Book Club in a Bag - Adults

 

 

  

 

 All the Light We Cannot See cover All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr   
A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler   
The moment Pauline, a stranger to the Polish Eastern Avenue neighborhood of Baltimore, walked into his mother's grocery store, Michael was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervor, they are propelled into a hasty wedding. But they never should have married.
  And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie    
First, there were ten--a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal--and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver  
The author and her family vowed that, for one year, they'd only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2010.
  The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker  
This poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be...until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father's past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader's belief in the power of love to move mountains. 
  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein    
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul, he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope.
  Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson
Veronika, a young writer from New Zealand, rents a house in a small Swedish village as she tries to come to terms with a recent tragedy while also finishing a novel. Her arrival is silently observed by Astrid, an older, reclusive neighbor who slowly becomes a presence in Veronika's life, offering comfort in the form of companionship and lovingly prepared home-cooked meals. Set against a haunting Swedish landscape, Astrid & Veronika is a lyrical and meditative novel of love and loss, and a story that will remain with readers long after the characters' secrets are revealed.
  Austenland by Shannon Hale    
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.
  The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver      
Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.
  Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson  
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love--all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine's life. 
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo   
As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi's "most-everything girl," might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal.
  Bloodroot by Amy Greene   
Myra Lamb is a wild girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain. Her grandmother, Byrdie, protects her fiercely and passes down “the touch” that bewitches people and animals alike. But when John Odom tries to tame Myra, it sparks a shocking disaster, ripping lives apart. Bloodroot is the dark and riveting story of the legacies-of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss-that haunt one family across the generations.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown  
The dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin. Drawing on the boys' own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times--the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. Duluth's One Book Northland selection for 2016.
  The Box Children by Sharon Wyse 
This is the story of a twelve-year-old girl living on a Texas wheat farm. Her only friends are the Box Children, five tiny dolls she has named after her lost siblings: babies her mother has miscarried. This summer, Lou Ann's mother is pregnant again, but Lou Ann can already sense that something is wrong. As her mother's grasp on reality slips away, she must rely on her own wit and courage to make sense of adolescence.
  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 
Originally published in 1932, Huxley's terrifying vision of a controlled and emotionless future "Utopian" society is truly startling in its prediction of modern scientific and cultural phenomena, including test-tube babies and rampant drug abuse.
  Bread Alone by Judith Hendricks
When her husband leaves her for another woman, Wynter Morrison moves to Seattle to start a new life and pursues her passion for breadmaking by accepting a position in a local bake shop, where she discovers the extraordinary healing power of making bread.
  Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos
Septuagenarian Margaret Hughes is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come west to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world. But as the two begin their tentative dance of friendship, the armor begins to fall away and Margaret opens her house to Wanda. Along the way, a famous mosaic artist is born, a Holocaust survivor is reunited with her long-lost tea set, and a sad-eyed drifter finds his long-lost daughter.
  The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka  
The story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as "picture brides" nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war.
The Cape Ann by Faith Sullivan
Prior to World War II, the Erhardts live in a storage room adjacent to the depot, but Lark's growing makes the room too small, and they have no money, because of Lark's father's drinking and gambling, to purchase a house.
  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school.
  The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
A spare and haunting, wise and beautiful novel about war and the endurance of the human spirit and the subtle ways individuals reclaim their humanity. In a city under siege, four people whose lives have been upended are ultimately reminded of what it is to be human. From his window, a musician sees twenty-two of his friends and neighbors waiting in a breadline. Then, in a flash, they are killed by a mortar attack. In an act of defiance, the man picks up his cello and decides to play at the site of the shelling for twenty-two days, honoring their memory. A novel of great intensity and power, and inspired by a true story, The Cellist of Sarajevo poignantly explores how war can change one's definition of humanity, the effect of music on our emotional endurance, and how a romance with the rituals of daily life can itself be a form of resistance. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2014.
  Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith  
When war hero Leo Stepanovich Demidov, a rising star in the MGB, the State Security force, is assigned to look into the death of a child, Leo is annoyed, first because this takes him away from a more important case, but, more importantly, because the parents insist the child was murdered. In Stalinist Russia, there's no such thing as murder; the only criminals are those who are enemies of the state. After attempting to curb the violent excesses of his second-in-command, Leo is forced to investigate his own wife, the beautiful Raisa, who's suspected of being an Anglo-American sympathizer. Demoted and exiled from Moscow, Leo stumbles onto more evidence of the child killer.
  Chosen By a Horse: A Memoir by Susan Richards      
When she agrees to take on the care of one of the abused horses just rescued by the local SPCA, a new chapter opens in Susan Richards's difficult life. She lost her mother at the age of five and was raised by uncaring relatives; married unhappily and divorced; and suffered from alcoholism. While Susan is trying to capture the horse assigned to her, Lay Me Down, a skeletal mare, walks into Susan's horse trailer of her own volition. Susan already owns one mare and two geldings-the diva-like Georgia, boyish Tempo and hopelessly romantic Hotshot-but it is with Lay Me Down that she forges a special, healing relationship that alters her life.
  City of Thieves by David Benioff   
In this novel, a writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won't talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds.
  Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland   
Hoping to honor his father and the family business with innovative glass designs, Louis Comfort Tiffany launches the iconic Tiffany lamp as designed by women's division head Clara Driscoll, who struggles with the mass production of her creations. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2013.
  Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, this provocative version of the Cinderella tale tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Her path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. Far more than a mere fairy-tale, this is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed--and love unveiled--in the most unexpected of places.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin      
An atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county--and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town. More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.
The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

