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Book & Social Groups

Library staff members lead a variety of book discussion and social groups — we are always excited to welcome new participants. Explore the descriptions below to find out more about each group. Have a question for a book group leader? Send us a message!

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

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

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

Brookline Village Library


A Taste of Poetry

Where: Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the A Taste of Poetry Zoom Meeting
When: First Thursday of the month, 11 AM
Led by: Lily

Bring your lunch and an appetite for poetry. Each month we look at half a dozen poems by a well-known poet. We provide copies of the poems – no need to read anything in advance – and lead a discussion after reading them. Request a copy of this month’s poems through our contact form.

January 6: W. H. Auden

February 3: Bob Kaufman

March 3: Danielle Legros Georges

April 7: Poetry Month Medley

May 5: Timothy Liu

June 2: Randall Mann

July 7: Kevin Young

August 4: Ruth Stone

September 1: Nâzım Hikmet

October 6: Natalie Diaz

November 3: Dylan Thomas

December 1: Anna Akhmatova


Brookline Village Book Group

Where: Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Brookline Village Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: First Monday of the month, 7 PM
Led by: Bryan

Read a variety of fiction and nonfiction in this monthly book group.

His Only Wife Peace Adzo Medie Cover
July 11

His Only Wife

Peace Adzo Medie

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A Must-Read Novel: The New York Times Book Review * BuzzFeed * Time * Marie Claire * Parade * Travel + Leisure * Ms. * Bustle * The Millions * Book Riot * PopSugar * HelloGiggles * Kirkus Reviews* Good Morning America “[A] mesmerizing debut novel.” —The New York Times Book Review “A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose.” —BuzzFeed “I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast . . . It’s all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.” —Reese Witherspoon Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. Smart and pretty, she has also been convinced by her mother to marry a man she doesn’t know: a wealthy businessman named Elikem. His family has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from a current relationship they disapprove of. When Afi is moved from her small hometown to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital full of wealth and sophistication, she is not prepared for the way her life will change. But she has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so Afi must see it through. Or must she? A witty, moving, and smart debut novel, His Only Wife takes place in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to grant their husbands forbearance. And in Afi, we meet a delightful, brave, and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.

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The Sentence Louise Erdrich Cover
August 1

The Sentence

Louise Erdrich

"Dazzling. . . . A hard-won love letter to readers and to booksellers, as well as a compelling story about how we cope with pain and fear, injustice and illness. One good way is to press a beloved book into another's hands. Read The Sentence and then do just that."—USA Today, Four Stars In this New York Times bestselling novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors. Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading "with murderous attention," must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning. The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.

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Leave the World Behind Rumaan Alam Cover
September 12

Leave the World Behind

Rumaan Alam

A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick! Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award (Fiction) A Best Book of the Year From: The Washington Post * Time * NPR * Elle * Esquire * Kirkus * Library Journal * The Chicago Public Library * The New York Public Library * BookPage * The Globe and Mail * EW.com * The LA Times * USA Today * InStyle * The New Yorker * AARP * Publisher's Lunch * LitHub * Book Marks * Electric Literature * Brooklyn Based * The Boston Globe A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis. Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Abbi Waxman Cover
October 3

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Abbi Waxman

Raised by a single mother, Nina Hill has a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. Then the father she never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews. They all live close by! They're all excited to meet her! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers. And now Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. -- adapted from back cover

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The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters Balli Kaur Jaswal Cover
November 7

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

Balli Kaur Jaswal

The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest. The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life. On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time. Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India." Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.

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Olga Dies Dreaming Xochitl Gonzalez Cover
December 5

Olga Dies Dreaming

Xochitl Gonzalez

New York Times Bestseller MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK of 2022 by TIME, HipLatina, Parade, The Rumpus, Angela Lashbrook, Vogue.com, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bustle, Kirkus, Book Riot, Popsugar, Barnes & Noble, The Stacks, Russh, Boston Globe, and more! "Don’t underestimate this new novelist. She’s jump-starting the year with a smart romantic comedy that lures us in with laughter and keeps us hooked with a fantastically engaging story." —The Washington Post A blazing talent debuts with the tale of a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots—all in the wake of Hurricane Maria It's 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo, are boldfaced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn, while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers. Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the 1 percent but she can’t seem to find her own. . . until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long-held family secrets. Olga and Prieto’s mother, Blanca, a Young Lord turned radical, abandoned her children to advance a militant political cause, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Now, with the winds of hurricane season, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, Xochitl Gonzalez’s Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream—all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.

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Thank You, Mr. Nixon Gish Jen Cover
January 9 (2023)

Thank You, Mr. Nixon

Gish Jen

The acclaimed, award-winning author of The Resisters takes measure of the fifty years since the opening of China and its unexpected effects on the lives of ordinary people. It is a unique book that only Jen could write—a story collection accruing the power of a novel as it proceeds—a work that Cynthia Ozick has called “an art beyond art. It is life itself.” Beginning with a cheery letter penned by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, Gish Jen embarks on a fictional journey through U.S.-China relations, capturing the excitement of a world on the brink of tectonic change. Opal Chen reunites with her Chinese sisters after forty years; newly cosmopolitan Lulu Koo wonders why Americans “like to walk around in the woods with the mosquitoes”; Hong Kong parents go to extreme lengths to reestablish contact with their “number-one daughter” in New York; and Betty Koo, brought up on “no politics, just make money,” finds she must reassess her mother’s philosophy. With their profound compassion and equally profound humor, these eleven linked stories trace the intimate ways in which humans make and are made by history, capturing an extraordinary era in an extraordinary way. Delightful, provocative, and powerful, Thank You, Mr. Nixon furnishes yet more proof of Gish Jen’s eminent place among American storytellers.

