Book & Social Groups

Please note: Effective March 11, 2020, all Library programs are canceled until April 30, 2020. Please see the Library Director’s update on COVID-19.

Brookline Village Library


Brookline Village Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, 2nd Floor Conference Room – 361 Washington St.
When: First Monday of the month, 7-8:30 PM
Led by: Will

Read a variety of fiction and nonfiction in this monthly book group. Snacks are provided. If you have questions you can contact Will by sending us a message.


The Complete Persepolis Marjane Satrapi Cover
April 6, 2020

The Complete Persepolis

Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the story of Marjane Satrapi's childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trails of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland.

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Heads of the Colored People Nafissa Thompson-Spires Cover
March 2, 2020

Heads of the Colored People

Nafissa Thompson-Spires

*PEN Open Book Award Winner* *Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award and Aspen Words Literary Prize* *Nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize* *Kirkus Prize and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist* Included in Best Books of 2018 Lists from Refinery29, NPR, The Root, HuffPost, Vanity Fair, Bustle, Chicago Tribune, PopSugar, and The Undefeated. In one of the season’s most acclaimed works of fiction—a National Book Award longlist and winner of the PEN Open Book Award winner—Nafissa Thompson-Spires offers “a firecracker of a book...a triumph of storytelling: intelligent, acerbic, and ingenious” (Financial Times). Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with race, identity politics, and the contemporary middle class in this “vivid, fast, funny, way-smart, and verbally inventive” (George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo) collection. Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks—while others are devastatingly poignant. In the title story, when a cosplayer, dressed as his favorite anime character, is mistaken for a violent threat the consequences are dire; in another story, a teen struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with so-called black culture. Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires “has taken the best of what Toni Cade Bambara, Morgan Parker, and Junot Díaz do plus a whole lot of something we’ve never seen in American literature, blended it all together...giving us one of the finest short-story collections” (Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division).

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A Taste of Poetry

Where: Brookline Village Library Conference Room – 361 Washington St.
When
: First Thursday of the month, noon – 1:30 PM
Led by
: Lily

Bring your lunch and an appetite for poetry. Each month we look at half a dozen poems by a well-known poet. We provide copies of the poems – no need to read anything in advance – and lead a discussion after reading them. You can contact Lily by sending us a message.


January 2, 2020, Martin Espada

Jan 2: Martin Espada

February 6, 2020, Danielle Legros Georges

Feb 6: Danielle Legros Georges

March 5, 2020, Jane Kenyon

March 5: Jane Kenyon

Common Threads Poetry Packet (April is Poetry Month!)

Apr 2: Common Threads

May 7, 2020, Tina Chang

May 7: Tina Chang

June 4, 2020, Nikki Giovanni

June 4: Nikki Giovanni

July 2, 2020, N. Scott Momaday

July 2: N. Scott Momaday

August 6, 2020, Ted Kooser

Aug 6: Ted Kooser

September 3, 2020, William Shakespeare

Sep 3: William Shakespeare

October 1, 2020, Muriel Rukeyser

Oct 1: Muriel Rukeyser

November 5, 2020, Garrett Hongo

Nov 5: Garrett Hongo

December 3, 2020, Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Dec 3: Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Speculative Fiction Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, the Commons — 361 Washington St.
When: Fourth Wednesday of the month, 7 – 8 PM
Led by: Lily

Come explore science fiction and fantasy literature in the Speculative Fiction Book Group. From powerful magicians to daring quests to friendly androids, there’s something for all speculative fiction readers to enjoy. Snacks are provided.

Due to holidays, this group will meet on the third Wednesday of the month in November and December (as needed).


