Tag Archives: Book Club

#BookFaceFriday “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Hold on to your husbands, it’s #BookFaceFriday!

This week’s BookFace, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel” by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Atria Books, 2017), is a hot ticket in our Book Club Kits Collection. It rarely spends time on the shelf!

Sometimes it can be difficult for book clubs to schedule and secure some of the more popular titles. If this happens to you often, we suggest using our Multiple Month – Year-At-A-Time Request Form. This allows us to help you plan out in advance your book club reads and get you in line for the most coveted titles. This title is available as an eBook and Audiobook in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a popular author; NLC has two of her books in our Book Club Kits Collection and Nebraska OverDrive Libraries has seven.

“The epic adventures Evelyn creates over the course of a lifetime will leave every reader mesmerized. This wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet and her tumultuous Tinseltown journey comes with unexpected twists and the most satisfying of drama.”

—PopSugar

Our model this week is a new addition to the Nebraska Library Commission! Welcome to Bailee Juroshek, our new Office Specialist for the Public Information and Communication department. She worked previously as a freelance illustrator and is originally from Ogden, Utah. When it comes to books Bailee said one of her favorite series is “The Kingkiller Chronicle” by Patrick Rothfuss, and that she “loves a detailed fantasy world that you can get lost in.” Outside of reading, her hobbies include playing DND, creating artwork, and singing karaoke. She has three cats that keep her busy at home. “Their names are Coco Bean, Lilith, and Azmo, and they’re all adorable little trouble-makers.” If you get the chance, say hello to Bailee!

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 194 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 26,174 audiobooks, 36,611 ebooks, and 5,210 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Rez Ball” by Byron Graves

This #BookFaceFriday is a slam dunk!

Get your game face on, because it’s #BookFaceFriday! If you’re interested in staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest in young adult books, check out this week’s episode of NCompass Live, Best New Teen Reads of 2023, presented by NLC’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Sally Snyder, and Fremont High School librarian, Dana Fontaine. Today’s #BookFace selection, “Rez Ball” by Byron Graves (‎Heartdrum, 2023), was one of the titles featured in Sally’s teen list. Sally does two presentations like this each year on NCompass Live, one on YA books and another on children’s books. “Rez Ball” is a William C. Morris Debut Book Award winner and an American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award winner. You can find it as both an eBook and audiobook in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. If you’re looking for more information about NCompass Live or Sally Snyder’s Best Books lists, check out the NCompass Live Archive.

“Debut author Graves, who is Ojibwe like Tre, doesn’t shirk from showing his community’s ugly experiences, but he never languishes in them. Well-paced and exciting—the action of the basketball games is exceptionally well written—this is a solid piece of sports fiction.”

— Booklist

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 194 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 26,174 audiobooks, 36,611 ebooks, and 5,210 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the #BookFace!

Pass the Turkish Delight! There’s nothing like a great series to while away the winter months. This week’s BookFace, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C. S. Lewis (HarperCollins, 1994), is the second book in the fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. This title is available as a Book Club Kit for Nebraska libraries to check out; we have the entire series in the collection. You can also find the series in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. If you’re looking for more information about a book series, check out the Commission’s Books in Series Database. It’s a one-stop shop for information on all the different books series out there!

“Although metaphysical rumblings may disturb adults, this wily symbolism-studded fantasy should appeal to children of an imaginative turn. While exploring an old English mansion, the four children—Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy—discover through passing into a wardrobe, the strange land of Narnia, where it is winter without ever becoming Christmas.”

Kirkus Reviews

A big shout-out to this week’s model Mittens and her person Mackenzie Marrow for this week’s Bookface photo! You’re a natural Mittens!

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 194 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 26,174 audiobooks, 36,611 ebooks, and 5,210 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “The Orphan Collector” by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Take a seat, it’s #BookFaceFriday!

There’s nothing like the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 to put those winter sniffles into perspective. Take your mind off of everything and get lost in a good book. Like this week’s BookFace, “The Orphan Collector: A Novel” by Ellen Marie Wiseman (Kensington, 2020), a historical fiction novel about German immigrants in Philadelphia. This title is available as a Book Club Kit for Nebraska libraries to check out, and also as an ebook and an audiobook in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries.

“Readers will not be able to help making comparisons to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how little has changed since 1918. Wiseman has written a touching tale of loss, survival, and perseverance with some light fantastical elements.”