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ELL Film Group

Where: Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the ELL Film Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Wednesday of the month, 11 AM
Led by: Ginger

Practice your English language skills as we gather online to watch short films together and engage in virtual discussion. This group is open to all English Language Learners but will be geared towards intermediate and advanced speakers. The more, the merrier – grab a snack and join us!

July 13 – Bao (2018)

August 10 – Wave (2017)


Queer Reading Group

Where: Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Queer Reading Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Thursday of the Month, 7 pm
Led by: Jessica and Percival

Read and discuss books by queer authors in a variety of genres. This group has a stress-free structure, where the conversation we develop about identity, gender, race, and all intersections that these generate is just as important as reading the book. We make space to feel seen, safe, ask questions, and learn.

Honey Girl Morgan Rogers Cover
July 14

Honey Girl

Morgan Rogers

Named Most Anticipated of 2021 by Oprah Magazine * Marie Claire * Ms. Magazine * E! * Parade Magazine * Buzzfeed * Cosmo * The Rumpus * GoodReads * Autostraddle * Brit & Co * Refinery29 * Betches * BookRiot and others! A LibraryReads Pick “HONEY GIRL is an emotional, heartfelt, charming debut, and I loved every moment of it.” — Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal When becoming an adult means learning to love yourself first. With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that. This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows. In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

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Light From Uncommon Stars Ryka Aoki Cover
August 11

Light From Uncommon Stars

Ryka Aoki

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars, a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts. A National Bestseller Indie Next Pick New York Public Library Top 10 Book of 2021 A Kirkus Best Book of 2021 A Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction Book of 2021 2022 Alex Award Winner 2022 Stonewall Book Award Winner Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline. As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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Something That May Shock and Discredit You Daniel Mallory Ortberg Cover
September 8

Something That May Shock and Discredit You

Daniel Mallory Ortberg

Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, O, The Oprah Magazine, BuzzFeed, Electric Literature, Yahoo Lifestyle, and Bitch Media “A delightful hybrid of a book… You’ll laugh, you'll cry, often both at once. Everyone should read this extraordinary book.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) From the New York Times bestselling author of Texts From Jane Eyre and Merry Spinster, writer of Slate’s “Dear Prudence” column, and cofounder of The Toast comes a hilarious and stirring collection of essays and cultural observations spanning pop culture—from the endearingly popular to the staggeringly obscure. Daniel Mallory Ortberg is known for blending genres, forms, and sources to develop fascinating new hybrids—from lyric rants to horror recipes to pornographic scripture. In his most personal work to date, he turns his attention to the essay, offering vigorous and laugh-out-loud funny accounts of both popular and highbrow culture while mixing in meditations on gender transition, family dynamics, and the many meanings of faith. From a thoughtful analysis of the beauty of William Shatner to a sinister reimagining of HGTV’s House Hunters, and featuring figures as varied as Anne of Green Gables, Columbo, Nora Ephron, Apollo, and the cast of Mean Girls, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is a hilarious and emotionally exhilarating compendium that combines personal history with cultural history to make you see yourself and those around you entirely anew. It further establishes Ortberg as one of the most innovative and engaging voices of his generation—and it may just change the way you think about Lord Byron forever.

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Coolidge Corner Library


Afternoon Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, virtual option available -- register for the Afternoon Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third OR Fourth Monday of each month, 3 PM; check events calendar for the latest schedule.
Led by: Ginger (interim)

This group reads a variety of fiction and nonfiction. Books chosen are usually 350 pages or less and released within the last 5 years.

The Book of M Peng Shepherd Cover
Aug 22

The Book of M

Peng Shepherd

Brad Thor's Summer 2018 Fiction Pick for THE TODAY SHOW! "Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014)." --Booklist WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO REMEMBER? Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself. One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories. Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too. Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless. As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure. Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

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His Only Wife Peace Adzo Medie Cover
July 18

His Only Wife

Peace Adzo Medie

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020 One of BuzzFeed's "29 Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Year" A Must-Read Novel: The New York Times Book Review * BuzzFeed * Marie Claire * Parade * Travel + Leisure * Ms. Magazine * Bustle * The Millions * Book Riot * Christian Science Monitor * HelloGiggles “[A] mesmerizing debut novel.” —The New York Times Book Review “A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose.” —BuzzFeed “I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast . . . It’s all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.” —Reese Witherspoon Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course—Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, a place of wealth and sophistication where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not? His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance. And in Afi, Peace Medie has created a delightfully spunky and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.

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Midday Monday Mystery

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, virtual option available -- register for the Midday Monday Mystery Zoom Meeting
When: Second Monday of the month, 12:30 PM
Led by: Brita

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library.

