Book & Social Groups

Library staff members lead a variety of book discussion and other social groups for adults and teens — we are always excited to welcome new participants. Explore the descriptions below to find out more about each group.

For book groups, copies of the books are available for pickup starting approximately one month in advance of the meeting and may be picked up at the circulation desk at the library hosting the group.

Click on “Show Book List” to see upcoming books and their meeting dates. Click View in Catalog to see further details.

If you plan to attend one of our book groups, please check the next meeting date on our events calendar in case of changes of time or venue.

Need a copy of this page in plain text? You can access a PDF copy here.

Brookline Village Library


Brookline Village Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, 2nd Floor Conference Room – 361 Washington St.
When: First Monday of the month, 7-8:30 PM
Led by: Will

Read a variety of fiction and nonfiction in this monthly book group. Snacks are provided. Please note: this book group will resume meeting on September 2, 2019. If you have questions you can contact Will by sending us a message.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer Cover
July 1

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer

It's January, 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton sits at her desk, vainly seeking a subject for her next book. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he's acquired a secondhand book that once belonged to Juliet - and, spurred on by their mutual love of Charles Lamb, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Juliet's curiosity is piqued, and it's not long before she begins to hear from the other members. As the letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realizes that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name. There's gawky Isola, who makes love potions to sell along with her vegetables; Eben, a fisherman with a passion for Shakespeare; Will, erstwhile ironmonger and the creator of the famous potato peel pie; and Dawsey himself, a farmer with a shy manner and a tender heart. Most poignant of all are the memories of Elizabeth, the founding member of the society, who fell in love with a German officer, saved a starving prisoner, and was sent away to a concentration camp, leaving her child behind. Sustained by books and one another, the islanders have battled the bitter hardships of World War II. Juliet, entranced by their stories and their spirit, decides to visit Guernsey to meet her new friends properly. A moving tale of the power of friendship, books, and love, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Societywill beguile the heart and mind.

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The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales Oliver Sacks Cover
June 3, 2019

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales

Oliver Sacks

Presents a series of stories about men and women who, representing both medical and literary oddities, raise fundamental questions about the nature of reality

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A Taste of Poetry

Where: Brookline Village Library Conference Room – 361 Washington St.
When
: First Thursday of the month, noon – 1:30 PM
Led by
: Lily

Bring your lunch and an appetite for poetry. Each month we look at half a dozen poems by a well-known poet. We provide copies of the poems – no need to read anything in advance – and lead a discussion after reading them. You can contact Lily by sending us a message.


January 3, 2019, Jenny Xie

Jan 3: Jenny Xie

February 7, 2019, Lucille Clifton

Feb 7: Lucille Clifton

March 7, 2019, Mary Oliver

Mar 7: Mary Oliver

Common Threads Poetry Packet (April is Poetry Month!)

Apr 5: Common Threads

May 2, 2019, Abraham Sutzkever

May 2: Abraham Sutzkever

June 13, 2019, James Wright

Jun 13: James Wright

July 11, 2019, W. S. Merwin

Jul 11: W. S. Merwin

August 1, 2019, Ursula Le Guin

Aug 1: Ursula Le Guin

September 5, 2019, Hafez

Sep 5: Hafez

October 3, 2019, Octavio Paz

Oct 3: Octavio Paz

November 7, 2019, Joy Harjo

Nov 7: Joy Harjo

December 5, 2019, Wallace Stevens

Dec 5: Wallace Stevens


ELL Graphic Novel Club

Where: Brookline Village Library, the Commons — 361 Washington St.
When: Second Wednesday of the month, 7 – 8 PM
Led by: Becca

This club is open to adults learning English. Native speakers and fluent speakers are also welcome. The group reads a variety of graphic novels and graphic memoirs and meets every second Wednesday of the month to discuss them. Snacks are provided.


Belonging Nora Krug Cover
August 14

Belonging

Nora Krug

* Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award * Silver Medal Society of Illustrators * * Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Comics Beat, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal This “ingenious reckoning with the past” (The New York Times), by award-winning artist Nora Krug investigates the hidden truths of her family’s wartime history in Nazi Germany. Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow over her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. Yet she knew little about her own family’s involvement; though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it. After twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier. In this extraordinary quest, “Krug erases the boundaries between comics, scrapbooking, and collage as she endeavors to make sense of 20th-century history, the Holocaust, her German heritage, and her family's place in it all” (The Boston Globe). A highly inventive, “thoughtful, engrossing” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) graphic memoir, Belonging “packs the power of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and David Small’s Stitches” (NPR.org).