 

  Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.
  Cutting for Stone by A. Verghese   
Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in an Ethiopia on the brink of revolution, where their love for the same woman drives them apart.
The Dance Boots  by Linda LeGarde Grover
This stirring collection of linked stories portrays an Ojibwe community struggling to follow traditional ways of life in the face of a relentlessly changing world. A cycle of boarding schools, alcoholism, and violence haunts these stories even as the characters find beauty and solace in their large extended families. With its attention to the Ojibwe language, customs, and history, this unique collection of riveting stories illuminates the very nature of storytelling. The Dance Boots narrates a century's evolution of Native Americans making choices and compromises, often dictated by a white majority, as they try to balance survival, tribal traditions, and obligations to future generations. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2015.

Dead Wake by Erik Larson
The Last Crossing of the Lusitania is a 2015 New York Times non-fiction bestseller written by author Erik Larson. The book looks at the sinking of Lusitania during World War I and the events surrounding the sinking.

Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro  
Munro pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken, or a simple twist of fate. Her characters are flawed and fully human: a soldier returning from war and avoiding his fiancée, a wealthy woman deciding whether to confront a blackmailer, an adulterous mother and her neglected children, a guilt-ridden father, a young teacher jilted by her employer. These lives draw us in with their quiet depth and surprise us with unexpected turns. And while most are set in her signature territory around Lake Huron, some strike even closer to home: an astonishing suite of four autobiographical tales offers an unprecedented glimpse into Munro's own childhood.
Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine by Hector Tobar  
When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days. The entire world watched what transpired above-ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, but the saga of the miners' experiences below the Earth's surface--and the lives that led them there--has never been heard until Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the miners and their tales. These men came to think of the mine, a cavern inflicting constant and thundering aural torment, as a kind of coffin, and as a church where they sought redemption through prayer. Even while still buried, they all agreed that if by some miracle any of them escaped alive, they would share their story only collectively. 
  Defending Jacob by William Landay
Andy Barber has been an ADA in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But after a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.
  Devil in the White City by Eric Larson  
A gripping tale about two men -- one a creative genius, the other a mass murderer -- who turned the 1893 Chicago World's Fair into their playground. Set against the dazzle of a dream city whose technological marvels presaged the coming century, this real-life drama of good and evil unfolds with all the narrative tension of a fictional thriller.
  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert  
Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights--the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise "betwixt and between" realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry.
  The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery    
We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building's tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter  
Novella Carpenter loves cities-- the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. When she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door, she closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop. What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways.

The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb
Grace Alban has spent more than twenty years avoiding her childhood home, the stately Alban House on the shores of Lake Superior, for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother's unexpected death brings Grace and her teenage daughter back, she finds more is haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House than her own personal demons. Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters, and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House, when a world-famous author took his own life and Grace's aunt disappeared without a trace.

