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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.

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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Ask Again, Yes

Mary Beth Keane

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours.

Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope - cold, elegant, unstable - wants to be left alone.

It's left to their children - Lena's youngest, Kate, and Anne's only child, Peter - to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all.

Find Ask Again, Yes in the catalog.

Book Group: 
Sunday NovelTea Book Discussion Group
Sunday, May 3, 2020 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm

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: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 10:00 am

Travel Vicariously

Book Group: 
Insatiable Readers Book Discussion Group
Saturday, May 9, 2020 • 10:30am

The Editor

Steven Rowley

After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript.

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page…

Find The Editor in the catalog.

Book Group: 
Second Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 10:00 am

The Ghosts of Eden Park

Karen Abbott

In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a multi-millionaire. The press calls him "King of the Bootleggers," writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new cars for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States.

Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt's bosses at the Justice Department hired her right out of law school, assuming she'd pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It's a decision with deadly consequences. With the fledgling FBI on the case, Remus is quickly imprisoned for violating the Volstead Act. Her husband behind bars, Imogene begins an affair with Dodge. Together, they plot to ruin Remus, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government—and that can only end in murder. Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, The Ghosts of Eden Park is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive.

Find The Ghosts of Eden Park in the catalog.

Book Group: 
True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 • 6:30pm - 8:30pm

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grand-mother, Elwood is a high school senior about to start classes at a local college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual, and moral training" so that the delinquent boys in its charge can become "honorable and honest men."

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks that Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision with repercussions that will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

Find The Nickel Boys in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 10:00 am

Glory Road

Lauren K. Denton

At thirty-eight, garden shop owner Jessie McBride thinks her chances for romance are years behind her and, after her failed marriage, she's fine with that. She lives contentedly with her fiery mother and her quiet, headstrong daughter. But the unexpected arrival of two men on Glory Road make her question if she's really happy with the status quo. Handsome, wealthy Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter's wedding, and Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention.

Find Glory Road in the catalog.

Book Group: 
Sunday NovelTea Book Discussion Group
Sunday, June 7, 2020 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm

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, June 11, 2020 at 10:00 am

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

Book Group: 
Insatiable Readers Book Discussion Group
Saturday, June 13, 2020 • 10:30am

The Killer Across the Table

John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Twenty years after his famous memoir, the man who literally wrote the book on FBI criminal profiling opens his case files once again. In this riveting work of true crime, he spotlights four of the most diabolical criminals he's confronted, interviewed and learned from. Going deep into each man's life and crimes, he outlines the factors that led them to murder and how he used his interrogation skills to expose their means, motives, and true evil. Like the hit Netflix show, The Killer Across the Table is centered around Douglas' unique interrogation and profiling process. With his longtime collaborator Mark Olshaker, Douglas recounts the chilling encounters with these four killers as he experienced them—revealing for the first time his profile methods in detail.

Going step by step through his interviews, Douglas explains how he connects each killer's crimes to the specific conversation, and contrasts these encounters with those of other deadly criminals to show what he learns from each one. In the process, he returns to other famous cases, killers and interviews that have shaped his career, describing how the knowledge he gained from those exchanges helped prepare him for these.

A glimpse into the mind of a man who has pierced the heart of human darkness, The Killer Across the Table unlocks the ultimate mystery of depravity and the techniques and approaches that have countered evil in the name of justice.

Find The Killer Across the Table in the catalog.

Book Group: 
True Crime Book Club
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 • 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Mrs. Everything

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. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women's lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after? In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?

Find Mrs. Everything in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 10:00 am

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grand-mother, Elwood is a high school senior about to start classes at a local college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual, and moral training" so that the delinquent boys in its charge can become "honorable and honest men."

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks that Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision with repercussions that will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

Find The Nickel Boys in the catalog.

Book Group: 
Second Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 10:00 am

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