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Killing and Dying Adrian Tomine Cover
August 14

Killing and Dying

Adrian Tomine

"One of the most gifted graphic novelists of our time." --Wired Killing and Dying is a stunning showcase of the possibilities of the graphic novel medium and a wry exploration of loss, creative ambition, identity, and family dynamics. With this work, Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings, Scenes from an Impending Marriage) reaffirms his place not only as one of the most significant creators of contemporary comics but as one of the great voices of modern American literature. His gift for capturing emotion and intellect resonates here: the weight of love and its absence, the pride and disappointment of family, the anxiety and hopefulness of being alive in the twenty-first century. "Amber Sweet" shows the disastrous impact of mistaken identity in a hyper-connected world; "A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture" details the invention and destruction of a vital new art form in short comic strips; "Translated, from the Japanese" is a lush, full-color display of storytelling through still images; the title story, "Killing and Dying", centers on parenthood, mortality, and stand-up comedy. In six interconnected, darkly funny stories, Tomine forms a quietly moving portrait of contemporary life. Tomine is a master of the small gesture, equally deft at signaling emotion via a subtle change of expression or writ large across landscapes illustrated in full color. Killing and Dying is a fraught, realist masterpiece.

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About Betty’s Boob Vero Cazot Cover
September 11

About Betty’s Boob

Vero Cazot

An inspiring and surprisingly comedic tale of loss and acceptance told largely through silent sequential narrative, About Betty’s Boob is a seminal work from master storytellers Véro Cazot and Julie Rocheleau. Betty lost her left breast, her job, and her guy. She does not know it yet, but this is the best day of her life.

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Sabrina Nick Drnaso Cover
September 11

Sabrina

Nick Drnaso

"When Sabrina disappears, an airman in the U.S. Air Force is drawn into a web of suppositions, wild theories, and outright lies. Sabrina depicts a modern world devoid of personal interaction and responsibility, where relationships are stripped of intimacy through glowing computer screens. An indictment of our modern state, Drnaso contemplates the dangers of a fake news climate."--

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Geek Out Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, the Commons — 361 Washington St.
When: Fourth Wednesday of the month, 7 – 8 PM
Led by: Cailey & Lily

Please note, this book group is on hiatus. Stay tuned for news about its return in Fall 2019.

The Geek Out Group is a space for adults to celebrate and bond over their enthusiasm for books, movies, TV shows, comics, games, and more. Come share what you’re geeking out about and get to know fellow fans over discussions, crafts, and games. Snacks are provided.


Mystery Book Discussion Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, 2nd floor Conference Room – 361 Washington St.
When:
Third Tuesday of the month, noon – 1 PM
Led by
Christiana

One of the Library’s longest running book groups, the Mystery Book Group reads everything from classic, cozy whodunnits to the latest genre-crossing murder mysteries. Bring your own lunch or enjoy our coffee and snacks every third Tuesday of the month at noon. If you have questions, you may contact Christiana by sending us a message.

If you’d like to view previous titles read by the group, visit the Mystery Book Group Archive.


Whose Body? Dorothy L. Sayers Cover
August 20

Whose Body?

Dorothy L. Sayers

There's a dead body in his bathtub, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez spectacles. Enter Lord Peter Wimsey, the original gentleman sleuth, who debuted in this 1923 novel.

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The 7 1⁄2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Stuart Turton Cover
September 17

The 7 1⁄2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Stuart Turton

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read, and altogether triumphant."—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window The Rules of Blackheath Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin... *** Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. For fans of Claire North and Kate Atkinson, The 71⁄2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive novel that follows one man's race against time to find a killer— but an astonishing time-turning twist means that nothing and no one are quite what they seem. Praise for The 7 1⁄2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle: Costa First Novel Award 2018 Winner One of Stylist Magazine's 20 Must-Read Books of 2018 One of Harper's Bazaar's 10 Must-Read Books of 2018 One of Guardian's Best Books of 2018

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A Curious Beginning Deanna Raybourn Cover
July 16, 2019

A Curious Beginning

Deanna Raybourn

Contains excerpt from A Perilous Undertaking, the next Veronica Speedwell Mystery.

