book club-in-a-bag

It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop's owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Terrified of real closeness, Frank feels compelled to turn and run, yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems, and Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen, as well as a past it seems he will never leave behind. Can a man who is so in tune with other people's needs be so incapable of connecting with the one person who might save him? The journey that these two quirky, wonderful characters make in order to overcome their emotional baggage speaks to the healing power of music--and love--in this poignant, ultimately joyful work of fiction. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 3.25 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

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.

When Noor returns to her native Iran for the first time in thirty years, with her very American daughter, Lily, so much about her homeland is different. But Café Leila -- the restaurant Noor's family has run for three generations -- hasn't changed. A neighborhood café in Tehran is at the center of this powerful and transporting story of love, family, friendship, and homecoming told against the backdrop of Iran's rich, yet tragic, history. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 4 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

Convenience store woman [kit] by 1979- Sayaka Murata

The English-language debut of one of Japan's most talented contemporary writers, Convenience Store Woman is the heartwarming and surprising story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura. Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but when at the age of eighteen she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of "Smile Mart," she finds peace and purpose in her life. In the store, unlike anywhere else, she understands the rules of social interaction--many are laid out line by line in the store's manual--and she does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a "normal" person excellently, more or less. Managers come and go, but Keiko stays at the store for eighteen years. It's almost hard to tell where the store ends and she begins. Keiko is very happy, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, increasingly pressure her to find a husband, and to start a proper career, prompting her to take desperate action... A brilliant depiction of an unusual psyche and a world hidden from view, Convenience Store Woman is an ironic and sharp-eyed look at contemporary work culture and the pressures to conform, as well as a charming and completely fresh portrait of an unforgettable heroine. CPL's Lunch and a Book Group gave this title 3 stars out of 5. This kit contains 10 copies of the title.

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.

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