The Princess of Burundi Kjell Eriksson Cover
July 11, 2022

The Princess of Burundi

Kjell Eriksson

A runaway bestseller in Sweden, The Princess of Burundi introduces Inspector Ann Lindell to U.S. mystery readers. When a jogger finds a dead body in the snow, the members of Sweden's Uppsala police force uncover a victim with an unsettling history. John Jonsson, known to everyone as Little John, was a respectable family man and a local expert on tropical fish. But he had been quite a troublemaker, and his delinquent past seems to have caught up with him. Despite being on maternity leave, Inspector Ann Lindell is determined to find John's murderer. The cruel cat-and-mouse game that follows leads Ann to a deadly confrontation with a treacherous killer. Ann must decide whether to take a huge risk that could result in many more dead bodies in the snow, including hers and that of her unborn child. Written by one of Sweden's bestselling crime writers, The Princess of Burundi is an outstanding American debut.

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Boston Noir Dennis Lehane Cover
August 8, 2022

Boston Noir

Dennis Lehane

There was only ever one candidate for the job of assembling Boston Noir: Dennis Lehane!

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How Lucky Will Leitch Cover
September 12, 2022

How Lucky

Will Leitch

“A fantastic novel. . . . You are going to like this a lot.”—Stephen King “What’s more thrilling than a fictional character speaking to us in a voice we haven’t heard before, a voice so authentic and immediate—think Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield, Mattie Ross—that we suspect it must’ve been there all along, that we somehow managed to miss it? Daniel, the protagonist of Will Leitch’s smart, funny, heartbreaking new novel How Lucky, is just such a voice, and I’m not sure it will ever completely leave my head, or that I want it to.”—Richard Russo For readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Nothing to See Here, a first novel as suspenseful and funny as it is moving, the unforgettable story of a fiercely resilient young man living with a physical disability, and his efforts to solve a mystery unfolding right outside his door. Daniel leads a rich life in the university town of Athens, Georgia. He’s got a couple close friends, a steady paycheck working for a regional airline, and of course, for a few glorious days each Fall, college football tailgates. He considers himself to be a mostly lucky guy—despite the fact that he’s suffered from a debilitating disease since he was a small child, one that has left him unable to speak or to move without a wheelchair. Largely confined to his home, Daniel spends the hours he’s not online communicating with irate air travelers observing his neighborhood from his front porch. One young woman passes by so frequently that spotting her out the window has almost become part of his daily routine. Until the day he’s almost sure he sees her being kidnapped...

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Movie Matinee

Where: Coolidge Corner Library Meeting Room
When: Thursdays at 1:30 PM
Led by: Jeanne

Join the Coolidge Corner Library every week for free screenings of recent favorite films! Doors open at 1:15 PM.

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)  Cover
June 2

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

During the same summer as Woodstock, over 300,000 people attended the Harlem Cultural Festival, celebrating African American music and culture, and promoting Black pride and unity. The footage from the festival sat in a basement, unseen for over 50 years, keeping this incredible event in America's history lost — until now.

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House of Gucci  Cover
June 9

House of Gucci

When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder.

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Marry Me  Cover
June 16

Marry Me

Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian has been unfaithful, she decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd, instead.

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Portrait de la jeune fille en feu  Cover
June 23

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.

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Respect  Cover
June 30

Respect

The rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom.

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Read and Meet Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, virtual option available -- register for the Read and Meet Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third Thursday of the month, 7 PM
Led by: Jackie

This group is designed for Millennials. After a one-hour discussion, the group moves to a local eatery to continue socializing.

Permanent Record Mary H. K. Choi Cover
July 21, 2022

Permanent Record

Mary H. K. Choi

A New York Times bestseller An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of 2019 From the New York Times bestselling author of Emergency Contact, which Rainbow Rowell called “smart and funny,” comes an unforgettable new romance about how social media influences relationships every day. On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans. Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them. When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated.

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Year of the Rabbit Tian Veasna Cover
August 18, 2022

Year of the Rabbit

Tian Veasna

One family's quest to survive the devastation of the Khmer Rouge Year of the Rabbit tells the true story of one family’s desperate struggle to survive the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized power in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Immediately after declaring victory in the war, they set about evacuating the country’s major cities with the brutal ruthlessness and disregard for humanity that characterized the regime ultimately responsible for the deaths of one million citizens. Cartoonist Tian Veasna was born just three days after the Khmer Rouge takeover, as his family set forth on the chaotic mass exodus from Phnom Penh. Year of the Rabbit is based on firsthand accounts, all told from the perspective of his parents and other close relatives. Stripped of any money or material possessions, Veasna’s family found themselves exiled to the barren countryside along with thousands of others, where food was scarce and brutal violence a constant threat. Year of the Rabbit shows the reality of life in the work camps, where Veasna’s family bartered for goods, where children were instructed to spy on their parents, and where reading was proof positive of being a class traitor. Constantly on the edge of annihilation, they realized there was only one choice—they had to escape Cambodia and become refugees. Veasna has created a harrowing, deeply personal account of one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies.