 

Forks Over Knives: The Plant-based Way to Health by Gene Stone  
What if one simple change could save you from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer? For decades, that question has fascinated a small circle of impassioned doctors and researchers. Their answer? Eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet--it could save your life. It may overturn most of the diet advice you've heard--but the experts behind Forks Over Knives aren't afraid to make waves.
  Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok  
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.
 The Girl on the Train cover The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins  
After witnessing something shocking, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson  
A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

Girls Like Us Fighting For a World Where Girls are Not For Sale: A Memoir by Rachel Lloyd  
Rachel Lloyd’s riveting survivor story is the true tale of her hard-won escape from the commercial sex industry and her bold founding of GEMS, New York City’s Girls Education and Mentoring Service, to help countless other young girls escape "the life." Lloyd’s unflinchingly honest memoir is a powerful and unforgettable story of inhuman abuse, enduring hope, and the promise of redemption.

Gone Girl  by Gillian Flynn
On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Good Grief by Lolly Winston  
Grieving over the death of her husband from cancer, thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton finds her personal and professional world in a shambles and, in an attempt to reinvent her life, moves to Ashland, Oregon.

   The Good Lord Bird by James McBride   
Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town--with Brown, who believes he's a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually he finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859--one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. 
  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
A dashing, enigmatic millionaire is obsessed with an elusive, spoiled young woman. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2006.
  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer  
In 1946, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey, who tells her about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation.

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
When the bachelor party her husband is hosting goes wrong, Kristin finds her life spiraling into a nightmare of accusations and betrayal while a girl hired to provide entertainment at the party flees for her life from gangsters.

H is for Hawk book cover H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer-- Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood-- she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself 'in the hawk's wild mind to tame her' tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life. Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer's eccentric falconry. 
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The lives of three characters are swept up in the turbulence of Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s. 13-year-old Ugwu is employed as a houseboy for a university professor full of revolutionary zeal. Olanna is the professor's beautiful mistress, who has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover. And Richard is a shy young Englishman in thrall to Olanna's twin sister, an enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. As Nigerian troops advance and the three must run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.
  Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo 
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed-a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy's trip to heaven and back. Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery-and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born.
Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow   
Homer and Langley Collyer are brothers-the one blind and deeply intuitive, the other damaged into madness, or perhaps greatness, by mustard gas in the Great War. They live as recluses in their once grand Fifth Avenue mansion, scavenging the city streets for things they think they can use, hoarding the daily newspapers as research for Langley’s proposed dateless newspaper whose reportage will be as prophecy. Yet the epic events of the century play out in the lives of the two brothers-wars, political movements, technological advances-and even though they want nothing more than to shut out the world, history seems to pass through their cluttered house in the persons of immigrants, prostitutes, society women, government agents, gangsters, jazz musicians . . . and their housebound lives are fraught with odyssean peril as they struggle to survive and create meaning for themselves.
  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford 
Fifth-grade scholarship students and best friends Henry and Keiko are the only Asians in their Seattle elementary school in 1942. Henry is Chinese, Keiko is Japanese, and Pearl Harbor has made all Asians—even those who are American born—targets for abuse. Because Henry's nationalistic father has a deep-seated hatred for Japan, Henry keeps his friendship with and eventual love for Keiko a secret. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2011.
the husband's secret The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty  
At the heart of The Husband's Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read. "My darling Cecilia, If you're reading this, then I've died..." Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret--something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive...Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all--she's an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything--and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia--or each other--but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband's secret.
i am malala I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead,Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world. 
  Ice Trap by Kitty Sewell      
At the height of his career, a British surgeon has found success in both the hospital and at home. He and his wife have everything they want out of life, except the child she longs for, the child Dr. Woodruff secretly believes he may never be ready to parent. Suddenly, the delicate equilibrium of their relationship is blown apart by the arrival of shocking news. Deep in the desolate sub-Arctic wilderness of Canada where Woodruff lived and worked years before, a woman claims he is the father of her thirteen-year-old twins. Woodruff knows it cannot be true -- but DNA tests don't lie.
  Immoral by Brian Freeman    
The disappearance of a teenage girl from the streets of Duluth, Minnesota draws Lieutenant Jonathan Stride into a conflict with evil as his search for a serial killer snares him in a web of secrets, lies, and illicit desire.
  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot    
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells-taken without her knowledge in 1951-became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. A riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2012.
  In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien 
John and Kathy Wade, whose marriage has been built on mutual deception, visit a Minnesota lake to try to sort things out, a difficult process made more so by Kathy's sudden disappearance.
 
  In the Woods by Tana French  
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox-his partner and closest friend-find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined

An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
Barry Laverty is the proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else. He jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice. At least until he meets Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, who has his own way of doing things.  Through O’Reilly, Barry gets to know all of the village’s colorful residents who make every day an education for the young doctor. With pluck and compassion and only the slightest touch of blarney, he will find out more about life—and love—than he ever imagined back in medical school.

  Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger  
Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. Embittered by his "former" status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago's South Side, there's not much that can shock him. But when the town's judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption, and scandal.
 Jane Steele cover Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye  
A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law, Jane discovers her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess. Jane takes the position incognito, and falls in love with the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars. Can she possess him-- body, soul, and secrets-- without revealing her own murderous past?
  The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan 
Encompassing two generations and a rich blend of Chinese and American history, the story of four struggling, strong women also reveals their daughter's memories and feelings. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2007.
  Keeping the House by Ellen Baker  
Lonely, restless, and bored with her life as a housewife in 1950s Pine Rapids, Wisconsin, Dolly Magnuson becomes fascinated by the abandoned grand old house on the hill overlooking the town and sets out to unravel the dark secrets of the family that had once owned it.
Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis  
A stirring and wickedly funny portrait of a man who resigns from the white race. When Neil Kingsblood, a typical middle-American banker with a comfortable life, makes the shocking discovery that he has African-American blood, the odyssey that ensues creates an unforgettable portrayal of two Americas, one black, one white.
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom   
On a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate. Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed as an indentured servant under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family. In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master's opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.
  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 
The unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household, Amir and Hassan nonetheless grow up in different worlds: one the son of a prominent and wealthy man, the other, the son of a servant, is a member of a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.
  The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier   
Interweaves historical fact with fiction to explore the mystery behind the creation of the remarkable Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, woven at the end of the fifteenth century, which today hang in the Cluny Museum in Paris.
 
  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh  
A vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past. The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what's been missing in her life, and when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness. 
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original.
  Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Possessing encyclopedia-like intelligence, unusual zookeeper's son Pi Patel sets sail for America, but when the ship sinks, he escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman  
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
Locally Laid cover Locally Laid: how we built a plucky, industry-changing egg farm--from scratch by Lucie B. Amundsen
How a Midwestern family with no agriculture experience went from a few backyard chickens to a full-fledged farm--and discovered why local chicks are better. When Lucie Amundsen had a rare night out with her husband, she never imagined what he'd tell her over dinner--that his dream was to quit his office job (with benefits!) and start a commercial-scale pasture-raised egg farm. His entire agricultural experience consisted of raising five backyard hens, none of whom had yet laid a single egg. To create this pastured poultry ranch, the couple scrambles to acquire nearly two thousand chickens--all named Lola. These hens, purchased commercially, arrive bereft of basic chicken-y instincts, such as the evening urge to roost. The newbie farmers also deal with their own shortcomings, making for a failed inspection and intense struggles to keep livestock alive (much less laying) during a brutal winter. But with a heavy dose of humor, they learn to negotiate the highly stressed no-man's-land known as Middle Agriculture. Amundsen sees firsthand how these midsized farms, situated between small-scale operations and mammoth factory farms, are vital to rebuilding America's local food system. With an unexpected passion for this dubious enterprise, Amundsen shares a messy, wry, and entirely educational story of the unforeseen payoffs (and frequent pitfalls) of one couple's ag adventure--and many, many hours spent wrangling chickens.
  The Long-shining Waters by Danielle Sosin
Lake Superior, the north country, the great fresh-water expanse. Frigid. Lethal. Wildly beautiful. Here are three stories whose characters are separated by centuries and circumstance, yet connected across time by a shared geography. In 1622, Grey Rabbit-an Ojibwe woman, a mother and wife-struggles to understand a dream-life that has taken on fearful dimensions. As she and her family confront the hardship of living near the "big water," her psyche and her world edge toward irreversible change. In 1902, Berit and Gunnar, a Norwegian fishing couple, also live on the lake. Berit is unable to conceive, and the lake anchors her isolated life, testing the limits of her endurance and spirit. And in 2000, when Nora, a seasoned bar owner, loses her job and is faced with an open-ended future, she is drawn reluctantly into a road trip around the great lake. As these narratives unfold and overlap with the mesmerizing rhythm of waves, a fourth mysterious character gradually comes into stark relief.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
This riveting debut novel follows a young woman striving to create the perfect life-- husband, home, career-- until a violent incident from her past threatens to unravel everything and expose her most shocking secret of all.

