Book & Social Groups

Please note: All Library programs are being held virtually until further notice. Please see our events calendar for virtual events listings, or learn more about current library services.


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: 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.

Jan 7: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Jan 7: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

February 4, 2021: Gwendolyn Brooks

Feb 4: Gwendolyn Brooks

March 4, 2021: Edna St Vincent Millay

Mar 4: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Common Threads Poetry Packet (April is Poetry Month!)

Apr 2: Common Threads

May 6, 2021: Bob Dylan

May 6: Bob Dylan

June 3, 2021: Walt Whitman

June 3: Walt Whitman

July 1: Ada Limón

July 1: Ada Limón

August 5, 2021: Natasha Trethewey

Aug 5: Natasha Trethewey

September 2, 2021: William Carlos Williams

Sep 2: William Carlos Williams

October 7, 2021: Fernando Pessoa

Oct 7: Fernando Pessoa

Nov 4, 2021: Lisel Mueller

Nov 4: Lisel Mueller

December 2, 2021: Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Dec 2: Aimee Nezhukumatathil


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: Will

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

You’re Not Listening Kate Murphy Cover
September 13

You’re Not Listening

Kate Murphy

When was the last time you listened to someone, or someone really listened to you? "If you’re like most people, you don’t listen as often or as well as you’d like. There’s no one better qualified than a talented journalist to introduce you to the right mindset and skillset—and this book does it with science and humor." -Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take **Hand picked by Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink for Next Big Ideas Club** "An essential book for our times." -Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone At work, we’re taught to lead the conversation. On social media, we shape our personal narratives. At parties, we talk over one another. So do our politicians. We’re not listening. And no one is listening to us. Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And it’s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. A listener by trade, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy wanted to know how we got here. In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that's full of practical advice, You're Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain's Quiet was to introversion. It’s time to stop talking and start listening.

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American Street Ibi Zoboi Cover
October 4

American Street

Ibi Zoboi

A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews! A New York Times Notable Book * Publishers Weekly Flying Start * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors' Choice of 2017 (Top of the List winner) * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * BookPage Best YA Book of the Year American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys. In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture. On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

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Minor Feelings Cathy Park Hong Cover
November 1

Minor Feelings

Cathy Park Hong

A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human "Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human."--Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times * The Washington Post * NPR * Time * New Statesman * BuzzFeed * Esquire * The New York Public Library * Book Riot Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative--and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world. Binding these essays together is Hong's theory of "minor feelings." As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality--when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they're dissonant--and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche--and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth. Praise for Minor Feelings "Hong begins her new book of essays with a bang. . . .The essays wander a variegated terrain of memoir, criticism and polemic, oscillating between smooth proclamations of certainty and twitches of self-doubt. . . . Minor Feelings is studded with moments [of] candor and dark humor shot through with glittering self-awareness."--The New York Times "Hong uses her own experiences as a jumping off point to examine race and emotion in the United States."--Newsweek (40 Must-Read Fiction and Nonfiction Books to Savor This Spring) "Powerful . . . [Hong] brings together memoiristic personal essay and reflection, historical accounts and modern reporting, and other works of art and writing, in order to amplify a multitude of voices and capture Asian America as a collection of contradictions. She does so with sharp wit and radical transparency."--Salon

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Mystery Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Mystery Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Tuesday of the month, 2-3 PM
Led by: Christiana

One of the Library’s longest running book groups, the Mystery Book Group reads everything from classic, cozy whodunnits to the latest genre-crossing murder mysteries. Bring your own lunch or enjoy our coffee and snacks every third Tuesday of the month at noon.

The Thursday Murder Club Richard Osman Cover
August 10, 2021

The Thursday Murder Club

Richard Osman

Krimi. In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings. But when a local property developer shows up dead, 'The Thursday Murder Club' find themselves in the middle of their first live case. The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be octogenarians, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it's too late?

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Furious Hours Casey Cep Cover
September 14, 2021

Furious Hours

Casey Cep

This "superbly written true-crime story" (Michael Lewis, The New York Times Book Review) masterfully brings together the tales of a serial killer in 1970s Alabama and of Harper Lee, the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who tried to write his story. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative assassinated him at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the reverend himself. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more trying to finish the book she called The Reverend. Cep brings this remarkable story to life, from the horrifying murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of our most revered writers.

