May We Suggest

The highest-rated drama in BBC history, Call the Midwife will delight fans of Downton Abbey. Viewers everywhere have fallen in love with this candid look at post-war London. In the 1950s, twenty-two-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London's East End slums. While delivering babies all over the city, Jenny encounters a colorful cast of women--from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children who can't speak English, to the prostitutes of the city's seedier side. An unforgettable story of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the strength of remarkable and inspiring women, Call the Midwife is the true story behind the beloved PBS series, which will soon return for its sixth season. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 3.6 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

Great Michigan Read logo

The Great Michigan Read kicks off in September 2019 and will conclude in fall 2020. The title,  selected by six regional selection committees representing all corners of Michigan, is What the Eyes Don't See by Mona Hanna-Attisha. What the Eyes Don't See is a powerful firsthand account of the Flint water crisis written by the pediatrician who brought the fight for justice to national attention. Visit Great Michigan Read (GMR) webpage for author visit information and other GMR events happening around Michigan. CPL's Lunch and a Book will be discussing What the Eyes Don't See on Thursday, May 14, 2020. We welcome you to join us! 
 

This powerful firsthand account from Hanna-Attisha recalls her efforts to alert government officials to the public health disaster caused by lead in the water supply of Flint, Mich. In April 2014, as a cost-cutting measure, Flint switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River, which had been a "toxic industrial dumping site for decades." Hanna-Attisha, who directs the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center, where many of Flint's poor children are treated, received a tip about lead levels and realized her patients were particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. She recounts how state and local government officials ignored her requests for data, deflected responsibility, downplayed the threat, and tried to discredit the findings of her study, conducted with help from a corrosion expert, which found that the percentage of children with blood-lead elevations had doubled after the switch. That study eventually proved to be the "game-changer" that resulted in the state's declaring a public health emergency and switching the water source back to Lake Huron. Hanna-Attisha's empathy for her patients and the people of Flint comes through, as do her pride in her Iraqi roots and her persistent optimism. It's an inspiring work, valuable for anybody who wants to understand Flint's recent history. This title is available from CPL in a variety of formats including a Book Club in a Bag kit.

Little women [kit] by 1832-1888 Louisa May Alcott

Four sisters in 19th-century New England grow from little girls to respectable young women. Each sister carries unique hopes for her future, but Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy learn that life often has other plans in store. Their coming-of-age stories are filled with hilarity, humility, friendship, heartbreak, and duty. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 3.5 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

Fun home [kit] : a family tragicomic by 1960- Alison Bechdel

A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books. This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic -- and redemptive. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 2.5 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

August Snow [kit] by Stephen Mack Jones

The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit's Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away and quickly learns he has many scores to settle. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 4.5 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

The salt line : a novel [kit] by Holly Goddard Jones

In an unspecified future, the United States' borders have receded behind a salt line - a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what's left of nature. Once out of zone, this group finds itself at the mercy of deadly ticks - and at the center of a murderous plot. How far are they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line? CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 3 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

What was it like to be a student in a small, one-room schoolhouse, where students of all ages learned together under the direction of a single teacher? We've curated a list of recommended fiction and non-fiction for you to read all about it.

Want to take it a step further to create a more hands-on experience? Check out our Experience History: Old School kit! With the candle, slate, chalk, and McGuffey Primer included in the kit, you can act out an old-fashioned school day - the perfect activity for a cozy weekend at home.

Fiction

The books are all memoirs that are fun to read or listen to. Enjoy one today! 

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love. 

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best. As Jenny says : "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.

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