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 - 12:30 PM
Led by: Lily

Bring your lunch and an appetite for poetry. Each month we look at half a dozen poems by a well-known poet. We provide copies of the poems – no need to read anything in advance – and lead a discussion after reading them. 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, 7-8 PM
Led by: Bryan

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

The February meeting has been rescheduled from 02/07 to 02/14.

Malibu Rising Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover
January 3

Malibu Rising

Taylor Jenkins Reid

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo . . . “Irresistible . . . High drama at the beach, starring four sexy, surfing siblings and their deadbeat, famous-crooner dad.”—People Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, the family drama that ensues will change their lives will change forever. Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva. The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth. Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there. And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface. Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

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Klara and the Sun Kazuo Ishiguro Cover
February 14

Klara and the Sun

Kazuo Ishiguro

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • Once in a great while, a book comes along that changes our view of the world. This magnificent novel from the Nobel laureate and author of Never Let Me Go is “an intriguing take on how artificial intelligence might play a role in our futures ... a poignant meditation on love and loneliness” (The Associated Press). BOOKER PRIZE LONGLIST Nominee • GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick • On PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SUMMER 2021 READING LIST “What stays with you in ‘Klara and the Sun’ is the haunting narrative voice—a genuinely innocent, egoless perspective on the strange behavior of humans obsessed and wounded by power, status and fear.” —Booker Prize committee Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

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The Push Ashley Audrain Cover
March 7

The Push

Ashley Audrain

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK "An intense psychological drama that will be embraced by serious book clubs and fans of Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk about Kevin." —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author "A poetic, propulsive read that set my nerves jangling." —Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family—and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for—and everything she feared Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had. But in the thick of motherhood's exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn't behave like most children do. Or is it all in Blythe's head? Her husband, Fox, says she's imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well. Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she'd always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth. The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

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ELL Reading Group

Where: Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the ELL Reading Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Wednesday of the month, 2-3 PM
Led by: Ginger

Practice your English language skills by reading or listening to materials in English – then gather online for virtual discussion. This group is open to all English Language Learners but will be geared towards intermediate and advanced speakers.

January 12 – CANCELLED

February 9 –  Listen to a podcast: Ologies: Mythology (Transcript)

March 9 – Watch a documentary: Our Planet: Forests


Mystery Book Group

Where: Where: Brookline Village Library
When: Second Tuesday of the month, 2-3 PM
Led by: Christiana

This book group has merged with our Coolidge Corner Library Midday Monday Mystery Book Group. One of the Library’s longest running book groups, the Mystery Book Group reads everything from classic, cozy whodunnits to the latest genre-crossing murder mysteries.


Queer Reading Group

Where: Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Queer Reading Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Thursday of the Month, 7-8 pm
Led by: Jessica and Stephanie

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.

Cheer Up Crystal Frasier Cover
January 13

Cheer Up

Crystal Frasier

A sweet, queer teen romance perfect for fans of Fence and Check, Please! Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.

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The Charm Offensive Alison Cochrun Cover
February 10

The Charm Offensive

Alison Cochrun

"Ever since he was a kid, Dev Deshpande has believed in fairy tales, and he has spent his career crafting them for the reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise's history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns off-screen. That is, until the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star. Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming he's playing on TV. He doesn't believe in love (at least not for himself), and his publicist only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he's a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date thirty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he's cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off. Only Dev can save the season--and possibly the entire show--by coaching Charlie through every scene. Dev always gets a happy ending, and he knows he can find a way to help Charlie find his. Yet the more Dev fights to get Charlie to open up to the contestants, the more they begin to open up to each other, and it soons becomes clear Charlie has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. Travelling to romantic locations around the world, they begin to suspect they could both find their happily ever after if they're willing to let go of their ideas about whose love story gets told"--

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An Unkindness of Ghosts Rivers Solomon Cover
March 10

An Unkindness of Ghosts

Rivers Solomon

A breathtaking science fiction debut from a worthy successor to Octavia Butler.

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Coolidge Corner Library


Afternoon Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Afternoon Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third OR Fourth Monday of each month, 3:00-4:15 PM; check events calendar for the latest schedule.
Led by: Ricky

This group reads a variety of fiction and nonfiction. Books are limited to a maximum of 350 pages.

Almond Won-pyung Sohn Cover
March 2022

Almond

Won-pyung Sohn

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. One of the monsters is me. Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say "thank you," and when to laugh. Yunjae grows up content, even happy, with his small family in this quiet, peaceful space. Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school and begins to bully Yunjae. Against all odds, tormentor and victim learn they have more in common than they realized. Gon is stumped by Yunjae’s impassive calm, while Yunjae thinks if he gets to know the hotheaded Gon, he might learn how to experience true feelings. Drawn by curiosity, the two strike up a surprising friendship. As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life in danger, it is Yunjae who will step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become a most unlikely hero. The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.

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The Perfect Nine Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Cover
February 2022

The Perfect Nine

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

A dazzling, genre-defying novel in verse from the author Delia Owens says “tackles the absurdities, injustices, and corruption of a continent” Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s novels and memoirs have received glowing praise from the likes of President Barack Obama, the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, and NPR; he has been a finalist for the Man International Booker Prize and is annually tipped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; and his books have sold tens of thousands of copies around the world. In his first attempt at the epic form, Ngũgĩ tells the story of the founding of the Gĩkũyũ people of Kenya, from a strongly feminist perspective. A verse narrative, blending folklore, mythology, adventure, and allegory, The Perfect Nine chronicles the efforts the Gĩkũyũ founders make to find partners for their ten beautiful daughters—called “The Perfect Nine” —and the challenges they set for the 99 suitors who seek their hands in marriage. The epic has all the elements of adventure, with suspense, danger, humor, and sacrifice. Ngũgĩ’s epic is a quest for the beautiful as an ideal of living, as the motive force behind migrations of African peoples. He notes, “The epic came to me one night as a revelation of ideals of quest, courage, perseverance, unity, family; and the sense of the divine, in human struggles with nature and nurture.”

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The Other Einstein Marie Benedict Cover
January 2022

The Other Einstein

Marie Benedict

One of PopSugar's "25 Books You're Going to Curl Up with this Fall." "The Other Einstein takes you into Mileva's heart, mind, and study as she tries to forge a place for herself in a scientific world dominated by men."-Bustle In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight. Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

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Searching for Sylvie Lee Jean Kwok Cover
December 20

Searching for Sylvie Lee

Jean Kwok

An Instant New York Times Bestseller A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick! “Powerful . . . A twisting tale of love, loss, and dark family secrets.” — Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love. But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined. A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love. “This is a true beach read! You can’t put it down!” – Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick

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Midday Monday Mystery

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Midday Monday Mystery Zoom Meeting
When: Second Monday of the month, 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Led by: Brita

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library.

August Snow Stephen Mack Jones Cover
February 14, 2022

August Snow

Stephen Mack Jones

"Tough, smart, and struggling to stay afloat, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit's Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back: he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away and quickly learns he has many scores to settle"--

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Three Hours in Paris Cara Black Cover
March 14, 2022

Three Hours in Paris

Cara Black

"Three Hours in Paris is the story of Kate Rees, the young American markswoman who has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris on the dangerous business of trying to assassinate the Fuhrer. A country girl from rural Oregon - a grieving widow with no spy training but a vendetta and a lot of gumption - now has the state of the entire war in her hands. When the hit goes badly wrong, Kate is on the run for her life - all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up."--Provided by publisher.

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Read and Meet Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Read and Meet Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third Thursday of the month, 7 - 8 PM
Led by: Jackie

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

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X Les Payne, Tamara Payne Cover
February 17, 2022

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

Les Payne, Tamara Payne

WINNER • 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN BIOGRAPHY • WINNER — 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION • TIME Magazine — 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 • A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and Editors' Choice Selection • Best Books of 2020: NPR, Washington Post, Library Journal, Chicago Public Library • Excerpted in The New Yorker • Longlisted — Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Best Books of Fall 2020 — O, the Oprah Magazine, The Week, St. Louis Post-Dispatch An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author’s interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative. Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X—all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm’s life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century’s most politically relevant figures “from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary.” In tracing Malcolm X’s life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm’s Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill black pride in her children after Earl’s death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm’s exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary. With a biographer’s unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations—from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder “Fard Muhammad,” who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz’s 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X’s murder at the Audubon Ballroom. Introduced by Payne’s daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father’s death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.

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What Strange Paradise Omar El Akkad Cover
March 17, 2022

What Strange Paradise

Omar El Akkad

WINNER OF THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE • From the widely acclaimed, best-selling author of American War, a new novel—beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving—that looks at the global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. “It is one thing to put a human face on a migrant crisis and another to do so in so compelling a way that a reader simply cannot put your book down." —Gish Jen, author of The Resisters More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another overfilled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives back in their homelands. But miraculously, someone has survived the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who is soon rescued by Vänna. Vänna is a teenage girl, who, despite being native to the island, experiences her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though Vänna and Amir are complete strangers, though they don’t speak a common language, Vänna is determined to do whatever it takes to save the boy. In alternating chapters, we learn about Amir’s life and how he came to be on the boat, and we follow him and the girl as they make their way toward safety. What Strange Paradise is the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world. But it is also a story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair—and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.

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Fathoms Rebecca Giggs Cover
April 21, 2022

Fathoms

Rebecca Giggs

Winner of the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction * Finalist for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction * Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award A “delving, haunted, and poetic debut” (The New York Times Book Review) about the awe-inspiring lives of whales, revealing what they can teach us about ourselves, our planet, and our relationship with other species. When writer Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beachfront in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales reflect the condition of our oceans. Fathoms: The World in the Whale is “a work of bright and careful genius” (Robert Moor, New York Times bestselling author of On Trails), one that blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore: How do whales experience ecological change? How has whale culture been both understood and changed by human technology? What can observing whales teach us about the complexity, splendor, and fragility of life on earth? In Fathoms, we learn about whales so rare they have never been named, whale songs that sweep across hemispheres in annual waves of popularity, and whales that have modified the chemical composition of our planet’s atmosphere. We travel to Japan to board the ships that hunt whales and delve into the deepest seas to discover how plastic pollution pervades our earth’s undersea environment. With the immediacy of Rachel Carson and the lush prose of Annie Dillard, Giggs gives us a “masterly” (The New Yorker) exploration of the natural world even as she addresses what it means to write about nature at a time of environmental crisis. With depth and clarity, she outlines the challenges we face as we attempt to understand the perspectives of other living beings, and our own place on an evolving planet. Evocative and inspiring, Fathoms “immediately earns its place in the pantheon of classics of the new golden age of environmental writing” (Literary Hub).

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The Lying Life of Adults Elena Ferrante Cover
May 19, 2022

The Lying Life of Adults

Elena Ferrante

From the author of My Brilliant Friend, a powerful new novel set in a divided Naples. Soon to be adapted into a NETFLIX original series.

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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 - 3 PM
Led by: Charlotte & Batia

A book group for seniors to read together.

The Duke and I Julia Quinn Cover
December 20, 2021

The Duke and I

Julia Quinn

A #1 New York Times Bestseller From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the story of Daphne Bridgerton, in the first of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family, now a series created by Shondaland for Netflix. In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince--while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable...but not too amiable. Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen. Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society--just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend's sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar. The plan works like a charm--at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London's elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule... This novel includes the 2nd epilogue, a peek at the story after the story.

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The Liar’s Dictionary Eley Williams Cover
January 10, 2022

The Liar’s Dictionary

Eley Williams

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “You wouldn’t expect a comic novel about a dictionary to be a thriller too, but this one is. In fact, [it] is also a mystery, love story (two of them) and cliffhanging melodrama.” —The New York Times Book Review An award-winning novel that chronicles the charming misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman put on his trail a century later to root out his misdeeds while confronting questions of her own sexuality and place in the world. Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement. In the final year of the nineteenth century, Peter Winceworth is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby’s multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. But his disaffection with his colleagues compels him to assert some individual purpose and artistic freedom, and he begins inserting unauthorized, fictitious entries. In the present day, Mallory, the publisher’s young intern, starts to uncover these mountweazels in the process of digitization and through them senses their creator’s motivations, hopes, and desires. More pressingly, she’s also been contending with a threatening, anonymous caller who wants Swansby’s staff to “burn in hell.” As these two narratives coalesce, Winceworth and Mallory, separated by one hundred years, must discover how to negotiate the complexities of life’s often untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path. An exhilarating, laugh-out-loud debut, The Liar’s Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity, and joy of language while peering into questions of identity and finding one’s place in the world.

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Kindred Octavia E. Butler Cover
February 14, 2022

Kindred

Octavia E. Butler

The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now. Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

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Normal People Sally Rooney Cover
March 14, 2022

Normal People

Sally Rooney

NOW AN EMMY-NOMINATED HULU ORIGINAL SERIES • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships” (People) from the author of Conversations with Friends, “a master of the literary page-turner” (J. Courtney Sullivan). ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE—Entertainment Weekly TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—People, Slate, The New York Public Library, Harvard Crimson AND BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Vogue, Esquire, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, Vox, The Paris Review, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other. Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t. Praise for Normal People “[A] novel that demands to be read compulsively, in one sitting.”—The Washington Post “Arguably the buzziest novel of the season, Sally Rooney’s elegant sophomore effort . . . is a worthy successor to Conversations with Friends. Here, again, she unflinchingly explores class dynamics and young love with wit and nuance.”—The Wall Street Journal “[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism. . . . [She writes] some of the best dialogue I’ve read.”—The New Yorker

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The Island of Sea Women Lisa See Cover
April 11, 2022

The Island of Sea Women

Lisa See

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “A mesmerizing new historical novel” (O, The Oprah Magazine) from Lisa See, the bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and devastating family secrets on a small Korean island. Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility—but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook find it impossible to ignore their differences. The Island of Sea Women takes place over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. “This vivid…thoughtful and empathetic” novel (The New York Times Book Review) illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge and the men take care of the children. “A wonderful ode to a truly singular group of women” (Publishers Weekly), The Island of Sea Women is a “beautiful story…about the endurance of friendship when it’s pushed to its limits, and you…will love it” (Cosmopolitan).

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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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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 - 12:30 PM
Led by: Lily

Bring your lunch and an appetite for poetry. Each month we look at half a dozen poems by a well-known poet. We provide copies of the poems – no need to read anything in advance – and lead a discussion after reading them. 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, 7-8 PM
Led by: Bryan

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

The February meeting has been rescheduled from 02/07 to 02/14.

Malibu Rising Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover
January 3

Malibu Rising

Taylor Jenkins Reid

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo . . . “Irresistible . . . High drama at the beach, starring four sexy, surfing siblings and their deadbeat, famous-crooner dad.”—People Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, the family drama that ensues will change their lives will change forever. Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva. The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth. Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there. And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface. Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

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Klara and the Sun Kazuo Ishiguro Cover
February 14

Klara and the Sun

Kazuo Ishiguro

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • Once in a great while, a book comes along that changes our view of the world. This magnificent novel from the Nobel laureate and author of Never Let Me Go is “an intriguing take on how artificial intelligence might play a role in our futures ... a poignant meditation on love and loneliness” (The Associated Press). BOOKER PRIZE LONGLIST Nominee • GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick • On PRESIDENT OBAMA’S SUMMER 2021 READING LIST “What stays with you in ‘Klara and the Sun’ is the haunting narrative voice—a genuinely innocent, egoless perspective on the strange behavior of humans obsessed and wounded by power, status and fear.” —Booker Prize committee Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

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The Push Ashley Audrain Cover
March 7

The Push

Ashley Audrain

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK "An intense psychological drama that will be embraced by serious book clubs and fans of Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk about Kevin." —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author "A poetic, propulsive read that set my nerves jangling." —Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family—and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for—and everything she feared Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had. But in the thick of motherhood's exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn't behave like most children do. Or is it all in Blythe's head? Her husband, Fox, says she's imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well. Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she'd always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth. The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

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ELL Reading Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the ELL Reading Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Wednesday of the month, 2-3 PM
Led by: Ginger

Practice your English language skills by reading or listening to materials in English – then gather online for virtual discussion. This group is open to all English Language Learners but will be geared towards intermediate and advanced speakers.

January 12 – CANCELLED

February 9 –  Listen to a podcast: Ologies: Mythology (Transcript)

March 9 – Watch a documentary: Our Planet: Forests


Mystery Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library
When: Second Tuesday of the month, 2-3 PM
Led by: Christiana

This book group has merged with our Coolidge Corner Library Midday Monday Mystery Book Group. One of the Library’s longest running book groups, the Mystery Book Group reads everything from classic, cozy whodunnits to the latest genre-crossing murder mysteries.


Queer Reading Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Queer Reading Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Thursday of the Month, 7-8 pm
Led by: Jessica and Stephanie

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.

Cheer Up Crystal Frasier Cover
January 13

Cheer Up

Crystal Frasier

A sweet, queer teen romance perfect for fans of Fence and Check, Please! Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.

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The Charm Offensive Alison Cochrun Cover
February 10

The Charm Offensive

Alison Cochrun

"Ever since he was a kid, Dev Deshpande has believed in fairy tales, and he has spent his career crafting them for the reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise's history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns off-screen. That is, until the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star. Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming he's playing on TV. He doesn't believe in love (at least not for himself), and his publicist only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he's a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date thirty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he's cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off. Only Dev can save the season--and possibly the entire show--by coaching Charlie through every scene. Dev always gets a happy ending, and he knows he can find a way to help Charlie find his. Yet the more Dev fights to get Charlie to open up to the contestants, the more they begin to open up to each other, and it soons becomes clear Charlie has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. Travelling to romantic locations around the world, they begin to suspect they could both find their happily ever after if they're willing to let go of their ideas about whose love story gets told"--

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An Unkindness of Ghosts Rivers Solomon Cover
March 10

An Unkindness of Ghosts

Rivers Solomon

A breathtaking science fiction debut from a worthy successor to Octavia Butler.

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Coolidge Corner Library


Afternoon Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Afternoon Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third OR Fourth Monday of each month, 3:00-4:15 PM; check events calendar for the latest schedule.
Led by: Ricky

This group reads a variety of fiction and nonfiction. Books are limited to a maximum of 350 pages.

Almond Won-pyung Sohn Cover
March 2022

Almond

Won-pyung Sohn

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. One of the monsters is me. Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say "thank you," and when to laugh. Yunjae grows up content, even happy, with his small family in this quiet, peaceful space. Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school and begins to bully Yunjae. Against all odds, tormentor and victim learn they have more in common than they realized. Gon is stumped by Yunjae’s impassive calm, while Yunjae thinks if he gets to know the hotheaded Gon, he might learn how to experience true feelings. Drawn by curiosity, the two strike up a surprising friendship. As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life in danger, it is Yunjae who will step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become a most unlikely hero. The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.

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The Perfect Nine Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Cover
February 2022

The Perfect Nine

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

A dazzling, genre-defying novel in verse from the author Delia Owens says “tackles the absurdities, injustices, and corruption of a continent” Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s novels and memoirs have received glowing praise from the likes of President Barack Obama, the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, and NPR; he has been a finalist for the Man International Booker Prize and is annually tipped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; and his books have sold tens of thousands of copies around the world. In his first attempt at the epic form, Ngũgĩ tells the story of the founding of the Gĩkũyũ people of Kenya, from a strongly feminist perspective. A verse narrative, blending folklore, mythology, adventure, and allegory, The Perfect Nine chronicles the efforts the Gĩkũyũ founders make to find partners for their ten beautiful daughters—called “The Perfect Nine” —and the challenges they set for the 99 suitors who seek their hands in marriage. The epic has all the elements of adventure, with suspense, danger, humor, and sacrifice. Ngũgĩ’s epic is a quest for the beautiful as an ideal of living, as the motive force behind migrations of African peoples. He notes, “The epic came to me one night as a revelation of ideals of quest, courage, perseverance, unity, family; and the sense of the divine, in human struggles with nature and nurture.”

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The Other Einstein Marie Benedict Cover
January 2022

The Other Einstein

Marie Benedict

One of PopSugar's "25 Books You're Going to Curl Up with this Fall." "The Other Einstein takes you into Mileva's heart, mind, and study as she tries to forge a place for herself in a scientific world dominated by men."-Bustle In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight. Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

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Searching for Sylvie Lee Jean Kwok Cover
December 20

Searching for Sylvie Lee

Jean Kwok

An Instant New York Times Bestseller A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick! “Powerful . . . A twisting tale of love, loss, and dark family secrets.” — Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love. But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined. A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love. “This is a true beach read! You can’t put it down!” – Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show Book Club Pick

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Midday Monday Mystery

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Midday Monday Mystery Zoom Meeting
When: Second Monday of the month, 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Led by: Brita

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library.

August Snow Stephen Mack Jones Cover
February 14, 2022

August Snow

Stephen Mack Jones

"Tough, smart, and struggling to stay afloat, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African American father and a Mexican mother, August grew up in Detroit's Mexicantown and joined the Detroit police only to be drummed out of the force by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back: he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away and quickly learns he has many scores to settle"--

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Three Hours in Paris Cara Black Cover
March 14, 2022

Three Hours in Paris

Cara Black

"Three Hours in Paris is the story of Kate Rees, the young American markswoman who has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris on the dangerous business of trying to assassinate the Fuhrer. A country girl from rural Oregon - a grieving widow with no spy training but a vendetta and a lot of gumption - now has the state of the entire war in her hands. When the hit goes badly wrong, Kate is on the run for her life - all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up."--Provided by publisher.

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Read and Meet Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Read and Meet Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Third Thursday of the month, 7 - 8 PM
Led by: Jackie

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

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X Les Payne, Tamara Payne Cover
February 17, 2022

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

Les Payne, Tamara Payne

WINNER • 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN BIOGRAPHY • WINNER — 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION • TIME Magazine — 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 • A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and Editors' Choice Selection • Best Books of 2020: NPR, Washington Post, Library Journal, Chicago Public Library • Excerpted in The New Yorker • Longlisted — Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Best Books of Fall 2020 — O, the Oprah Magazine, The Week, St. Louis Post-Dispatch An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author’s interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative. Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X—all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm’s life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century’s most politically relevant figures “from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary.” In tracing Malcolm X’s life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm’s Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill black pride in her children after Earl’s death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm’s exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary. With a biographer’s unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations—from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder “Fard Muhammad,” who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz’s 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X’s murder at the Audubon Ballroom. Introduced by Payne’s daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father’s death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.

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What Strange Paradise Omar El Akkad Cover
March 17, 2022

What Strange Paradise

Omar El Akkad

WINNER OF THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE • From the widely acclaimed, best-selling author of American War, a new novel—beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving—that looks at the global refugee crisis through the eyes of a child. “It is one thing to put a human face on a migrant crisis and another to do so in so compelling a way that a reader simply cannot put your book down." —Gish Jen, author of The Resisters More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another overfilled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives back in their homelands. But miraculously, someone has survived the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who is soon rescued by Vänna. Vänna is a teenage girl, who, despite being native to the island, experiences her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though Vänna and Amir are complete strangers, though they don’t speak a common language, Vänna is determined to do whatever it takes to save the boy. In alternating chapters, we learn about Amir’s life and how he came to be on the boat, and we follow him and the girl as they make their way toward safety. What Strange Paradise is the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world. But it is also a story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair—and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.

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Fathoms Rebecca Giggs Cover
April 21, 2022

Fathoms

Rebecca Giggs

Winner of the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction * Finalist for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction * Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award A “delving, haunted, and poetic debut” (The New York Times Book Review) about the awe-inspiring lives of whales, revealing what they can teach us about ourselves, our planet, and our relationship with other species. When writer Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beachfront in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales reflect the condition of our oceans. Fathoms: The World in the Whale is “a work of bright and careful genius” (Robert Moor, New York Times bestselling author of On Trails), one that blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore: How do whales experience ecological change? How has whale culture been both understood and changed by human technology? What can observing whales teach us about the complexity, splendor, and fragility of life on earth? In Fathoms, we learn about whales so rare they have never been named, whale songs that sweep across hemispheres in annual waves of popularity, and whales that have modified the chemical composition of our planet’s atmosphere. We travel to Japan to board the ships that hunt whales and delve into the deepest seas to discover how plastic pollution pervades our earth’s undersea environment. With the immediacy of Rachel Carson and the lush prose of Annie Dillard, Giggs gives us a “masterly” (The New Yorker) exploration of the natural world even as she addresses what it means to write about nature at a time of environmental crisis. With depth and clarity, she outlines the challenges we face as we attempt to understand the perspectives of other living beings, and our own place on an evolving planet. Evocative and inspiring, Fathoms “immediately earns its place in the pantheon of classics of the new golden age of environmental writing” (Literary Hub).

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The Lying Life of Adults Elena Ferrante Cover
May 19, 2022

The Lying Life of Adults

Elena Ferrante

From the author of My Brilliant Friend, a powerful new novel set in a divided Naples. Soon to be adapted into a NETFLIX original series.

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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 - 3 PM
Led by: Charlotte & Batia

A book group for seniors to read together.

The Duke and I Julia Quinn Cover
December 20, 2021

The Duke and I

Julia Quinn

A #1 New York Times Bestseller From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the story of Daphne Bridgerton, in the first of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family, now a series created by Shondaland for Netflix. In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince--while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable...but not too amiable. Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen. Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society--just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend's sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar. The plan works like a charm--at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London's elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule... This novel includes the 2nd epilogue, a peek at the story after the story.

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The Liar’s Dictionary Eley Williams Cover
January 10, 2022

The Liar’s Dictionary

Eley Williams

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “You wouldn’t expect a comic novel about a dictionary to be a thriller too, but this one is. In fact, [it] is also a mystery, love story (two of them) and cliffhanging melodrama.” —The New York Times Book Review An award-winning novel that chronicles the charming misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman put on his trail a century later to root out his misdeeds while confronting questions of her own sexuality and place in the world. Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement. In the final year of the nineteenth century, Peter Winceworth is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby’s multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. But his disaffection with his colleagues compels him to assert some individual purpose and artistic freedom, and he begins inserting unauthorized, fictitious entries. In the present day, Mallory, the publisher’s young intern, starts to uncover these mountweazels in the process of digitization and through them senses their creator’s motivations, hopes, and desires. More pressingly, she’s also been contending with a threatening, anonymous caller who wants Swansby’s staff to “burn in hell.” As these two narratives coalesce, Winceworth and Mallory, separated by one hundred years, must discover how to negotiate the complexities of life’s often untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path. An exhilarating, laugh-out-loud debut, The Liar’s Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity, and joy of language while peering into questions of identity and finding one’s place in the world.

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Kindred Octavia E. Butler Cover
February 14, 2022

Kindred

Octavia E. Butler

The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now. Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

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Normal People Sally Rooney Cover
March 14, 2022

Normal People

Sally Rooney

NOW AN EMMY-NOMINATED HULU ORIGINAL SERIES • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships” (People) from the author of Conversations with Friends, “a master of the literary page-turner” (J. Courtney Sullivan). ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE—Entertainment Weekly TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—People, Slate, The New York Public Library, Harvard Crimson AND BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Vogue, Esquire, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, Vox, The Paris Review, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other. Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t. Praise for Normal People “[A] novel that demands to be read compulsively, in one sitting.”—The Washington Post “Arguably the buzziest novel of the season, Sally Rooney’s elegant sophomore effort . . . is a worthy successor to Conversations with Friends. Here, again, she unflinchingly explores class dynamics and young love with wit and nuance.”—The Wall Street Journal “[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism. . . . [She writes] some of the best dialogue I’ve read.”—The New Yorker

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The Island of Sea Women Lisa See Cover
April 11, 2022

The Island of Sea Women

Lisa See

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “A mesmerizing new historical novel” (O, The Oprah Magazine) from Lisa See, the bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and devastating family secrets on a small Korean island. Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility—but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook find it impossible to ignore their differences. The Island of Sea Women takes place over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. “This vivid…thoughtful and empathetic” novel (The New York Times Book Review) illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge and the men take care of the children. “A wonderful ode to a truly singular group of women” (Publishers Weekly), The Island of Sea Women is a “beautiful story…about the endurance of friendship when it’s pushed to its limits, and you…will love it” (Cosmopolitan).

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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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