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The Muralist B. A. Shapiro Cover
October 12, 2021

The Muralist

B. A. Shapiro

Don't miss B. A. Shapiro's new novel, The Collector's Apprentice, available now! “Vibrant and suspenseful . . . Like The Art Forger, this new story takes us into the heart of what it means to be an artist.” —The Washington Post “B. A. Shapiro captivated us in 2012 with her ‘addictive’ novel The Art Forger. Now, she’s back with another thrilling tale from the art world.” —Entertainment Weekly When Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at Christie’s auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now-famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?

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A Tourist’s Guide to Murder V. M. Burns Cover
November 9, 2021

A Tourist’s Guide to Murder

V. M. Burns

While visiting the land of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes, bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Samantha Washington finds herself on a tragical mystery tour... Sam joins Nana Jo and her Shady Acres Retirement Village friends Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae on a weeklong trip to London, England, to experience the Peabody Mystery Lovers Tour. The chance to see the sights and walk the streets that inspired Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle is a dream come true for Sam--and a perfect way to celebrate her new publishing contract as a mystery author. But between visits to Jack the Ripper's Whitechapel district and 221B Baker Street, Major Horace Peabody is found dead, supposedly of natural causes. Despite his employer's unfortunate demise, the tour guide insists on keeping calm and carrying on--until another tourist on their trip also dies under mysterious circumstances. Now it's up to Sam and the Shady Acres ladies to mix and mingle among their fellow mystery lovers, find a motive, and turn up a murderer...

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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: On or near the third Monday of the month, 2:15-3:30 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.

Indian Horse Richard Wagamese Cover
March 2021

Indian Horse

Richard Wagamese

Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. His last binge almost killed him, and now he's a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, surrounded by people he's sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly comes to see that he'll find it only through telling his story. With him, readers embark on a journey back through the life he's led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows. With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he's sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement. Indian Horse unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man.

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Gravity Is the Thing Jaclyn Moriarty Cover
February 2021

Gravity Is the Thing

Jaclyn Moriarty

“I loved this book. . . .Funny, heartbreaking and clever with a mystery at its heart.” -Jojo Moyes “With an eye as keen for human idiosyncrasies as Miranda July’s, and a sense of humor as bright and surprising as Maria Semple’s, this is a novel of pure velocity.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review) The adult debut from bestselling, award-winning young adult author Jaclyn Moriarty—a frequently hilarious, brilliantly observed novel—that follows a single mother’s heartfelt search for greater truths about the universe, her family and herself. Twenty years ago, Abigail Sorenson’s brother Robert went missing one day before her sixteenth birthday, never to be seen again. That same year, she began receiving scattered chapters in the mail of a self-help manual, the Guidebook, whose anonymous author promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams. The Guidebook’s missives have remained a constant in Abi’s life—a befuddling yet oddly comforting voice through her family’s grief over her brother’s disappearance, a move across continents, the devastating dissolution of her marriage, and the new beginning as a single mother and café owner in Sydney. Now, two decades after receiving those first pages, Abi is invited to an all-expenses paid weekend retreat to learn “the truth” about the Guidebook. It’s an opportunity too intriguing to refuse. If Everything is Connected, then surely the twin mysteries of the Guidebook and a missing brother must be linked? What follows is completely the opposite of what Abi expected––but it will lead her on a journey of discovery that will change her life––and enchant readers. Gravity Is the Thing is a smart, unusual, wickedly funny novel about the search for happiness that will break your heart into a million pieces and put it back together, bigger and better than before.

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Peace Talks Tim Finch Cover
November 2020

Peace Talks

Tim Finch

'There are war stories and there are love stories, but we only occasionally get war stories and love stories braided together. Tim Finch has written a wonderful novel, tiny and epic both. Laced with humour and sadness, this is an intimate account of what it means to make peace, both with others and with oneself' COLUM McCANN 'A shrewd delight' independent.co.ukEdvard Behrens is a senior diplomat of some repute, highly regarded for his work on international peace negotiations. Under his arbitration, unimaginable atrocities are coolly dissected; invisible and ancient lines, grown taut and frayed with conflict, redrawn.In his latest post, Edvard has been sent a nondescript resort hotel in the Tyrol. High up on this mountain, the air is bright and clear. When he isn't working, Edvard reads, walks, listens to music. He confides in no one - no one but his wife Anna. Anna, who he loves with all his heart; Anna, always present and yet forever absent. Honest, honourable, tragic, witty, wise, an unforgettable novel of love, loss, and the human longing for peace, Peace Talks maps the darkest and most tender territories of the human heart.

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Purple Hibiscus Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Cover
October 2020

Purple Hibiscus

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“One of the most vital and original novelists of her generation.” —Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker From the bestselling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating. As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together. Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.

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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.

Winter Counts David Heska Wanbli Weiden Cover
November 8, 2021

Winter Counts

David Heska Wanbli Weiden

SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDGAR AWARD FOR FIRST NOVEL “Winter Counts is a marvel. It’s a thriller with a beating heart and jagged teeth. This book is a brilliant meditation on power and violence, and a testament to just how much a crime novel can achieve. Weiden is a powerful new voice. I couldn’t put it down.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There A Recommended Read from: USA Today * TIME * The Washington Post * Buzzfeed * Electric Literature * Lit Hub * Shondaland * Publishers Weekly * Crimereads * Salon * PopSugar * NPR A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx. Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that’s hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil’s nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop. They follow a lead to Denver and find that drug cartels are rapidly expanding and forming new and terrifying alliances. And back on the reservation, a new tribal council initiative raises uncomfortable questions about money and power. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an incredible cost. Winter Counts is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that’s as deeply rendered as it is thrilling.

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The Long Call Ann Cleeves Cover
December 13, 2021

The Long Call

Ann Cleeves

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! A USA TODAY BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE AGATHA AWARD FOR BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL A PEOPLE MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF FALL 2019 The Long Call from Ann Cleeves—bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows—introduces the first in a gripping new series, told with deep compassion and searing insight. “In Matthew Venn, Ann has created a complex, daring, subtle character.” —Louise Penny "Matthew Venn is a keeper. A stunning debut for Cleeves’ latest crimefighter."—David Baldacci In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too. Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

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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.

Black Is the Body Emily Bernard Cover
August 19, 2021

Black Is the Body

Emily Bernard

An extraordinary, exquisitely written memoir (of sorts) that looks at race--in a fearless, penetrating, honest, true way--in twelve telltale, connected, deeply personal essays that explore, up-close, the complexities and paradoxes, the haunting memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America's New England today. From the acclaimed editor of Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten ("A major contribution," Henry Louis Gates; "Magnificent," Washington Post). "I am black--and brown, too," writes Emily Bernard. "Brown is the body I was born into. Black is the body of the stories I tell." And the storytelling, and the mystery of Bernard's storytelling, of getting to the truth, begins with a stabbing in a New England college town. Bernard writes how, when she was a graduate student at Yale, she walked into a coffee shop and, along with six other people, was randomly attacked by a stranger with a knife ("I remember making the decision not to let the oddness of this stranger bother me"). "I was not stabbed because I was black," she writes (the attacker was white), "but I have always viewed the violence I survived as a metaphor for the violent encounter that has generally characterized American race relations. There was no connection between us, yet we were suddenly and irreparably bound by a knife, an attachment that cost us both: him, his freedom; me, my wholeness." Bernard explores how that bizarre act of violence set her free and unleashed the storyteller in her ("The equation of writing and regeneration is fundamental to black American experience"). She writes in Black Is the Body how each of the essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt, how each is anchored in a mystery, and how each sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it. "Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably . . . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book." And what most interests Bernard is looking at "blackness at its borders, where it meets whiteness in fear and hope, in anguish and love."

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Say Nothing Patrick Radden Keefe Cover
October 21, 2021

Say Nothing

Patrick Radden Keefe

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR - TIME MAGAZINE ONE OF THE BEST 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR - WASHINGTON POST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD "Masked intruders dragged Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow and mother of 10, from her Belfast home in 1972. In this meticulously reported book -- as finely paced as a novel -- Keefe uses McConville's murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga." - New York Times Book Review, Ten Best Books of the Year From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes. Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past--Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.

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Girl, Woman, Other Bernardine Evaristo Cover
November 18, 2021

Girl, Woman, Other

Bernardine Evaristo

NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE “A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.”—Booker Prize Judges Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London’s funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter’s lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class. Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi Cover
December 23, 2021

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi

"A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning."

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Putterham Library


Council on Aging Book Group

Where: Putterham Library, meeting virtually -- 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.

Shuggie Bain Douglas Stuart Cover
June 14, 2021

Shuggie Bain

Douglas Stuart

A heart-wrenchingly moving first novel set in Glasgow during the Thatcher years, Shuggie Bain tells the story of a boy's doomed attempt to save his proud, alcoholic mother from her addiction.

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The Ungrateful Refugee Dina Nayeri Cover
July 12, 2021

The Ungrateful Refugee

Dina Nayeri

A Finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction "Nayeri combines her own experience with those of refugees she meets as an adult, telling their stories with tenderness and reverence.” —The New York Times Book Review "Nayeri weaves her empowering personal story with those of the ‘feared swarms’ . . . Her family’s escape from Isfahan to Oklahoma, which involved waiting in Dubai and Italy, is wildly fascinating . . . Using energetic prose, Nayeri is an excellent conduit for these heart–rending stories, eschewing judgment and employing care in threading the stories in with her own . . . This is a memoir laced with stimulus and plenty of heart at a time when the latter has grown elusive.” —Star–Tribune (Minneapolis) Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel–turned–refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials. Nayeri confronts notions like “the swarm,” and, on the other hand, “good” immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis. “A writer who confronts issues that are key to the refugee experience.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees

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The Daylight Marriage Heidi Pitlor Cover
August 16, 2021

The Daylight Marriage

Heidi Pitlor

Hannah was tall and graceful, naturally pretty, spirited and impulsive, the upper-class young woman who picked, of all men, Lovell---the introverted climate scientist who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon, they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children. But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She has become withdrawn. His work affords him a convenient distraction. And then, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. For the first time, Lovell is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife--and to their life together--readers follow Hannah on that single day when a hasty decision proves irrevocable. With haunting intensity, a seamless balance of wit and heartbreak, and the emotional acuity that author Heidi Pitlor brings to every page, The Daylight Marriage mines the dark and delicate nature of a marriage. “A page-turning exploration of unexpressed love and unnecessary loss. Riveting and heartbreaking.” —GERALDINE BROOKS, author of Caleb’s Crossing “In The Daylight Marriage, there are two mysteries--the whereabouts of a missing woman and the vagaries of the human heart. Heidi Pitlor explores both of these enigmas with equal mastery, merging a shocking crime story with an incisive portrait of a failed marriage. The result is a novel that is fast-moving, emotionally complex, and ultimately heartbreaking.” —Tom Perrotta, author of Nine Inches “Pitlor brings forth the emotions that surge beneath the surface with the precision and power of a conductor . . . This powerful analysis of how dreams become nightmares will make readers want to hold their loved ones close.” —Booklist, starred review

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A Long Petal of the Sea Isabel Allende Cover
September 20, 2021

A Long Petal of the Sea

Isabel Allende

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the author of The House of the Spirits, this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home. "One of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and most affecting works in [Isabel Allende's] long career."--The New York Times Book Review NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Esquire * Good Housekeeping * Parade In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark for Chile on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda: "the long petal of sea and wine and snow." As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along. A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile, and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea shows Isabel Allende at the height of her powers. Praise for A Long Petal of the Sea "Both an intimate look at the relationship between one man and one woman and an epic story of love, war, family, and the search for home, this gorgeous novel, like all the best novels, transports the reader to another time and place, and also sheds light on the way we live now."--J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Saints for All Occasions "This is a novel not just for those of us who have been Allende fans for decades, but also for those who are brand-new to her work: What a joy it must be to come upon Allende for the first time. She knows that all stories are love stories, and the greatest love stories are told by time."--Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Lori Gottlieb Cover
October 18, 2021

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Lori Gottlieb

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Now being developed as a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC! “Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing.”—Katie Couric “This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book.”—Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post and Founder & CEO, Thrive Global “Wise, warm, smart, and funny. You must read this book.”—Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives — a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys — she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell. With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is rev­olutionary in its candor, offering a deeply per­sonal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly reveal­ing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

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An American Sunrise: Poems Joy Harjo Cover
November 15, 2021

An American Sunrise: Poems

Joy Harjo

A stunning new volume from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, informed by her tribal history and connection to the land. In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother’s death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and “one of our finest—and most complicated—poets” (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.

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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.

Jan 7: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Jan 7: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

February 4, 2021: Gwendolyn Brooks

Feb 4: Gwendolyn Brooks

March 4, 2021: Edna St Vincent Millay

Mar 4: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Common Threads Poetry Packet (April is Poetry Month!)

Apr 2: Common Threads

May 6, 2021: Bob Dylan

May 6: Bob Dylan

June 3, 2021: Walt Whitman

June 3: Walt Whitman

July 1: Ada Limón

July 1: Ada Limón

August 5, 2021: Natasha Trethewey

Aug 5: Natasha Trethewey

September 2, 2021: William Carlos Williams

Sep 2: William Carlos Williams

October 7, 2021: Fernando Pessoa

Oct 7: Fernando Pessoa

Nov 4, 2021: Lisel Mueller

Nov 4: Lisel Mueller

December 2, 2021: Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Dec 2: Aimee Nezhukumatathil


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: Will

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

You’re Not Listening Kate Murphy Cover
September 13

You’re Not Listening

Kate Murphy

When was the last time you listened to someone, or someone really listened to you? "If you’re like most people, you don’t listen as often or as well as you’d like. There’s no one better qualified than a talented journalist to introduce you to the right mindset and skillset—and this book does it with science and humor." -Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take **Hand picked by Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink for Next Big Ideas Club** "An essential book for our times." -Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone At work, we’re taught to lead the conversation. On social media, we shape our personal narratives. At parties, we talk over one another. So do our politicians. We’re not listening. And no one is listening to us. Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And it’s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. A listener by trade, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy wanted to know how we got here. In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that's full of practical advice, You're Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain's Quiet was to introversion. It’s time to stop talking and start listening.

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American Street Ibi Zoboi Cover
October 4

American Street

Ibi Zoboi

A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews! A New York Times Notable Book * Publishers Weekly Flying Start * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors' Choice of 2017 (Top of the List winner) * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * BookPage Best YA Book of the Year American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys. In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture. On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

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Minor Feelings Cathy Park Hong Cover
November 1

Minor Feelings

Cathy Park Hong

A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human "Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human."--Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times * The Washington Post * NPR * Time * New Statesman * BuzzFeed * Esquire * The New York Public Library * Book Riot Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative--and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world. Binding these essays together is Hong's theory of "minor feelings." As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality--when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they're dissonant--and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche--and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth. Praise for Minor Feelings "Hong begins her new book of essays with a bang. . . .The essays wander a variegated terrain of memoir, criticism and polemic, oscillating between smooth proclamations of certainty and twitches of self-doubt. . . . Minor Feelings is studded with moments [of] candor and dark humor shot through with glittering self-awareness."--The New York Times "Hong uses her own experiences as a jumping off point to examine race and emotion in the United States."--Newsweek (40 Must-Read Fiction and Nonfiction Books to Savor This Spring) "Powerful . . . [Hong] brings together memoiristic personal essay and reflection, historical accounts and modern reporting, and other works of art and writing, in order to amplify a multitude of voices and capture Asian America as a collection of contradictions. She does so with sharp wit and radical transparency."--Salon

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Mystery Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, meeting virtually -- register for the Mystery Book Group Zoom Meeting
When: Second Tuesday of the month, 2-3 PM
Led by: Christiana

One of the Library’s longest running book groups, the Mystery Book Group reads everything from classic, cozy whodunnits to the latest genre-crossing murder mysteries. Bring your own lunch or enjoy our coffee and snacks every third Tuesday of the month at noon.

The Thursday Murder Club Richard Osman Cover
August 10, 2021

The Thursday Murder Club

Richard Osman

Krimi. In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings. But when a local property developer shows up dead, 'The Thursday Murder Club' find themselves in the middle of their first live case. The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be octogenarians, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it's too late?

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Furious Hours Casey Cep Cover
September 14, 2021

Furious Hours

Casey Cep

This "superbly written true-crime story" (Michael Lewis, The New York Times Book Review) masterfully brings together the tales of a serial killer in 1970s Alabama and of Harper Lee, the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who tried to write his story. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative assassinated him at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the reverend himself. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more trying to finish the book she called The Reverend. Cep brings this remarkable story to life, from the horrifying murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of our most revered writers.

