Book Club Kit: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver - We Need to Talk About KevinWe Need to Talk About Kevin
by Lionel Shriver
First Published: 2003
10 Copies & Reading Guide

Eva never really wanted to be a mother—and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

Reading Guide:
Reading Group Guides – Includes Book Info, an Excerpt, and Discussion Questions

The Guardian (UK) – “Not Mad About the Boy” by Sarah A Smith
The Independent (UK) – “Review” by Lisa Gee
Kirkus’ Reviews – Reviewed on March 1, 2003

On the Web: & life – “Perfectly Flawed” by Lionel Shriver
The Guardian (UK) – “Lionel Shriver Talks About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver
Bomb MagazineInterview with Lionel Shriver by Jenefer Shute (2005)
Identity TheoryInterview with Lionel Shriver by Robert Birnbaum (2003)

More by Lionel Shriver:
The Post-Birthday World
So Much for That

If you liked We Need to Talk About Kevin, you might enjoy:
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Columbine by Dave Cullen
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton


Book Club Kit: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Tom Franklin - Crooked Letter, Crooked LetterCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter
by Tom Franklin
First Published: 2010
10 Copies & Reading Guide

For a few months in the late 1970s, Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother, stepped outside their circumstances to become pals. Then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date, and she was never heard from again. Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him. The incident broke their friendship, and then Silas left town. Twenty years later Larry, a solitary mechanic, and Silas, who has returned as a constable, cross paths again, after another girl disappears.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes Author Info, Reviews, and Discussion Questions

The Washington Post – “Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter reviewed by Ron Charles
Paste Magazine – “Review” by David Langness
Kirkus’ Reviews – Reviewed on August 1, 2010

If you enjoyed Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, you might like:
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy
We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore

Don’t forget to tell us what your discussion group thought about the book in the comments below!

Book Club Kit: Where is the Mango Princess?

Where is the Mango Princess?: A Journey Back from Brain InjuryWhere is the Mango Princess?
by Cathy Crimmins
First Published: 2000
10 Copies & Reading Guide

When her husband Alan is injured in a speedboat accident, Cathy Crimmins reluctantly assumes the role of caregiver and learns to cope with the person he has become. No longer the man who loved obscure Japanese cinema and wry humor, Crimmins’ husband has emerged from the accident a childlike and unpredictable replica of his former self with a short attention span and a penchant for inane cartoons. Where Is the Mango Princess? is a breathtaking account that explores the very nature of personality — and the complexities of the heart.

No Reading Guide? Try these:
Book Club Queen – Nonfiction Book Club Discussion Questions
LitLovers – Generic Questions for Non-Fiction

January Magazine – “Brain Drain” by Margaret Gunning
Kirkus’ ReviewsReviewed on August 1, 2000

On the Web:
NPR – Where is the Mango Princess? -Interview with Cathy Crimmins (Audio)

If you enjoyed Where is the Mango Princess?, you might like:
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

Book Club Kit: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Helen Simonson - Major Pettigrew's Last StandMajor Pettigrew’s Last Stand
by Helen Simonson
First Published: 2010
10 Copies & Reading Guide

Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes a Book Summary, Author Bio, Book Reviews, and Discussion Questions

The Christian Science Monitor – “Classic Review” by Yvonne Zipp
The New York Times – “Blending Tea and Hearts” by Janet Maslin and “Virtual Village” by Alexander McCall Smith
The Washington Post – “Book Review” by Ron Charles
O, The Oprah Magazine – “It’s Never Too Late” by Sara Nelson
USA Today – “Simonson’s Major Pettigrew could be just your cup of tea” by Elysa Gardner

On the Web:
Author’s Website –

If you enjoyed Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, you might like:
La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
Olive Kitteridge (Book Club Kit) by Elizabeth Strout
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Book Club Kit) by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass