Reading Group Guide and more for This Tender Land

Join us this Wednesday at 1pm for a discussion of This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger.

Check out the Reading Group Guide with discussion questions, a Q&A with the author, a Spotify playlist, and a map of the characters' journey.  Here are some photos that inspired the author.

Email for the meeting link.

William Kent Krueger discusses THIS TENDER LAND with Barbara Peters

January title


This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Wednesday January 27th at 1pm via zoom 

Print copies will be available for pickup starting on Tuesday December 29th. There will be large print and audio CD copies too.

Other options for access:

hoopla audiobook

Overdrive/Libby ebook

Ovedrive/Libby audiobook

    (Hint: make sure you are logged in to Overdrive to see copies available to you)


"For fans of Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing, a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression.

1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en­thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole". ...


 Email kdixon@hopkintontownlibrary for more information or the zoom login info.


November/December title


Our next title is Apeirogon by Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic

As in previous years, we are combining our November/December book group meeting.  We'll meet (via zoom) on December 9th at 1pm


We will have copies of the hardcover book (as well as a large print edition and audio CD edition) to borrow from the library - just email or call if you'd like to reserve one.

Or use the links below to access the online versions.

Overdrive/Libby audiobook

Overdrive/Libby ebook 



October title


Our October title is The Bear by Andrew Krivak. We'll meet via zoom on Wednesday October 28th at 1pm. Email the library if you would like the zoom login information. And good news for 'real' book lovers - we will have multiple copies of the book available for loan.  Just let us know if we should hold one for you!
Online access links below. FYI - hoopla books are always available - Overdrive/Libby books may have hold lists.

hoopla ebook

hoopla audiobook

Overdrive/Libby ebook

Overdrive/Libby audiobook

 ....and print copies available too! 


 The description of the book sounds like a bit of a departure from our usual reads, so hopefully this will inspire you to read something in a new genre!

In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.

A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature's dominion.


September title


September Book Group

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson
September 23rd at 1pm
via zoom
Available formats include 1 hardcover, 1 CD audiobook, ebook and eaudiobook.
 Reserve the hardcover or audio CD version in our catalog. Click on the links below to access the digital versions.
Please let us know if you need help with any of our online resources!  
Author information, discussion questions, videos, reviews and more can be found here!
 The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

August title

August title!   
Writers & Lovers by Lily King
Group will meet on Wednesday August 26th at 1pm 
Available formats include 1 hardcover, 1 CD audiobook, ebook and eaudiobook (links below).

hoopla ebook (always available)

hoopla audiobook (always available)

Overdrive/Libby ebook

Overdrive/Libby audiobook

Discussion Questions and more

Q & A with Lily King



Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey--a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist--in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King's trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

Book club resources for The Mountains Sing

Since Hoopla recently featured The Mountains Sing in their Spring Spotlight, they have some awesome links to background information, discussion questions and recommended next reads.  You'll find links to all this and more here.

July title

July's title is The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai. The meeting will be on July 22nd at 1pm via zoom.  
Email Karen at if you would like to be included in the email list for book group news or would like the zoom link.

Here are the available formats for the book:
~1 hardcover copy available via curbside pickup (reserve via our catalog
~1 mp3-cd available via curbside pickup (not here yet but on order)
~ebook from hoopla (always available)
~audiobook from hoopla (always available) 
~ebook from Overdrive/Libby (there is presently a reserve list)

 “An epic account of Việt Nam’s painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling . . . Moving and riveting.” —VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of The Sympathizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English.                                                                             

June title - A Piece of the World

The group will meet on Wednesday June 24th at 1pm via zoom.  If you'd like to participate email Karen at and I will send you a zoom invitation. 

Here are links to A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. As always, hoopla editions are always available; Overdrive audiobook may be checked out.

.....a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World.

"Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden."

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy. 

May title - O Pioneers!

May's book choice is O Pioneers! by Willa Cather.  Somehow I feel we are pioneers in our own right in our new world order.  We will meet on Wednesday May 27th at 1pm via zoom. If you would like to be included in the zoom invitation just send me an email at
Access the ebook or audiobook through these links:
hoopla link (in ebook or audiobook format; titles are always available; read or listen in hoopla app)
Project Gutenberg ebook link (in multiple formats including online, kindle, epub)
Librivox audiobook link

Emma discussion

Don't forget to get in touch with me if you would like to join the Zoom meeting on April 29th at 1pm to discuss Emma.  If you haven't used Zoom before it is quite user friendly!  You just need a computer or mobile device with audio capabilities (it doesn't have to have a camera or video capabilties). Email me at for more details.

April showers.......

....bring cancellations and hopefully beautiful May flowers!! So we are going to try something different in April - an online meeting to discuss Emma by Jane Austen. The book is readily available online and you may even have a copy hanging around on your bookshelves.  Links to online access are below.  If you need help with any of these let me know. On hoopla if you haven't created an account yet there is white "sign up" button on the top right hand side of the screen; you will need your library card number.  I can supply if needed.  Then I thought we could "meet" the last Wednesday in April (4/29) at 1pm by trying a zoom meeting (or possibly another videoconferencing platform).   More instructions will come later if you let me know that you have an interest in participating. Just email me at
Happy reading and let me know if you have any questions!  Karen

hoopla link (in ebook or audiobook format; titles are always available; read or listen in hoopla app)

Project Gutenberg ebook link (in multiple formats including online, kindle, epub, pdf)

March discussion meeting cancelled

We will NOT be meeting to discuss The Library Book by Susan Orlean on Wednesday March 18th.  If you would like to be added to the email list of book discussion members just let me know at  The group can chat via email and maybe come up with other ways to communicate as well!

March title

March book discussion title is The Library Book by Susan Orlean. We'll meet on Wednesday March 18th at 1pm.  Plenty of copies in multiple formats available. Stop by and pick one up at the Welcome Desk. 

Susan Orlean re-opens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling homage to a beloved institution – our libraries. On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. Raging through the stacks, the fire reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. It was the largest library fire in the history of the United States: it destroyed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more, and shut the library down for seven years. The mystery remains: did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?
Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story. With her signature wit, insight, compassion and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives, and reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books and are needed now more than ever.  ....from

February title

Book Discussion
February 19th at 1pm

Copies of the book, including large print editions and audiobooks are available to check out at the library. Just ask at the desk!

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones 
 A look at the personal toll of the criminal justice system from the author of Silver Sparrow (2011) and The Untelling (2005). Roy has done everything right. Growing up in a working-class family in Louisiana, he took advantage of all the help he could get and earned a scholarship to Morehouse College. By the time he marries Spelman alum Celestial, she's an  up-and-coming artist. After a year of marriage , they're thinking about buying a bigger house and starting a family. Then, on a visit back home, Roy is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Jones begins with chapters written from the points of view of her main characters. When Roy goes to prison, it becomes a novel in letters. The epistolary style makes perfect sense. Roy is incarcerated in Louisiana, Celestial is in Atlanta, and Jones' formal choice underscores their separation. Once Roy is released, the narrative resumes a rotating first person, but there's a new voice, that of Andre, once Celestial's best friend and now something more. This novel is peopled by vividly realized, individual characters and driven by interpersonal drama, but it is also very much about being black in contemporary America. Roy is arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned in Louisiana, the state with the highest per-capita rate of incarceration in the United States, and where the ratio of black to white prisoners is 4 to 1. There's a heartbreaking scene in which Celestial's uncle—Roy's attorney—encourages her to forget everything she knows about presenting herself while she speaks in her husband's defense. "Now is not the time to be articulate. Now is the time to give it up. No filter, all heart." After a lifetime of being encouraged to be "well spoken," Celestial finds that she sounds false trying to speak unguardedly. "As I took my seat…not even the black lady juror would look at me." This is, at its heart, a love story, but a love story warped by racial injustice. And, in it, Jones suggests that racial injustice haunts the African-American  story. Subtle, well-crafted, and powerful. (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2017)

January title

Book Discussion
January 15th at 1pm
Copies of the book, including large print editions and audiobooks are available to check out at the library.

From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, bestselling author of Girls’ Poker Night—comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.

Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.

When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.

Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.  .. Simon and Schuster

November/December Title

Since it is such a busy time of year, we are combining November and December dates.  We'll meet on Wednesday December 11th at 1pm to talk about Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield. 
Copies of the book are available at the Welcome Desk to check out! We have large print and audio editions too. Ebook and audiobook editions available on Overdrive.

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, this is “a beguiling tale, full of twists and turns like the river at its heart, and just as rich and intriguing” (M.L. Stedman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans).  ...From the Publisher's Website

October title

Peterborough NH author Lita Judge, a prolific children's book author and illustrator, has written and illustrated Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and how Mary Shelley created Frankenstein and we thought it would make a great October read! This book for adults and young adults is written in verse and beautifully illustrated by the author. Pick up a copy of the book at the front desk and we hope you can join us on Wednesday October 16th at 1pm.

Pairing free verse with over three hundred pages of black-and-white watercolor illustrations, Mary's Monster is a unique and stunning biography of Mary Shelley, the pregnant teenage runaway who became one of the greatest authors of all time. Legend is correct that Mary Shelley began penning Frankenstein in answer to a dare to write a ghost story. What most people don't know, however, is that the seeds of her novel had been planted long before that night. By age nineteen, she had been disowned by her family, was living in scandal with a married man, and had lost her baby daughter just days after her birth. Mary poured her grief, pain, and passion into the powerful book still revered two hundred years later, and in Mary's Monster, author/illustrator Lita Judge has poured her own passion into a gorgeous book that pays tribute to the life of this incredible author.

September title

Book Group
Wednesday September 18th at 1pm
Copies of the book are at the front desk at the library! 

A dazzling adventure story about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world. George Washington Black, or "Wash," an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master's brother as his manservant. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning--and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Christopher and Wash must abandon everything. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic. What brings Christopher and Wash together will tear them apart, propelling Wash even further across the globe in search of his true self. From the blistering cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, from the earliest aquariums of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black tells a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, of a world destroyed and made whole again, and asks the question, What is true freedom?

August title

Book Group
Wednesday August 21st at 1pm
Copies of the book are at the front desk at the library! 

Naturalist Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus) rekindles her dormant childhood desire to talk with animals in a narrative that shimmers with grace and wonder. Ten tales poignantly personify 13 critters both commonplace and exotic, from Tess the border collie and Chris the extroverted pig to spiders and octopuses. "Many young girls worship their older sisters.... [Mine] was a dog, and I... wanted to be just like her: Fierce. Feral. Unstoppable," Montgomery writes of Molly, her family's Scottish terrier. Other animals she writes about live farther from home, and Montgomery tells of quitting a newspaper job to shadow emus in the Australian Outback and befriending a tarantula in the jungles of South America. In the cloud forest of Papua, New Guinea, she rediscovers "the wildness that keeps us sane and whole, the wild, delicious hunger for life." Back on her New Hampshire farm, an ermine plundering the henhouse on Christmas offers a unexpected perspective on her difficult mother and a vivid dream of a deceased pet opens her heart to a new dog in need of rescue. Montgomery's lyrical storytelling and resonant lessons on how animals can enhance our humanity result in a tender, intelligent literary memoir. Illus. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC.

July title

I'm hoping this will be a good summer read! Join us on Wednesday July 17th at 1pm by the fireplace. Copies of the book are available at the library (also large print editions and audio). Just ask at the desk!

This "poetic, poignant" ( US Weekly ) debut features last great adventures, unlikely heroes, and a "sweet, disarming story of lasting love" ( The New York Times Book Review ). Eighty-three-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots and begins walking the 3,232 kilometers from rural Saskatchewan, Canada eastward to the sea. As Etta walks further toward the crashing waves, the lines among memory, illusion, and reality blur. Otto wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. "I will try to remember to come back," Etta writes to her husband. Otto has seen the ocean, having crossed the Atlantic years ago to fight in a far-away war. He understands. But with Etta gone, the memories come crowding in and Otto struggles to keep them at bay. Meanwhile, their neighbor Russell has spent his whole life trying to keep up with Otto and loving Etta from afar. Russell insists on finding Etta, wherever she's gone. Leaving his own farm will be the first act of defiance in his life. Moving from the hot and dry present of a quiet Canadian farm to a dusty, burnt past of hunger, war, and passion, from trying to remember to trying to forget, Etta and Otto and Russell and James is an astounding literary debut "of deep longing, for reinvention and self-discovery, as well as for the past and for love and for the boundless unknown" ( San Francisco Chronicle ). "In this haunting debut, set in a starkly beautiful landscape, Hooper delineates the stories of Etta and the men she loved (Otto and Russell) as they intertwine through youth and wartime and into old age. It's a lovely book you'll want to linger over
( People ).