Book Group Kits

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​The Salem Public Library Foundation, the Friends of Salem Public Library, the Oregon Center for the Book, and the Salem Public Library have teamed up to develop the kits for area book clubs.

Each kit offers 10 copies of the title, a sign out sheet, and a list of discussion questions. Book group kits check out for two months at a time. Please email [email protected] or call 503-588-6315 to place a hold a book group kit. Holds cannot be placed in the catalog.

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have shaped their lives in contemporary Appalachia, a sheriff on the brink of retirement and a haunted park ranger confront violent forces when an elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

When her new husband is arrested and imprisoned for a crime she knows he did not commit, a rising artist takes comfort in a longtime friendship, only to encounter unexpected challenges in resuming her life when her husband's sentence is suddenly overturned.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

A novel that spans fifty years. The Italian housekeeper and his long-lost American starlet; the producer who once brought them together, and his assistant. A glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

The story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

The provocative story of artist Harriet Burden, who, after years of having her work ignored, ignites an explosive scandal in New York's art world when she recruits three young men to present her creations as their own. Yet when the shows succeed and Burden steps forward for her triumphant reveal, she is betrayed by the third man, Rune. Many critics side with him, and Burden and Rune find themselves in a charged and dangerous game, one that ends in his bizarre death.

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

In a rural East Texas town of fewer than 200 people, the body of an African American lawyer from Chicago is found in a bayou, followed several days later by that of a local white woman. What's going on? African American Texas Ranger Darren Mathews hopes to find out, which means talking to relatives of the deceased, including the woman's white supremacist husband—and Mathews soon discovers things are more complex than they seem.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

As a member of the Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy Mary Carter delivers books to the hill folk of Troublesome, hoping to spread learning in these desperate times. But not everyone is so keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and the hardscrabble Kentuckians are quick to blame her for any trouble in their small town.

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, Eilis cannot find a proper job in the miserable Irish economy. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn visits the household and offers to sponsor Eilis in America--to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland"--she realizes she must go, leaving her fragile mother and sister behind.

Circling the Sun by Paul McLain

Reveals the extraordinary adventures of Beryl Markham, a woman before her time. Brought to Kenya from England by pioneering parents dreaming of a new life on an African farm, Beryl is raised unconventionally, developing a fierce will and a love of all things wild. But after everything she knows and trusts dissolves, headstrong young Beryl is flung into a string of disastrous relationships, then becomes caught up in a passionate love triangle with the irresistible safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and the writer Baroness Karen Blixen.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The lives of two sisters—Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a southern woman married to a man she hates—are revealed in a series of letters exchanged over thirty years.

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Like her mother, Rue is an all-knowing midwife, healer, and conjurer of curses on the plantation of Marse Charles. Moving back and forth in time between the years before and after the Civil War, this novel tells the story of Rue, the families she cares for, and the mysteries and secrets she knows about the plantation owner's daughter, Varina. At the heart of this story is the intimate bonds and transgressions among people and across racial divides, during both slavery time and freedom time.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Explores the fallout of a favorite daughter's shattering death on a Chinese-American family in 1970s Ohio.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets.

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

Constance Kopp doesn't quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family -- and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The daughter of a prominent Chicago judge and his socialite wife, inner-city art teacher Mia Dennett is taken hostage by her one-night stand, Colin Thatcher, who, instead of delivering her to his employers, hides her in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota to keep her safe from harm.

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, refuses to abandon the research center in the Arctic when he receives news of a catastrophic event. Soon after, he discovers a mysterious child and realizes that the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone. Meanwhile, Mission Specialist Sullivan and her crew, the first astronauts to delve into deep space, discover that Mission Control is no longer on the air. Sullivan's career has cost her her marriage, and she has left her daughter behind. Will she ever get home? As Augustine and Sully face the uncertain future, their stories gradually intertwine towards a profound and unexpected conclusion.

His Mother's Son by Cai Emmons

Jana Thomas has built a successful life with her loving husband and lively six-year-old son, Evan, and a rewarding position as an emergency-room doctor. She has always been a nervous, hyper vigilant parent, but Evan's seemingly normal all-boy tendencies are escalating her worry into something close to hysteria, and Jana's job, marriage, and motherhood are threatened

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half-sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations.

The Illegal by Lawrence Hill

A literary thriller that addresses the fate of undocumented refugees who struggle to survive in nations that do not want them.

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. In 1982, Evelyn's daughter, Jackie, is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband's drug addiction. Jackie's son, T.C., loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn't survive the storm. For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants. Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's critically acclaimed debut is an urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

A young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate becomes the iconic chef behind the country's most coveted dinner reservation.

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

A talented baker running a business out of her nursing home reconnects with her master brewer sister at the same time her pregnant granddaughter launches an IPA brewpub.

The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang

Presents the journey from refugee camp to America and the hardships and joys of a family's struggle to adapt in a strange culture while holding onto traditions that are passed down from her beloved grandmother.

Lathe of Heaven by Ursula LeGuin

Fearful of the consequences of his dreams that can effect changes in reality, George Orr consults a psychiatrist who tries to make use of Orr's power. This literate and imaginative novel with well-drawn characterizations was first published in Amazing Stories magazine.

Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin

 Left homeless by the death of his father, fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson sets off with a racehorse, Lean on Pete, on a perilous trek from Portland, Oregon to Wyoming to find a distant aunt, hoping to regain stability in his life.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

The lives of three women converge at the Ravensbrèuck concentration camp as one resolves to help from her post at the French consulate, one becomes a courier in the Polish resistance, and one takes a German government medical position.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself.

Longbourn by Jo Baker

A reimagining of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the perspectives of its below-stairs servants captures the drama of the Bennet household from the sideline viewpoint of Sarah, an orphaned housemaid.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The three Bright brothers are the overseers of 3,500 square kilometers of land in Queensland, with hours between each of their homes. It's a vast, unforgiving environment, and no one ever goes far without a full complement of supplies. When 40-year-old Cameron sets out on his own, ostensibly to fix a repeater mast, he never comes home.

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

A wrenching emotional battle ensues between Soli, an undocumented Mexican single mother, and Kavya, an Indian American chef who cannot have children, when Soli's infant son is placed in Kavya's care during an immigration detention

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

Forging a life together after being abandoned by their parents, half-sisters Eva and Iris share decades in and out of the spotlight in golden-era Hollywood and mid-twentieth-century Long Island.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar

Two girls living 800 years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—place today's headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

Martin Marten by Brian Doyle

Dave is fourteen years old, living with his family in a cabin on Oregon's Mount Hood (or as Dave prefers to call it, like the Native Americans once did, Wy'east). He is entering high school, adulthood on the horizon not far off in distance, and contemplating a future away from his mother, father, and his precocious younger sister. And Dave is not the only one approaching adulthood and its freedoms on Wy'east that summer. Martin, a pine marten (a small animal of the deep woods, of the otter/mink family), is leaving his own mother and siblings and setting off on his own as well.

Mink River by Brian Doyle

Community is the beating heart of this fresh, memorable debut with an omniscient narrator and dozens of characters living in (fictional) Neawanaka, a small coastal Oregon town.

Moonglow by Michael Chabon

A man bears witness to his grandfather's deathbed confessions, which reveal his family's long-buried history and his involvement in a mail-order novelty company, World War II, and the space program.

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood's only salvation is his friendship with fellow "delinquent" Turner, which deepens despite Turner's conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.

The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens

A curmudgeonly widower emerges from a hermit-like existence in the wake of a neighborhood murder that implicates an artistic cancer survivor who creates suspiciously realistic paintings of the crime scene in her efforts to cope, a situation that is further complicated by an abandoned teen who finds herself drawn to the chief suspect.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

An impassioned novel of activism and natural-world power that is comprised of interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

In this page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Tired of being singled out at her mostly white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school's amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

After staying with their aunt in Nsukka, Nigeria, Kambili and her brother return home changed by their newfound freedom. At home, they deal with their father, a religious fanatic, who has high expectations of them and his wife. And eventually Kambili tries to keep their family together after their mother commits a desperate act.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that's sweeping the world is no pathogen. It's just the first shockwave, unleashed by a stunning discovery – and what's in jeopardy is not just our minds. In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth – and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery…and the tools for fighting back.

The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg

Living alone in her Stockholm apartment, a 96-year-old woman reminisces through the pages of a long-kept address book before starting to write down stories from her past, unlocking family secrets in unexpectedly beneficial ways.

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend tells him she's facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah's meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

Rwandan runner Jean Patrick Nkuba dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal and uniting his ethnically divided country, only to be driven from everyone he loves when the violence starts, after which he must find a way back to a better life.

The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen

Based on the true story of Mary Bowser, a freed slave who returns to Virginia to spy on the Confederates, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is the powerful story of a woman who must sacrifice her freedom to truly achieve it.

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game.

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

The life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. Each chapter in covers a single year, beginning in 1920, as American soldiers return home from World War I, and going up through the early 1950s, with the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change.

Sweetland by Michael Crummey

The scarcely populated town of Sweetland's slow decline finally reaches a head when the mainland government offers each islander a generous resettlement package--the sole stipulation being that everyone must leave. Fierce and enigmatic Moses Sweetland, whose ancestors founded the village, is the only one to refuse. As he watches his neighbors abandon the island, he recalls the town's rugged history and its eccentric cast of characters.

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

A family reshapes their ideas about family, love and loyalty when youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls' clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Minnesota, 1932. Twelve-year-old orphan Odie and his 16-year-old brother, Albert, are the only white students at the Lincoln Indian Training School. When Odie accidentally kills a fiendish school employee, he, his brother, their Sioux friend Mose, and a bereft little girl, Emmy, whose mother has been killed by a tornado, must flee by canoe down the nearby Gilead River. And so their adventure begins, narrated by Odie, who is a born storyteller who often entertains his companions with tales.

