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 Harlan

If you have questions you can contact Will by email.


The Glass Universe Dava Sobel Cover
January 7, 2019

The Glass Universe

Dava Sobel

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017 Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, The Economist, Smithsonian, Nature, and NPR's Science Friday Nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award "A joy to read." --The Wall Street Journal In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or "human computers," to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges--Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The "glass universe" of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades--through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography--enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard--and Harvard's first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.

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Exit West Mohsin Hamid Cover
February 4, 2019

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, and are soon cloistered in a 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 the violence escalates, 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. Exit West follows the couple as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are.

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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 Weitzman

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.


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 6, 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 Bastron


The Complete Maus Art Spiegelman Cover
November 14

The Complete Maus

Art Spiegelman

In a world where Jews are mice, Germans are Cats and the Polish are pigs, a son documents his parents' experience during the Holocaust and his relationship with his father.

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American Born Chinese Gene Luen Yang Cover
November 14

American Born Chinese

Gene Luen Yang

Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Presented in comic book format.

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Habibi Craig Thompson Cover
December 12

Habibi

Craig Thompson

From the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets (“A triumph for the genre.”—Library Journal), a highly anticipated new graphic novel. Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection. At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling. From the Hardcover edition.

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The Best We Could Do Thi Bui Cover
January 9

The Best We Could Do

Thi Bui

National bestseller 2017 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Finalist ABA Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2017 Selection Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection ALA 2018 Notable Books Selection An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui. This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home. In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.

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Poppies of Iraq Brigitte Findakly, Lewis Trondheim Cover
January 9

Poppies of Iraq

Brigitte Findakly, Lewis Trondheim

A personal account of an Iraqi childhood Poppies of Iraq is Brigitte Findakly’s nuanced tender chronicle of her relationship with her homeland Iraq, co-written and drawn by her husband, the acclaimed cartoonist Lewis Trondheim. In spare and elegant detail, they share memories of her middle class childhood touching on cultural practices, the education system, Saddam Hussein’s state control, and her family’s history as Orthodox Christians in the arab world. Poppies of Iraq is intimate and wide-ranging; the story of how one can become separated from one’s homeland and still feel intimately connected yet ultimately estranged. Signs of an oppressive regime permeate a seemingly normal life: magazines arrive edited by customs; the color red is banned after the execution of General Kassim; Baathist militiamen are publicly hanged and school kids are bussed past them to bear witness. As conditions in Mosul worsen over her childhood, Brigitte’s father is always hopeful that life in Iraq will return to being secular and prosperous. The family eventually feels compelled to move to Paris, however, where Brigitte finds herself not quite belonging to either culture. Trondheim brings to life Findakly’s memories to create a poignant family portrait that covers loss, tragedy, love, and the loneliness of exile.

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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
Kerry O’Donnell

If you have questions, contact Kerry O’Donnell at (617) 730-2369 or via email.

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


Trust No One Paul Cleave Cover
October 16, 2018

Trust No One

Paul Cleave

"Jerry Grey is known to most of the world by his crime writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter--a name that has been keeping readers at the edge of their seats for more than a decade. Recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's at the age of forty-nine, Jerry's crime writing days are coming to an end. His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders committed by bad men, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice. As his dementia begins to break down the wall between his life and the lives of the characters he has created, Jerry confesses his worst secret: the stories are real. He knows this because he committed the crimes"--

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“A” is for Alibi Sue Grafton Cover
November 20, 2018

“A” is for Alibi

Sue Grafton

A IS FOR AVENGER A tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she's got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes. A IS FOR ACCUSED That's why she draws desperate clients like Nikki Fife. Eight years ago, she was convicted of killing her philandering husband. Now she's out on parole and needs Kinsey's help to find the real killer. But after all this time, clearing Nikki's bad name won't be easy. A IS FOR ALIBI If there's one thing that makes Kinsey Millhone feel alive, it's playing on the edge. When her investigation turns up a second corpse, more suspects, and a new reason to kill, Kinsey discovers that the edge is closer—and sharper—than she imagined.

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Killing Floor Lee Child Cover
December 18, 2018

Killing Floor

Lee Child

Ex-MP Jack Reacher goes into action to find his brother's killers after a series of brutal crimes terrorize tiny Margrave, Georgia, only to uncover the dark and deadly conspiracy concealed behind the town's peaceful facade.

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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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Murder at the Brightwell Ashley Weaver Cover
March 19, 2019

Murder at the Brightwell

Ashley Weaver

Shortlisted for the Edgar Awards Ashley Weaver’s debut mystery, Murder at the Brightwell, is a delicious, stylish novel in which murder invades British polite society and romance springs in unexpected places. Amory Ames, a wealthy young woman questioning her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo, is looking for a change. She accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will not only test her friendship with Gil, but also will upset the status quo with her husband.

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Coolidge Corner Library


Afternoon Book Group

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


What Belongs to You Garth Greenwell Cover
November 19

What Belongs to You

Garth Greenwell

On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitko’s own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want. What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its consequences. With lyric intensity and startling eroticism, Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love. A conversation between Garth Greenwell and Hanya Yanagihara is included inside the e-book edition.

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Behold the Dreamers Imbolo Mbue Cover
October 17

Behold the Dreamers

Imbolo Mbue

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son.Working as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers, he displays the punctuality, discretion, and loyalty that Edwards demands. Neni's temporary work at the Edwardses' summer home in the Hamptons means a brighter future-- until Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers' façades. As the financial world threatens to collapse, the Jongas become desperate. And as their marriage threatens to fall apart, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

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Song of a Captive Bird Jasmin Darznik Cover
September 17

Song of a Captive Bird

Jasmin Darznik

A spellbinding debut novel about the trailblazing Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who defied society's expectations to find her voice and her destiny "A complex and beautiful rendering of [a] vanished country and its scattered people; a reminder of the power and purpose of art; and an ode to female creativity under a patriarchy that repeatedly tries to snuff it out"--The New York Times Book Review All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest. She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel--gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother's walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over café glacé. During the summer of 1950, Forugh's passion for poetry takes flight--and tradition seeks to clip her wings. Forced into a suffocating marriage, Forugh runs away and falls into an affair that fuels her desire to write and to achieve freedom and independence. Forugh's poems are considered both scandalous and brilliant; she is heralded by some as a national treasure, vilified by others as a demon influenced by the West. She perseveres, finding love with a notorious filmmaker and living by her own rules--at enormous cost. But the power of her writing only grows stronger amid the upheaval of the Iranian revolution. Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad's verse, letters, films, and interviews--and including original translations of her poems--this haunting novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran--and who continues to inspire generations of women around the world. Praise for Song of a Captive Bird "If poetry is emotion rendered incendiary, then Forugh Farrokhzad was made of fire. . . . Song of a Captive Bird is an unsparing account of the necessity and consequences of speaking out."--BookPage "Sometimes, simply choosing whom to love is a political act."--Vogue ("February's Best Books") "With rich empathy and gorgeous prose, Jasmin Darznik breathes life into one of Iran's most iconic women, and the result is a beautiful novel that is as compelling as it is necessary."--Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This "A thrilling and provocative portrait of a powerful woman set against a sweeping panorama of Iranian history."--Kirkus Reviews

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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 Troha

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 the Amanda Troha at (617)730-2672 or atroha@minlib.net.


The Fearless Baker Erin Jeanne McDowell Cover
January 10, 2019

The Fearless Baker

Erin Jeanne McDowell

Top food stylist and Food52’s popular baking columnist shares her baking secrets. When people see Erin McDowell frost a perfect layer cake, weave a lattice pie crust, or pull a rich loaf of brioche from the oven, they often act as though she’s performed culinary magic. “I’m not a baker,” they tell her. But in fact, expert baking is not at all unattainable, nor is it as inflexible as most people assume. The key to freedom is to understand the principles behind how ingredients interact and how classic methods work. Once these concepts are mastered, favorite recipes can be altered and personalized almost endlessly. With the assurance born out of years of experience, McDowell shares insider tips and techniques that make desserts taste as good as they look. With recipes from flourless cocoa cookies and strawberry-filled popovers (easy), through apple cider pie and black-bottom crème brûlée (medium), to a statuesque layer cake crowned with caramelized popcorn (difficult), and “Why It Works,” “Pro Tip,” and make-ahead sidebars with each recipe, this exciting, carefully curated collection will appeal to beginning and experienced bakers alike.

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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 Troha

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library.


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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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 Weitzman

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.


Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen Mary Norris Cover
December 20

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

Mary Norris

“Hilarious. . . . This book charmed my socks off.” —Patricia O’Conner, New York Times Book Review Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice. Between You & Me features Norris's laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage—comma faults, danglers, "who" vs. "whom," "that" vs. "which," compound words, gender-neutral language—and her clear explanations of how to handle them. Down-to-earth and always open-minded, she draws on examples from Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and the Lord's Prayer, as well as from The Honeymooners, The Simpsons, David Foster Wallace, and Gillian Flynn. She takes us to see a copy of Noah Webster's groundbreaking Blue-Back Speller, on a quest to find out who put the hyphen in Moby-Dick, on a pilgrimage to the world's only pencil-sharpener museum, and inside the hallowed halls of The New Yorker and her work with such celebrated writers as Pauline Kael, Philip Roth, and George Saunders. Readers—and writers—will find in Norris neither a scold nor a softie but a wise and witty new friend in love with language and alive to the glories of its use in America, even in the age of autocorrect and spell-check. As Norris writes, "The dictionary is a wonderful thing, but you can't let it push you around."

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Agnes and the Hitman Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer Cover
January 17

Agnes and the Hitman

Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer

Take one food writer named Cranky Agnes, add a hitman named Shane, mix them together with a Southern mob wedding, a missing necklace, two annoyed flamingos, and a dog named Rhett and you've got a recipe for a sexy, hilarious novel about the disastrous side of true love... Agnes Crandall's life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she's staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window. His name is Shane, no last name, just Shane, and he has his own problems: he's got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect some little kid named Agnes. When he finds out that Agnes isn't so little, his uncle has forgotten to mention a missing five million bucks he might have lost in Agnes's house, and his last hit was a miss, Shane's life isn't looking so good, either. Then a bunch of lowlifes come looking for the money, a string of hit men show up for Agnes, and some wedding guests gather with intent to throw more than rice. Agnes and Shane have their hands full with greed, florists, treachery, flamingos, mayhem, mothers of the bride, and—most dangerous of all—each other. Agnes and the Hitman is the perfect combination of sugar and spice, sweet and salty—a novel of delicious proportions.

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The Language of Food Dan Jurafsky Cover
February 21

The Language of Food

Dan Jurafsky

A linguist delves into the world of food, describing the true meanings of descriptive words like “rich” and “crispy” when they appear on a menu and tracing how traditional and favorite dishes spread and changed through colonial shipping routes. 25,000 first printing.

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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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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 Millman & Batia Bloomenthal


The Radium Girls Kate Moore Cover
DECEMBER 17, 2018

The Radium Girls

Kate Moore

A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller! "the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War. Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill. But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come. Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

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The Kill Artist Daniel Silva Cover
JANUARY 14, 2019

The Kill Artist

Daniel Silva

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of House of Spies comes the first novel in the thrilling series featuring legendary assassin Gabriel Allon. Immersed in the quiet, meticulous life of an art restorer, former Israeli intelligence operative Gabriel Allon keeps his past well behind him. But now he is being called back into the game—and teamed with an agent who hides behind her own mask...as a beautiful fashion model. Their target: a cunning terrorist on one last killing spree, a Palestinian zealot who played a dark part in Gabriel’s past. And what begins as a manhunt turns into a globe-spanning duel fueled by both political intrigue and deep personal passions...

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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie Ayana Mathis Cover
FEBRUARY 11, 2019

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Ayana Mathis

The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family. In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream. This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

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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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The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story Hyeonseo Lee Cover
APRIL 22, 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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Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor Yossi Klein Halevi Cover
MAY 20, 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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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: