Portage District Library Quick Links

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 Fall/Winter Season

The Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
Monday, September 14th @ 7pm

The Church of Marvels takes readers back to turn-of-the-century New York. Sylvan, a night soiler cleaning out the privies behind houses, finds an abandoned newborn. Odile and her beautiful sister, were raised amid the applause and magical pageantry of The Church of Marvels, which has burnt to the ground. A young woman named Alphie awakens to find herself trapped in an asylum and meets another young woman with an extraordinary talent that might save them both. As these strangers’ lives become increasingly connected, stories and secrets unfold.

The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander
Monday, October 12th @ 7pm

A gripping debut fantasy that seamlessly blends a modern-day tale of magicians who cheat death with a historical story of alchemists and witches grappling with demonic possession. Alexander extensively researched an actual historical meeting between the Elizabethan alchemist John Dee and the infamous serial killer Elisabeth Bathory and seamlessly incorporates real people and events into the narrative. For fans of Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches, Magnus Flyte’s City of Dark Magic, and Paula Brackston’s The Witch’s Daughter.

Life From Scratch: a memoir of food, family and forgiveness by Sasha Martin
Monday, November 9th @ 7pm

Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook –and eat—a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother to a string of foster homes to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Martin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal – and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within.

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
Monday, December 14th @ 7pm

Stunningly original and wildly inventive, Byrne melds the influences of Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, and Erin Morgenstern for a dazzling debut. Meena, a young woman living in a futuristic Mumbai, must flee India and return to Ethiopia, the place of her birth. Having long heard about the Trail – an energy-harvesting bridge that spans the Arabian Sea – she embarks on foot on this forbidden bridge, with its own subculture and rules.

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Monday, January 11th @ 7pm

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book. This is an imaginative tale about navigating the journey into adulthood, while doing your best to hang on to your childhood.


2015 Winter/Spring Season

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

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

Ask a Question