The Black God’s Drums P. Djèlí Clark Cover
February 26

The Black God’s Drums

P. Djèlí Clark

Rising SFF star P. Djèlí Clark brings an alternate New Orleans of orisha, airships, and adventure to life in his immersive debut novella The Black God's Drums In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air – in particular, by earning a spot on-board the airship Midnight Robber. Creeper plans to earn Captain Ann-Marie’s trust with information she discovers about a Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums. But Creeper also has a secret herself: Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, speaks inside her head, and may have her own ulterior motivations. Soon, Creeper, Oya, and the crew of the Midnight Robber are pulled into a perilous mission aimed to stop the Black God’s Drums from being unleashed and wiping out the entirety of New Orleans. “A sinewy mosaic of Haitian sky pirates, wily street urchins, and orisha magic. Beguiling and bombastic!” —Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author

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The Calculating Stars Mary Robinette Kowal Cover
March 25

The Calculating Stars

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal's science fiction debut, 2019 Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Award for best novel, The Calculating Stars, explores the premise behind her award-winning "Lady Astronaut of Mars." Winner 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novel Winner 2019 Locus Award for Best Novel Winner 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novel Finalist 2019 Campbell Memorial Award Locus Trade Paperback Bestseller List Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018—Science Fiction/Fantasy Winner 2019 RUSA Reading List for Science Fiction—American Library Association Locus 2018 Recommended Reading List Buzzfeed—17 Science-Fiction Novels By Women That Are Out Of This World Locus Bestseller List Chicago Review of Books—Top 10 Science Fiction Books of 2018 Goodreads—Most Popular Books Published in July 2018 (#66) The Verge—12 fantastic science fiction and fantasy novels for July 2018 Unbound Worlds—Best SciFi and Fantasy Books of July 2018 Den of Geek—Best Science Fiction Books of June 2018 Publishers Weekly—Best SFF Books of 2018 Omnivoracious—15 Highly Anticipated SFF Reads for Summer 2018 Past Magazine—Best Novels of 2018 Bookriot—Best Science Fiction Books of 2018 The Library Thing—Top Five Books of 2018 On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too. Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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Gods of Jade and Shadow Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover
April 22

Gods of Jade and Shadow

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

'This is historical fantasy at its best' S.A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass Inspired by Mexican folklore, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a magical, wildly imaginative coming-of-age tale for fans of Katherine Arden, Naomi Novik and Helene Wecker. The Jazz Age is in full swing, but it's passing Casiopea Tun by. She's too busy scrubbing floors in her wealthy grandfather's house to do anything more than dream of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she could call her own. This dream is impossible, distant as the stars - until the day Casiopea opens a curious chest in her grandfather's room and accidentally frees an ancient Mayan god of death. He offers her a deal: if Casiopea helps him recover his throne from his treacherous brother, he will grant her whatever she desires. Success will make her every dream come true, but failure will see her lost, for ever. In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed only with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City and deep into the darkness of Xibalba, the Mayan underworld. 'Wondrous and magical' Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles 'Evocative and moving' Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trial of Lightning 'An adventure for the mind and the heart' Christina Henry, author of Alice 'A joy to read' Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library series A BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER 2019 PICK BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ONE OF THE HOTTEST BOOKS OF SUMMER BY GOODREADS A SUMMER 2019 B&N DISCOVER GREAT NEW WRITERS SELECTION

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On a Sunbeam Tillie Walden Cover
May 27

On a Sunbeam

Tillie Walden

“Tillie Walden is the future of comics, and On a Sunbeam is her best work yet. It’s a ‘space’ story unlike any you’ve ever read, with a rich, lived-in universe of complex characters.” —Brian K. Vaughan, Saga and Paper Girls Two timelines. Second chances. One love. A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together. Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love—only to learn the pain of loss. With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love. A Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2018 One of The Washington Post's "10 Best Graphic Novels of 2018" A School Library Journal Best Book of 2018 A YALSA Top Ten Great Graphic Novel

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This Is How You Lose the Time War Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone Cover
June 24

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. In the ashes of a dying world, Red finds a letter marked “Burn before reading. Signed, Blue.” So begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents in a war that stretches through the vast reaches of time and space. Red belongs to the Agency, a post-singularity technotopia. Blue belongs to Garden, a single vast consciousness embedded in all organic matter. Their pasts are bloody and their futures mutually exclusive. They have nothing in common—save that they’re the best, and they’re alone. Now what began as a battlefield boast grows into a dangerous game, one both Red and Blue are determined to win. Because winning’s what you do in war. Isn’t it? A tour de force collaboration from two powerhouse writers that spans the whole of time and space.

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Mystery Book Discussion Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, 2nd floor Conference Room – 361 Washington St.
When:
Third Tuesday of the month, noon – 1 PM
Led by
Christiana

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. If you have questions, you may contact Christiana by sending us a message.

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


The Bookman’s Wake John Dunning Cover
May 19, 2020

The Bookman’s Wake

John Dunning

Denver cop-turned-bookdealer Cliff Janeway is lured by an enterprising fellow ex-policeman into going to Seattle to bring back a fugitive wanted for assault, burglary, and the possible theft of a priceless edition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." The bail jumper turns out to be a vulnerable young woman calling herself Eleanor Rigby, who is also a gifted book finder. Janeway is intrigued by the woman -- and by the deadly history surrounding the rare volume. Hunted by people willing to kill for the antique tome, a terrified Eleanor escapes and disappears. To find her -- and save her -- Janeway must unravel the secrets of the book's past and its mysterious maker, for only then can he stop the hand of death from turning another page....

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The River Peter Heller Cover
April 21, 2020

The River

Peter Heller

"Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddles and picking blueberries and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And, if he is, where is the woman?"--Provided by publisher.

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Wonton Terror Vivien Chien Cover
March 17, 2020

Wonton Terror

Vivien Chien

In the fourth in Vivien Chien's Noodle Shop delicious mystery series, Ho-Lee Noodle House is ready to take the Cleveland night market by storm—until a brand-new food venue literally explodes onto the scene. Lana Lee is all smiles when the first evening of Cleveland’s Asian Night Market kicks off the summer. The weekly festival is always good for business, packed with locals and tourists, and this year, some stiff new food-truck competition. Wonton on Wheels, run by old friends of Lana’s parents, promises to have customers lining up for their delicately wrapped delights—until the truck blows up at evening’s end. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, had been planning a birthday getaway for the two of them but, lo and behold, Lana must assume the role of amateur sleuth yet again. With one proprietor of Wonton on Wheels dead, it’s beginning to look more like murder and less like an unfortunate accident. And as they begin to unwrap layers of disturbing secrets, Lana’s own family erupts into new drama. Will Lana be able to solve this crime—or has she jumped from the wok right into the fire? “Thoroughly entertaining...fun and delicious.”—RT Book Reviews

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Every Heart a Doorway Seanan McGuire Cover
February 18

Every Heart a Doorway

Seanan McGuire

Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children No Solicitations No Visitors No Quests Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she's back. The things she's experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West's care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy's arrival marks a change at the Home. There's a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it's up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things. No matter the cost. PRAISE FOR EVERY HEART A DOORWAY "Seanan McGuire has long been one of the smartest writers around, and with this novella we can easily see that her heart is as big as her brain. We know this story isn't true, but it is truth." — Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series (TV's True Blood) "Seanan McGuire once again demonstrates her intimate knowledge of the human heart in a powerful fable of loss, yearning and damaged children." — Paul Cornell, author of London Falling and Witches of Lychford

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The Night Olivia Fell Christina McDonald Cover
January 21

The Night Olivia Fell

Christina McDonald

In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant. A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies. In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists. When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister? Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

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Queer Film Club

Where: Hops N Scotch, 1306 Beacon Street
When: Second Thursday of the month, 6:30 – 8 PM (This club will meet on the FIRST Thursday of the month February-April 2020. We will resume meeting on the second Thursday of the month starting May 2020.)
Led by: Becca

This club is for all the film nerds out there looking to meet others in the LGBTQ+ community, make friends, and explore queer cinema. Each meeting we gather at an off-site location to discuss our movie of the month and hang out. Similar to a book club, DVD copies of the films are held at the front desk at the Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner Libraries for you to pick up and watch on your own time.