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The Muralist B. A. Shapiro Cover
October 12, 2021

The Muralist

B. A. Shapiro

Don't miss B. A. Shapiro's new novel, The Collector's Apprentice, available now! “Vibrant and suspenseful . . . Like The Art Forger, this new story takes us into the heart of what it means to be an artist.” —The Washington Post “B. A. Shapiro captivated us in 2012 with her ‘addictive’ novel The Art Forger. Now, she’s back with another thrilling tale from the art world.” —Entertainment Weekly When Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at Christie’s auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now-famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?

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A Tourist’s Guide to Murder V. M. Burns Cover
November 9, 2021

A Tourist’s Guide to Murder

V. M. Burns

While visiting the land of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes, bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Samantha Washington finds herself on a tragical mystery tour... Sam joins Nana Jo and her Shady Acres Retirement Village friends Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae on a weeklong trip to London, England, to experience the Peabody Mystery Lovers Tour. The chance to see the sights and walk the streets that inspired Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle is a dream come true for Sam--and a perfect way to celebrate her new publishing contract as a mystery author. But between visits to Jack the Ripper's Whitechapel district and 221B Baker Street, Major Horace Peabody is found dead, supposedly of natural causes. Despite his employer's unfortunate demise, the tour guide insists on keeping calm and carrying on--until another tourist on their trip also dies under mysterious circumstances. Now it's up to Sam and the Shady Acres ladies to mix and mingle among their fellow mystery lovers, find a motive, and turn up a murderer...

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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: On or near the third Monday of the month, 2:15-3:30 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.

Indian Horse Richard Wagamese Cover
March 2021

Indian Horse

Richard Wagamese

Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. His last binge almost killed him, and now he's a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, surrounded by people he's sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly comes to see that he'll find it only through telling his story. With him, readers embark on a journey back through the life he's led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows. With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he's sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement. Indian Horse unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man.

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Gravity Is the Thing Jaclyn Moriarty Cover
February 2021

Gravity Is the Thing

Jaclyn Moriarty

“I loved this book. . . .Funny, heartbreaking and clever with a mystery at its heart.” -Jojo Moyes “With an eye as keen for human idiosyncrasies as Miranda July’s, and a sense of humor as bright and surprising as Maria Semple’s, this is a novel of pure velocity.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review) The adult debut from bestselling, award-winning young adult author Jaclyn Moriarty—a frequently hilarious, brilliantly observed novel—that follows a single mother’s heartfelt search for greater truths about the universe, her family and herself. Twenty years ago, Abigail Sorenson’s brother Robert went missing one day before her sixteenth birthday, never to be seen again. That same year, she began receiving scattered chapters in the mail of a self-help manual, the Guidebook, whose anonymous author promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams. The Guidebook’s missives have remained a constant in Abi’s life—a befuddling yet oddly comforting voice through her family’s grief over her brother’s disappearance, a move across continents, the devastating dissolution of her marriage, and the new beginning as a single mother and café owner in Sydney. Now, two decades after receiving those first pages, Abi is invited to an all-expenses paid weekend retreat to learn “the truth” about the Guidebook. It’s an opportunity too intriguing to refuse. If Everything is Connected, then surely the twin mysteries of the Guidebook and a missing brother must be linked? What follows is completely the opposite of what Abi expected––but it will lead her on a journey of discovery that will change her life––and enchant readers. Gravity Is the Thing is a smart, unusual, wickedly funny novel about the search for happiness that will break your heart into a million pieces and put it back together, bigger and better than before.

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Peace Talks Tim Finch Cover
November 2020

Peace Talks

Tim Finch

'There are war stories and there are love stories, but we only occasionally get war stories and love stories braided together. Tim Finch has written a wonderful novel, tiny and epic both. Laced with humour and sadness, this is an intimate account of what it means to make peace, both with others and with oneself' COLUM McCANN 'A shrewd delight' independent.co.ukEdvard Behrens is a senior diplomat of some repute, highly regarded for his work on international peace negotiations. Under his arbitration, unimaginable atrocities are coolly dissected; invisible and ancient lines, grown taut and frayed with conflict, redrawn.In his latest post, Edvard has been sent a nondescript resort hotel in the Tyrol. High up on this mountain, the air is bright and clear. When he isn't working, Edvard reads, walks, listens to music. He confides in no one - no one but his wife Anna. Anna, who he loves with all his heart; Anna, always present and yet forever absent. Honest, honourable, tragic, witty, wise, an unforgettable novel of love, loss, and the human longing for peace, Peace Talks maps the darkest and most tender territories of the human heart.

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Purple Hibiscus Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Cover
October 2020

Purple Hibiscus

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“One of the most vital and original novelists of her generation.” —Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker From the bestselling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating. As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together. Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.

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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.

Winter Counts David Heska Wanbli Weiden Cover
November 8, 2021

Winter Counts

David Heska Wanbli Weiden

SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDGAR AWARD FOR FIRST NOVEL “Winter Counts is a marvel. It’s a thriller with a beating heart and jagged teeth. This book is a brilliant meditation on power and violence, and a testament to just how much a crime novel can achieve. Weiden is a powerful new voice. I couldn’t put it down.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There A Recommended Read from: USA Today * TIME * The Washington Post * Buzzfeed * Electric Literature * Lit Hub * Shondaland * Publishers Weekly * Crimereads * Salon * PopSugar * NPR A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx. Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that’s hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil’s nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop. They follow a lead to Denver and find that drug cartels are rapidly expanding and forming new and terrifying alliances. And back on the reservation, a new tribal council initiative raises uncomfortable questions about money and power. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an incredible cost. Winter Counts is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that’s as deeply rendered as it is thrilling.

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The Long Call Ann Cleeves Cover
December 13, 2021

The Long Call

Ann Cleeves

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! A USA TODAY BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE AGATHA AWARD FOR BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL A PEOPLE MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF FALL 2019 The Long Call from Ann Cleeves—bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows—introduces the first in a gripping new series, told with deep compassion and searing insight. “In Matthew Venn, Ann has created a complex, daring, subtle character.” —Louise Penny "Matthew Venn is a keeper. A stunning debut for Cleeves’ latest crimefighter."—David Baldacci In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too. Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

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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.

Black Is the Body Emily Bernard Cover
August 19, 2021

Black Is the Body

Emily Bernard

An extraordinary, exquisitely written memoir (of sorts) that looks at race--in a fearless, penetrating, honest, true way--in twelve telltale, connected, deeply personal essays that explore, up-close, the complexities and paradoxes, the haunting memories and ambushing realities of growing up black in the South with a family name inherited from a white man, of getting a PhD from Yale, of marrying a white man from the North, of adopting two babies from Ethiopia, of teaching at a white college and living in America's New England today. From the acclaimed editor of Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten ("A major contribution," Henry Louis Gates; "Magnificent," Washington Post). "I am black--and brown, too," writes Emily Bernard. "Brown is the body I was born into. Black is the body of the stories I tell." And the storytelling, and the mystery of Bernard's storytelling, of getting to the truth, begins with a stabbing in a New England college town. Bernard writes how, when she was a graduate student at Yale, she walked into a coffee shop and, along with six other people, was randomly attacked by a stranger with a knife ("I remember making the decision not to let the oddness of this stranger bother me"). "I was not stabbed because I was black," she writes (the attacker was white), "but I have always viewed the violence I survived as a metaphor for the violent encounter that has generally characterized American race relations. There was no connection between us, yet we were suddenly and irreparably bound by a knife, an attachment that cost us both: him, his freedom; me, my wholeness." Bernard explores how that bizarre act of violence set her free and unleashed the storyteller in her ("The equation of writing and regeneration is fundamental to black American experience"). She writes in Black Is the Body how each of the essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt, how each is anchored in a mystery, and how each sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it. "Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably . . . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book." And what most interests Bernard is looking at "blackness at its borders, where it meets whiteness in fear and hope, in anguish and love."

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Say Nothing Patrick Radden Keefe Cover
October 21, 2021

Say Nothing

Patrick Radden Keefe

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR - TIME MAGAZINE ONE OF THE BEST 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR - WASHINGTON POST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD "Masked intruders dragged Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow and mother of 10, from her Belfast home in 1972. In this meticulously reported book -- as finely paced as a novel -- Keefe uses McConville's murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga." - New York Times Book Review, Ten Best Books of the Year From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes. Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past--Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.

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Girl, Woman, Other Bernardine Evaristo Cover
November 18, 2021

Girl, Woman, Other

Bernardine Evaristo

NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE “A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.”—Booker Prize Judges Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London’s funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter’s lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class. Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi Cover
December 23, 2021

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi

"A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning."

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Putterham Library


Council on Aging Book Group

Where: Putterham Library, meeting virtually -- 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.

Shuggie Bain Douglas Stuart Cover
June 14, 2021

Shuggie Bain

Douglas Stuart

A heart-wrenchingly moving first novel set in Glasgow during the Thatcher years, Shuggie Bain tells the story of a boy's doomed attempt to save his proud, alcoholic mother from her addiction.

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The Ungrateful Refugee Dina Nayeri Cover
July 12, 2021

The Ungrateful Refugee

Dina Nayeri

A Finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction "Nayeri combines her own experience with those of refugees she meets as an adult, telling their stories with tenderness and reverence.” —The New York Times Book Review "Nayeri weaves her empowering personal story with those of the ‘feared swarms’ . . . Her family’s escape from Isfahan to Oklahoma, which involved waiting in Dubai and Italy, is wildly fascinating . . . Using energetic prose, Nayeri is an excellent conduit for these heart–rending stories, eschewing judgment and employing care in threading the stories in with her own . . . This is a memoir laced with stimulus and plenty of heart at a time when the latter has grown elusive.” —Star–Tribune (Minneapolis) Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel–turned–refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials. Nayeri confronts notions like “the swarm,” and, on the other hand, “good” immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis. “A writer who confronts issues that are key to the refugee experience.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees

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The Daylight Marriage Heidi Pitlor Cover
August 16, 2021

The Daylight Marriage

Heidi Pitlor

Hannah was tall and graceful, naturally pretty, spirited and impulsive, the upper-class young woman who picked, of all men, Lovell---the introverted climate scientist who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon, they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children. But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She has become withdrawn. His work affords him a convenient distraction. And then, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes. For the first time, Lovell is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife--and to their life together--readers follow Hannah on that single day when a hasty decision proves irrevocable. With haunting intensity, a seamless balance of wit and heartbreak, and the emotional acuity that author Heidi Pitlor brings to every page, The Daylight Marriage mines the dark and delicate nature of a marriage. “A page-turning exploration of unexpressed love and unnecessary loss. Riveting and heartbreaking.” —GERALDINE BROOKS, author of Caleb’s Crossing “In The Daylight Marriage, there are two mysteries--the whereabouts of a missing woman and the vagaries of the human heart. Heidi Pitlor explores both of these enigmas with equal mastery, merging a shocking crime story with an incisive portrait of a failed marriage. The result is a novel that is fast-moving, emotionally complex, and ultimately heartbreaking.” —Tom Perrotta, author of Nine Inches “Pitlor brings forth the emotions that surge beneath the surface with the precision and power of a conductor . . . This powerful analysis of how dreams become nightmares will make readers want to hold their loved ones close.” —Booklist, starred review

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A Long Petal of the Sea Isabel Allende Cover
September 20, 2021

A Long Petal of the Sea

Isabel Allende

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the author of The House of the Spirits, this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home. "One of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and most affecting works in [Isabel Allende's] long career."--The New York Times Book Review NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Esquire * Good Housekeeping * Parade In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark for Chile on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda: "the long petal of sea and wine and snow." As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along. A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile, and belonging, A Long Petal of the Sea shows Isabel Allende at the height of her powers. Praise for A Long Petal of the Sea "Both an intimate look at the relationship between one man and one woman and an epic story of love, war, family, and the search for home, this gorgeous novel, like all the best novels, transports the reader to another time and place, and also sheds light on the way we live now."--J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Saints for All Occasions "This is a novel not just for those of us who have been Allende fans for decades, but also for those who are brand-new to her work: What a joy it must be to come upon Allende for the first time. She knows that all stories are love stories, and the greatest love stories are told by time."--Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Lori Gottlieb Cover
October 18, 2021

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Lori Gottlieb

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Now being developed as a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC! “Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing.”—Katie Couric “This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book.”—Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post and Founder & CEO, Thrive Global “Wise, warm, smart, and funny. You must read this book.”—Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives — a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys — she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell. With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is rev­olutionary in its candor, offering a deeply per­sonal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly reveal­ing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

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An American Sunrise: Poems Joy Harjo Cover
November 15, 2021

An American Sunrise: Poems

Joy Harjo

A stunning new volume from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, informed by her tribal history and connection to the land. In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother’s death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and “one of our finest—and most complicated—poets” (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.

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