2015 Book List

41ZZGGuBxTL Tea Time by Barbara Luff

Discussion Leaders: Jocelyn McConnon, Bria Willis, Laura-Ashely Chen, Michelle Shimizu, Sarah Sylvain, Caroline O’Shea

“Hal has a secret that he knows he should reveal. Only two other people know the secret and they’re not talking. It’s too late for words. There’s no time left. Only time for revenge. Is anyone safe? Before you read this maybe you should relax and have a cup of tea. Then again, maybe you shouldn’t.” (Goodreads)


365179 Birds in Fall by Brad Kessler

Discussion Leaders: Anna Pomerville, Amer Macedonci, Brooke Smith, Rose Breen, Jingyi Liang, Jiaqin Lu

“One fall night, an innkeeper on a remote island in Nova Scotia watches an airplane plummet to the sea. As the search for survivors envelops the island, the mourning families gather at the inn, waiting for news of those they have lost. Here among strangers, they form an unusual community, struggling for comfort and consolation. A Taiwanese couple sets out fruit for their daughter’s ghost. A Bulgarian man plays piano in the dark, sending the music to his lost wife. Two Dutch teenagers rage against their parents’ death. An Iranian exile, mourning his niece, recites the Persian tales that carry the wisdom of centuries. At the center of this striking novel is Ana Gathreaux, an ornithologist who specializes in bird migration, and whose husband perished on the flight.

What unfolds is the story of how these families unite and disperse in the wake of the tragedy, and how their interweaving lives are ultimately transformed. Brad Kessler’s knowledge of the natural world, music, and myth enriches every page.” (Amazon)


51IrJjGhMUL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Northern Borders by Howard Mosher

Discussion Leaders: Eamonn McCabe, Rilan Cobb, Andrew Burroughs, Zac Favreau-Smith, Benjamin Gillott, Jiayun Zhou

“Northern Borders is Mosher’s nostalgic novel of life in northern Vermont’s Kingdom County, as told by a man remembering his boyhood. In 1948 six-year-old Austen Kittredge III leaves his widowed father to live with his paternal grandparents on their farm in the township of Lost Nation. Escapades at the county fair, doings at the annual family reunion and Shakespeare performance, and conflicts at the one-room schoolhouse are all recounted lovingly in this enchanting coming-of-age story filled with luminous memories and the deepest of childhood secrets, as a boy is molded into a man.” (Goodreads)


51nSy5amM6L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse

Discussion Leaders: Molly Forester, Emma O’Reilly, Etta Covert, Sadie Tilden, Caroline Bailey

“A girl raised by dolphins must choose between two worlds in this critically acclaimed novel about what it means to be a human being.” (Amazon)


51V8ZgSSzaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Emrysia Awakening by C.A. Morgan

Discussion Leaders: Kallie Hunton, Jackie O’Brien, Emily Fletcher, Madeline Brown, Sarah Piper

“Forget everything you think you know about fairies, mermaids, and fauen – pretty tales to put children to sleep. Now, enter the magically shifting landscape of Emrysia, where sentient swamps and ancient forests enchant disobedient daughters – maybe to death! Journey with three youngsters; Aryelle, a winged healer with an amazing gift, Lureli of the Mer, who shimmers with secrets deep as the sea, and fierce Eleanor – barely four feet tall on hoof point, she has horns even if you can’t see them! Three sisters, separate races, one common destiny.” (Amazon)


41KTp0IlhfL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Darkness Under the Water by Beth Kanell

Discussion Leaders: Autumn Lee, Kisa Lopez, Lily Ilsley-Greene, Hector Styen

“Just as the waters of a river roar through her town, Molly Ballou’s life is riding on a swift current, where change comes faster than a spring flood. As a half – Abenaki Indian, half – French Canadian girl in Vermont, Molly is slowly realizing that her family and others like them are being targeted by a governmental effort to rid the state of so-called “poor citizens.” Not only is Molly facing discrimination, but she is also haunted by the ghostly presence of her drowned older sister and her grieving mother’s evasive love. Curious about her family’s traditions, Molly finds herself drawn to Henry, an Abenaki boy whose connection to the natural world provides solace when Molly’s mother tragically loses a baby and grows increasingly ill. With Henry’s support, sorrow gradually gives way to the joy of self-discovery — and allows Molly to look beyond hardship to a future of promise.” (Amazon)


2649131_orig The Spare Room by Jenny Land

Discussion Leaders: Patrick Greenan, Aaron Morrison, Hannah Ryan, Sam Turgeon, Jack Sullivan

“Susannah begins to learn about slavery in the South and the Abolitionist movement in the North, but the issues soon become more than idle gossip. Her father hires Jacob, an escaped slave, to work as a farmhand and live in the Allen’s spare room. When tensions explode in her town, Susannah must face how to stand up to prejudice when it’s a matter of life or death.” (Amazon)


51QZRWW9T0L Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams

Discussion Leaders: Xavier Giddings, Emilie Begin, Patrick Amadon, Julia Ash, Avery Staats, Ethan Forster

“It’s 1942. Thirteen-year-old Korinna Rehme is an active member of her local Jungmadel, a Nazi youth group, along with many of her friends. She believes that Hitler is helping Germany by instituting a program to deal with what he calls the “Jewish problem,” a program that she witnesses as her Jewish neighbors are attacked and taken from their homes. Korinna’s parents, however, are members of a secret underground group providing a means of escape to the Jews of their city. Korinna is shocked to discover that they are hiding a refugee family behind the wall of her bedroom. But as she comes to know the family, her sympathies begin to turn. When someone tips off the Gestapo, loyalties are put to the test and Korinna must decide what she really believes and whom she really trusts. Filled with adventure, Behind the Bedroom Wall helps readers understand the forces that drove so many to turn on their neighbors and the courage that allowed some to resist.” (Amazon)


510-3j28jWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak

Discussion Leaders: Henry Cunningham, Erik Weiss, Athena Hendrick, Linus Nygard, Justice Wilson, Amy Plambeck, Valeriya Adamkovych

“Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?” (Amazon)


A_Thousand_Splendid_Suns A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Discussion Leaders: Emily Green, Alex Lawson, Jonathan Green, Ian Clough, Herbert Durfee, Angus McAndrew

“Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.” (Amazon)


townthatfoodsaved1 The Town That Food Saved by Ben Hewitt

Discussion Leaders: Michael Langham, Collin Urie, Michele LeBlanc, Peter Eckhardt, Isabel Colby,

“Over the past 3 years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of 3,000 residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America. Even as the recent financial downturn threatens to cripple small businesses and privately owned farms, a stunning number of food-based businesses have grown in the region—Vermont Soy, Jasper Hill Farm, Pete’s Greens, Patchwork Farm & Bakery, Apple Cheek Farm, Claire’s Restaurant and Bar, and Bonnieview Farm, to name only a few. The mostly young entrepreneurs have created a network of community support; they meet regularly to share advice, equipment, and business plans, and to loan each other capital. Hardwick is fast becoming a model for other communities to replicate its success.

Hewitt, a journalist and Vermonter, delves deeply into the repercussions of this groundbreaking approach to growing food, both its astounding successes and potential limitations. The captivating story of an unassuming community and its extraordinary determination to build a vibrant local food system, The Town That Food Saved is grounded in ideas that will revolutionize the way we eat and, quite possibly, the way we live.” (Amazon)


9464733 Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Discussion Leaders: Elsa Nygard, Natalie Jones, Emma Reiner, Maeve Hening, Lindsey Wood, Lauren Green

“The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program – or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan – or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.” (Amazon)


IMG_0968 Chase by Jessie Haas

Discussion Leaders: Shira Linowes, Madeleine Desrochers, Jackson Coyle, Jaime Wood, Hoke Wallace, Kristen Seadale

“Phin Chase was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now he’s witness to a murder, and he must run fast and far to escape the Sleepers—the secretive, powerful organization responsible for the crime. With only his own wits to rely on, Phin hops a train to flee his small town. But there’s a mysterious man on his trail—a man with a horse that tracks like a bloodhound. He could be working for the Sleepers . . . or he could be working against them. But Phin can’t risk finding out.

Even if Phin manages to turn the tables on his pursuer, neither hunter nor quarry can imagine what will happen when they inevitably collide.” (Amazon)


51fgFRA880L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Double Black (A Ski Diva Mystery #1) by Wendy Clinch 

Discussion Leaders: Reagan Beck, Emily Byford, Mackenzie Stanton, Abby McNally

“First in a very cool (literally) skiing series that introduces a sleuth who has ditched grad school, along with her cheating fiancée, to become a ski bum

Twenty-something Stacey Curtis is living the life she’s always dreamed about—until she finds a dead body in the ski chalet. And after her new landlord turns out to be the local sheriff, her life contains a whole lot more suspense than she bargained for. Populated with quirky characters, loaded with New England atmosphere, and co-starring a handsome young hunk with nerve, a sense of humor about it all, and an enormous trust fund, Double Black is an exciting run down some mysterious and treacherous trails.” (Goodreads)


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