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The Yiddish Policemen’s Union Michael Chabon Cover
June 18, 2019

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union

Michael Chabon

For sixty years Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. The Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. But now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end. Homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster. And in the cheap hotel where Landsman has washed up, someone has just committed a murder—right under his nose. When he begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy, word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, and Landsman finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, evil, and salvation that are his heritage. At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.

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Long Way Down Jason Reynolds Cover
May 21, 2019

Long Way Down

Jason Reynolds

“An intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger.” —Booklist (starred review) “Astonishing.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A tour de force.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) A Newbery Honor Book A Coretta Scott King Honor Book A Printz Honor Book A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner for Young Adult Literature Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Winner of the Walter Dean Myers Award An Edgar Award Winner for Best Young Adult Fiction Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner An Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2017 A Vulture Best YA Book of 2017 A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2017 An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds’s electrifying novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. A cannon. A strap. A piece. A biscuit. A burner. A heater. A chopper. A gat. A hammer A tool for RULE Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES. And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if Will gets off that elevator. Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.

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Truly Devious Maureen Johnson Cover
April 16, 2019

Truly Devious

Maureen Johnson

*Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018* New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart. Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.” Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

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Queer Film Club

Where: Hops N Scotch, 1306 Beacon Street
When: Second Thursday of the month, 6:30 – 8 PM
Led by: Becca

This club is for all the film nerds out there looking to meet others in the LGBTQ+ community, make friends, and explore queer cinema. Each meeting we gather at an off-site location to discuss our movie of the month and hang out. Similar to a book club, DVD copies of the films are held at the Circulation Desk at the Brookline Village Library for you to pick up and watch on your own time.


Hedwig and the Angry Inch  Cover
July 11

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Hansel Schmidt, is a young East German boy, born and raised during the Cold War in communist East Berlin. In his 20s, he meets Luther Robinson, an older American soldier, who falls in love with Hansel and the two decide to marry, which will allow Hansel to leave communist East Germany for the West. But, in order to marry, Hansel must undergo a sex-change. However, the procedure does not go perfectly and Hansel becomes not a trans woman, but a 'genderqueer', Hedwig. Back in the USA, on their first wedding anniversary, Luther leaves Hedwig for another man. On that same day the news headlines were of the fall of the Berlin Wall and freedom. Hedwig tours the US with her rock band and relates her life story while following her ex-boyfriend/band-mate Tommy Speck (to whom she gives the stage name "Tommy Gnosis"), who stole her songs and rose to fame.

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Pariah  Cover
August 8

Pariah

A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

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Bound  Cover
September 12

Bound

Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar.

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Una mujer fantástica  Cover
October 10

Una mujer fantástica

Marina's life is thrown into turmoil following the death of her partner. Mourning the loss of the man she loved, she finds herself under intense scrutiny from those with no regard for her privacy.

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Saturday Church  Cover
November 14

Saturday Church

A 14 year old boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process.

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Read & Run Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, the Commons — 361 Washington St.
When: Each Thursday, 6 – 7:30 PM
Led by: Cailey & Hayley

Please note, this book group is over for the year. Stay tuned for an announcement about our next Read & Run Book Group!

Lace up your running shoes and join us at the Library for Read & Run, a book group with a focus on wellness and exercise. The group will meet every Thursday evening for a period of three months, April through June. Each meeting will begin with a book discussion and end with the group going on a run! The culmination of the three month series is the whole group running a 5K.

If you have questions, you may contact Cailey & Hayley by sending us a message.


Eat and Run Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman Cover
June

Eat and Run

Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman

June 6: chapters 1-5, June 13: chapters 6-11, June 20: chapters 12-17, June 27: chapters 18-end

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The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running Adharanand Finn Cover
May

The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running

Adharanand Finn

May 2: chapters 1-6, May 9: chapters 7-11, May 16: chapters 12-16, May 23: chapters 17-21, May 30: chapters 22-end

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Haruki Murakami Cover
April

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Haruki Murakami

April 18: chapters 3-5, April 25: chapter 6-end

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Coolidge Corner Library


Afternoon Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When: Third Monday of the month, 2:15-3:30 PM
Led by: Ryan

Read a variety of fiction and nonfiction in this monthly book group. Snacks are provided. If you have questions you can contact Ryan by sending us a message.


Strangers Drowning Larissa MacFarquhar Cover
August 19

Strangers Drowning

Larissa MacFarquhar

"What does it mean to devote yourself wholly to helping others? In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar seeks out people living lives of extreme ethical commitment and tells their deeply intimate stories; their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their joys and defeats and wrenching dilemmas. Through its sympathetic and beautifully vivid storytelling, Strangers Drowning confronts us with fundamental questions about what it means to be human. In a world of strangers drowning in need, how much should we help, and how much can we help? Is it right to care for strangers even at the expense of those we are closest to? Moving and provocative, Strangers Drowning challenges us to think about what we value most, and why"--

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Let Them Eat Baked Goods

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When
: Second Thursday of the Month,  6:30 – 7:30 PM
Led by
: Jenny

Each month we come together to share baked goods from different cookbooks.  Check out a copy of the cookbook from the library, choose a recipe to make, and then bring your baked goods to the club for sharing.


Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook Martha Stewart Cover
July 11

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Martha Stewart

Every new book from Martha Stewart is cause for celebration, and with Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, she returns to bring the pleasures of baking to readers at every level, from beginner to expert and beyond. A culinary compendium packed with more than 200 foolproof recipes for the best baked goods, Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook takes readers by the hand and guides them through the process of creating an irresistible variety of cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, breads, and much more. This essential addition to every cook’s library is rich with tips, techniques, and the mouthwatering and stunning recipes for which Martha Stewart is so well known. Covering a delectable array of topics from simple to sophisticated, including biscuits, muffins, scones, cookies, layer cakes, specialty cakes, sweet and savory pies and tarts, and pastries and breads, she provides a dazzlingly delicious yet crystal-clear, vividly illustrated repertoire of recipes. There are cakes that are elegant enough for formal occasions, such as showers, weddings, and dinner parties, and basic favorites meant to be enjoyed every day and then passed down through the generations. Every chapter includes indispensable visual equipment glossaries and features vital make-ahead information and storage techniques. Organized for maximum clarity and practicality, the handbook also offers step-by-step how-to photographs that demystify even the most complex and nuanced techniques. These culinary building blocks will turn good bakers into great bakers, and make great bakers even better. Filled with time-honored classics, such as Marble Cake with White-Chocolate Glaze, Apple Pie, Challah, Baba au Rhum, and Croissants, as well as lots of new surprises, Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook will be reached for again and again, no matter the season or occasion. “Here, you will find the recipes and how-tos for the popovers you dream about, and for the simple crumb cake that you always want to whip up on Sunday morning, and for the double-chocolate brownie cookies that will make you a bigger hero with the after-school crowd, and for the citrus bars that you could only find in that little bakery that’s no longer under the same management. . . . Baking offers comfort and joy and something tangible to taste and savor. We all hope that these recipes provide you with years of pleasure.” —Martha Stewart From the Hardcover edition.

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The Model Bakery Cookbook Karen Mitchell, Sarah Mitchell Hansen Cover
August 8

The Model Bakery Cookbook

Karen Mitchell, Sarah Mitchell Hansen

This definitive baking guide is the much-anticipated cookbook from the Model Bakery, a mother-daughter–run baking destination with a huge local following that's been wowing the Wine Country for years. And this book of sensational artisan baked goods makes clear why there are lines out the door! Featuring 75 recipes and 60 photos, it's as luscious to look at as their most-requested breads, classic desserts, and fresh pastries—all arrayed here—are to eat. Pain au Levain, Sticky Buns, Peach Streusel Pie, Ginger Molasses Cookies, and many more glorious recipes make this a mouthwatering read and a reference gem for lovers of bread and pastry, cakes and cookies, and, of course, the Model Bakery!

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How to Bake Everything Mark Bittman Cover
September 12

How to Bake Everything

Mark Bittman

The one book everyone needs for a lifetime of great baking and the only truly comprehensive book on the topic. Classic meets creative in a world-spanning collection of over 2000 recipes and variations that are as simple and straightforward as can be, yet more varied and customizable than ever before.

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The Vanilla Bean Baking Book Sarah Kieffer Cover
October 10

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

Sarah Kieffer

Sarah Kieffer knows that you don t have to be a professional baker in order to bake up delicious treats. Though she started out baking professionally in coffee shops and bakeries, preparing baked goods at home for family and friends is what she loves best and home-baked treats can be part of your everyday, too. In The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, she shares 100 delicious tried-and-true recipes, ranging from everyday favorites like Chocolate Chip Cookies and Blueberry Muffins to re-invented classics, like Pear-Apple Hard Cider Pie and Vanilla Cupcakes with Brown Butter Buttercream. Sarah simplifies the processes behind seemingly complicated recipes, so baking up a beautiful Braided Chocolate Swirl Bread for a cozy Sunday breakfast or a batch of decadent Triple Chocolate Cupcakes for a weeknight celebration can become a part of your everyday baking routine. Filled with charming storytelling, dreamy photos, and the tips and tricks you need to build the ultimate baker s pantry, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is filled with recipes for irresistible treats that will delight and inspire."

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Midday Monday Mystery

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When
: Second Monday of the month,  12:30 – 1:30 PM
Led by
: Amanda

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library. Please note, this group is on a summer hiatus. Meetings will resume in the Fall.


Still Midnight Denise Mina Cover
June 10

Still Midnight

Denise Mina

Alex Morrow is not new to the police force-or to crime-but there is nothing familiar about the call she has just received. On a still night in a quiet suburb of Glasgow, Scotland, three armed men have slipped from a van into a house, demanding a man who is not, and has never been, inside the front door. In the confusion that ensues, one family member is shot and another kidnapped, the assailants demanding an impossible ransom. Is this the amateur crime gone horribly wrong that it seems, or something much more unexpected? As Alex falls further into the most challenging case of her career, Denise Mina proves why "if you don't read crime novels, Mina is your reason to change" (Rocky Mountain News).

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Read and Meet Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When
: Third Thursday of the month,  7 – 8 PM
Led by
: Amanda

This program is for people in their twenties and thirties. After a one-hour discussion (snacks provided), the group moves to a local eatery to continue socializing.


Dear America Jose Antonio Vargas Cover
June 20

Dear America

Jose Antonio Vargas

“This riveting, courageous memoir ought to be mandatory reading for every American.” —Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow “l cried reading this book, realizing more fully what my parents endured.” —Amy Tan, New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and Where the Past Begins “This book couldn’t be more timely and more necessary.” —Dave Eggers, New York Times bestselling author of What Is the What and The Monk of Mokha Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” tackles one of the defining issues of our time in this explosive and deeply personal call to arms. “This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home. After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.” —Jose Antonio Vargas, from Dear America

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Exit West Mohsin Hamid Cover
July 18

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

"In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. An epic compressed into a slender page-turner, Exit West is both completely of our time and for all time."--

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Ghost World Daniel Clowes Cover
August 15

Ghost World

Daniel Clowes

Ghost World is the story of Enid and Rebecca, teenage friends facing the unwelcome prospect of adulthood, and the uncertain future of their complicated relationship. Clowes conjures a balanced semblance, both tender and objective, of their fragile existence, capturing the mundane thrills and hourly tragedies of a waning adolescence, as he follows a tenuous narrative thread through the fragmented lives of these two fully realised young women.

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Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Mary Roach Cover
September 19

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Mary Roach

A New York Times Bestseller “Rich in dexterous innuendo, laugh-out-loud humor and illuminating fact. It’s compulsively readable.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review In ?Bonk, ?the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

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Homegoing Yaa Gyasi Cover
October 17

Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi

Winner of the NBCC's John Leonard First Book Prize A New York Times 2016 Notable Book One of Oprah’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016 NPR's Debut Novel of the Year One of Buzzfeed's Best Fiction Books Of 2016 One of Time's Top 10 Novels of 2016 “Homegoing is an inspiration.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day. Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

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Furiously Happy Jenny Lawson Cover
November 21

Furiously Happy

Jenny Lawson

For fans of David Sedaris, Tina Fey and Caitlin Moran comes the new book from Jenny Lawson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Let's Pretend This Never Happened... In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson regaled readers with uproarious stories of her bizarre childhood. In her new book, Furiously Happy, she explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best. As Jenny says: "You can't experience pain without also experiencing the baffling and ridiculous moments of being fiercely, unapologetically, intensely and (above all) furiously happy." It's a philosophy that has - quite literally - saved her life. Jenny's first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. Furiously Happy is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. And who doesn't need a bit more of that?

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One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter Scaachi Koul Cover
December 19

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

Scaachi Koul

**National Bestseller **A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice **A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2017 **A National Post Best Book of 2017 **A CBC Best Book of 2017 **An Amazon Best Book of 2017 **A Popsugar Best Book of 2017 **A Kobo Best Book of 2017 **An NPR Best Book of 2017 **A Chatelaine Best Book of 2017 **A Buzzfeed Best Book of 2017 **A Book Riot Best Book of 2017 **A Chicago Review of Books Best Book of 2017 **A Paste Best Book of 2017 **An Amazon Best Humour and Entertainment Book of 2017 **Finalist for the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize **Finalist for the 2018 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour **Nominated for the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award For readers of Mindy Kaling, Jenny Lawson and Roxane Gay, a debut collection of fierce and funny essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, "a land of ice and casual racism," by the irreverent, hilarious cultural observer and incomparable rising star, Scaachi Koul. In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of colour, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father’s creeping mortality—all as she tries to find her feet in the world. With a clear eye and biting wit, Scaachi Koul explores the absurdity of a life steeped in misery. And through these intimate, wise and laugh-out-loud funny dispatches, a portrait of a bright new literary voice emerges.

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Putterham Library


Council on Aging Book Group at Putterham

Where: Putterham Library Meeting Room – 959 W. Roxbury Pkwy.
When: Third Monday of the month, 2 – 3 PM. There will be no sessions in July and August 2019.
Led by: Charlotte & Batia


Rules of Civility Amor Towles Cover
MARCH 18, 2019

Rules of Civility

Amor Towles

A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a Greenwich Village jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults witty Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well and a single-minded widow. A first novel. Reprint.

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Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor Yossi Klein Halevi Cover
APRIL 22, 2019

Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

Yossi Klein Halevi

Attempting to break the agonizing impasse between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli commentator and award-winning author of Like Dreamers directly addresses his Palestinian neighbors in this taut and provocative book, empathizing with Palestinian suffering and longing for reconciliation as he explores how the conflict looks through Israeli eyes. I call you "neighbor" because I don’t know your name, or anything personal about you. Given our circumstances, "neighbor" might be too casual a word to describe our relationship. We are intruders into each other’s dream, violators of each other’s sense of home. We are incarnations of each other’s worst historical nightmares. Neighbors? Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor is one Israeli’s powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians and into the hearts of "the enemy." In a series of letters, Yossi Klein Halevi explains what motivated him to leave his native New York in his twenties and move to Israel to participate in the drama of the renewal of a Jewish homeland, which he is committed to see succeed as a morally responsible, democratic state in the Middle East. This is the first attempt by an Israeli author to directly address his Palestinian neighbors and describe how the conflict appears through Israeli eyes. Halevi untangles the ideological and emotional knot that has defined the conflict for nearly a century. In lyrical, evocative language, he unravels the complex strands of faith, pride, anger and anguish he feels as a Jew living in Israel, using history and personal experience as his guide. Halevi’s letters speak not only to his Palestinian neighbor, but to all concerned global citizens, helping us understand the painful choices confronting Israelis and Palestinians that will ultimately help determine the fate of the region.

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The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story Hyeonseo Lee Cover
MAY 20, 2019

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story

Hyeonseo Lee

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.

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Educated Tara Westover Cover
JUNE 17, 2019

Educated

Tara Westover

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • WASHINGTON POST AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S 2018 SUMMER READING • A NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK • #1 LIBRARYREADS FAVORITE OF FAVORITES PICK • ONE OF O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE’S 15 FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2018 • ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF 2018 • ONE OF PUBLISHERS WEEKLY’S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR • PBS NEWSHOUR/NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE MONTH • LONGLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University “Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Praise for Educated “Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review “A heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life.”—USA Today “A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Heart-wrenching . . . a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives.”—Amy Chua, The New York Times Book Review

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Mahjong Meetup

Where: Putterham Library Meeting Room – 959 W. Roxbury Pkwy.
When: Thursdays at 12:30 PM
Led by: Helen


Join us for a friendly game of Mahjong. Beginners welcome. No registration necessary, drop-in any week. Co-sponsored by the Brookline Council on Aging.

Brookline Community Book Groups

The community hosts a variety of book groups outside of the library, including: