Book Club-In-A-Bag

If you are a member of a book club, you know how difficult it can be to choose a book each month. Perhaps you have been thinking of starting a book club, but are not sure where to begin. Maybe your family would like to share their own reading experience with lively discussion of a thought-provoking book. The Norfolk County Public Library is making book discussions much easier with the launch of a new program called “Book Club-in-a-Bag”.

The “Book Club-in-a-Bag” provides you with 12 copies of a title and discussion questions to help get the conversation going – all packaged in a convenient tote bag. There are currently more than 100 titles to choose from. Your group can reserve a bag up to a year in advance so you can plan ahead. You may keep a bag for 8 weeks.

Bags can be requested and borrowed by any patron with a valid Norfolk County Public Library card, contact library staff to reserve a specific bag.

Each Book Club-in-a-Bag Title contains

  • 1 Norfolk County Public Library bag
  • 12 copies of the book title in one format
  • 1 author biography
  • 1 sign out sheet for the club to track which member has which book
  • Discussion tips
  • Book reviews
  • if the book was made into a movie, possible DVD

How to borrow a Book Club-in-a-bag?

  • Clubs learn about the program through the webpage and posters.
  • Clubs can review available titles in the card catalogue and check when titles are available.
  • Holds may be placed on titles but position in the queue cannot be adjusted.
  • Clubs are not issued cards.
  • One title may be borrowed at a time
  • Check out length – 8 weeks
  • No renewals
  • Checked out on the card of the person picking up the bag. That person is responsible for the kit.
  • Kit will be checked out as one item
  • Kits can be picked up at any branch
  • Overdue fines are $2.00 a day with a maximum fine of $20.00. Kits returned incomplete will be fined the amount until all items are returned
  • Replacement cost for the kit – $300.00. Replacement cost of individual parts of a kit will depend on the cost of each individual item.
  • Kits can be returned to any branch but must be returned inside the library (do not put in the book drop)

Title List (sorted by Title)

  • 419 by Will Ferguson (CAN)
  • After Helen by Paul Cavanagh (CAN)
  • After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson (CAN)
  • All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley
  • All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (CAN)
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • And the Winner Is…Amazing Animal Athletes by Etta Kaner (Juvenile) 
  • Annabel by Kathleen Winter (CAN)
  • Arctic Blue Death by R. J. Harlick (CAN)
  • Ava and the Little Folk by Neil Christopher and Alan Neal (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb
  • Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity by Katherine Boo
  • Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis (CAN)
  • Birth House by Ami McKay (CAN)
  • Bishop’s Man by Linden MacIntyre (CAN)
  • Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz (CAN)
  • Book Borrower by Alice Mattison
  • The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe
  • Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  • Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (CAN)
  • Buzz about Bees by Kari-Lynn Winters (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • Castle Magic by Jim Rudnick (CAN)
  • The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway (CAN)
  • Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster
  • Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
  • Cost by Roxana Robinson
  • Crash Landing by Jim Rudnick
  • Cryptic Canada: Unsolved Mysteries from Coast to Coast by Natalie Hyde (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • Danny, Who Fell in a Hole by Cary Fagan (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • Desert Planet by Jim Rudnick (CAN)
  • Eons Semester by Jim Rudnick (CAN)
  • The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
  • Flee, Fly, Flown by Janet Hepburn (CAN)
  • Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews (CAN)
  • For the Love of Mary by Chirstopher Meades
  • Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacob
  • The Gargoyle at the Gates by Philippa Dowding (Juvenile)
  • The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder (CAN)
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (includes DVD)
  • Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • Glass Houses by Louise Penny (CAN)
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2 bags)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (CAN)
  • Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
  • Handmaid’s Tale (The) by Margaret Atwood (CAN)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami (CAN)
  • Homegoing by Ysa Gyasi (CAN)
  • The House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi
  • The Illegal by Lawrence Hill (CAN)
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Jason’s Why by Beth Goobie (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • Kabul Beauty School: an American woman goes behind the veil by Deborah Rodriguez
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
  • Let’s Take the Long Way Home : a Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell
  • Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
  • Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
  • Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese (CAN)
  • Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (includes DVD)
  • Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter (CAN)
  • The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • No Ordinary Day by Deborah Ellis (Young Adult kit) (CAN)
  • Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler
  • The Orenda by Joseph Boyden (CAN)
  • Our Daily Bread by Lauren B. Davis (CAN)
  • The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
  • The Party Wall by Catherine Leroux (CAN)
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
  • The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka (CAN)
  • Pirates by Jim Rudnick (CAN)
  • Ragged Company by Richard Wagamese (CAN)
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (CAN)
  • Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
  • Room by Emma Donoghue (CAN)
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  • Ruined Memories by Jim Rudnick (CAN)
  • The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
  • The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky
  • Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn
  • The Secret of the Village Fool by Rebecca Upjohn (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Shack by William Young
  • Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson (CAN)
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (CAN)
  • The Stamp Collector by Jennifer Lanthier (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations—One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson
  • The Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden (CAN)
  • The Tiger: a True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant
  • True Confessions from the Ninth Concession by Dan Needles (CAN)
  • Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Up in Smoke by Ross Pennie (CAN)
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Wenjack by Joseph Boyden
  • What is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman (CAN)
  • What the Dog Saw: and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
  • When I Get Older: the Story Behind “Wavin’ Flag” by K’NAAN (Juvenile) (CAN)
  • When We Were Friends by Elizabeth Arnold
  • When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  • With Every Breath by Maya Banks
  • Wonder by Emma Donoghue (CAN)

Borrower Responsibilities

As the borrower of this Book Club in a Bag kit you are fully responsible for the return of the bag and all of its original contents.

  • The books in your bag are numbered to help you keep track of which member of your group has it. We strongly suggest that you fill in the enclosed trackingsheet to help you keep track.
  • You have the bag for 8 weeks. When you return the bag make sure all of the contents, including the folder with the paperwork, are present.
  • Please do not use the book drop to return the bag. Please return to the circulation desk at any branch of Norfolk County Public Library.
  • You will be personally billed if the bag is not returned.
  • You will be personally billed if any books or items are missing from the bag at the cost of the item.
  • Please keep track of the paperwork that comes with this bag and return it all, this smoothes the way for the next group in line who has reserved this bag.

Make Reading Fun for Everyone: Book Club Tips

  • Have a nice bright, comfortable place to meet
  • Begin by introducing the members present.
  • Most book clubs tend to read fiction rather than non-fiction. Be very cautious in selecting a non-fiction book. Most book clubs discover that there cannot be much discussion about facts.
  • Book club members should be cautious about the number of people admitted into the group. Too large of a group can make some individuals refrain from offering their opinions, or a couple of individuals may dominate the discussion, intimidating other group members.
  • Elect a chairperson and have one person keep historical records of books read, and also books suggested and who suggested them.
  • Assign a facilitator for each title selection. The facilitator should begin with a provocative question and step back. Avoid closed-ended questions like “Did you like the book?”
  • The job of the facilitator is to maintain the focus and keep the discussion moving.
  • Be a good listener and observer. Make sure everyone participates in the discussion. If a question is asked, everyone should contribute in the round robin. If you see someone being left out, prompt them for their opinion.
  • Keep notes while reading…and not just when you are the facilitator. It helps to deepen discussion if specific passages can be read.
  • Respect everyone’s opinion. Even if you dislike the book do not blame the person who suggested it. Your dislike of the book will enliven discussion. Build your reasons and enjoy that intense interaction with other club members who love the book. After the discussion, you may discover an appreciation for the book that you never had before.
  • Don’t use the discussion questions as if it were an exam, but use them as conversation starters
  • Every member needs to be prepared ahead of time. Read the book, biographical information, the author biography and book reviews. Each member should have questions to pose ahead of time.
  • Be sure to end on time, summarize points made during the session and prepare for the next meeting.