— Booklist

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 194 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 26,174 audiobooks, 36,611 ebooks, and 5,210 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Book Club Spotlight – Pet

Cover for

When asked to write a flagship title for the new Random House imprint “Make Me a World,” author Akwaeke Emezi set out to create a story that they would want to read if they were a teen today. Their final product, Pet, surpasses that goal, having earned a spot in TIME Magazine’s “100 Best YA Books of All Time”. In 2021, Emezi was named a Next Generation Leader by TIME and is a National Book Foundation “5 under 35” honoree, setting the standard (and a high bar) for contemporary childhood reading and authors alike. 

“There shouldn’t be any monsters left in Lucille.” In the utopic town of Lucille, “angels” have defeated and locked away all the “monsters,” creating a small paradise where all are welcome. Unfortunately, these angels, who then took up positions of power, only locked away these monsters, and did not prevent them from being created. Then, one summer night, a horrifying creature emerges from Jam’s mother’s painting and warns her of a monster still in Lucille. And when the adults refuse to believe them, Jam, and the creature, Pet, have no choice but to go on the hunt alone. Finding themselves deep in the local library’s archives, Jam, with her best friend Redemption and Pet, finally learns what monsters are and how to spot them. The trio discover that the horrors the angels claimed to have defeated are still there. But with the world around them in denial, what can they do?

“But forgetting is dangerous. Forgetting is how the monsters come back.”

Akwaeke Emezi

Pet is a perfect jumping-off point for YA (or adult) book groups to explore the world of language and communication. Especially since Jam is selectively verbal, mainly communicating through sign, the language in this book is very specific and resounding. Because language is constantly evolving, Emezi asks the reader what happens when we lose the words that shape our experiences. Does something really go away just because you don’t talk about it? Community is also a strong theme in Pet, which can lead to discussions over how it affects our sense of self. For example, Lucille, an all-Black town, was written to be like the ones found in Toni Morrison’s novels, where they are a whole world unto themselves. What would it be like to live in such a welcoming and insular community like Lucille, where everyone belongs without question, even a Black trans girl like Jam? What does it mean when the characters say, “We are each other’s harvest? We are each other’s business. We are each other’s magnitude and bond”. And do they mean it?

Like our previous spotlight, Melissa, Pet was recently added to our collection thanks to a grant from the Reading Classic Committee. And a prequel, Bitter, was released in February 2022.

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here. (Items must be requested by a librarian)

Emezi, Akwaeke. Pet. Make Me a World. 2019.

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#BookFaceFriday “Finlay Donovan is Killing It” by Elle Cosimano

We’re knocking ’em dead with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

Your book club may just die … of laughter with this week’s #BookFaceFriday pick, “Finlay Donovan is Killing It: A Novel” by Elle Cosimano (Minotaur Books, 2021)! Looking for a good “whodunit” for your reading group?

We have several mysteries in our Book Club Kit collection; browse them by selecting “Mystery” in the Genre drop-down menu. You can find this title and all the titles available on our Book Club Kits page. It is also available as an e-book and audiobook on Nebraska Overdrive Libraries, where we also have the second book in the series “Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead“.

“Part comedy of errors, part genuine thriller… Deftly balancing genre conventions with sly, tongue-in-cheek comments on motherhood and femininity, Cosimano crafts a deliciously twisted tale.”

Booklist

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 
 

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#BookFaceFriday “The Forgotten Home Child” by Genevieve Graham

Who could forget #BookFaceFriday?

This week’s #BookFaceFriday is the unforgettable “The Forgotten Home Child” by Genevieve Graham (Simon & Schuster, 2020). Based on the true story of the British Home Children, this historical novel will surely leave your book club group with much to discuss. Didn’t remember to put in your request before this popular title was reserved by another group? Check out these similar titles on our read-alike suggestion page. We’ve taken the work out of finding other books to tide you over until your first choice is available, or just to help you find that next great selection. All titles on this page are in the Book Club Kit collection and suggestions were compiled with the help of the NoveList database from NebraskAccess.

You can find this title and all of the historical fiction available on our Book Club Kits page; just look in the Search Options section and select the Historical Fiction in the Genre drop-down list.

The Forgotten Home Child is a poignant, edgy, and skillfully written portrayal of a Home Child’s experience that typified so many. The absence of any sugar coating makes this story come to life and brings a level of reality that is often lacking—an emotional journey well worth reading.”

LORI OSCHEFSKI, CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 
 

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#BookFaceFriday “The Reading List” by Sara Nisha Adams

#BookFaceFriday‘s TBR list has never been longer!

Maybe a little on the nose for a Book Club read but who cares, it was too good not to use for this week’s #BookFaceFriday. We have gotten several new titles in our Book Club Kit collection, just one being “The Reading List: A Novel” by Sara Nisha Adams (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2022.) You can find this title and all the new books available on our Book Club Kits page; just look in the Browse Options section and select the Browse New Additions link for our latest reads. It is also available as an e-book and audiobook on Nebraska Overdrive Libraries.

“This moving debut demonstrates the power of novels to provide comfort in the face of devastating loss and loneliness, with relatable characters and a heartwarming tone throughout. Readers who enjoyed Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop will find themselves drawn in by this book.”

Booklist

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 
 

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Book Club Spotlight – Sula

Cover of Sula by Toni Morrison: A well-dressed Black woman poses with the brim of her hat covering half of her face. She is looking off to the right with a flock of birds flying behind her in silhouette.

I believe that Toni Morrison is best read in the heat of the summer. I find her work sits with me best during extreme weather or extreme times. Her prose and unashamed depictions of Black lives always get to me, and her rhythm never falters. So when HBO announced they’re making a limited series adaptation of Morrison’s 1973 work, Sula, I figured it was a perfect time to add it to the Spotlight!

When reading Sula, we first learn about two towns on a hill—The Bottom on top and the white town below. We meet the people who came together to make the Bottom a community and have held it together since. Once the story has settled into the established Bottom, actions and judgments have taken place, and people’s livelihoods have come and gone; only then do we meet the titular Sula and her best friend/mirror Nel. Both girls are from families with deep ties in the Bottom, and are set up on entirely different tracks they have no choice but to follow. As we watch Sula and Nel grow older and split as they mature, Sula’s perception in and of the town changes. While Nel is the upstanding young wife and mother, Sula is the seductress, the rebel, and the reason for the town to unite against a common enemy. And for what end?

She had no center, no speck around which to grow.”

Toni Morrison

I adore Sula as a Book Club read; it’s hard to understate the importance of the novel as a tool of Black Feminist literary criticism and work. Described on Oprah.com as “a lyrical blend of myth and magic, as real as a history lesson, and as enchanting as a fable,” the empty spaces of the novel are where it really shines. Because of these knowledge gaps, you, the reader, are integral to the meaning-making process of Sula. In a book club, one member might read it through a cultural lens, another for the feminist or psychological themes, yet another can find interest in simply the history of the period.

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here. (Items must be requested by a librarian)

To see more of our Black Voices collection, visit the link here.


Toni Morrison. Sula. Knopf. 1973.

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Book Club Spotlight – El Deafo

Cover of El Deafo by Cece Bell. 
A bunny girl with a red cape flies through the ear with a large hearing aid strapped to her chest. The wires spell out "El Deafo".

This month is the 32nd year since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), making July Disability Pride Month! Featured in the 2022 Disability Readathon– is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s El Deafo by Cece Bell! A graphic novel, recommended for grades 3-7, is an “only slightly fictionalized, honest!” account of what it was like growing up deaf.

In El Deafo, we meet 4-year-old bunny Cece, who loves her polka-dotted swimsuit, singing, and being “a regular kid.” But when a case of meningitis takes her hearing, she has to navigate her new silent world and the awkwardness of growing up! With her bulky hearing aid and cords, Cece can’t help but feel embarrassed by her deafness. She’s bullied, ignored by teachers, and has to deal with people who mean well but treat her differently, all because she can’t hear. As she gets older, she realizes that her deafness isn’t something to be ashamed of; it’s a part of who she is! Plus- her hearing aid actually gives her superpowers! All she needs is a couple of good friends, and to show her classmates that her disability doesn’t mean she can’t be a hero too!

“And being different? That turned out to be the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”

Cece Bell

El Deafo has something for every reader. Using resources like the Teaching Guide, groups can cover questions from language arts to science and social studies! If your readers are interested in watching these characters come to life, El Deafo was made into a three-part mini-series on Apple TV+. In addition, you can find excellent topics for discussion in the Author’s Note, where Bell discusses the diversity of the deaf community and how each person approaches their disability differently. Some people might disagree with her approach to deafness and that’s ok! We’re all different, “most of the time we are lost, drifting along on our own planets. But we are together in the same universe, at least”.

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form HERE. (Items must be requested by a librarian)

Cece Bell. El Deafo. Amulet Books. 2014.

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Book Club Spotlight – Firekeeper’s Daughter

Cover of Firekeeper's Daughter. In Woodland School of Anishinaabe art style: An image of a butterfly born from flames. The Wings are two identical women's faces, one with tanner skin than the other.

Today, we will be spotlighting a popular title that you might not know we have! Called an “Indigenous Nancy Drew” by the author, Firekeeper’s Daughter is not only a New York Times best-seller, but a TIME Magazine Best of Book of All Time Selection. Author Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, spent ten years researching for the novel, wanting to perfectly capture her tribe and the intricacies of tribal vs. federal laws.

In The Firekeeper’s Daughter, 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine is the product of a scandal between a white woman and an Ojibwe man. Even though her mother’s family is well-respected, and her father’s side are revered Firekeepers, Daunis is an outsider. She is not welcome in her predominantly white town or at the reservation, where tribal leaders deny her parentage and membership. But when murders and overdoses related to drug trafficking slowly spread around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Daunis is witness to it all. Now she must team up with the new (and mysterious) star hockey player to use her knowledge of science, Ojibwe medicine, and these tight-knit communities to uncover long-held secrets. 

“People say to think seven generations ahead when making big decisions, because our future ancestors—those yet to arrive, who will one day become the Elders—live with the choices we make today.”

Angeline Boulley

If you’re an adult book group, don’t let the “YA” label scare you away. Firekeeper’s Daughter is a wonderfully rich story for anyone interested in YA and above. If your group loves stories of small communities haunted by their past, such as Beartown by Fredrik Backman, this is the title for you. However, be forewarned because many heavy topics, seen and unseen, such as sexual assault, suicide, murder, and illicit drug use, are present in this novel. Be prepared to have conversations on these sensitive topics. 

Higher Ground, the Obama’s production company, has also purchased the rights to adapt Firekeeper’s Daughter into a Netflix limited series, so keep your eyes peeled! 

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form HERE. (Items must be requested by a librarian)

To see more of our books from Native Voices, visit the link HERE.

Angeline Boulley. Firekeeper’s Daughter. Henry, Holt and Co. 2021

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Book Club Spotlight – H is for Hawk

Amazon.com: H Is for Hawk eBook : Macdonald, Helen: Kindle Store

For this week’s spotlight of our book club titles- we continue exploring identity through H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Even though this is first and foremost a naturalist’s memoir about grief, it is also a story about finding your true self. Which makes it an excellent pick for Pride Month! And since the book’s publishing, Macdonald has come out as nonbinary, and uses she/they pronouns.

In H is for Hawk, we follow Macdonald’s grief as they try to come to terms with their father’s sudden death, by training a Goshawk named Mabel. Throughout the memoir, Macdonald grapples with grief, identity, and why she feels so drawn to the tragic tale of author T.H. White and his Goshawk. Being a gay man in the early 1900s, White, much like Macdonald, is going through a period of strife and reclusion. And in his search of connection he also turns to the wild Goshawk, while failing miserably at training it. Unlike White, Macdonald has a different experience altogether, finding herself connecting with their hawk in a whole new way. Macdonald and Mable started playing together, using crumpled-up paper to play fetch or peeking at each other between paper tubes. This bird, only known for its ferocity and blood lust, was a living being just like them! Through this connection of the past, nature, and humankind, Macdonald tells a riving and beautiful story about grief and identity. 

“It took me a long time to realise how many of our classic books on animals were by gay writers who wrote of their relationships with animals in lieu of human loves of which they could not speak.”

Helen Macdonald

H is for Hawk is perfect for an adult book club that has great discussions revolving around grief, the self, and the natural world. Macdonald writes, “I’d thought that to heal my great hurt, I should flee to the wild”; no matter who you are, or your identity, we have all searched for something that has made us whole and a place to belong.

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here.

To see more of our LGBT+ & Queer book club titles, visit the link here.

Macdonald, Helen. H is for Hawk. Grove Press. 2014

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#BookFaceFriday “Half a Chance” by Cynthia Lord

Whatever floats your #BookFaceFriday!

The summer camp vibes are strong with this week’s #BookFace! Take a break from the lake with “Half a Chance” by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic Press, 2016,) available in the NLC Book Club collection. Summer Reading Programs and book lists are the perfect opportunity to start some kid’s book clubs! Book clubs are a great way to fight the summer slide, encourage critical thinking, and developing social skills, not to mention another way to foster a child’s love of reading. This is your reminder that NLC’s Book Club Kits Collection is not just for adults. We have a huge collection of young adult titles that are perfect for fostering discussion. You can search the Book Club Kits Collection by selecting “Young Adult” in the Genre drop down, or by selecting a specific grade level.

“Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her story with both humor and heartbreak… A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter.”

— School Library Journal

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Book Club Spotlight – How to Be an Antiracist

Cover of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Welcome to the first Book Club Spotlight of June! With Juneteenth this month, I thought we’d start by highlighting How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Dr. Kendi is a historian, and the founding director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. Having spent 45 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, and named one of Time’s “must-read” books, How to Be an Antiracist now has two companion books: Antiracist Baby, and Be Antiracist.

Using a memoir approach, How to Be an Antiracist follows Dr. Kendi through his formative years, experiencing racism as a Black man and acting upon it himself. The narrative works as a starting point for those new to the antiracist ideology by examining ethics, intersectionality, and the history of racism/race from a first-person perspective. How to Be an Antiracist encourages its readers not just to be opposed to racism but to see how it affects every aspect of our lives and to challenge it.

“What a powerful construction race is—powerful enough to consume us. And it comes for us early.”

Ibram X. Kendi

Being only the second year that Juneteenth has been recognized as a federal holiday, discussions of race might be on your book club members’ minds. I’d recommend this for adult book groups who don’t know where to start in their discussion of race or just want to learn more about the racial system in America. Dr. Kendi leads the reader through difficult terrain in a manner accessible to the layman and ripe for discussion. His guided journal, Be Antiracist, can also help facilitate discussion amongst your members with questions such as: “Who or what scares you the most when you think about race?” and “What constitutes an American to you?”

If you’re interested in reserving this title for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here.

To see more of our Black Voices collection, visit the link here.

Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. New York, NY: One World, 2019.

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#BookFaceFriday “Keeping Faith” by Jodi Picoult

Keep your hat on ‘its #BookFaceFriday!

Some authors are just perfect for book club discussions and #BookFace! With subjects and characters that keep the conversation flowing check out “Keeping Faith: A Novel” by Jodi Picoult (William Morrow, 2006,) available in the NLC Book Club collection. We have twenty, say that again, TWENTY Jodi Picoult titles in our Book Club Kit Collection! If that’s not enough for you, there are even more Picoult books available in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection, both in eBook and Audiobook format.

Keeping Faith is a raging success. . . . A triumph. This novel’s haunting strength will hold the reader until the very end and make Faith and her story impossible to forget.
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Book Club Spotlight – The Ghost Bride

For our last spotlight of Asian American & Pacific Islander month, I thought I’d bring a brand new addition to our Book Club Collection; The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. Choo is a fourth-generation Malaysian of Chinese descent currently living in California, and her most recent novel, The Night Tiger, is a NYT bestseller and a Reese’s Book Club pick.

The Ghost Bride takes place in 1890s Malaya (now Malaysia), where people of all backgrounds intermingled under British rule. The Chinese population work to hold onto their ancient traditions, especially those involving death. According to these traditions, unpleased spirits, or those who had no death rites performed, linger in our world and can cause trouble for the living. When their son dies, the wealthy and powerful Lim family look to Lin Lan to placate his soul by asking her to be Lim Tian’s bride in a rare ghost marriage. Unfortunately for Li Lan, ghosts are real, and she must travel through the Chinese afterlife to rid herself of her specter and this marriage. 

“It seemed to me that in this confluence of cultures we had acquired one another’s superstitions without necessarily any of their comforts”

Yangsze Choo

Perfect for a YA or an adult book club, the Ghost Bride is a coming-of-age novel that melds a murder mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, and a bit of supernatural romance. Throughout the story, readers learn about ancient Chinese traditions, how influences of the West changed their society, and the never ending bureaucracy of the afterlife. With the aid of the Notes section, readers can learn even more about the history of ghost marriages, Chinese notions of the afterlife, and other historical notes of life in Chinese in Southeast Asia. It was also recently adapted into a Malaysian-language Netflix series which looks incredible, and I will absolutely have to binge the it this weekend.

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here.

To see more of our Asian American/ Pacific Islander Book Club Kits, visit the link here.

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Book Club Spotlight – The Henna Artist

In order to kick off Asian American & Pacific Islander month, I thought I’d spotlight The Henna Artist, written by Indian immigrant Alka Joshi. This story enraptured me completely, which is in no small part thanks to the incredible audiobook narrator, Sneha Mathan. 

