2016 Book Club Selections

01 Euphoria
JANUARY 18 and 21
Euphoria by Lily King

Just after a failed suicide attempt, Andrew Bankson meets a pair of fellow anthropologists fleeing from a cannibalistic tribe in New Guinea. Nell Stone and her husband, Fen, join Bankson to study a newly discovered tribe, the artistic, female-dominated Tam. But as attraction grows between Nell and Bankson, dangerous forces threaten to destroy them all. Euphoria is loosely based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead.

02 A Man Called Ove
FEBRUARY 15 and 18
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is a grumpy old man. So when a chatty young couple moves in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, he has some choice words for them. But the altercation is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

03 The Residence
MARCH 14 and 17
The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways, but no one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

04 Shotgun Lovesongs
APRIL 18 and 21
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Shotgun Lovesongs is the story of four childhood friends from Little Wing, Wisconsin. Now they are their thirties. Ronny’s trying to start a life after rodeo and booze, Kip has come back to pour stock-market millions into reviving the mill, Hank’s followed his father into farming, and Lee’s career as a rock star has shot him into the social stratosphere. But their ties to Little Wing and to each other remain as strong as ever.

05 Invention of Wings
MAY 16 and 19
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

For her eleventh birthday, Sarah Grimke receives an unusual gift: Handful, a ten-year-old slave. Over the next 35 years, we follow their remarkable journeys, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. Based on a true story of the abolitionist movement in pre-Civil War America.
06 Magic Strings
JUNE 13 and 16
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

Orphan Frankie Presto comes to America with only two possessions: an old guitar and six precious strings. Despite his poverty, Frankie’s musical talent shines through, and he becomes a pop star. But his gift is also his burden, as he realizes, through his music, he can affect people’s futures—with one string turning blue whenever a life is altered. At the height of his popularity, Frankie Presto vanishes. Only decades later does he reappear—just before his spectacular death—to change one last life.

07 Being Mortal
JULY 18 and 21
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

In the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

08 Expats
AUGUST 15 and 18
The Expats by Chris Pavone

In the cobblestoned streets of Luxembourg, Kate Moore's days are filled with playdates and coffee mornings, her weekends spent in Paris and skiing in the Alps. But Kate is also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret—one that's become so unbearable that it begins to unravel her newly established expat life. She suspects that another American couple are not who they claim to be; her husband is acting suspiciously; and as she travels around Europe, she finds herself looking over her shoulder, increasingly terrified that her own past is catching up with her. 

09 Beautiful Ruins
SEPTEMBER 12 and 15
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins is a sumptuous epic about the real people who make art, spinning illusion for fun, profit, and meaning. There are screen actors, a novelist, and Pasquale, an innkeeper, who keeps his patrons fed and watered on homemade wine and dreams. Among all the shimmer and hope are the lost souls who long to create something—anything. 

10 The Bees
OCTOBER 17 and 20
The Bees by Laline Paull

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive. But Flora is not like other bees. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, and her society.

11 Everything I Never
NOVEMBER 14 and 17
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Lydia Lee is a Chinese-American girl growing up in a small town in 1970s Ohio. She is her parents’ favorite child, and they are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. 

12 Coincidence of Coconut Cake
DECEMBER 12 and 15
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

In Wisconsin author Reichert’s debut novel, chef Lou works tirelessly to build her Milwaukee restaurant, Luella’s, into a success, while journalist Al writes scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee. They begin to fall for each other. But when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?