Book Groups

Library staff members lead a variety of book discussion groups for adults and teens, and we are always excited to welcome new participants. Explore the descriptions below to find out more about each group. 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 location 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, we urge you to 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, 7:00-8:30 PM
Led by: Will H.

If you have questions you can contact Will by sending us a message.


The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Cover
March 11, 2019

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

A special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho. Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations. Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe Cover
April 1, 2019

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe

The contemporary African writer's classic novel depicting the destruction of traditional tribal life by the white man

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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 W.

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, W. S. Merwin

Jun 6: W. S. Merwin

July 11, 2019, James Wright

Jul 11: James Wright

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
When: Second Wednesday of the month, 7:00 PM
Led by: Becca B.


Monster: A Graphic Novel Walter Dean Myers, Guy A. Sims Cover
March 13

Monster: A Graphic Novel

Walter Dean Myers, Guy A. Sims

A stunning black-and-white graphic novel adaptation of Walter Dean Myers's Michael L. Printz Award winner and New York Times bestseller Monster, adapted by Guy Sims and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story about Steve Harmon, a teenager awaiting trial for a murder and robbery. As Steve acclimates to juvenile detention and goes to trial, he envisions the ordeal as a movie. Monster was the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award recipient, an ALA Best Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor selection, and a National Book Award finalist. Now Monster has been adapted into a graphic novel by Guy Sims, with stunning black-and-white art from Dawud Anyabwile, Guy's brother. Fans of Monster and of the work of Walter Dean Myers—and even kids who think they don't like to read—will devour this graphic adaptation.

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Incognegro Mat Johnson Cover
March 13

Incognegro

Mat Johnson

This tenth anniversary edition of the acclaimed and fearless graphic novel features enhanced toned art, an afterword by Mat Johnson, character sketches, and other additional material. In the early 20th Century, when lynchings were commonplace throughout the American South, a few courageous reporters from the North risked their lives to expose these atrocities. They were African-American men who, due to their light skin color, could "pass" among the white folks. They called this dangerous assignment going "incognegro." Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald, is sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi. With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay "incognegro" long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother -- and himself. Suspenseful, unsettling and relevant, Incognegro is a tense graphic novel of shifting identities, forbidden passions, and secrets that run far deeper than skin color.

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Spinning Tillie Walden Cover
April 10

Spinning

Tillie Walden

Ignatz Award winner Tillie Walden’s Spinning is a powerful graphic memoir that captures what it’s like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know. It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark. Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again. She was good. She won. And she hated it. For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. Skating was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she’d outgrown her passion—and she finally needed to find her own voice.

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Brazen Pnlope Bagieu Cover
April 10

Brazen

Pnlope Bagieu

With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Penelope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

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All The Answers Michael Kupperman Cover
May 8

All The Answers

Michael Kupperman

In this moving graphic memoir, Eisner Award-winning writer and artist Michael Kupperman traces the life of his reclusive father—the once-world-famous Joel Kupperman, Quiz Kid. That his father is slipping into dementia—seems to embrace it, really—means that the past he would never talk about might be erased forever. Joel Kupperman became one of the most famous children in America during World War II as one of the young geniuses on the series Quiz Kids. With the uncanny ability to perform complex math problems in his head, Joel endeared himself to audiences across the country and became a national obsession. Following a childhood spent in the public eye, only to then fall victim to the same public’s derision, Joel deliberately spent the remainder of his life removed from the world at large. With wit and heart, Michael Kupperman presents a fascinating account of mid-century radio and early television history, the pro-Jewish propaganda entertainment used to counteract anti-Semitism, and the early age of modern celebrity culture. All the Answers is both a powerful father-son story and an engaging portrayal of what identity came to mean at this turning point in American history, and shows how the biggest stages in the world can overcome even the greatest of players.

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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 U.

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.


Who Is Vera Kelly? Rosalie Knecht Cover
March 19

Who Is Vera Kelly?

Rosalie Knecht

"Gripping, subtle, magnificently written." —The New York Times Book Review "A delectable page-turner . . . Vera Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon—one we hope sticks around long beyond this snappy, intimate debut." —Entertainment Weekly New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself. An exhilarating page-turner and perceptive coming-of-age story, Who Is Vera Kelly? introduces an original, wry, and whip-smart female spy for the twenty-first century.

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Truly Devious Maureen Johnson Cover
April 16

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.

Read More View in Catalog
Who Is Vera Kelly? Rosalie Knecht Cover
March 19, 2019

Who Is Vera Kelly?

Rosalie Knecht

"Gripping, subtle, magnificently written." —The New York Times Book Review "A delectable page-turner . . . Vera Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon—one we hope sticks around long beyond this snappy, intimate debut." —Entertainment Weekly New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself. An exhilarating page-turner and perceptive coming-of-age story, Who Is Vera Kelly? introduces an original, wry, and whip-smart female spy for the twenty-first century.

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Arthur & George Julian Barnes Cover
January 15, 2019

Arthur & George

Julian Barnes

Brilliantly imagined and irresistibly readable, Arthur & George is a major new novel from Julian Barnes, a wonderful combination of playfulness, pathos and wisdom. Searching for clues, no one would ever guess that the lives of Arthur and George might intersect. Growing up in shabby-genteel nineteenth-century Edinburgh, Arthur is saddled with a dad who is a disgrace and a mum he wishes to protect, and is propelled into a life of action. To his astonishment, his career as a self-made man of letters brings him riches and fame and, in the world at large, he becomes the perfect picture of the honourable English gentlemen. George is irredeemably an outsider, and has no hope of becoming such a picture. Though he’s dogged and logical, a vicar’s son from rural Staffordshire, he is set apart, and he and his family are targeted in his boyhood by a poison-pen campaign. George finds safe harbour in the reliability of rules, and grows up to become a solicitor, putting his faith in the insulating value of British justice. Then crisis upsets the uneasy equilibrium of both men’s lives. Arthur is knocked for a loop by guilt and other dishonourable emotions. George is put to the sorest test, accused of a horrible crime. And from that point on their lives weave together in the most profound and surprising way, as each man becomes the other’s salvation. Arthur & George is a masterful novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race. Most of all, it’s a profound and witty meditation on the fateful differences between what we believe, what we know and what we can prove.

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Magpie Murders Anthony Horowitz Cover
February 19, 2019

Magpie Murders

Anthony Horowitz

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job. Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder. Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.

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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 B.


An Untamed State Roxane Gay Cover
January 28

An Untamed State

Roxane Gay

Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear, a book about possibilities mixed with horror and despair. It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart, and while you find yourself shocked, amazed, devastated, you also dare to hope for the best, for all involved.” Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and The Dew Breaker Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath. Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents. An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent. From the astonishing first line to the final scene, An Untamed State is magical and dangerous. I could not put it down. Pay attention to Roxane Gay; she's here to stay.” Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta [Haiti’s] better scribes, among them Edwidge Danticat, Franketienne, Madison Smartt Bell, Lyonel Trouillot, and Marie Vieux Chavet, have produced some of the best literature in the world. . . . Add to their ranks Roxane Gay, a bright and shining star.” Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil’s Territory, on Ayiti

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Tell the Wolves I’m Home Carol Rifka Brunt Cover
February 25

Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Carol Rifka Brunt

In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them. NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED A FAVORITE READ BY GILLIAN FLYNN • WINNER OF THE ALEX AWARD 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart. At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most. An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again. Praise for Tell the Wolves I’m Home “A dazzling debut novel.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “This compassionate and vital novel will rivet readers until the very end. . . . The narrative is as tender and raw as an exposed nerve, pulsing with the sharpest agonies and ecstasies of the human condition.”—BookPage “Tremendously moving.”—The Wall Street Journal “Transcendent . . . Peopled by characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned, Brunt’s novel is a beautifully bittersweet mixture of heartbreak and hope.”—Booklist (starred review) “Carol Rifka Brunt establishes herself as an emerging author to watch.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune “Touching and ultimately hopeful.”—People Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman Cover
March 18

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys. This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real...

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler Cover
April 15

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Joy Fowler

Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary's trouble. So now she's telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it's a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice. It's funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you're telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern - it's pretty hard to resist - don't worry. One of the few studies Rosemary doesn't quote says that spoilers actually enhance reading.

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The Mothers Brit Bennett Cover
May 20

The Mothers

Brit Bennett

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance - and the subsequent cover-up - will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth

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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 PM
Led by
: Amanda T.

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.

If you have any questions, please contact Amanda at (617)730-2672 or by sending us a message.


Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life Kate McDermott Cover
February 14

Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life

Kate McDermott

One of 2016’s BEST COOKBOOKS*, THE Pie-Baking Bible**, an INSTANT CLASSIC***, with raves from NPR, Oprah.com, USA Today, Bon Appetit, Cosmopolitan, Outlander Kitchen, and more “A new baking bible.” (*Wall Street Journal) “If there’s such a thing as a pie guru, it’s Kate McDermott.” (*Sunset Magazine) “The next best thing to taking one of her classes.”(*The Washington Post) “Gorgeous…a dream of a cookbook.” (*Eat Your Books) “Heartwarming and funny…an instructive debut.” (*Library Journal) “Utterly exquisite, will steal your heart. RUN, don’t walk, to order your copy. (**The Blender Girl) “Not just on crusts and fillings but life itself. A keeper.” (***Atlanta Journal-Constitution) "Whether you’re a seasoned pie hand or a beginner with more enthusiasm than skill, Kate’s got you covered.” (Dorie Greenspan) “One of the best books written on the topic.” (Publishers Weekly) Kate McDermott, who learned to make pie from her Iowa grandmother, has taught the time-honored craft of pie-making to thousands of people. Here she shares her secrets to great crusts (including gluten-free options), fabulous fillings, and to living a good life. This is the only PIE cookbook you need.

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Baking Illustrated Cook's Illustrated Magazine Cover
March 14

Baking Illustrated

Cook's Illustrated Magazine

A comprehensive baking reference offers 350 recipes for baking pies, breads, cookies, cakes, pastry, crisps, cobblers, and tarts.

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Baking with Mary Berry Mary Berry Cover
April 11

Baking with Mary Berry

Mary Berry

A sweet and savory collection of more than 100 foolproof recipes from the reigning "Queen of Baking" Mary Berry, who has made her way into American homes through ABC's primetime series, The Great Holiday Baking Show, and the PBS series, The Great British Baking Show. Baking with Mary Berry draws on Mary's more than 60 years in the kitchen, with tips and step-by-step instructions for bakers just starting out and full-color photographs of finished dishes throughout. The recipes follow Mary's prescription for dishes that are no fuss, practical, and foolproof--from breakfast goods to cookies, cakes, pastries, and pies, to special occasion desserts such as cheesecake and soufflés, to British favorites that will inspire. Whether you're tempted by Mary's Heavenly Chocolate Cake and Best-Ever Brownies, intrigued by her Mincemeat and Almond Tart or Magic Lemon Pudding, or inspired by her Rich Fruit Christmas Cake and Ultimate Chocolate Roulade, the straightforward yet special recipes in Baking with Mary Berry will prove, as one reviewer has said of her recipes, "if you can read, you can cook."

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American Cookie Anne Byrn Cover
May 9

American Cookie

Anne Byrn

From the beloved author of the bestselling Cake Mix Doctor series and American Cake comes a delicious tour of America’s favorite treats, cookies, and candies. Each of America’s little bites—cookies, candies, wafers, brittles—tells a big story, and each speaks volumes about what was going on in America when the recipes were created. In American Cookie, the New York Times bestselling author and Cake Mix Doctor Anne Byrn takes you on a journey through America’s baking history. And just like she did in American Cake, she provides an incredibly detailed historical background alongside each recipe. Because the little bites we love are more than just baked goods—they’re representations of different times in our history. Early colonists brought sugar cookies, Italian fig cookies, African benne wafers, and German gingerbread cookies. Each of the 100 recipes, from Katharine Hepburn Brownies and Democratic Tea Cakes to saltwater taffy and peanut brittle, comes with a lesson that’s both informative and enchanting.

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Midday Monday Mystery

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

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library.


Truly Devious Maureen Johnson Cover
April 8

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.

Read More View in Catalog
The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler Cover
January 14

The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep is Raymond Chandler's most famous and popular novel of all Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out - and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse . . . 'Anything Chandler writes about grips the mind from the first sentence' Daily Telegraph 'One of the greatest crime writers, who set standards others still try to attain' Sunday Times 'Chandler is an original stylist, creator of a character as immortal as Sherlock Holmes' Anthony Burgess Best-known as the creator of the original private eye, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and died in 1959. Many of his books have been adapted for the screen, and he is widely regarded as one of the very greatest writers of detective fiction. His books include The Big Sleep, The Little Sister, Farewell, My Lovely, The Long Good-bye, The Lady in the Lake, Playback, Killer in the Rain, The High Window and Trouble is My Business.

