his parents' top priority, so between being assigned to the frontlines or joining the Nazis, Pino's parents choose the latter. He is forced by his parents to enlist in the German army. After being injured in combat, Pino is recruited as the interpreter and personal driver for General Hans Leyers, Hitler's left hand who was assigned to oversee the Nazi operations in Italy. The General is among the Third Reich's most enigmatic and formidable commanding officers.

Pino's position provides him an opportunity to gather information from the German High Command and pass it onto the Allied forces. Working as a spy for the resistance, Pino endures the Nazis' oppression and their atrocities by the strength he finds in his love for Anna and in his hope for a future in which the war is over and they are finally free.

Find Beneath a Scarlet Sky in the catalog.

Book Group: 
Second Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 10 am

American Sherlock

By Kate Winkler

Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities–beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds upon hundreds of books–sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his forty-year career. Known as the “American Sherlock Holmes,” Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America’s greatest–and first–forensic scientists, with an uncanny knack for finding clues, establishing evidence, and deducing answers with a skill that seemed almost supernatural.

Find American Sherlock in the catalog.

Book Group: 
True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 • 6:30pm - 8:00pm

The Queen’s Secret: A novel of England’s World War II Queen

by Karen Harper

1939. As the wife of the King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel. Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 10 am

The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.

Find The Nickel Boys in the catalog.

Book Group: 
Second Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10 am

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

by David Sedaris

From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new collection of essays taking his listeners on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist's shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.

-Summary from amazon.com

Find out more.

Book Group: 
Sunday NovelTea Book Discussion Group
Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Columbine

Dave Cullen

What really happened April 20, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we "know" is wrong. It wasn't about jocks, Goths, or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on scene, and spent ten years on this book-widely recognized as the definitive account. With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws on mountains of evidence, insight from the world's leading forensic psychologists, and the killers' own words and drawings-several reproduced in a new appendix.

Find Columbine in the catalog.

Book Group: 
True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 • 6:30pm - 8:00pm

The Great Alone

by Kristin Hannah

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

-Summary from amazon.com

Find out more.

Book Group: 
Sunday NovelTea Book Discussion Group
Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Dear Edward

by Ann Napolitano

One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.
Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family.

Find Dear Edward in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10 am

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