Book Club Kits


Book Club Kits

Looking for a great read for your book club?  Russell Library has a collection of Book Club Kits, which include 6 or more copies of each book and a discussion guide, all packaged together in a handy portable tote bag. Scroll down to see available titles.

Why Use a Book Club Kit?

It can be difficult to choose a book for a book discussion group and find enough copies for all the members of the group. We’ve made it easier by offering a wide variety of reading choices including bestselling fiction, biographies, award winners, and non-fiction.

What is a Book Club Kit?

Each Book Club Kit contains multiple copies of one title that has been selected especially for book club groups, plus a large print edition, if available. The exact number of copies in each kit is noted on the catalog record and marked on the tag attached to each bag. In addition to the books, the kits include a notebook with discussion questions, reviews, author biographies, and book club tips to stimulate discussion. You can visit the library catalog to reserve a kit, or ask any staff person for assistance.

Who Can Borrow a Kit?

Book Club Kits can be borrowed by any book club.  The kits are checked out as a whole by one member of the book club, who makes the individual copies available to club members.  Each book in a kit is numbered so leaders can account for copies borrowed by group members.  The person borrowing the kit will be responsible for returning it as a complete set.  Books or parts of the kit cannot be returned separately.

Reserve a Kit!

If the Book Club Kit you wish to borrow is currently checked out, you can place a hold on it.

To place a Book Club Kit on hold, search for the title in the online catalog, select the “Place Hold” button, and fill in your name and library card number.


Where can I find a Kit?

The Book Club Kits are located in the Reading Room on the second floor. Please see the Main Desk Staff for assistance.

How long may Book Clubs keep a kit?

The loan period for Book Club Kits is 60 days.

May the kits be renewed?

Yes, a Book Club Kit loan will automatically renew for 60 days, if there are no holds or reserves on it.

What if a book is lost?

If your group loses a book, there will be a replacement fee for the lost copy. The fee varies depending on the format of the book.

Book Club Kits


By Michelle Obama
In her memoir, Michelle Obama chronicles the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.

Black Cake

By Charmaine Wilkerson
Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. 

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

By Kim Michelle Richardson
Traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter is not only a book woman, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike anyone else.  If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

By Anissa Gray
Althea, the eldest sister of the Butler family, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband are arrested.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

By Erik Larson
It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters.


by Tara Westover
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough to be admitted to Brigham Young University.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant is an out-of-the-ordinary heroine with deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit. Her life consists of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and unhygienic IT guy from her office.

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home

by Tembi Locke
It was love at first sight when Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did not approve of him marrying a black American woman, an actress no less. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forges on.

Furious Hours

by Casey Cep
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice until a relative assassinated him at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted—thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the reverend himself.

Giver of Stars

by JoJo Moyes
When a call goes out for women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice Wright signs on. The leader is Margery, a self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They are joined by three other women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.

Great Circle

by Maggie Shipstead
After encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots, Marian Graves commences her lifelong love affair with flight and decides to pursue her dream: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles. A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film about Marian’s disappearance in Antarctica.


by Maggie O’Farrell
England, 1580: As the Black Death creeps across the land, infecting old and young alike, a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, young woman. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family’s land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions.

Harry's Trees

by John Cohen
When Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane’s wife dies suddenly, he is unable to cope. Leaving his old life behind, Harry makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, determined to lose himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana.

Infinite Country

by Patricia Engel
Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her.

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.

Lessons in Chemsitry

By Bonnie Garmus
Set in 1960s California, this is the hilarious story of Elizabeth Zott, a scientist whose career is derailed by the idea that a woman’s place is in the home, only to find herself starring as the host of a TV cooking show. Elizabeth’s singular approach to cooking (‘take one pint of H2O and add a pinch of sodium chloride’) and independent example are proving revolutionary.


By Kaitlyn Greenidge
Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her mother, a physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to be independent?

Lilac Girls

By Martha Hall Kelly
Rich with historical detail and riveting to the end, Lilac Girls weaves the lives of three astonishing women into a story of extraordinary moral power set against the harrowing backdrop of Europe in thrall to Nazi Germany.

The Lost Apothecary

By Sarah Penner
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual clientèle. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives.

Mad Honey

by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan
Olivia McAfee’s perfect life was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

by Fredrik Backman
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

By Marie Benedict
In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Her husband has no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.

Nickel Boys

by Tolson Whitehead
Elwood Curtis is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides “physical, intellectual and moral training” so the delinquent boys in their charge can become “honorable and honest men.” In reality, the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students.

Ordinary Grace

By William Kent Krueger
Frank is preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.

Remarkably Bright Creatures

by Shelby Van Pelt
Tova works the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, vanished over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium and he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova, deducing what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared.

Someone We Know

by Shari Lapena
In a quiet suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too. After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point.

The Starless Sea

by Erin Morgenstern
Zachary is a grad student in Vermont when he discovers a rare book in the stacks. He is entranced by the tales but reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered and wanting to know how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues that lead him through a doorway to a subterranean library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

by Lisa See
A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region of China and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.

This is How It Always Is

by Laurie Frankel
Claude is five years old, the youngest of five brothers. He loves wearing a dress and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

Transcendent Kingdom

by Yaa Gyasi
A novel about faith, science, religion, and family that tells the deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, narrated by a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford school of medicine studying the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice.

Waking up White

by Debbie Irving
For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. Then, in 2009, one “aha!” moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan.

The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Hiram Walker was born into bondage but is also gifted with a mysterious power. He almost drowns in a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn’t understand that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. So begins a journey into the covert war on slavery.

Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens
For years, rumors of Kya Clark, the “Marsh Girl”, have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya.

When No One is Watching

by Alyssa Cole
Sydney Green is a Brooklyn native, but her neighborhood is quickly changing and neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. Sydney finds help in Theo, one of the new arrivals to the block. But Sydney and Theo discover their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

A Woman is No Man

by Etaf Rum
Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra finds herself betrothed, married, and soon living in Brooklyn. There, Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law, Fareeda. Eighteen years later Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college.

The Woman They Could Not Silence

by Kate Moore
1860: Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, has a husband who is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened—by Elizabeth’s intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So he makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.

The Yellow House

by Sarah M. Broom
Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in New Orleans. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina.

Russell Library

123 Broad Street
Middletown CT 06457




Online Calendar

Library Hours

Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm
Fri-Sat 9am-5pm
Sunday 1-5pm (October-March)