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The Passenger Lisa Lutz Cover
February 11

The Passenger

Lisa Lutz

“A dead-serious thriller (with a funny bone)” (The New York Times Book Review), from the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, comes the story of a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past. Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time. She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born. It’s almost impossible to live off the grid in the twenty-first century, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret. From heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, we are left to wonder…can she possibly outrun her past? The Passenger’s white-knuckled plot and unforeseeable twists make one thing for certain: the ride will leave you breathless. “When the answers finally come, they are juicy, complex, and unexpected. The satisfying conclusion will leave readers rethinking everything and immediately turning back to the first page to start again. Psychological suspense lovers will tear through this thriller” (Library Journal, starred review).

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Who Is Vera Kelly? Rosalie Knecht Cover
March 11

Who Is Vera Kelly?

Rosalie Knecht

"Gripping, subtle, magnificently written." —The New York Times Book Review "A delectable page-turner . . . Vera Kelly introduces a fascinating new spy to literature’s mystery canon—one we hope sticks around long beyond this snappy, intimate debut." —Entertainment Weekly New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself. An exhilarating page-turner and perceptive coming-of-age story, Who Is Vera Kelly? introduces an original, wry, and whip-smart female spy for the twenty-first century.

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Read and Meet Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When
: Third Thursday of the month,  7:00 PM
Led by
: Lily W.

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. You may contact Lily by by sending us a message.


Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (A Memoir) Maya Van Wagenen Cover
March 21

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (A Memoir)

Maya Van Wagenen

New York Times Bestseller Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek is a touchingly honest, candidly hysterical memoir from breakout teen author Maya Van Wagenen. 'School is the armpit of life . . . and my school is no exception' Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at 'pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren't paid to be here,' Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular? The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise-meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humour and grace, Maya's journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence. 'The real deal. . . A teenage John Green for the next generation. Stunning.' Margaret Stohl, bestselling co-author of the bestselling Beautiful Creatures series 'Popular is wonderful. It is charming, touching, entertaining - and brought back a lot of memories about my own high school anxieties. I will be saving my copy to give to my daughter when she is a little older' Jo Elvin, Glamour 'I was inspired by [Maya's] journey and made a point of saving a copy of 'Popular' for my sister, who starts middle school this fall. Maybe if I had read it when I was her age, it could have saved me from a world of hurt, or at least put that world in perspective.' Maude Apatow, New York Times Book Review 'Made me smile, giggle and question what my idea of popularity really is . . A must read this summer' Guardian Books Blog 'Honest, funny, and thought-provoking.' Gretchen Rubin, #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project 'Her year-long experiment in popularity is timeless; the intelligent and humane way she gets to the heart of the matter is uniquely her. Funny, determined, and wry, Van Wagenan has written a wise, heartfelt guide for other kids eager to keep up.' Rachel Hartman, NYT bestselling author of Seraphina 'A talented writer, she's funny, thoughtful and self-effacing . . . Teens will readily identify with her' Kirkus About the author: Maya Van Wagenen is fifteen years old. When she was eleven, her family moved to Brownsville, Texas, the setting of Popular. When not hunched over a desktop writing, Maya enjoys reading, British Television, and chocolate. She now lives with her parents and two siblings in a rural Georgia. She is a sophomore in high school but still shares a room with her sixth grade brother. Remarkably they have not yet killed each other.

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Trail of Lightning Rebecca Roanhorse Cover
April 18

Trail of Lightning

Rebecca Roanhorse

“Someone please cancel Supernatural already and give us at least five seasons of this badass indigenous monster-hunter and her silver-tongued sidekick.” —The New York Times “An excitingly novel tale.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and Midnight Crossroads series “Fun, terrifying, hilarious, and brilliant.” —Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Star Wars: Last Shot “[C]rafts a powerful and fiercely personal journey through a compelling postapocalyptic landscape.” —Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives and Black Wolves While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine. Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology. As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive. Welcome to the Sixth World.

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The Hate U Give Angie Thomas Cover
May 16

The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas

8 starred reviews ∙ William C. Morris Award Winner ∙ National Book Award Longlist ∙ Printz Honor Book ∙ Coretta Scott King Honor Book ∙ #1 New York Times Bestseller! "Absolutely riveting!" —Jason Reynolds "Stunning." —John Green "This story is necessary. This story is important." —Kirkus (starred review) "Heartbreakingly topical." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A marvel of verisimilitude." —Booklist (starred review) "A powerful, in-your-face novel." —Horn Book (starred review) Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. And don't miss On the Come Up, Angie Thomas's powerful follow-up to The Hate U Give.

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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, 2:00 – 3:00 PM. There will be no sessions in July 2018, and August 2018.
Led by: Charlotte M. & Batia B.


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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Brookline Community Book Groups

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