Book Club Kit: Great House

Great Housegreat-house-by-nicole-krauss
By Nicole Krauss
First Published: 2010
10 copies & Reading Guide

For twenty-five years, a reclusive American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young Chilean poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet’s secret police; one day a girl claiming to be the poet’s daughter arrives to take it away, sending the writer’s life reeling. Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers, among her papers, a lock of hair that unravels a terrible secret. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer slowly reassembles his father’s study, plundered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944.

Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away. As the narrators of Great House make their confessions, the desk takes on more and more meaning, and comes finally to stand for all that has been taken from them, and all that binds them to what has disappeared.

Great House is a story haunted by questions: What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses? How do we respond to disappearance, destruction, and change?

Nicole Krauss has written a soaring, powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.

Reading Guides (questions for discussion):
Lit Lovers
Oprah Magazine

The New York Times
The Nation

On the web:
Author Bio
Author InterviewPBS News Hour 

Similar Reads:
The End of the Land by David Grossman
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Tinkers by Paul Harding
Day for Night by Frederick Reiken

Enjoy Great House? Share your thoughts and comments below or over at Goodreads.

Book Club Kit: What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgotwhat-alice-forgot
By Liane Moriarty
First Published: 2012
10 copies & Reading Guide

Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she’s actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn’t sure she likes who she’s become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.

Reading Guides (questions for discussion):
Penguin Publishing
Author website Readers Guide

Booklist Online
Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Reviews

On the web:
Author Bio
Author InterviewChick Lit Central

Similar Reads:
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch
The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes
The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Enjoy What Alice Forgot? Share your thoughts and comments below or over at Goodreads.

Book Club Kit: The Secret Keeper

The Secret KeeperThe-Secret-Keeper
By Kate Morton
First Published: 2012
10 copies & Reading Guide

1961: On a sweltering summer’s day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can’t wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything. 2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds–Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy–who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatefully entwined. Shifting between the 1930s, the 1960s, and the present, The Secret Keeper is a spellbinding story of mysteries and secrets, theatre and thievery, murder and enduring love.

Reading Guides (questions for discussion):
Simon & Schuster
Author website reader’s guide

Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Booklist Online

On the Web:
Author InterviewThe Sydney Morning Herald

Book trailer:

Similar Reads:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears
The Water’s Lovely by Ruth Rendell
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
In Falling Snow by Mary Rose MacColl

hoopla digital now available in Pinal County!

hoopla Web Banner

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The Pinal County Library District is excited to announce the public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, and music albums, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital – all you need is a valid library card!

All Pinal County Library District card holders can download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or iOS device or visit to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios, record companies, and publishers – available to borrow for instant streaming or temporary download to their smartphones, tablets and computers.

hoopla digital has a simple sign-up and attractive, easy-to-use interface, so it’s easy to get to your listening and viewing experience. There’s also no waiting to borrow popular movies, TV shows, and albums. And hoopla digital’s automatic return feature eliminates late fees.

To access the system on your mobile device, you will need to first download the FREE hoopla digital app from the App Store on your Android or IOS device. Once you have downloaded the app to your device(s) and/or clicked on the hoopla digital link on our website you will be prompted to enter your email address, a password, your library card number, and your library card PIN number.

The system will validate that you are in good standing with the library, so that you may begin to browse, borrow, and enjoy the content.

Come see what all the hoopla’s about:

  • Once you borrow a title on one device it is automatically available via all devices with the hoopla digital app and via your PC web browsers (IE 8+, Firefox 12+, Safari 5+, Chrome 19+).
  • Within the hoopla app, you can access Pinal County Library District news via our news feed; this will help you stay aware of what’s going on at our branches.
  • When using hoopla you will be able to begin streaming the content immediately. You can also download content to view at a later date (in case you won’t have Wi-Fi on that camping trip).
  • You will be allowed to borrow 5 titles each month
    • Video lends for 3 days
    • Music lends for 7 days
    • You are able to access (view/listen to) borrowed content as often as you want during the checkout period and you can return any borrowed title whenever you want.
    • To learn more about this exciting new offering, please visit our site.

We hope you enjoy this new service and encourage you to share your experience on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Book Club Kit: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart is a Lonely Hunterheart-is-a-lonely-hunter
By Carson McCullers
First Published: 1940
10 copies & Reading Guide

When The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers’s literary debut, was first published by Houghton Mifflin, on June 4, 1940, the twenty-three-year-old author became a literary sensation virtually overnight. The novel is considered McCullers’s finest work, an enduring masterpiece that was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the top one hundred works of fiction published in the twentieth century.
Set in a small Southern mill town in the 1930s, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated. At the novel’s center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who is left alone after his friend and roommate, Antonapoulos, is sent away to an asylum. Singer moves into a boarding house and begins taking his meals at the local diner, and in this new setting he becomes the confidant of several social outcasts and misfits. Drawn to Singer’s kind eyes and attentive demeanor are Mick Kelly, a spirited young teenager with dreams greater than her economic means; Jake Blount, an itinerant social reformer with a penchant for drink and violence; Biff Brannon, the childless proprietor of the local café; and Dr. Copeland, a proud black intellectual whose unwavering ideals have left him alienated from those who love him.

Reading Guide: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Includes Questions for Discussion

The Big Read
The Washington Post

Similar reads:
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor

Enjoy The Heart is a Lonely Hunter? Share your thoughts and comments below or over at Goodreads.

Book Club Kit: Orphan Train

Orphan TrainOrphan Train
By Christina Baker Kline
First Published: 2013
10 copies & Reading Guide

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

Reading Guide:
HarperCollins Publishers – Includes Questions for Discussion

Publishers Weekly

On the Web:
Official Author Website

Route Map of the Orphan Trains: 


Similar Reads:
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

Enjoy Orphan Train? Share your thoughts and comments below or over at Goodreads.

Book Club Kit: Unbroken


Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken:  a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
By Laura Hillenbrand
First Published: 2010
10 copies & Reading Guide

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes Brief Synopsis, Author Information, Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Kirkus Reviews
New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post

On the web:
Official Author Website
Unbroken (Film) – Release date December 25, 2014
Interview with Louis Zamperini on CBS Sunday Morning:


If you enjoyed Unbroken, you also might like:
Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian’s Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II By Louis Zamperini
My Private War: Liberated Body, Captive Mind: A World War II POW’s Journey by Norman Bussel
Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley

Did you enjoy Unbroken? Shall your thoughts in the comments below.

Picture Book Month – November 2013

November is Picture Book Month! Founded by Dianne de Las Casas and recently supported by the American Association of School Librarians, the campaign hopes to promote the continued existence of picture books in a digital age. Throughout the month different authors and illustrators discuss the importance of picture books on the Picture Book Month website.

Additionally, organizers have created a calendar featuring different themes for each day of November. These themes can be helpful in setting up book displays, planning story times, or simply in choosing something new to read!  Below you’ll find some books available within Pinal County Libraries that fit each theme.

Looking for more? Try Tumblebook Library, an eBook site for kids!
Spanish language options can be found at Biblioteca Tumblebook, or by searching the library catalog.


November 1 – Food – From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
November 2 – Alphabet/Counting - Count Your Blessings by Patti Reeder Eubank
November 3 – History – Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson (2013 NYT Top 10 Best Illustrated Books Award)
November 4 – Friendship – One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo/Illustrated by David Small (2013 Caldecott Honor Book)
November 5 – Nature – Blue Sky by Audrey Wood
November 6 – Mice – The Lion & The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (2010 Caldecott Medal Winner)
November 7 – Royalty – King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
November 8 – Bunnies – Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds/Illustrated by Peter Brown (2013 Caldecott Honor Book)
November 9 – World – Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (2013 Caldebott Honor Book)
November 10 – Writing – Once Upon a Baby Brother by Sarah Sullivan
November 11 – Seasons – Coyote Concert on a Full Moon Night by Carol Whelihan-Scherer
November 12 – Bears – Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
November 13 – Books – We’re Going on a Book Hunt by Pat Miller/Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westscott
November 14 – Zoo – Pssst! by Adam Rex (Local Arizona author!)
November 15 – Cats & Dogs – Please Take Me for a Walk by Susan Gal
November 16 – Sea – Shimmer & Splash by Jim Arnosky (School Library Journal Pick of the Day)
November 17 – Robots – Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell
November 18 – Monkeys – Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George by Cynthia Platt
November 19 – Dinosaurs – Tea Rex by Molly Schaar Idle
November 20 – Libraries/Librarians – The Fox in the Library by Lorenz Pauli
November 21 – School – The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson/Illustrated by Ard Hoyt
November 22 – Bugs – Bugs in My Hair! By David Shannon
November 23 – Elephants – Elephants Cannot Dance by Mo Willems
November 24 – Birds – Ten Birds by Cybele Young (2011 Govenor General’s Award)
November 25 – Frogs – I’m a Frog by Mo Willems
November 26 – Clothing – This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (2013 Caldecott Medal Winner)
November 27 – Reptiles – Franklin’s Thanksgiving by Paulette Bourgeois/Illustrated by Brenda Clark
November 28 – Holidays – Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac/Illustrated by Greg Shed (Grades 3 – 5)
November 29 – Monsters – I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll/Illustrated by Howard McWilliam
November 30 – Jungle - What to do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot by Michelle Robinson

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2013


November is National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo.
Librarians are great advocates and participants of this challenge because it supports our goals of literacy, a love of creative fiction & reading, and it’s just plain fun!

Below you’ll find a compilation of NaNoWriMo resources, as well as a number of other helpful links to get you started on the path toward writing your novel.
Pinal County residents will find noteworthy the links to locally-oriented web forums, events, and meet-ups.

Need a place to write? Stop in at your local library. Additionally, every Saturday this month Apache Junction Public Library has dedicated space for NaNoWriMo participants.

NaNoWriMo Resources

 Writing Resources

OneClickdigital now offers eBooks!

One Click ebook selectionPinal County Library District’s downloadable audiobook provider OneClickdigital is now offering a featured selection of eBooks! By creating an account with OneClickdigital you will be able to able to access FREE eBooks for immediate checkout. This special collection consists of classic titles with unlimited access, so you can begin experiencing OneClickdigital eBooks without any holds or waiting lists!


OCD headphoneAudiobook titles will be distinguished by a headphones icon.


OCD book

eBook titles will be distinguished by a book icon.


In order to download these new eBook selections you will need to install the OneClickdigital eReader app from your device’s app store. Click here for more information.