Book Discussion Sets

Our book discussion sets are at least 10 copies of classic/award-winning titles in a convenient tote--complete with discussion questions. Please realize that on rare occasions, a set may consist of fewer titles due to customers checking out single copies.

To reserve your set of books, please contact the Popular Materials Center at (812) 428-8246.

Book Discussion Sets for Adults

Abbott, Karen
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything—their homes, their families, and their very lives—during the Civil War.

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi


A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected.
Garden Spells

Allen, Sarah Addison

Garden Spells

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.

Austen, Jane


Emma Woodhouse imagines that she dominates those around her in the small town of Highbury, but her inept matchmaking creates problems for herself and others.
The Devil in a Blue Dress

Bates, Laura

Shakespeare Saved My Life

This book details the unorthodox bonding of a Shakespeare instructor and a convicted murderer.
Letters from Skye

Brockmole, Jessica

Letters from Skye


A love story told in letters spans two world wars and follows the correspondence between a poet on the Scottish Isle of Skye and an American volunteer ambulance driver for the French Army, an affair that is discovered years later when the poet disappears.

Cash, Wiley

A Land More Kind than Home


For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when you get caught spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to.  It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared.

Coetzee, J.M.

Waiting for the Barbarians

The magistrate of an isolated outpost ignores reports of a threat from the barbarians until military personnel arrive with captured natives whom they persecute and torture, pushing the magistrate to an unrealistic act of rebellion that brands him an enemy of the state.

Mrs. Ike: Memories & Reflections on the Life of Mamie Eisenhower

Eisenhower, Susan
Mrs. Ike: Memories & Reflections on the Life of Mamie Eisenhower

This is a portrait of a beloved First Lady and an incisive account of a complex marriage. Examines the life of Mamie Eisenhower, a saucy young lady who found her match in handsome Ike Eisenhower, and their adventures, misunderstandings, and glowing triumphs.

Ephron, Amy

One Sunday Morning

One Sunday morning four women at a bridge party in the elegant Gramercy Park Hotel see a beautiful young woman whom they all know leaving a nearby hotel with a man who is not her husband. And though the ladies do not know the whole story, despite their mutual promise to keep what they've seen to themselves, it is only a matter of time before one of them talks.

Madame Bovary

Flaubert, Gustave

Madame Bovary


The bored wife of a provincial physician seeks to escape from the tedium of her life with romantic fantasies and adulterous affairs, but is ultimately doomed to disillusionment.

Ford, Jamie

Songs of Willow Frost


Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, this novel is a powerful tale of two souls-a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past-both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.

Madame Bovary

Frankl, Viktor E.

Man's Search for Meaning


This book comprises of a kind of sequel to the author's famous foundation work of “logotherapy,” Man's Search for Meaning, with a focus on a person's spiritual rather than existential striving.

Genova, Lisa

Still Alice

Feeling at the top of her game when she is suddenly diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, a Harvard psychologist struggles to find meaning and purpose in her life as her concept of self gradually slips away.

Lord of the Flies book jacket

Golding, William

Lord of the Flies

Schoolboys marooned on a tropical island revert to primitive savagery.
The Heart and the Fist

Greitens, Eric
The Heart and the Fist

The author describes how, after working as a humanitarian around the world, he realized that he could do nothing to stop violence or prevent people from becoming refugees and soon joined the elite Navy SEALs, where he drew on his humanitarian training as he battled injustice.

Grisham, John

Gray Mountain

Losing her job at New York City's largest law firm in the weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Samantha becomes an unpaid intern in a small Appalachian community where she stumbles upon dangerous secrets.

Hamilton, Masha

The Camel Bookmobile

A well-intentioned American librarian, Fiona Sweeney, establishes a bookmobile in a destitute Kenyan village. She hopes to bring the words of Homer, Hemingway and Dr. Seuss to far-flung tiny communities where people live daily with drought and hunger.


Haruf, Kent

In an eastern Colorado town, a teacher gets several damaged families to interact and care for one another.

Hemingway, Ernest

The Sun Also Rises

Hemingway's first bestselling novel is the story of a group of 'Lost Generation' Americans and Brits in the 1920s on a sojourn from Paris to Pamplona, Spain. The novel poignantly details their lives as expatriates during the period between the great wars - an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love and vanishing illusions.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Hurston, Zora Neale
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Follows the fortunes of a woman living in the black town of Eaton, Florida.

Jordan, Hillary

A landowning family and their black sharecroppers struggle with the mores of the Jim Crow South in the postwar Mississippi Delta.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Joyce, Rachel

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way. He reminisces about the events of his past and people he has known as he tries to find peace and acceptance.
The Dirty Life

Kimball, Kristin

The Dirty Life: a memoir of farming, food and love

This book is the story of the two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of Kristin Kimball's life: one with farming-that dirty concupiscent art-and the other with a complicated and exasperating farmer.

Locke, Attica

The Cutting Season

When the dead body of a young woman is found on the grounds of Belle Vie, the estate's manager, Caren Gray, launches her own investigation into Belle Vie's history, which leads her to a centuries-old mystery involving the plantation's slave quarters and her own past.

The Last Detective

Lovesey, Peter

The Last Detective

A nude female floats dead in a large reservoir lake south of Bristol. To solve the "Lady of the Lake" mystery, and save a woman unjustly accused, Sussex Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond must find two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen and defy his superiors.
Destiny of the Republic

Mandel, Emily St. John

Destiny of the Republic : a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president

Survivors and victims of an epidemic populate this quietly ambitious take on a post-apocalyptic world where some strive to preserve art, culture and kindness. It is the story about the relationships that sustains us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it

Destiny of the Republic

Millard, Candice

Destiny of the Republic : a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president

A narrative account of the twentieth president's political career. This selection offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment, and Alexander Graham Bell's failed attempt to save him from an assassin's bullet.

Mooallem, Jon

Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story about Looking at Animals in America

This book is a tour through our environmental moment and the eccentric cultural history of people and wild animals in America that inflects it - from Thomas Jefferson’s celebrations of early abundance to the whale-loving hippies of the 1970s. In America, the book discovers that, wildlife has always inhabited the terrain of our imagination as much as the actual land.

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

Moore, Edward Kelsey

The Supreme's at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

Meet Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean in the Earl's All-You-Can-Eat novel. It is home away from home for this inseparable Plainview, Indiana trio. Dubbed "the Supremes" by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960's, you will enjoy these characters as they weather life's storms together for the next four decades.


The Night Circus

Morgenstern, Erin
The Night Circus

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.
The Bluest Eye

Morrison, Toni
The Bluest Eye

An eleven-year-old black girl prays for her eyes to turn blue so people will consider her beautiful.
The Devil in a Blue Dress

Mosley, Walter

The Devil in a Blue Dress


Easy Rawlins, a tough World War II veteran and detective, is hired by a financier and gangster to locate Daphne Monet, a search that leads him from elegant boardrooms to the jazz joints of the late 1940's Los Angeles.

Naipaul, V.S.

A House for Mr. Biswas

Mr. Biswas owns a small portion of the Trinidad earth and a respectable house of his own. This is the dream that sustains him. But it all changes to a life of frustration and despair after he marries into the domineering Tulsi family.
Cinderella ate my daughter Orenstein, Peggy
Cinderella ate my daughter : dispatches from the front lines of the new girlie-girl culture
Reveals the dark side of pink and pretty in this wake up call to parents, and offers ways to prevent raising daughters who only care about image.

Pickard, Nancy

The Scent of Rain and Lightning

The man convicted of murdering Jody's father, Billy Crosby, is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. Crosby has been granted a new trial, thanks in large part to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father's innocence. As Jody revisits old wounds, startling revelations compel her to uncover the dangerous truth about her family's tragic past.

Packing for Mars

Roach, Mary

Packing for Mars: the curious science of life in the void

The author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistably 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 and beer. Space exploration is, in some ways, an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? Mary Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.


Where'd You Go Bernadette

Semple, Maria

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

It all begins with a promise: If eighth-grader Bee Fox earns a picture perfect report card, she and her family will depart on a cruise to Antartica. The prospect of the trip is exciting; too exciting, it soon became apparent for Bee's brilliant, severly agoraphobic architect mom who, just a day before the scheduled departure, simply disappears. Taking the loss of her mother to heart, Bee begins a feverish, yet systematic, search for her, piecing together in the process the dynamics of an unforgettable family.


Shelden, Michael

Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill

The book is a solid biography covering the first four decades of Winston Churchill’s life, marked by both ambition and heartbreak.

Shelley, Mary


The classic story of Dr. Frankenstein and his obsessive experiment that leads to the creation of a monstrous and deadly creature.

The Rosie Project

Simsion, Graeme

The Rosie Project

The art of love is never a science. Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who has decided it is time he found a wife. 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, smokers and late arrivers.


Solzhenit͡syn, Alexander

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich


Describes the daily routine of Ivan Denisovich in several camps in Siberia. He is a former carpenter, who has been in these camps for the past eight years, serving a ten-year term for "treason."


Winter Palace

Stachniak, Eva

The Winter Palace: a novel of Catherine the Great

An imaginative retelling of Catherine the Great's improbable rise to power, as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.
The Midwife's Tale

Thomas, Sam

The Midwife's Tale

A tale set against a backdrop of the 1644 Siege of York finds midwife Bridget Hodgson joining forces with resourceful servant Martha Hawkins to prove the innocence of a woman who has been sentenced to burn at the stake for murdering her husband.

Wallace, Daniel

Big Fish

In his prime, Edward Bloom was an extraordinary man. He could outrun anybody. He never missed a day of school. Animals loved him, people loved him, women loved him. He knew more jokes than any man alive. At least that’s what he told his son, William. But now Edward Bloom is dying, and William wants desperately to know the truth about his elusive father, before it’s too late. So, using the few facts he knows, William re-creates Edward’s life in a series of legends and myths, through which he begins to understand his father’s great feats, and his great failings.
Before Women Had Wings Wiesel, Elie
A chronicle of the holocaust through the eyes of a 14 year old Hungarian Jew who survived Birkenau, Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald.
The Last Policeman

Winters, Ben

The Last Policeman

This novel presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job - but not Hank Palace. He's investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week - except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only one who cares.


Wright, Camron

The Rent Collector

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working.  Just when things seem at their worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the ill-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money.

Zola, Emile


Depicts the grim struggle between capital and labor in a coalfield in northern France.