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How to Do Nothing Jenny Odell Cover
September 15, 2022

How to Do Nothing

Jenny Odell

** A New York Times Bestseller ** NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Time • The New Yorker • NPR • GQ • Elle • Vulture • Fortune • Boing Boing • The Irish Times • The New York Public Library • The Brooklyn Public Library "A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto."—Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review One of President Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of 2019" Porchlight's Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year In a world where addictive technology is designed to buy and sell our attention, and our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity, it can seem impossible to escape. But in this inspiring field guide to dropping out of the attention economy, artist and critic Jenny Odell shows us how we can still win back our lives. Odell sees our attention as the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have. And we must actively and continuously choose how we use it. We might not spend it on things that capitalism has deemed important … but once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress. Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book will change how you see your place in our world.

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The Only Good Indians Stephen Graham Jones Cover
October 20, 2022

The Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From USA TODAY bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a “masterpiece” (Locus Magazine) of a novel about revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition. Labeled “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels” (Entertainment Weekly), this is a remarkable horror story that “will give you nightmares—the good kind of course” (BuzzFeed). From New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American Indian experience. Fans of Jordan Peele and Tommy Orange will love this story as it follows the lives of four American Indian men and their families, all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, totally helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

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Putterham Library


Council on Aging Book Group

Where: Putterham Library Meeting Room, virtual option available -- register for the Council on Aging Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third Monday of the month, 2 PM
Led by: Charlotte & Batia

A book group for seniors to read together.

Snow Hunters Paul Yoon Cover
June 13, 2022

Snow Hunters

Paul Yoon

Though he is a stranger in a strange land, a North Korean war refugee, seeking a new life in a port town on the coast of Brazil, longs to connect with four people who slip in and out of his life, but must confront his traumatic past so he might let go and move on.

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Hamnet Maggie O'Farrell Cover
July 18, 2022

Hamnet

Maggie O'Farrell

*A New York Times Best Seller* *One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year* A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year "Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare's life... here is a novel ... so gorgeously written that it transports you. --The Boston Globe In 1580's England, during the Black Plague a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman in this "exceptional historical novel" (The New Yorker) and best-selling winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family's land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever. A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down--a magnificent leap forward from one of our most gifted novelists.

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The Paris Bookseller Kerri Maher Cover
August 15, 2022

The Paris Bookseller

Kerri Maher

A BookBub Best Historical Fiction Book of 2022 ∙ A BookTrib Top Ten Historical Fiction Book of Spring ∙ A SheReads’ Best Literary Historical Fiction Coming in 2022 ∙ A Reader’s Digest’s Best Books for Women Written by Female Authors ∙ A PopSugar Much-Anticipated 2022 Novel The dramatic story of how a humble bookseller fought against incredible odds to bring one of the most important books of the 20th century to the world in this new novel from the author of The Girl in White Gloves. When bookish young American Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company on a quiet street in Paris in 1919, she has no idea that she and her new bookstore will change the course of literature itself. Shakespeare and Company is more than a bookstore and lending library: Many of the prominent writers of the Lost Generation, like Ernest Hemingway, consider it a second home. It's where some of the most important literary friendships of the twentieth century are forged—none more so than the one between Irish writer James Joyce and Sylvia herself. When Joyce's controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Beach takes a massive risk and publishes it under the auspices of Shakespeare and Company. But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous and influential book of the century comes with steep costs. The future of her beloved store itself is threatened when Ulysses' success brings other publishers to woo Joyce away. Her most cherished relationships are put to the test as Paris is plunged deeper into the Depression and many expatriate friends return to America. As she faces painful personal and financial crises, Sylvia—a woman who has made it her mission to honor the life-changing impact of books—must decide what Shakespeare and Company truly means to her.

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Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel García Márquez Cover
September 19, 2022

Love in the Time of Cholera

Gabriel García Márquez

"A love story of astonishing power." - Newsweek The International Bestseller and modern literary classic by Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

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The Professor and the Madman Simon Winchester Cover
October 17, 2022

The Professor and the Madman

Simon Winchester

Hailed by the "New York Times" as "a fascinating, spicy, learned tale, " this runaway national bestseller takes an extraordinary look into literary genius, madness, and the making of the"Oxford English Dictionary."

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There There Tommy Orange Cover
November 21, 2022

There There

Tommy Orange

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD WINNER • One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year • A wondrous and shattering novel that follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable.

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To the End of the Land David Grossman Cover
December 19, 2022

To the End of the Land

David Grossman

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A stunning novel that tells the powerful story of Ora, an Israli mother, and her extraordinary love for her son, Ofer, in a haunting meditation on war and family. “One of the few novels that feel as though they have made a difference to the world.” —The New York Times Book Review Just before his release from service in the Israeli army, Ora’s son Ofer is sent back to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, so that no bad news can reach her, Ora sets out on an epic hike in the Galilee. She is joined by an unlikely companion—Avram, a former friend and lover with a troubled past—and as they sleep out in the hills, Ora begins to conjure her son. Ofer’s story, as told by Ora, becomes a surprising balm both for her and for Avram.

