Marshall Public Library, Pocatello, ID
Marshall Public Library, Pocatello, Idaho
113 South Garfield Ave.
Pocatello, Idaho 83204
(208) 232.1263

Did You Know?

The Library has four
Book Discussion Groups that are free and open to the public. Join one today!

book club kits

 

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Book Clubs

We are happy to provide resources for Book Clubs. Everything a person needs to hold a book club, just add people excited about reading! We have 2 different ways for you to get the books for your club: Multiple copies of the same book that check out individually or Book Club Kits that include all copies of the book & help for your book club.

Questions may be directed to Becky at the Library 232-1263 ext 112 or bhadley@marshallpl.org

 

Individual Copies

 

If you like the ease of choosing a title and having your book club members pick up/return their own books, this is the choice for you! This option makes it easy for book club members to be responsible for their own copies and takes some of the stress off of whoever is organizing the group. We keep these books stored together and they are available to place holds on & check out. Some titles check out quite frequently. Click here for a list of titles and make sure to check our catalog for availability.

 

Book Club Kits

 

If you like having everything in one place & the ease of having one person pick up everything you need for your book club, this is the choice for you! This option makes it easy to pick up and return and gives a lot of helpful information to your book club. Just remember that all of the books must be returned together in the kit.

What's in the Kit?

  • Approx. 6 copies of the book
  • Discussion questions that go along with each book
  • Book Reviews
  • Biography about the author
  • Tips for holding a book club
  • Sign out sheet to keep track of the books

Guidelines

  • Limit one Book Club Kit per card
  • Check out period is 6 weeks
  • Overdue fine is $1.00 per day
  • No Renewals
  • No reservations. Kits are on a first come first serve basis
  • Kit must be returned containing all pieces
  • There will be a replacement charge of $15.00 for each missing paperback book and $25.00 for each hardback book. No refunds

Questions may be directed to Becky at the Library 232-1263 ext 112 or bhadley@marshallpl.org

Book Club Kits by Title:

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

It is the story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors -- yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Taylor Greer, a native of Kentucky, finds herself in Oklahoma, near Cherokee territory. A woman leaves a Cherokee infant with Taylor, whom she later names Turtle, and the remainder of the novel traces their experiences together into Turtle's early childhood, along with a colorful cast of characters, including a Guatemalan couple. The novel deals with the issue of Native American parental rights.

Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News by Stephen E. Robinson

Author Stephen Robinson illustrates the power of the Savior as he uses analogies and parables, such as his own bicycle story, and scriptures and personal experiences in this moving, best-selling book. “Mortals have finite liabilities,” he explains, “and Jesus has unlimited assets.” By merging the two, exaltation can come. As long as we progress in some degree, the Lord will be pleased and will bless us. We must not only believe in Christ but also believe him — believe that he has the power to exalt us, that he can do what he claims. People will better understand the doctrines of mercy, justification, and salvation by grace after reading this book.

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

It's 1978 and 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan is the self-proclaimed spinster of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, a sleepy hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As the local pharmacist, she's been keeping the townfolks' secrets for years, but she's about to discover a skeleton in her own family's tidy closet that will blow the lid right off her quiet, uneventful life. Soon she finds herself juggling two marriage proposals, conducting a no-holds-barred family feud, directing the prestigious Outdoor Drama and keeping the town's dysfunctional Rescue Squad on its toes. The crazy-quilt of characters includes Jack MacChesney ("Jack Mac" to his friends), the stoic miner with coal dust on his hands but love in his heart; Iva Lou Wade, the sex pot Bookmobile librarian; Theodore Tipton, band leader extraordinaire; Preacher Elmo Gaspar, the snake-handling Freewill Baptist; and Pearl Grimes, a coal-miner's daughter on the verge of a miraculous transformation, thanks to Ave's intervention.

Cane River by Lalita Tadmy

Beginning with Tademy's great-great-great-great grandmother Elisabeth, this is a family saga that sweeps from the early days of slavery through the Civil War into a pre-Civil Rights South-a unique and moving slice of America's past that will resonate with readers for generations to come.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

The Dante Club starts out with the murder of fictional State Supreme Court Justice Healey, hit in the head and then left out in his back garden to be eaten alive by maggots. A series of murders later occur- a priest who embezzled money is buried upside-down and his feet are burned off, the head of the school where many of the poets lectured is sliced open exactly down the middle- all in extreme and undeniable resemblance to the punishments of people in Dante's Inferno. Members of the Dante Club (A group of poets translating Dante into English), including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, J.T. Fields and James Russell Lowell, notice this, and set out to solve the murder.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Meet Dexter, a polite wolf in sheep's clothing ...a monster who cringes at the site of blood ...a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likable: he only kills bad people.

The Devil in the White City:Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men--the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility (for a cat), and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

When the author was growing up, in nineteen-seventies Rhodesia, her parents kept loaded guns by the bed. "Don't startle us when we're sleeping," her mother warned her. "We might shoot you." This memoir of a stubborn, down-on-their-luck, often drunk white family making a last stand against African independence reads like a hard ride over unsafe roads: hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling. One moment Fuller's mother is shooting a cobra in the pantry, the next her sister is calmly baking a cake while armed black soldiers surround the house. The author's honesty about her family's racism is exacting—she recounts how they cheered when they heard mines detonate along the border, because that meant Africans might have been killed—and she delivers an intimate portrait of fierce, flawed lives. Her prose bristles with an unappeased love for Africa and its intense physicality.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. The novel was originally addressed to Steinbeck's young sons, Thom and John (then 6½ and 4½ respectively). Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: the sights, sounds, smells, and colors. According to his last wife Elaine, he considered this to be a requiem for himself - his greatest novel ever. Steinbeck states about East of Eden: "It has everything in it I have been able to learn about my craft or profession in all these years." He further claimed: "I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this."

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

It's 2070, forty years since a devastating alien invasion was barely turned back, and the world is desperately searching for soldiers to lead them to victory when the "Buggers" come again. That's why they're drafting young children who pass a rigorous screening, and sending the best of them to the orbiting Battle School, where they are trained from childhood to be ready for war in the vertiginous reaches of space. Into the unending pressure of military training comes six-year-old Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, who struggles to keep his humanity even as the adult teachers, rivals among his fellow students, and the strange unseen influence of the alien invaders all threaten either to destroy him or to make him into someone he can't bear to be.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Griet, a 16-year-old Dutch girl becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Her calm and perceptive manner not only helps her in her household duties, but also attracts the painter's attention. Though different in upbringing, education and social standing, they have a similar way of looking at things. Vermeer slowly draws her into the world of his paintings - the still, luminous images of solitary women in domestic settings.

Jane Austen, Obstinate Heart by Vallerie Grosvenor Myer

Using letters, family memories, and of course the novels themselves, Myer provides a detailed and revealing look at Jane Austen--her relationship with he beloved sister Cassandra, and her devotion and pride in her brothers and their children (who remembered "Aunt Jane" with warm affection), and her independence of mind and spirit. Austen's fondest dream was to establish herself not as another "silly female novelist," but as a serious and self-supporting writer.

John Adams by David McCullough

A complete biography of the life and times of John Adams, from his days at Harvard and his courtship of Abigail, through the American Revolution and birth of a nation, his days as Vice President and President, and ending with his reflections in retirement. Through extensive use of letters and journal entries, McCullough captures both the character of Adams and the spirit of the times in the founding days of the United States of America.

Kill Me by Stephen White

The anonymous narrator is in his prime, a happily married father of a young girl given to high-risk sports. An assortment of grim fates and a near-escape of his own make him consider the question. A shadowy group called Death Angel Inc. contracts to guarantee that if the life of the "insured" should reach a certain agreed-upon level, they will terminate that life. Fascinated and impressed by the Death Angels' knowledge and reach, he eventually negotiates terms with them. This Faustian bargain doesn't take long to reveal its dark side, and White pays almost equal attention to the philosophical and the physical as his hero has to both approach the conditions that would trigger his contract's death clause yet remain healthy enough to fight back.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption and it is also about the power of fathers over sons-their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

Letters of St. Paul

Kit contains 6 different study guides for your group to discuss. Including: 1). First and Second Letters of St. Paul to the Corinthians, 2) Letters of St. Paul to the Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, 3) Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 4) Letters of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Timothy and Titus, 5) Letters of St. Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians, and 6) Letter to the Hebrew.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

The lives of a sixteen-year-old Nigerian orphan and a well-off British woman collide in this page-turning #1 New York Times bestseller and book club favorite from Chris Cleave. We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

Waldvogel returns to Germany from the horrors of World War I and marries his late friend's pregnant fiancee. He immigrates to America with her and his stepson and settles in Argus, N.D. He becomes a small-town butcher and a well-liked member of the community. Delphine Watzka and her acrobat husband have returned to Argus to care for her alcoholic father. Delphine is envious of Eva, Fidelis's wife, for the warm homespun family she has. Meanwhile, her father is so drunk that he's unaware of the corpses in his basement. This all sets the stage for a marvelous novel where love and life clash among different cultures in Middle America.

Murder on the Middle Fork by Don Ian Smith and Naida West

In primitive isolation Frieda lives by the laws of the wilderness with her outlaw husband — until she finds something more important than raw survival. Based on one of Idaho’s strangest murders. Set in 1917 on the Salmon River.

Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

In 1932, two North Carolina teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love. Spending one idyllic summer together in the small town of New Bern, Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson do not meet again for 14 years. Noah has returned from WWII to restore the house of his dreams, having inherited a large sum of money. Allie, programmed by family and the "caste system of the South" to marry an ambitious, prosperous man, has become engaged to powerful attorney Lon Hammond. When she reads a newspaper story about Noah's restoration project, she shows up on his porch step, re-entering his life for two days. Will Allie leave Lon for Noah?

The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witch doctors.

October Sky (Rocket Boys) by Homer Hickam

This is the true story of Homer "Sonny" Hickam, Jr., a boy from the mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia. In 1957, when Sonny was just 14 years old, Sputnik raced across the Appalachian sky. It left in its wake one boy's desire to join the space race, a dream that he ardently pursued with the help (and sometimes hindrance) of the people in the unique little town of his youth.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called "a tour de force"by the San Francisco Chronicle , this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding-an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair-only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics.

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up and there’s not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farm wife, a highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their quilting skills to good use. When a new member of the club stirs up a dark secret, the women must band together to support and protect one another. In her magical, memorable novel, Sandra Dallas explores the ties that unite women through good times and bad.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Of all Jane Austen's great and delightful novels, Persuasion is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance. Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish Sir Walter Elliot, is woman of quiet charm and deep feelings. When she was nineteen she fell in love with--and was engaged to--a naval officer, the fearless and headstrong Captain Wentworth. But the young man had no fortune, and Anne allowed herself to be persuaded to give him up. Now, eight years later, Wentworth has returned to the neighborhood, a rich man and still unwed. Anne's never-diminished love is muffled by her pride, and he seems cold and unforgiving. What happens as the two are thrown together in the social world of Bath--and as an eager new suitor appears for Anne--is touchingly and wittily told in a masterpiece that is also one of the most entrancing novels in the English language.

The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

In 1886 a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake receives an unusual commission from the British War Office: to travel to the remote jungles of northeast Burma and there repair a rare piano belonging to an eccentric army surgeon who has proven mysteriously indispensable to the imperial design. From this irresistible beginning, The Piano Tuner launches readers into a world of seductive, vibrantly rendered characters, and enmeshes them in an unbreakable spell of storytelling.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered a reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust, and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and she develops magical powers she can't control. Her life’s at stake again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton--and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers--and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry?

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink                                            

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany. When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover--then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

First-person narrative which tells the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph, a talented midwife and proto-feminist. The book's title refers to the tent in which women of Jacob's tribe must, according to the ancient law, take refuge while menstruating or giving birth, and in which they find mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts.

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

Seabiscuit was an unlikely champion. For two years he floundered at the lowest level of racing, before his dormant talent was discovered by three men. One was Tom Smith, an arthritic old mustang breaker. The second was Red Pollard, a half-blind jockey. The third was Charles Howard, a former bicycle repairman who made a fortune by introducing the automobile to the American West. Bought for a bargain-basement price by Howard and rehabilitated by Smith and Pollard, Seabiscuit overcame a phenomenal run of bad fortune to become one of the most spectacular, charismatic performers in the history of sports.

The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The novel, set in post- Spanish Civil War Barcelona, concerns a young boy, Daniel. One day just after the war, Daniel's father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of old, forgotten titles lovingly preserved by a select few initiates. According to tradition, everyone initiated to this secret place is allowed to take one book from it, and must protect it for life. Daniel selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. That night he takes the book home and reads it, completely engrossed. Daniel then attempts to look for other books by this unknown author, but can find none. All he comes across are stories of a strange man who is buying them all and burning them.

Still Life with Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Medicine Creek, Kansas. In a town where nothing changes, where Main Street is a two-block stretch of old and dusty businesses, a peculiar and ghastly murder has taken place, the body mutilated and placed carefully in an elaborate tableau in the middle of the endless cornfields. Now cool-eyed and smooth FBI Agent Pendergast arrives to discover a community he must turn inside out to find the killer who can only be one of them...

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Japanese American Kabuo Miyomoto is arrested in 1954 for the murder of a fellow fisherman, Carl Heine. Miyomoto's trial, which provides a focal point to the novel, stirs memories of past relationships and events in the minds and hearts of the San Piedro Islanders. Through these memories, Guterson illuminates the grief of loss, the sting of prejudice triggered by World War II, and the imperatives of conscience. With mesmerizing clarity he conveys the voices of Kabuo's wife, Hatsue, and Ishmael Chambers, Hatsue's first love who, having suffered the loss of her love and the ravages of war, ages into a cynical journalist now covering Kabuo's trial. The novel poetically evokes the beauty of the land while revealing the harshness of war, the nuances of our legal system, and the injustice done to those interned in U.S. relocation camps.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, "old same," in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she's painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

In 1888, Fiona Finnegan and Joe Bristow hoard shillings and pennies so that they can marry and open a shop. But Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of London's East End, and poverty threatens from the shadows. Setting the story in motion is the murder of Fiona's father, a dock worker whose union activities angered his tea-company boss. Fiona and her younger brother must flee to New York City to avoid their own murders. Through hard work and luck, Fiona and her beloved Joe prosper on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Misunderstandings and mistakes keep them apart as they build separate lives and incredible fortunes. Children's book writer Donnelly effortlessly takes her narrative through slums and high society while intertwining a number of subplots without tangling them. Both major and minor characters capture and hold interest and sympathy. Although the number of Fiona and Joe's near encounters stretches the imagination, readers will forgive the tease once the lovers' reunion and Fiona's revenge for her father's death converge in an action-packed ending.

Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

Fourteen-year-old Trixie has been a ghost for fourteen days, seven hours, and thirty-six minutes now, not that she is officially counting. Trixie's protective father has been consumed with attempts to shield her from a new life, one that includes a boy with a proprietary hand around his daughter's waist. But Daniel Stone never for a moment suspected that the same boy might inflict upon his daughter the worst possible harm. Could the boy who once made Trixie's face fill with light when he came to the door have drugged and then raped her? She says that he did, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a man with a past hidden even from his family, consider taking matters into his own hands in order to protect his daughter.

Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: Periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner

It is the mid-1950s in Lewiston, a sleepy town near Niagara Falls, famous only for the invention of the cocktail. Divorce is unheard of, mothers wear high heels to the beauty salon, and television has only just arrived. But with no siblings to provide role models; a workaholic father chosen by most of her class as Lewiston's present-day saint; a mother who looks the part of the perfect, fifties housewife but refuses to play it and a gambling-obsessed best friend, Roy, who is 30 years older, perhaps it's hardly surprising that Cathy grows up a little eccentric. Especially considering that the family doctor's prescription for her hyperactivity is a full-time job in her father's pharmacy – at the age of four.

Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Alborn

This true story about the love between a spiritual mentor and his pupil has soared to the bestseller list for many reasons. For starters: it reminds us of the affection and gratitude that many of us still feel for the significant mentors of our past. It also plays out a fantasy many of us have entertained: what would it be like to look those people up again, tell them how much they meant to us, maybe even resume the mentorship? Plus, we meet Morrie Schwartz--a one of a kind professor, whom the author describes as looking like a cross between a biblical prophet and Christmas elf. And finally we are privy to intimate moments of Morrie's final days as he lies dying from a terminal illness. Even on his deathbed, this twinkling-eyed mensch manages to teach us all about living robustly and fully.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Woman of Egypt by Jehan Sadat   

Jehan Sadat recounts her notable life as the First Lady of Egypt and her life and marriage to global peace maker, Anwar Sadat. (He was assassinated on October 6, 1981). Jehan Sadat has righteously carried forth his and her messages of peace and world understanding. \

Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama

A first novel exceptional for its exquisite writing and for its rich portrait of a woman's life in a China now lost. Her story is rendered with exceptional grace, with the clear, shining dignity of legend or song; Tsukiyama lends her voice to figures of women emboldened by their dream of growth and personal power.