Batavia Public Library

Batavia Public Library
10 S. Batavia Ave. Batavia, IL 60510
(630) 879-1393

Mon.–Thurs:    9 am–9 pm
Fri.–Sat.:           9 am–5 pm
Sunday:             12   –  5 pm

Book discussions led by Laura


The Whites  by Harry Brandt
High suspense and sharp prose highlight this electrifying police procedural. Billy Graves is marking time on night duty when he catches a case that threatens his career, friends, and family. A gritty, darkly humorous and compelling examination of justice and vengeance. (Hardboiled mystery; Gritty; Suspenseful)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Rosemary’s story begins when she is arrested; from there the tragedy at the heart of her family is slowly revealed.  A moving tale of familial love and loss that examines the bonds of sisterhood. For full impact, avoid reading spoilers. (Literary fiction; Moving; Thought-provoking)

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This sweeping family saga tells the stories of two half-sisters and seven generations of their descendants living in Ghana and the US. Each generation lives with the ghosts of the past, touched by the legacy of slavery, and presented in intimate portraits. Empathetic, haunting and, in the end, quietly triumphant. (Historical fiction; issue-oriented, haunting)

Deacon King Kong by James McBride
A heavy drinking church deacon who shoots a drug dealer and becomes a marked man finds unexpected support from his community. Darkly humorous and populated with larger-than-life characters, this action-packed tale is as much a novel of place as it is a crime story. (Historical fiction; humorous fiction; Thoughtful, witty)

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
This profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive domestic portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which family members struggle, all their lives, to understand one another. (Psychological fiction; Gripping; Thought-provoking)

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
A Viet Cong agent spies on a South Vietnamese army general and his compatriots as they start a new life on 1975 Los Angeles. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War. (Historical fiction, Literary fiction; Introspective, Sardonic)

The Things They Carried  by Tim O’Brien
The men of Alpha Company battle the enemy, miss the lives they left behind, and struggle with loneliness, rage, and fear in a testament to the devastating legacy of the Vietnam War. This modern classic is a painful, lyrical, and intensely personal account of the war. (Literary Fiction; War Stories; Haunting)

The Buddha in the Attic  by Julie Otsuka
Unforgettable choral-like narrative recounts the experiences of six Japanese “picture brides” who struggle to adjust to a new culture, raise families, and face the prospect of wartime internment. (Literary fiction; Spare: Elegant)

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
Can a children’s book appeal to adults? Find out with this novel-in-stories in which a man recalls his annual Depression-era summer visits with his larger-than-life grandma. Grandma Dowdel is not a good influence, but her dirty tricks and cunning plots are what makes those visits remarkable. (Historical fiction; funny, witty)

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
A riveting and suspenseful tale of a Jesuit expedition to make first contact with the source of the mysterious music originating from another planet. The disastrous encounter leads Emilio Sandoz, the sole survivor, to question his faith and humanity. (Science fiction; Haunting, reflective)

Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Using Dorthea Lange’s Depression-era Migrant Mother photograph as inspiration, Silver imagines the story of the photographer, her subject, and the history professor researching a family link to the iconic photograph. Acutely and delicately observed. (historical fiction; Heart-wrenching, reflective)

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
Inspired by the film The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli and her three friends leave their tiny Mexican village to bring home seven men to protect their home. As Nayeli marches north, she finds far more than she’d been looking for. (Humorous fiction; Multicultural; Rollicking adventure)

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
An adult narrator remembers the summer his idyllic neighborhood was shattered by a violent crime. Briefly suspected, he attempts to track down the real culprit. This noir-tinged coming-of-age story perfectly portrays a teenager’s doubts and insecurities. (General Fiction; Intimate, lush)

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
A chance encounter triggers August’s memory of her Brooklyn childhood, when her family was adjusting to trauma, and friendship was everything. This own voices novel is a bittersweet prose-poem about childhood, friendship, race, love, and grief. (Literary fiction; Moving, lyrical)


Just Mercy  by Bryan Stevenson
This searing indictment of the American justice system covers the inspiring story of Stevenson’s battle, as founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, to defend “hopeless cases,” freeing people from excessive punishment or wrongful convictions. The overarching narrative focuses on an African-American man on death row for killing a white woman despite credible evidence to the contrary.  (Memoir; Law; Social Reform; Engaging, touching)

Statement of Mission

The mission of the Batavia Public Library is to provide and ensure access to materials and services to meet the lifelong learning needs of residents and organizations, as well as to create a welcoming place to gather, exchange ideas, and participate in cultural events.

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