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Brookline Village Library


A Taste of Poetry

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the A Taste of Poetry Zoom Meeting
When: First Thursday of the month, 11 AM
Led by: Lily

Bring your lunch and an appetite for poetry. Each month we look at half a dozen poems by a well-known poet. We provide copies of the poems – no need to read anything in advance – and lead a discussion after reading them. Request a copy of this month’s poems through our contact form.

January 6: W. H. Auden

February 3: Bob Kaufman

March 3: Danielle Legros Georges

April 7: Poetry Month Medley

May 5: Timothy Liu

June 2: Randall Mann

July 7: Kevin Young

August 4: Ruth Stone

September 1: Nâzım Hikmet

October 6: Natalie Diaz

November 3: Dylan Thomas

December 1: Anna Akhmatova


Brookline Village Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Brookline Village Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: First Monday of the month, 7 PM
Led by: Bryan

Read a variety of fiction and nonfiction in this monthly book group.

His Only Wife Peace Adzo Medie Cover
July 11

His Only Wife

Peace Adzo Medie

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A Must-Read Novel: The New York Times Book Review * BuzzFeed * Time * Marie Claire * Parade * Travel + Leisure * Ms. * Bustle * The Millions * Book Riot * PopSugar * HelloGiggles * Kirkus Reviews* Good Morning America “[A] mesmerizing debut novel.” —The New York Times Book Review “A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose.” —BuzzFeed “I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast . . . It’s all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.” —Reese Witherspoon Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. Smart and pretty, she has also been convinced by her mother to marry a man she doesn’t know: a wealthy businessman named Elikem. His family has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from a current relationship they disapprove of. When Afi is moved from her small hometown to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital full of wealth and sophistication, she is not prepared for the way her life will change. But she has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so Afi must see it through. Or must she? A witty, moving, and smart debut novel, His Only Wife takes place in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to grant their husbands forbearance. And in Afi, we meet a delightful, brave, and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.

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The Sentence Louise Erdrich Cover
August 1

The Sentence

Louise Erdrich

"Dazzling. . . . A hard-won love letter to readers and to booksellers, as well as a compelling story about how we cope with pain and fear, injustice and illness. One good way is to press a beloved book into another's hands. Read The Sentence and then do just that."—USA Today, Four Stars In this New York Times bestselling novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors. Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading "with murderous attention," must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning. The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.

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Leave the World Behind Rumaan Alam Cover
September 12

Leave the World Behind

Rumaan Alam

A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick! Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award (Fiction) A Best Book of the Year From: The Washington Post * Time * NPR * Elle * Esquire * Kirkus * Library Journal * The Chicago Public Library * The New York Public Library * BookPage * The Globe and Mail * EW.com * The LA Times * USA Today * InStyle * The New Yorker * AARP * Publisher's Lunch * LitHub * Book Marks * Electric Literature * Brooklyn Based * The Boston Globe A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis. Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Abbi Waxman Cover
October 3

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Abbi Waxman

Raised by a single mother, Nina Hill has a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. Then the father she never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews. They all live close by! They're all excited to meet her! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers. And now Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. -- adapted from back cover

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The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters Balli Kaur Jaswal Cover
November 7

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

Balli Kaur Jaswal

The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest. The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking "good" sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life. On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time. Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a female take on the Indian travel narrative. "I was curious about how different the trip would be if it were undertaken by women, who are vulnerable to different dangers in a male-dominated society," Balli Kaur Jaswal writes. "I also wanted to explore the tensions between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities, and particularly how those tensions play out among women like these sisters, who are the first generation to be raised outside of India." Powerful, emotionally evocative, and wonderfully atmospheric, The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is a charming and thoughtful story that illuminates the bonds of family, sisterhood, and heritage that tether us despite our differences. Funny and heartbreaking, it is a reminder of the truly important things we must treasure in our lives.

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Olga Dies Dreaming Xochitl Gonzalez Cover
December 5

Olga Dies Dreaming

Xochitl Gonzalez

New York Times Bestseller MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK of 2022 by TIME, HipLatina, Parade, The Rumpus, Angela Lashbrook, Vogue.com, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bustle, Kirkus, Book Riot, Popsugar, Barnes & Noble, The Stacks, Russh, Boston Globe, and more! "Don’t underestimate this new novelist. She’s jump-starting the year with a smart romantic comedy that lures us in with laughter and keeps us hooked with a fantastically engaging story." —The Washington Post A blazing talent debuts with the tale of a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots—all in the wake of Hurricane Maria It's 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo, are boldfaced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn, while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers. Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the 1 percent but she can’t seem to find her own. . . until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long-held family secrets. Olga and Prieto’s mother, Blanca, a Young Lord turned radical, abandoned her children to advance a militant political cause, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Now, with the winds of hurricane season, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, Xochitl Gonzalez’s Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream—all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.

