Book Club Kit: The Ask & The Answer

Patrick Ness - The Ask and the AnswerThe Ask & The Answer (Chaos Walking #2)
by Patrick Ness
First Published: 2009
8 Copies & Reading Guide

Don’t miss the first book in the series: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s terrifying new order. But everything is shrouded in secrets. Where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then one day, the bombs begin to explode…

Reading Guide:
The Reading Agency Reading Guide – Includes Author Info and Discussion Topics

Presenting LenoreReviewed February 2010 by Lenore Appelhans
Rhapsody in BooksReviewed January 2010

On the Web:
Patrick Ness’ Official Website –
BBC News – “Writer for teens wins Costa Book Award

If you enjoyed The Ask and The Answer, you might like:
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer
Divergent by Veronica Roth


Book Club Kit: The Innocent Man

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small TownThe Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town
by John Grisham
First Published: 2006
8 Copies & Reading Guide

In 1982, a 21-year-old cocktail watiress was raped and murdered. The police suspected Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, but they had no physical evidence against the two men. Five years later in 1987, the two men were arrested and charged with murder. With the prosecuter’s case built on ineffecient evidence and false testimony, both men were found guilt. Dennis Fritz was given a life sentence, Ron Williamson was sent to death row. The Innocent Man explores America’s justice system and use of the death penalty, but unlike Grisham’s previous works, this one is a true story.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes Author Information, Reviews, and Discussion Questions
Random House – Includes Discussion Questions and Suggestions for Further Reading

The New York Times – “Grisham Takes on the Mystery of Reality” by Janet Maslin
The New York Times – “True Story” by Edward Lewine
Entertainment Weekly – “Book Review – The Innocent Man” by Jennifer Reese
TIME – “Grisham’s New Pitch” by Lev Grossman

On the Web:
Official Website –
John Grisham on The Innocent Man:

If you liked The Innocent Man, you might enjoy:
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer, America’s Deadliest Serial Murderer by Ann Rule
The Monster of Florence: A True Story by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi
The Lincoln Lawyer (Book Club Kit) by Michael Connelly

Book Club Kit: Unwind

by Neal Shusterman
First Published: 2007
8 Copies & Reading Guide

Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

Reading Guide:
Simon & Schuster – Includes Discussion Topics, Activities, and Character Descriptions

The New York Times – “Young and In the Way” by Ned Vizzini
Common Sense Media – “Book Review” by Matt Berman – “Review” by Norah Piehl

On the Web:
Neal Shusterman’s Website –
Coming Soon! Check out the Unwind Movie Website
Follow Neal on Twitter: @NealShusterman 
Or if you’re not into tweeting – Like Neal on Facebook.
Find fanmade book trailers and watch an unofficial Unwind Movie Trailer (below) on Youtube:

If you liked Unwind, you might enjoy:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Ugliesby Scott Westerfeld
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Book Club Kit: Fast Food Nation

Fast Food NationFast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
by Eric Schlosser
First Published: 2001
8 Copies & Reading Guide

Eric Schlosser has visited the state of the art labs where scientists recreate the flavors and smells of everything from cooked chicken to fresh strawberries in the test tube and he has spoken to workers at meat packing plants with some of the worst safety records in the world. He explores the links between Hollywood and the fast food trade, and the tactics used to target ever younger consumers.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes an Introduction, Author Information, and Discussion Questions

The New York Times – “No Accounting for Mouthfeel” by Rob Walker – “Unhappy Meals” by Maria Russo

On the Web:
The Daily Beast – “Still a Fast-Food Nation: Eric Schlosser Reflects on 10 Years Later
Powell’s Books – “Eric Schlosser Knows What You’re Eating” interviewed by Dave Weich
Allan Gregg in Conversation – Eric Schlosser: Fast Food Nation

If you enjoyed Fast Food Nation, you might be interested in watching:
Food, Inc – An examination of corporate farming in the United States narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser
Super Size Me – Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock embarks on a journey to find out if fast food is making Americans fat.

Want more books like Fast Food Nation? Try these:
The Omnivore’s Dilemma or In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Book Club Kit) by Barbara Kingsolver
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Book Club Kit: The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
by Diane Chamberlain
First Published: 2006
8 Copies & Reading Guide

When a corpse is found in North Carolina–believed to be dead nearly 30 years–people speculate whether it’s the long-missing wife of a former governor. One woman knows the answer. After all, she held the pregnant woman’s hand as she struggled through childbirth so many years ago.

