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Top Shelf Reads

“Top Shelf Reads” is a drop-in book discussion group especially for young professionals (20’s-30’s age set). Join us after work each month for drinks and a bite to eat offsite at a local micro-brewpub and restaurant, and discuss edgy and offbeat reads. Our informal discussions last one hour, but participants are welcome to stay and hang out. This group meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7pm.

TSR meets offsite at Latitude 42, located at 7842 Portage Rd on second Mondays at 7pm.

No registration required. Questions? Call the Adult Information Desk at (269) 585-8739 or email us

Top Shelf Reads – 2015 Winter/Spring Season

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Monday, January 12th @ 7pm

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Ursula’s world is in turmoil, facing the unspeakable evil of the two greatest wars in history. What power and force can one woman exert over the fate of civilization — if only she has the chance?

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
Monday, February 9th @ 7pm

Victor Mancini, a medical-school dropout, is an antihero for our deranged times. Needing to pay elder care for his mother, Victor has devised an ingenious scam: he pretends to choke on pieces of food while dining in upscale restaurants. He then allows himself to be “saved” by fellow patrons who, feeling responsible for Victor’s life, go on to send checks to support him. When he’s not pulling this stunt, Victor cruises sexual addiction recovery workshops for action, visits his addled mom, and spends his days working at a colonial theme park. His creator, Chuck Palahniuk, is the visionary we need and the satirist we deserve.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Monday, March 9th @ 7pm

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Monday, April 13th @ 7pm

This is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie’s intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance—until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Monday, May 11th @ 7pm

The never-named fiftyish narrator is back in his childhood homeland, rural Sussex, England, where he’s just delivered the eulogy at a funeral. With “an hour or so to kill” afterward, he drives about—aimlessly, he thinks—until he’s at the crucible of his consciousness: a farmhouse with a duck pond. There, when he was seven, lived the Hempstocks, a crone, a housewife, and an 11-year-old girl, who said they were grandmother, mother, and daughter. Now, he finds the crone and, eventually, the housewife—the same ones, unchanged—while the girl is still gone, just as she was at the end of the childhood adventure he recalls in a reverie that lasts all afternoon.


2014 Fall Season

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Worst. Person. Ever by Douglas Coupland

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Summer 2014 – Themed Reading

Favorite Reads

Bad Books

“What the *Bleep?!*“ Book Moments

2014 Winter/Spring Season

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

Fall 2013

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

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