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Unexpectedly chosen to be a family manservant, an 11-year-old Barbados sugar-plantation slave is initiated into a world of technology and dignity before a devastating betrayal propels him throughout the world in search of his true self.

Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison

Facing starvation and worse when she is orphaned on her family's 1885 homestead, a 17-year-old sharpshooter cuts off her hair and disguises herself as a boy to journey across the mountains in search of her outlaw brother.

American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee

The story of O-Six, a female wolf in Yellowstone National Park who became something of a social media star, and the challenges her, her pups, and her pack faced from hunters, cattle ranchers, and other Yellowstone wolves. It is also a larger story of the clash in the American West between those who want to restore the wolf population of Yellowstone, and those who oppose it.

Astoria by Peter Stark

Documents the 1810 to 1813 expedition, financed by millionaire John Jacob Astor and encouraged by Thomas Jefferson, to establish Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men -- bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. National Book Award Winner.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. It traces the story of the team that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder, and a homeless teen rower.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation."

The Common Good by Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich makes the case for a generous, inclusive understanding of the American project, centering on the moral obligations of citizenship. Rooting his argument in everyday reality and common sense, Reich demonstrates the existence of a common good, and argues that it is this that defines a society or a nation.

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history

Down in My Heart by William Stafford

From 1942 to 1945, William Stafford was interned in camps for conscientious objectors in Arkansas and California for his refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army. Down in My Heart is an account of the relationships among the men in the camps and their day-to-day activities - fighting forest fires, building trails and roads, restoring eroded lands - and their earnest pursuit of a social morality rooted in religious and secular pacifist ideals.

Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt

When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Miss Norma - newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage - rose to her full height of five feet and told the doctor, "I'm ninety years old. I'm hitting the road." And so Miss Norma took off on an unforgettable around-the-country journey in a thirty-six-foot motor home with her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their dog Ringo.

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou

A continuation of Maya Angelou's autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, picking up in her teen years just after the birth of her son.

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, [this book] follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.

The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown

A chronicle of the mid-nineteenth-century wagon train tragedy draws on the perspectives of one of its survivors, Sarah Graves, recounting how her new husband and she joined the Donner party on their California-bound journey and encountered violent perils, in an account that also offers insight into the scientific reasons that some died while others survived.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Kings of the Yukon by Adam Weymouth

In this riveting examination of one of the last wild places on earth, Adam Weymouth canoes from Canada's Yukon Territory, through Alaska, to the Bering Sea. The result is a book that shows how even the most remote wilderness is affected by the same forces reshaping the rest of the planet.

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies' descendants, Abbott weaves the adventures of four heroines together throughout the tumultuous years of the war.

Maid by Stephanie Land

Maid explores the secret underbelly of upper middle-class Americans and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them.

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

Traces the story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a Yemeni-American in San Francisco, and his dream of resurrecting the ancient art of cultivating, roasting, and importing Yemeni coffee, an endeavor that is challenged by the brutal realities of Yemen's 2015 civil war.

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg

A selection of writings and speeches by Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, on being Jewish, on law and lawyers in opera, and on the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle 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.

Nomadland by Jessica Bruder

From the North Dakota beet fields to California's National Forest campgrounds to Amazon's Texas CamperForce program, employers have discovered a new low-cost labor pool: transient older Americans. With Social security coming up short, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands, forming a growing community of migrant laborers dubbed "workampers." In a secondhand vehicle christened "Van Halen," Bruder hits the road to tell an eye-opening tale of the American economy's dark underbelly.

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Mary Roach explores the strange universe of space travel and life without gravity. Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America. Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans--has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair--and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

A graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II.

Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom

In these eight piercing explorations on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom—award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed—embraces her venerated role as a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and Black Twitter snark about all that is right and much that is wrong with this thing we call society.

Troop 6000 by Nikita Stewart

Giselle Burgess, a young mother of five, and her children, along with others in the shelter, become the catalyst for Troop 6000. Having worked for the Girl Scouts earlier on, Giselle knew that these girls, including her own daughters, needed something they could be a part of, where they didn't need to feel the shame or stigma of being homeless, but could instead develop skills and build a community that they could be proud of.

Walking with Peety by Eric O'Grey

The heartwarming true story of how adopting a neglected shelter dog saved one man's life.

A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

Virginia Hall became the first woman to deploy to occupied France, before the United States had even entered the war. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Hall coordinated a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerrilla fighters. The Gestapo considered her the most dangerous of all Allied spies. Purnell tells the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

At its peak, the Dust Bowl covered close to one hundred million acres, and more than a quarter of a million Americans were forced to flee their ruined homes. Egan follows a diverse cast of individuals and families across the affected region, weaving together the eyewitness accounts of survivors now in their eighties and nineties.

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