Reading Guide:
Author’s website: Includes Brief Synopsis, Inspiration, Discussion Questions and an Excerpt.

Diane Chamberlain on the Web:
Official Website:
Join other Fans of Diane’s on Facebook!
Read her blog: The Secret Life of Diane Chamberlain

More by Diane Chamberlain:
The Lies We Told
Breaking the Silence
Secrets She Left Behind

If you enjoyed The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, you might like:
The Double Bind (Book Club Kit) by Chris Bohjalian
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

Have you read The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes? Be sure to tell us what you thought by leaving a comment below!

Book Club Kit: The Piano Teacher

The Piano TeacherThe Piano Teacher
by Janice Y K Lee
First Published: 2009
8 Copies & Reading Guide

Hired by the wealthy Chen family as a piano instructor, Claire Pendleton is seduced by the social life of Hong Kong’s expatriate community and begins an affair with Will Truesdale, an enigmatic Englishman with a devastating past.

Reading Guide:
Penguin: Includes an Interview with the Author and Discussion Questions

Reviews and Articles:
The New York Times – “Colonial Rondo” by Lisa Fugard
O, The Oprah Magazine – “Pride and Privilege” by Cathleen Medwick “Cautious Lust” by Sara Ewald “Writer’s Colony” by Miranda Purves

Author’s Website: – Includes Interviews with Janice Y K Lee and Images of Historical Hong Kong

If you enjoyed The Piano Teacher, you might like:
Cutting for Stone (Book Club Kit) by Abraham Verghese
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Kiss by Danielle Steel

Book Club Kit: What the Dog Saw

What the Dog SawWhat the Dog Saw: and Other Adventures
by Malcolm Gladwell
First Published: 2009
8 Copies & Reading Guide

What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century? In What the Dog Saw, Gladwell brings together the best of his writing from The New Yorker.

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

The New York Times – “Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective” by Steven Pinker
The NYT Books of the Times – “Changing the Subject, Maintaining the Tone” by Janet Maslin
The Guardian – “What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell” by Ian Sample
The Christian Science Monitor – “Review” by David Holohan

Malcolm Gladwell on the Web:
Website and blog:
Find more of his articles at The New Yorker.
TED Talks Video – “Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce

Other works by Gladwell:
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Book Club Kit)
Outliers: The Story of Success

If you like What the Dog Saw, you might enjoy:
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M Diamond

Book Club Kit: These is My Words

These is My WordsThese is My Words: the Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine
by Nancy E. Turner
First Published: 1998
8 Copies & Reading Guide

These Is My Words uses the love of learning as a major plot element in a story inspired by the author’s great-grandmother, Sarah Prine. It is set during a time in Territorial Arizona when life was hard and tenuous. The story is a portrait of the courage and perseverance of one woman, and a love affair that will never be forgotten.

Reading Guides:
OneBookAZ 2008: Includes Discussion Questions and Historic Context Includes Description, Info about the Author, Reviews, and Discussion Questions

Nancy Turner on the Web:
Author’s Website:
The Sweet Bookshelf Interview

Want to read more about Sarah Agnes Prine?
Sarah’s Quilt (Book 2)
The Star Garden (Book 3)

More like this title:
Filaree (Book Club Kit) by Marguerite Noble
One Thousand White Women (Book Club Kit) by Jim Fergus
O Pioneers!
by Willa Cather

Tell us what you thought of These is My Words in the comments below or join as at Goodreads!

Book Club Kit: City of Thieves

City of ThievesCity of Thieves
by David Benioff
First Published: 2008
8 Copies & Reading Guide

A writer visits his retired grandparents in Florida to document their experience during the infamous siege of Leningrad. His grandmother won’t talk about it, but his grandfather reluctantly consents. The result is the captivating odyssey of two young men trying to survive against desperate odds. By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

Reading Guide:
Penguin: Includes an Introduction, an Interview with the Author, and Discussion Questions.

The New York Times: “Wartime Rations” by Boris Fishman
Entertainment Weekly: “City of Thieves Book Review” by Jennifer Reese

David Benioff on the Web:
New York Magazine Interview: “Dungeon Master: David Benioff” by Boris Kachka
Borders Presents Video Interview: David Benioff talks about City of Thieves

If you liked City of Thieves, you might enjoy:
When the Nines Roll Over and Other Stories by David Benioff
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Did your book club read City of Thieves? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!