  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson  
Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?
The Martian by Andy Weir  
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 
Louisa Clark has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a job working for Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. 

  The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox  
Convinced that he is destined for great wealth, power, and influence, Edward Glyver will do anything to reclaim a prize that is rightfully his, including a showdown with his rival, poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.
  The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman  
The story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century. Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's "museum." One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees. The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father's Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor's apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman's disappearance. New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante  
A rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila, that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between the two protagonists.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Law professor Alexander argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race. As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status - much like their grandparents before them. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community - and all of us - to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

 

  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern  
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves , and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love--a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
 The Nightingale cover The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah  
Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
  Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult  
In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge. Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, insider and outsider have been obscured forever.
  The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe has opened Botswana's first and only detective agency staffed by women.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  
The story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul -- this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction by a Nobel Prize-winning author.

Invention of Wings

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison. In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel, Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions.

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson   
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother--a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang--and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return. Considering himself "a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world," Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress "so pure, she didn't know what starving people looked like." Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master's Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline  
Between 1854 and 1929, orphan trains ran regularly from the East Coast to the Midwest, carrying children whose fates would be determined by pure luck.  Vivian Daly was one such child. Returning east later in life, she leads a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly knows that a community-service position helping Vivian clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as she helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that they aren't as different as they appear.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood   
Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey-with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake-through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride.
  The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 
Dorian Gray, a remarkably handsome young man, meets Lord Henry Wotton and is corrupted into a life of terrible evil that is reflected only in his portrait.
  Plainsong by Kent Haruf   
A heart-strong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver. From unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them together -- their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant.
  Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry  
Here the local vigilante is a farmer's wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry grew up here, and now -- after a decade away -- he has returned. Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2009.
  The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford      
This mysterious and richly evocative novel tells the story of portraitist Piero Piambo, who is offered a commission unlike any other. The client is Mrs. Charbuque, a wealthy and elusive woman who asks Piambo to paint her portrait, though with one bizarre twist: he may question her at length on any topic, but he may not, under any circumstances, see her. So begins an astonishing journey into Mrs. Charbuque's world and the world of 1893 New York society in this hypnotically compelling literary thriller.
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
In 1940, Iris James is the postmistress in coastal Franklin, Massachusetts. Iris knows more about the townspeople than she will ever say, and believes her job is to deliver secrets. Yet one day she does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it, and doesn't deliver it. Meanwhile, Frankie Bard broadcasts from overseas with Edward R. Murrow. Her dispatches beg listeners to pay heed as the Nazis bomb London nightly. Most of the townspeople of Franklin think the war can't touch them. But both Iris and Frankie know better...
  Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi  
This is the story of Azar Nafisi's dream, and of the nightmare that made it come true. For two years before she left Iran in 1997, a small circle of seven young women gathered together every Thursday in secret at her home to read and discuss great books of Western literature. At first they were suspicious of one another, reticent and afraid to speak their minds. But soon they began to share their dreams and disappointments, as their stories entwined with those they were reading: The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and Lolita -- their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran.
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella      
When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed. Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends.
  Room by Emma Donoghue
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion  
Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who's decided it's time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie - and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don't find love, it finds you.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich  
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

  The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis  
A classic satire on human weakness features Screwtape, an elderly devil, who writes a series of letters to Wormwood, his apprentice and nephew.


The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton  
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy--her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother. Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy's ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy's past.

  The Shack by William P. Young  
A grieving father receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him to meet in the Oregon wilderness where his daughter has been abducted and murdered. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?"
  The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon  
Barcelona, 1945 - Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes one day to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel's father coaxes him to choose a book from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the book he selects, a novel called The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax's work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written.
  The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert   
Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker--a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma's research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction--into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical.
  Some Assembly Required by Lynn Kiele Bonasia   
39-year-old Rose is content with her safe life: both her job writing manuals for appliances and her long-term boyfriend are reasonably satisfying. But when Mr. Almost Right betrays her, Rose decides there has to be more to it than writing succinct descriptions about how to use the timer on a Pause 'n Serve coffeemaker. Lured by the therapeutic promise of Cape Cod's sand, salt, and waves, Rose abandons her careful past and leaves the city far behind. Rose wants only to heal her broken heart. But with the help of a few eccentric neighbors, a fulfilling new job as the world's oldest cub reporter, and a compellingly odd new man, she comes to realize that her past is the furthest thing from her mind -- and she may just have stumbled upon her future happiness.
Some Luck Some Luck by Jane Smiley
An epic novel that spans thirty years in the lives of a farm family in Iowa, telling a parallel story of the changes taking place in America from 1920 through the early 1950s.

The Son by Jo Nesbo  
Sonny Lofthus has been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don't know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit--or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he's serving time for other peoples' crimes. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest--all of them focused on keeping him high and in jail. As long as Sonny gets his dope, he's happy to play the criminal and the prison's in-house savior. But when he learns a stunning, long-hidden secret concerning his father, he makes a brilliantly executed escape from prison--and from the person he'd let himself become--and begins hunting down those responsible for the crimes against him.

 

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett  
As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the cross-hairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

  Still Life by Louise Penny  
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bow hunter.
Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen  
Meet Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.
  The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen   
Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night.... Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis--and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee's tough love, Josey's narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them--and who has a close connection to Josey's longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that's just for starters.
  These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf  
When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls' golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It's Brynn--shy, quiet Brynn--who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her. But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister. Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.
  They Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth      
Sofie and her husband have left Manhattan in search of a more tranquil life in the suburbs. But when a member of Sofie?s new neighborhood book club turns up dead, things get messy. She discovers that everybody has something to hide, including her own husband.
  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield  
When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales.
  The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather's recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with "the deathless man." But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her-the legend of the tiger's wife.
  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Scout's father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in a small Alabama town during the 1930s. Duluth's One Book, One Community selection for 2002.
  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 
A young girl in a shabby neighborhood lives with dreams in an innocent time before the war.
  Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach 
In Amsterdam in the 1630s, a young wife escapes her stifling marriage to an older man into the arms of the artist who is hired to paint their portrait.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand   
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The Vanishing by Wendy Webb  
Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired . . . and who the world believes is dead. When she arrives at the Sinclairs' enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her "too-good-to-be-true" position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.
  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen  
Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's 90-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus. Jacob was there because his luck had run out. It was the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Surprising, poignant, and funny, this is that rare novel with a story so engrossing, one is reluctant to put it down; with characters so engaging, they continue to live long after the last page has been turned.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed  
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State--and she would do it alone.
  Will to Murder: The True Story Behind the Crimes & Trials Surrounding the Glensheen Murders by Gail Feichtinger  
On June 27, 1977, an intruder entered a stately manor built along the Lake Superior shore. Before leaving with a basketful of stolen jewelry, the intruder used a satin pillow to smother Elisabeth Congdon, after killing the heiress's valiant nurse, Velma Pietila, by beating her with a candlestick -- crimes set in motion by a hastily hand-written will penned just days before the killings. For the first time the story of the Glensheen mansion killings and the crimes and trials surrounding Marjorie Caldwell Hagen, Elisabeth Congdon's notorious adopted daughter, is told.
 

Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama
Pei's peasant parents have her work in a silk factory to support them, and Pei finds strength from an older girl, Lin, as they begin to organize a union.

 

  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough by Ruth Pennebaker  
Joanie's ex-husband is having a baby with his new girlfriend. Joanie won't be having more babies, since she's decided never to have sex again. But she still has her teenaged daughter Caroline to care for. And thanks to the recession, her elderly mother Ivy as well. Her daughter can't seem to exist without texting, and her mother brags about "goggling,"-while Joanie, back in the workforce, is still trying to figure out her office computer. And how to fend off the advances of her coworker Bruce. Joanie, Caroline, and Ivy are stuck under the same roof, and it isn't easy. But sometimes they surprise each other-and themselves. And through their differences they learn that it is possible to undo the mistakes of the past.
yes please Yes Please by Amy Poehler
The actress best known for her work on "Parks and Recreation" and "Saturday Night Live" reveals personal stories and offers her humorous take on such topics as love, friendship, parenthood, and her relationship with Tina Fey.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler  
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the "ungettable" Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. After Scott sells his first novel, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him and take the rest as it comes. What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera, where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation. But not even Jay Gatsby's parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous-sometimes infamous-husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott's, too?
  The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman   
When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants: otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.

 

The Book Club in a Bag project was begun with a generous gift from the Friends of the Duluth Public Library.