The Henna Artist, set in 1950’s Jaipur, India, is a story of run-away Lakshmi who fled her abusive marriage and is now a henna artist to the upper class. While she paints the ladies’ hands, she provides herbal remedies to both the men and women she services. Suddenly finding herself in charge of a 13-year-old sister she never knew she had, the life she worked so hard for comes to a crashing halt. Lakshmi’s story is fiction, but her perseverance, love for her family, and her culture’s art and medicine are far from the realm of fantasy. Here, Joshi presents a reimagining of what her mother’s life could have been if she had been given the opportunity to shape her own destiny. 

_________

“She was brought up to obey her parents and her husband, not to defy, question or contradict. She told me Pitaji’s books had filled my head with too many silly ideas. They had given me the useless notion that I could make my own decisions.”

Alka Joshi

No stranger to book clubs, this title was featured in Reese Witherspoon’s book club at its debut in 2020. Always an evergreen topic, body autonomy is at the heart of this novel, as well as a diverse and colorful portrait of Indian culture. This book is perfect for adults, and vivacious young adults who are ready to face these conversations head-on and talk about their own experiences and viewpoints. 

If you’re worried about your knowledge of India going into this book, do not fret! Our copies at the commission all include a list of characters, a glossary of terms, information about the Caste System in India, the history of and recipe for Henna, and some food recipes! Or all of that information is available here.

If you’re interested in reading this book for your own book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here.

Joshi, Alka. The Henna Artist. Mira. 2020

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#BookFaceFriday “At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen

It’s raining #BookFaceFridays!

We took advantage of yet another rainy day for this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen (Random House, 2015) is now available in the NLC Book Club collection! We just added this New York Times bestseller to our collection thanks to a donation from Bellevue Public Library! We love that book clubs around the state regularly donate their books so that more book clubs can read them. So we want to say a big THANK YOU to all those who have sent us donations! We have three of Sara Gruen’s titles in our Book Club Kit Collection, reserve one for your group’s next read!


“Magical . . . At the Water’s Edge skillfully transports us to a small, tenacious Scottish village in the grip of war, and into the heart of Madeline Hyde, a woman who is a stranger to herself until forces convene to rock her awake. Sara Gruen is a wizard at capturing the essence of her historical setting, and does so here in spades, but it’s Maddie’s unexpected transformation that grounds and drives the novel. As her husband and best friend search the surface of the Loch, desperate for a sign of the elusive creature, Maddie learns to plumb her own depths, and comes fully alive to the world around her.”
Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Book Club Spotlight – Bronx Masquerade

A cover photo for the book Bronx Masquerade.  It features a Black teen against a brick wall, looking up into the light.

What sold me on Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes was a Goodreads review that said “I hated it, but my students loved it!”. And that’s how you know you have a good book on your hands.    

Bronx Masquerade is a fictional pseudo-narrative that hosts a collection of poems and slam poetry by Black and Hispanic high schoolers. Each poem and accompanying chapter gives the reader a short peak into the student’s lives. It’s a great way for your readers to explore other perspectives, and delve into how you never really know what’s going on beneath the surface of your classmates. Some poems are cheesy, and maybe even cringe worthy (especially facing its 20th anniversary), but that makes the story more realistic. Not every 16 year old is going to be the next Ocean Vuong or Rupi Kaur and that’s ok! Maybe there are some aspiring poets in your class that can take that to heart.   

/…

“You have to take people one at a time, check out what’s in their head and heart before you judge.”

Nikki GRIMES

This title can be used in the classroom as a great introduction into contemporary poetry, especially slam poetry. It is recommended for grades 7-12 and has a slew of awards including the 2003 Coretta Scott King Author Award. Further information about the title, including a Teaching Guide can be found on the author’s website.        

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club/classroom, use the Book Club Kit Request Form listed here

Grimes, Nikki. Bronx Masquerade. Speak. 2002.

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#BookFaceFriday “Votes for Women!” by Winifred Conkling

 A #BookFace’s place is in the House. And the Senate.

As Women’s History Month continues we’re finding all the gems in our Book Club Kit Collection, like this week’s #BookFaceFriday, “Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot” by Winifred Conkling (Algonquin Young Readers, 2018). Our Book Club Kits have more than just the latest bestsellers, but a wide selection of nonfiction as well. This week’s #BookFace can be found on the NLC Book Club Kit webpage. The Book Club Kits service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. Reserve one of our biography, memoir, or nonfiction titles for your book club today!

“Spanning multiple centuries, this work may be the most comprehensive account for young readers about the founders, leaders, organizers, and opponents of the American suffragist movement . . . Conkling delivers a tour de force.”  

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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