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Thank You, Mr. Nixon Gish Jen Cover
January 9 (2023)

Thank You, Mr. Nixon

Gish Jen

The acclaimed, award-winning author of The Resisters takes measure of the fifty years since the opening of China and its unexpected effects on the lives of ordinary people. It is a unique book that only Jen could write—a story collection accruing the power of a novel as it proceeds—a work that Cynthia Ozick has called “an art beyond art. It is life itself.” Beginning with a cheery letter penned by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, Gish Jen embarks on a fictional journey through U.S.-China relations, capturing the excitement of a world on the brink of tectonic change. Opal Chen reunites with her Chinese sisters after forty years; newly cosmopolitan Lulu Koo wonders why Americans “like to walk around in the woods with the mosquitoes”; Hong Kong parents go to extreme lengths to reestablish contact with their “number-one daughter” in New York; and Betty Koo, brought up on “no politics, just make money,” finds she must reassess her mother’s philosophy. With their profound compassion and equally profound humor, these eleven linked stories trace the intimate ways in which humans make and are made by history, capturing an extraordinary era in an extraordinary way. Delightful, provocative, and powerful, Thank You, Mr. Nixon furnishes yet more proof of Gish Jen’s eminent place among American storytellers.

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ELL Film Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the ELL Film Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Wednesday of the month, 11 AM
Led by: Ginger

Practice your English language skills as we gather online to watch short films together and engage in virtual discussion. This group is open to all English Language Learners but will be geared towards intermediate and advanced speakers. The more, the merrier – grab a snack and join us!

July 13 – Bao (2018)

August 10 – Wave (2017)


Queer Reading Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Queer Reading Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Thursday of the Month, 7 pm
Led by: Jessica and Percival

Read and discuss books by queer authors in a variety of genres. This group has a stress-free structure, where the conversation we develop about identity, gender, race, and all intersections that these generate is just as important as reading the book. We make space to feel seen, safe, ask questions, and learn.

Honey Girl Morgan Rogers Cover
July 14

Honey Girl

Morgan Rogers

Named Most Anticipated of 2021 by Oprah Magazine * Marie Claire * Ms. Magazine * E! * Parade Magazine * Buzzfeed * Cosmo * The Rumpus * GoodReads * Autostraddle * Brit & Co * Refinery29 * Betches * BookRiot and others! A LibraryReads Pick “HONEY GIRL is an emotional, heartfelt, charming debut, and I loved every moment of it.” — Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal When becoming an adult means learning to love yourself first. With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that. This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows. In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

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Light From Uncommon Stars Ryka Aoki Cover
August 11

Light From Uncommon Stars

Ryka Aoki

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars, a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts. A National Bestseller Indie Next Pick New York Public Library Top 10 Book of 2021 A Kirkus Best Book of 2021 A Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction Book of 2021 2022 Alex Award Winner 2022 Stonewall Book Award Winner Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline. As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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Something That May Shock and Discredit You Daniel Mallory Ortberg Cover
September 8

Something That May Shock and Discredit You

Daniel Mallory Ortberg

Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, O, The Oprah Magazine, BuzzFeed, Electric Literature, Yahoo Lifestyle, and Bitch Media “A delightful hybrid of a book… You’ll laugh, you'll cry, often both at once. Everyone should read this extraordinary book.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) From the New York Times bestselling author of Texts From Jane Eyre and Merry Spinster, writer of Slate’s “Dear Prudence” column, and cofounder of The Toast comes a hilarious and stirring collection of essays and cultural observations spanning pop culture—from the endearingly popular to the staggeringly obscure. Daniel Mallory Ortberg is known for blending genres, forms, and sources to develop fascinating new hybrids—from lyric rants to horror recipes to pornographic scripture. In his most personal work to date, he turns his attention to the essay, offering vigorous and laugh-out-loud funny accounts of both popular and highbrow culture while mixing in meditations on gender transition, family dynamics, and the many meanings of faith. From a thoughtful analysis of the beauty of William Shatner to a sinister reimagining of HGTV’s House Hunters, and featuring figures as varied as Anne of Green Gables, Columbo, Nora Ephron, Apollo, and the cast of Mean Girls, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is a hilarious and emotionally exhilarating compendium that combines personal history with cultural history to make you see yourself and those around you entirely anew. It further establishes Ortberg as one of the most innovative and engaging voices of his generation—and it may just change the way you think about Lord Byron forever.

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Coolidge Corner Library


Afternoon Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, virtual option available -- register for the Afternoon Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third OR Fourth Monday of each month, 3 PM; check events calendar for the latest schedule.
Led by: Ginger (interim)

This group reads a variety of fiction and nonfiction. Books chosen are usually 350 pages or less and released within the last 5 years.

The Book of M Peng Shepherd Cover
Aug 22

The Book of M

Peng Shepherd

Brad Thor's Summer 2018 Fiction Pick for THE TODAY SHOW! "Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014)." --Booklist WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO REMEMBER? Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself. One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories. Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too. Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless. As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure. Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

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His Only Wife Peace Adzo Medie Cover
July 18

His Only Wife

Peace Adzo Medie

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020 One of BuzzFeed's "29 Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Year" A Must-Read Novel: The New York Times Book Review * BuzzFeed * Marie Claire * Parade * Travel + Leisure * Ms. Magazine * Bustle * The Millions * Book Riot * Christian Science Monitor * HelloGiggles “[A] mesmerizing debut novel.” —The New York Times Book Review “A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose.” —BuzzFeed “I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast . . . It’s all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.” —Reese Witherspoon Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course—Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, a place of wealth and sophistication where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not? His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance. And in Afi, Peace Medie has created a delightfully spunky and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.

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Midday Monday Mystery

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, virtual option available -- register for the Midday Monday Mystery Zoom Meeting
When: Second Monday of the month, 12:30 PM
Led by: Brita

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library.

The Princess of Burundi Kjell Eriksson Cover
July 11, 2022

The Princess of Burundi

Kjell Eriksson

A runaway bestseller in Sweden, The Princess of Burundi introduces Inspector Ann Lindell to U.S. mystery readers. When a jogger finds a dead body in the snow, the members of Sweden's Uppsala police force uncover a victim with an unsettling history. John Jonsson, known to everyone as Little John, was a respectable family man and a local expert on tropical fish. But he had been quite a troublemaker, and his delinquent past seems to have caught up with him. Despite being on maternity leave, Inspector Ann Lindell is determined to find John's murderer. The cruel cat-and-mouse game that follows leads Ann to a deadly confrontation with a treacherous killer. Ann must decide whether to take a huge risk that could result in many more dead bodies in the snow, including hers and that of her unborn child. Written by one of Sweden's bestselling crime writers, The Princess of Burundi is an outstanding American debut.

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Boston Noir Dennis Lehane Cover
August 8, 2022

Boston Noir

Dennis Lehane

There was only ever one candidate for the job of assembling Boston Noir: Dennis Lehane!

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How Lucky Will Leitch Cover
September 12, 2022

How Lucky

Will Leitch

“A fantastic novel. . . . You are going to like this a lot.”—Stephen King “What’s more thrilling than a fictional character speaking to us in a voice we haven’t heard before, a voice so authentic and immediate—think Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield, Mattie Ross—that we suspect it must’ve been there all along, that we somehow managed to miss it? Daniel, the protagonist of Will Leitch’s smart, funny, heartbreaking new novel How Lucky, is just such a voice, and I’m not sure it will ever completely leave my head, or that I want it to.”—Richard Russo For readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Nothing to See Here, a first novel as suspenseful and funny as it is moving, the unforgettable story of a fiercely resilient young man living with a physical disability, and his efforts to solve a mystery unfolding right outside his door. Daniel leads a rich life in the university town of Athens, Georgia. He’s got a couple close friends, a steady paycheck working for a regional airline, and of course, for a few glorious days each Fall, college football tailgates. He considers himself to be a mostly lucky guy—despite the fact that he’s suffered from a debilitating disease since he was a small child, one that has left him unable to speak or to move without a wheelchair. Largely confined to his home, Daniel spends the hours he’s not online communicating with irate air travelers observing his neighborhood from his front porch. One young woman passes by so frequently that spotting her out the window has almost become part of his daily routine. Until the day he’s almost sure he sees her being kidnapped...

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Movie Matinee

Where: Coolidge Corner Library Meeting Room
When: Thursdays at 1:30 PM
Led by: Jeanne

Join the Coolidge Corner Library every week for free screenings of recent favorite films! Doors open at 1:15 PM.

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)  Cover
June 2

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

During the same summer as Woodstock, over 300,000 people attended the Harlem Cultural Festival, celebrating African American music and culture, and promoting Black pride and unity. The footage from the festival sat in a basement, unseen for over 50 years, keeping this incredible event in America's history lost — until now.

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House of Gucci  Cover
June 9

House of Gucci

When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder.

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Marry Me  Cover
June 16

Marry Me

Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian has been unfaithful, she decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd, instead.

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Portrait de la jeune fille en feu  Cover
June 23

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.

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Respect  Cover
June 30

Respect

The rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom.

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Read and Meet Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, virtual option available -- register for the Read and Meet Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third Thursday of the month, 7 PM
Led by: Jackie

This group is designed for Millennials. After a one-hour discussion, the group moves to a local eatery to continue socializing.

Permanent Record Mary H. K. Choi Cover
July 21, 2022

Permanent Record

Mary H. K. Choi

A New York Times bestseller An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of 2019 From the New York Times bestselling author of Emergency Contact, which Rainbow Rowell called “smart and funny,” comes an unforgettable new romance about how social media influences relationships every day. On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans. Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them. When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated.

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Year of the Rabbit Tian Veasna Cover
August 18, 2022

Year of the Rabbit

Tian Veasna

One family's quest to survive the devastation of the Khmer Rouge Year of the Rabbit tells the true story of one family’s desperate struggle to survive the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized power in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Immediately after declaring victory in the war, they set about evacuating the country’s major cities with the brutal ruthlessness and disregard for humanity that characterized the regime ultimately responsible for the deaths of one million citizens. Cartoonist Tian Veasna was born just three days after the Khmer Rouge takeover, as his family set forth on the chaotic mass exodus from Phnom Penh. Year of the Rabbit is based on firsthand accounts, all told from the perspective of his parents and other close relatives. Stripped of any money or material possessions, Veasna’s family found themselves exiled to the barren countryside along with thousands of others, where food was scarce and brutal violence a constant threat. Year of the Rabbit shows the reality of life in the work camps, where Veasna’s family bartered for goods, where children were instructed to spy on their parents, and where reading was proof positive of being a class traitor. Constantly on the edge of annihilation, they realized there was only one choice—they had to escape Cambodia and become refugees. Veasna has created a harrowing, deeply personal account of one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies.

