Community Read





Fall 2017

Wolf's Mouth by John Smolens

The title is derived from the Italian saying Crepi il lupo which translates: “I’m going into the wolf’s mouth and may he choke on me.” The expression offers someone good luck, and Francesco could certainly use some. Drafted into Mussolini’s army, Francesco ends up in a POW camp in AuTrain, Michigan. There is one other Italian prisoner and a smattering of Poles, but the bulk of prisoners are Nazis who take over.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but I do want you to know this is an extremely good novel.  Smolens writes with great empathy for Francesco. There are so many elements that many Americans can identify with—being a stranger in a strange land; bureaucratic nightmares; constant paranoia; trying one’s best to be a “good American”. The plot spans many decades and most of the action takes place in Michigan. It would be fascinating to learn what became of these prisoners of war. Did they assimilate legally/illegally into the US? Did they return to their homelands?

To me the strong feelings the writer evokes really makes the book shine. I loved these characters and felt compassion for their situations.  This is an American story from a very pivotal time in world history. Who knew that it is also our very local history too? I loved it and am excited for the whole community to discuss it.~Dianne


For more information on the program, please go to




Wolf's Mouth Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611861976
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Michigan State University Press - February 1st, 2016

Wolf's Mouth Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611862706
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Michigan State University Press - July 1st, 2017

New / Hot Fiction

Warlight Cover Image
The Outsider Cover Image
Less Cover Image
Tin Man Cover Image
The Frozen Hours: A Novel of the Korean War Cover Image

New / Hot Nonfiction

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels Cover Image
Sh*tshow!: The Country's Collapsing . . . and the Ratings Are Great Cover Image
October: The Story of the Russian Revolution Cover Image
The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations Cover Image
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence Cover Image

New / Hot for Kids

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik Cover Image
One of Us Is Lying Cover Image
Children of Blood and Bone (Children of Orisha #1) Cover Image
Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor Cover Image
Children in the Woods Cover Image