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book club bags

Book Club in a Bag !

Welcome to the Book Club in a Bag Program of the
Santa Barbara Public Library System

A Book Club in a Bag kit contains everything your book group needs to enjoy reading and discussing your next book. Each bag contains at least 8-10 copies of a title, discussion questions, a biographical sketch of the author and/or subject of the book, and a book sign-up sheet to help the leader keep track of the books. Book Club Bags have been assembled for the following titles (For a brief description of each title click here):

*new titles
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tovar
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – Santa Barbara Reads 2004
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
*The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
*Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau

*new titles
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
*The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan
Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money by Kate Levinson
Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario – Santa Barbara Reads/UCSB Reads 2010
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
*Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – Santa Barbara Reads 2011
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer – Santa Barbara Reads 2013
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander
River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

This program is supported by the generous donation of the
Friends of the Santa Barbara Public Library.


Borrowing Policy

  • Any member of the Santa Barbara Public Library System may borrow a kit.
  • Requests for kits must be made through an SBPL Central Reference staff member by phone (564-5604), email or in person. Reservations can only be made for kits that are not currently checked out.
  • The kit will be checked out on the library card of the person picking up the bag. That patron is completely responsible for the bag and all of its contents.
  • The loan period is 6 weeks.
  • Kits may not be renewed.
  • Check contents before returning the kit. The replacement cost of an entire kit depends on the cost of each unit in the kit. The replacement costs of individual parts of the kit will depend on the cost of each particular item.

How Your Book Discussion Group Can Help:
You can help build the Book Club in a Bag program by donating clean copies of books your group has enjoyed. This is a great way for area groups to share not just the titles of what they've read and enjoyed, but the books themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. One of my group members forgot to return his/her book -- who is responsible?
A. The person who borrows the kit is completely responsible for the return of the bag and all of its contents.

Q. I can't remember what was in my bag when I got it. How do I know what to check for before returning it?
A. Check the online library catalog; the kit’s contents are listed there.

Q. Can my group members return their copies to the library?
A. No, the Book Club in a Bag kit must be returned with all contents at the same time.

Q. What if a book is lost?
A. If your group loses a book you have two choices: replace it with another (clean) copy of the book, or the library will bill you for the book. Please let the Library know if a book
has been substituted so we may check for condition and apply stickers for the next borrower.

Q. May I place a hold on a Book Club in a Bag from the online catalog?
A. No, the kit must be reserved through a library staff member at the Santa Barbara Central Reference Desk (805-564-5604). Kits may be reserved for pickup within seven days if they are not currently checked out.

Q. What if my group needs more copies than are in the bag?
A. Use the Santa Barbara Public Library System Catalog to request more copies of a title as needed.

Q. Someone in my group prefers large print books, how can I help them?
A. Use the Santa Barbara Public Library System Catalog to find the title in different format: large print, downloadable eBook or audiobook, book on CD. (Some kits contain large print and/or audio formats.)

Q. Can my book club suggest titles for the program?
A. Contact your local library and let them know your ideas!




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