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How to Do Nothing Jenny Odell Cover
September 15, 2022

How to Do Nothing

Jenny Odell

** A New York Times Bestseller ** NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Time • The New Yorker • NPR • GQ • Elle • Vulture • Fortune • Boing Boing • The Irish Times • The New York Public Library • The Brooklyn Public Library "A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto."—Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review One of President Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of 2019" Porchlight's Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year In a world where addictive technology is designed to buy and sell our attention, and our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity, it can seem impossible to escape. But in this inspiring field guide to dropping out of the attention economy, artist and critic Jenny Odell shows us how we can still win back our lives. Odell sees our attention as the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have. And we must actively and continuously choose how we use it. We might not spend it on things that capitalism has deemed important … but once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress. Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book will change how you see your place in our world.

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The Only Good Indians Stephen Graham Jones Cover
October 20, 2022

The Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From USA TODAY bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a “masterpiece” (Locus Magazine) of a novel about revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition. Labeled “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels” (Entertainment Weekly), this is a remarkable horror story that “will give you nightmares—the good kind of course” (BuzzFeed). From New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American Indian experience. Fans of Jordan Peele and Tommy Orange will love this story as it follows the lives of four American Indian men and their families, all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, totally helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

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Putterham Library


Council on Aging Book Group

Where: Putterham Library Meeting Room, virtual option available -- register for the Council on Aging Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third Monday of the month, 2 PM
Led by: Charlotte & Batia

A book group for seniors to read together.

Snow Hunters Paul Yoon Cover
June 13, 2022

Snow Hunters

Paul Yoon

Though he is a stranger in a strange land, a North Korean war refugee, seeking a new life in a port town on the coast of Brazil, longs to connect with four people who slip in and out of his life, but must confront his traumatic past so he might let go and move on.

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Hamnet Maggie O'Farrell Cover
July 18, 2022

Hamnet

Maggie O'Farrell

*A New York Times Best Seller* *One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year* A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year "Of all the stories that argue and speculate about Shakespeare's life... here is a novel ... so gorgeously written that it transports you. --The Boston Globe In 1580's England, during the Black Plague a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman in this "exceptional historical novel" (The New Yorker) and best-selling winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family's land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever. A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down--a magnificent leap forward from one of our most gifted novelists.

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The Paris Bookseller Kerri Maher Cover
August 15, 2022

The Paris Bookseller

Kerri Maher

A BookBub Best Historical Fiction Book of 2022 ∙ A BookTrib Top Ten Historical Fiction Book of Spring ∙ A SheReads’ Best Literary Historical Fiction Coming in 2022 ∙ A Reader’s Digest’s Best Books for Women Written by Female Authors ∙ A PopSugar Much-Anticipated 2022 Novel The dramatic story of how a humble bookseller fought against incredible odds to bring one of the most important books of the 20th century to the world in this new novel from the author of The Girl in White Gloves. When bookish young American Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company on a quiet street in Paris in 1919, she has no idea that she and her new bookstore will change the course of literature itself. Shakespeare and Company is more than a bookstore and lending library: Many of the prominent writers of the Lost Generation, like Ernest Hemingway, consider it a second home. It's where some of the most important literary friendships of the twentieth century are forged—none more so than the one between Irish writer James Joyce and Sylvia herself. When Joyce's controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Beach takes a massive risk and publishes it under the auspices of Shakespeare and Company. But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous and influential book of the century comes with steep costs. The future of her beloved store itself is threatened when Ulysses' success brings other publishers to woo Joyce away. Her most cherished relationships are put to the test as Paris is plunged deeper into the Depression and many expatriate friends return to America. As she faces painful personal and financial crises, Sylvia—a woman who has made it her mission to honor the life-changing impact of books—must decide what Shakespeare and Company truly means to her.

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Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel García Márquez Cover
September 19, 2022

Love in the Time of Cholera

Gabriel García Márquez

"A love story of astonishing power." - Newsweek The International Bestseller and modern literary classic by Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

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The Professor and the Madman Simon Winchester Cover
October 17, 2022

The Professor and the Madman

Simon Winchester

Hailed by the "New York Times" as "a fascinating, spicy, learned tale, " this runaway national bestseller takes an extraordinary look into literary genius, madness, and the making of the"Oxford English Dictionary."

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There There Tommy Orange Cover
November 21, 2022

There There

Tommy Orange

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD WINNER • One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year • A wondrous and shattering novel that follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable.

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To the End of the Land David Grossman Cover
December 19, 2022

To the End of the Land

David Grossman

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A stunning novel that tells the powerful story of Ora, an Israli mother, and her extraordinary love for her son, Ofer, in a haunting meditation on war and family. “One of the few novels that feel as though they have made a difference to the world.” —The New York Times Book Review Just before his release from service in the Israeli army, Ora’s son Ofer is sent back to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, so that no bad news can reach her, Ora sets out on an epic hike in the Galilee. She is joined by an unlikely companion—Avram, a former friend and lover with a troubled past—and as they sleep out in the hills, Ora begins to conjure her son. Ofer’s story, as told by Ora, becomes a surprising balm both for her and for Avram.

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