Princess Cyd  Cover
March 5

Princess Cyd

High school athlete Cyd Loughlin lives alone with her depressive father in South Carolina, perpetually longing to get away from it all. When her aunt, famous novelist Miranda Ruth, agrees to host her for a few weeks during the summer, Cyd jumps at the opportunity. While there, she falls for a girl in the neighborhood, even as she and her aunt gently challenge each other in the realms of sex and spirit.

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Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party  Cover
March 5

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party

Henry Gamble's Birthday Party takes place over 24 hours at the birthday pool party of 17-year-old preacher's kid Henry Gamble. The party guests include adults and teenagers from his church, as well as Henry's "secular" friends, including the closeted young Logan, who has eyes for Henry.

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In & Out  Cover
April 2

In & Out

A midwestern teacher questions his sexuality after a former student makes a comment about him at the Academy Awards.

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Rafiki  Cover
May 14

Rafiki

Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.

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My Own Private Idaho  Cover
June 11

My Own Private Idaho

In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Mike Waters is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike's estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant.

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Booksmart  Cover
July 9

Booksmart

Two academic teenage superstars realize, on the eve of their high school graduation, that they should have worked less and played more. Determined to never fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night.

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Desert Hearts  Cover
August 13

Desert Hearts

The story of straight-edge literature professor Vivian who travels to Reno to get away from a relationship breakup when she falls in love with an attractive and unconventional girl named Cay.

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Hjartasteinn  Cover
September 10

Hjartasteinn

A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it's time to leave the playground and face adulthood.

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Read & Run Book Group

Where: Brookline Village Library, the Commons — 361 Washington St.
When: Each Thursday, 6 – 7:30 PM
Led by: Cailey & Hayley

Please note, this group will start meeting in on Thursday, April 2 (2020) at 6:30 PM.

Lace up your running shoes and join us at the Library for Read & Run, a book group with a focus on wellness and exercise. The group will meet every Thursday evening for a period of three months, April through June. The first three Thursdays of the month we meet at 6:30 PM and go for a run. On the fourth Thursday of the month, we meet at 6 PM to discuss that month’s book and then end the meeting with a run. The culmination of the three month series is the whole group running a 5K.

If you have questions, you may contact Cailey & Hayley by sending us a message.


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Coolidge Corner Library


Afternoon Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When: Third Monday of the month, 2:15-3:30 PM (Note: Meetings in January, February, and April of 2020 will take place on the fourth Monday of the month due to the library being closed for holidays.)
Led by: Ricky

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


Becoming Michelle Obama Cover
April 27

Becoming

Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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When All Is Said Anne Griffin Cover
February 24

When All Is Said

Anne Griffin

One of Goodreads' 43 Most Anticipated Reads of 2019 AN INDIE NEXT PICK! “Beautiful. Intimate. Tearful. Aching and lyrical. So simply and beautifully told.” –Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author "I'm here to remember–all that I have been and all that I will never be again." If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said? At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual - though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story. Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories - of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice - the life of one man will be powerful and poignantly laid bare. Beautifully heart-warming and powerfully felt, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said and done.

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The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls Anissa Gray Cover
March 16

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

Anissa Gray

"If you enjoyed An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, read The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls...an absorbing commentary on love, family and forgiveness."--The Washington Post "A fast-paced, intriguing story...the novel's real achievement is its uncommon perceptiveness on the origins and variations of addiction."--The New York Times Book Review One of the most anticipated reads of 2019 from Vogue, Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Essence, Bustle, HelloGiggles and Cosmo! "The Mothers meets An American Marriage" (HelloGiggles) in this dazzling debut novel about mothers and daughters, identity and family, and how the relationships that sustain you can also be the ones that consume you. The Butler family has had their share of trials--as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest--but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives. Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband, Proctor, are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened. As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister's teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important.

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Homegoing Yaa Gyasi Cover
January 27

Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi

Winner of the NBCC's John Leonard First Book Prize A New York Times 2016 Notable Book One of Oprah’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016 NPR's Debut Novel of the Year One of Buzzfeed's Best Fiction Books Of 2016 One of Time's Top 10 Novels of 2016 “Homegoing is an inspiration.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day. Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

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The Stranger in the Woods Michael Finkel Cover
December 16

The Stranger in the Woods

Michael Finkel

Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. A New York Times bestseller In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

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News of the World Paulette Jiles Cover
November 18

News of the World

Paulette Jiles

National Book Award Finalist—Fiction In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence. In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows. Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land. Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

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Let Them Eat Baked Goods

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When
: Second Thursday of the Month,  6:30 – 7:30 PM
Led by
: Jenny

Each month we come together to share baked goods from different cookbooks.  Check out a copy of the cookbook from the library, choose a recipe to make, and then bring your baked goods to the club for sharing.


Simple Cake Odette Williams Cover
January 9

Simple Cake

Odette Williams

A nostalgic ode to the joy of homemade cake, beautifully photographed and with easy mix-and-match recipes for a sweet lift any day of the week. Everyone has a favorite style of cake, whether it's citrusy and fresh or chocolatey and indulgent. All of these recipes and more are within your reach in Simple Cake, a love letter from Brooklyn apron and bakeware designer Odette Williams to her favorite treat. With easy recipes and inventive decorating ideas, Williams gives you recipes for 10 base cakes, 15 toppings, and endless decorating ideas to yield a treat--such as Milk & Honey Cake, Coconut Cake, Summer Berry Pavlova, and Chocolatey Chocolate Cake--for any occasion. Williams also addresses the fundamentals for getting cakes just right, with foolproof recipes that can be cranked out whenever the urge strikes. Gorgeous photography, along with Williams's warm and heartfelt writing, elevate this book into something truly special.

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Baking with Julia Julia Child Cover
February 13

Baking with Julia

Julia Child

Baking with Julia Nothing promises pleasure more readily than the words "freshly baked." And nothing says magnum opus as definitively as Baking with Julia, which offers the dedicated home cook, whether a novice or seasoned veteran, a unique distillation of the baker's art. Baking with Julia is not only a book full of glorious recipes but also one that continues Julia's teaching tradition. Here, basic techniques come alive and are made easily comprehensible in recipes that demonstrate the myriad ways of raising dough, glazing cakes, and decorating crusts. This is the resource you'll turn to again and again for all your baking needs. With Baking with Julia in your cookbook library, you can become a master baker. And there's no better time to be baking than now. Quality baking today is more varied, more exciting, and simply more authentic than ever before. Baking with Julia celebrates this tremendous range with enticing recipes that marry sophisticated European techniques to American tastes and ingredients. With creative flair, napoleons are layered with tropical fruits, pumpkin and cranberries are kneaded into bread doughs, and a tart is topped with sweet stewed onions. Along the way, step-by-step photographs demonstrate the basic building blocks of the pastry and bread baker's repertoire, and from this firm foundation fancy takes flight. Baking with Julia presents an extraordinary assemblage of talent, knowledge, and artistry from the new generation of bakers whose vision is so much a part of this book. The list of contributors reads like a Who's Who of today's master bakers, including Flo Braker, Steve Sullivan, Marcel Desaulniers, Nick Malgieri, Alice Medrich, Nancy Silverton, Martha Stewart, and a host of bright new talents such as Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. With nearly two hundred recipes, and half as many pages of tantalizing full-color photographs, this incomparable kitchen companion goes far beyond what most cookbooks offer. More than fifty pages of illustrated reference sections define basic terms and techniques, and explain the hows and whys of batters and doughs to take you effortlessly through the essential techniques. If you've never made flaky pie crust, your first no-fail experience is at hand. If you've never baked bread, that most satisfying and sensual pleasure awaits the turn of a page. With recipes for breads, pastries, cookies, and cakes—from chocolate to cheesecake, from miniature gems to multi-tiered masterpieces—this cookbook is a total immersion experience in the wonder of home baking.

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Flour Water Salt Yeast Ken Forkish Cover
March 12

Flour Water Salt Yeast

Ken Forkish

A treasury of recipes for world-class breads and pizzas is complemented by schedules that can be adapted for busy home bakers, sharing instructions for preparing high-quality artisan recipes using basic straight dough, pre-ferment dough and complex levain. 12,000 first printing.

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The Harvest Baker Ken Haedrich Cover
April 9

The Harvest Baker

Ken Haedrich

Let them eat cake — and vegetables, too! Award-winning cookbook author Ken Haedrich serves up 150 delicious baked goods that are full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs and go far beyond zucchini bread and carrot cake. From Bacon, Cheddar, and Fresh Corn Muffins to Fresh Fennel and Italian Sausage Pizza, Spaghetti Squash and Parmesan Quiche, and Brown Sugar Rhubarb Tart Squares, these scrumptious recipes add nutrition plus amazing flavor to every meal of the day. The breadth of this collection is stunning, and you’ll be amazed that baked goods this tasty also deliver your daily dose of fresh vegetables.

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Midday Monday Mystery

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When
: Second Monday of the month,  12:30 – 1:30 PM
Led by
: Brita

A mystery book group at the Coolidge Corner Library.


A Murder of Magpies Judith Flanders Cover
February 10, 2020

A Murder of Magpies

Judith Flanders

A whip-smart, impeccably crafted debut mystery, A Murder of Magpies takes readers on a whirlwind tour of London and Paris with an unforgettably original new heroine It's just another day at the office for London book editor Samantha "Sam" Clair. Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will dish the juicy dirt on a recent fashion industry scandal. Little does she know the trouble Kit's book will cause-before it even goes to print. When police Inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about a package addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. Now Sam's nine-to-five life is turned upside down as she finds herself propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn't want Kit's manuscript published and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they'll do anything to stop it. With this deliciously funny debut novel, acclaimed author Judith Flanders introduces readers to an enormously enjoyable, too-clever-for-her-own-good new amateur sleuth, as well Sam's Goth assistant, her effortlessly glamorous mother, and the handsome Inspector Field. A tremendously entertaining read, this page-turning novel from a bright new crime fiction talent is impossible to put down.

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The Satapur Moonstone Sujata Massey Cover
March 9, 2020

The Satapur Moonstone

Sujata Massey

The highly anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed novel The Widows of Malabar Hill. India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Sahyadri mountains, where the princely state of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur's royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic hunting accident. The state is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur's two maharanis, the dowager queen and her daughter-in-law. The royal ladies are in a dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer's counsel is required. However, the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, Bombay's only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince's future, but she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace's deadly curse?

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Death at La Fenice Donna Leon Cover
April 13, 2020

Death at La Fenice

Donna Leon

There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice. But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape—a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one. . . .

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The Wailing Wind Tony Hillerman Cover
May 11, 2020

The Wailing Wind

Tony Hillerman

To Officer Bernadette Manuelito, the man curled up on the truck seat was just another drunk—which got Bernie in trouble for mishandling a crime scene—which got Sergeant Jim Chee in trouble with the FBI—which drew Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn out of retirement and back into the old "Golden Calf" homicide, a case he had hoped to forget. Nothing had seemed complicated about that earlier one. A con game had gone sour. A swindler had tried to sell wealthy old Wiley Denton the location of one of the West's multitude of legendary lost gold mines. Denton had shot the swindler, called the police, confessed the homicide, and done his short prison time. No mystery there. Except why did the rich man's bride vanish? The cynics said she was part of the swindle plot. She'd fled when it failed. But, alas, old Joe Leaphorn was a romantic. He believed in love, and thus the Golden Calf case still troubled him. Now, papers found in this new homicide case connect the victim to Denton and to the mythical Golden Calf Mine. The first Golden Calf victim had been there just hours before Denton killed him. And while Denton was killing him, four children trespassing among the rows of empty bunkers in the long-abandoned Wingate Ordnance Depot called in an odd report to the police. They had heard, in the wind wailing around the old buildings, what sounded like music and the cries of a woman. Bernie Manuelito uses her knowledge of Navajo country, its tribal traditions, and her friendship with a famous old medicine man to unravel the first knot of this puzzle, with Jim Chee putting aside his distaste of the FBI to help her. But the questions raised by this second Golden Calf murder aren't answered until Leaphorn solves the puzzle left by the first one and discovers what the young trespassers heard in the wailing wind.

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Read and Meet Book Group

Where: Coolidge Corner Library, Meeting Room – 31 Pleasant St.
When
: Third Thursday of the month,  7 – 8 PM
Led by
: Brita

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


The Library Book Susan Orlean Cover
February 20, 2020

The Library Book

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean’s bestseller and New York Times Notable Book is “a sheer delight…as rich in insight and as varied as the treasures contained on the shelves in any local library” (USA TODAY)—a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries. “Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book” (The Washington Post). On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. The fire was disastrous: it reached two thousand degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who? Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a “delightful…reflection on the past, present, and future of libraries in America” (New York magazine) that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before. In the “exquisitely written, consistently entertaining” (The New York Times) The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries; brings each department of the library to vivid life; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago. “A book lover’s dream…an ambitiously researched, elegantly written book that serves as a portal into a place of history, drama, culture, and stories” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis), Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country.

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The Other Einstein Marie Benedict Cover
March 19, 2020

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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All You Can Ever Know Nicole Chung Cover
April 16, 2020

All You Can Ever Know

Nicole Chung

NATIONAL BESTSELLER Long-listed for PEN Open Book Award Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Time, The Boston Globe, Real Simple, Buzzfeed, Jezebel, Bustle, Library Journal, Chicago Public Library, and more "This book moved me to my very core. . . . [All You Can Ever Know] should be required reading for anyone who has ever had, wanted, or found a family―which is to say, everyone.” ―Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them? Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth. With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Nicole Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.

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The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo Cover
May 21, 2020

The Poet X

Elizabeth Acevedo

Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award! Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. “Crackles with energy and snaps with authenticity and voice.” —Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation “An incredibly potent debut.” —Jason Reynolds, author of the National Book Award Finalist Ghost “Acevedo has amplified the voices of girls en el barrio who are equal parts goddess, saint, warrior, and hero.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street

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Killers of the Flower Moon David Grann Cover
June 18, 2020

Killers of the Flower Moon

David Grann

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST "Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." —Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017 Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances. In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.

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Funny in Farsi Firoozeh Dumas Cover
July 16, 2020

Funny in Farsi

Firoozeh Dumas

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Finalist for the PEN/USA Award in Creative Nonfiction, the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and the Audie Award in Biography/Memoir This Random House Reader’s Circle edition includes a reading group guide and a conversation between Firoozeh Dumas and Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner! “Remarkable . . . told with wry humor shorn of sentimentality . . . In the end, what sticks with the reader is an exuberant immigrant embrace of America.”—San Francisco Chronicle In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father’s glowing memories of his graduate school years here. More family soon followed, and the clan has been here ever since. Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’s wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot. In a series of deftly drawn scenes, we watch the family grapple with American English (hot dogs and hush puppies?—a complete mystery), American traditions (Thanksgiving turkey?—an even greater mystery, since it tastes like nothing), and American culture (Firoozeh’s parents laugh uproariously at Bob Hope on television, although they don’t get the jokes even when she translates them into Farsi). Above all, this is an unforgettable story of identity, discovery, and the power of family love. It is a book that will leave us all laughing—without an accent. Praise for Funny in Farsi “Heartfelt and hilarious—in any language.”—Glamour “A joyful success.”—Newsday “What’s charming beyond the humor of this memoir is that it remains affectionate even in the weakest, most tenuous moments for the culture. It’s the brilliance of true sophistication at work.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review “Often hilarious, always interesting . . . Like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this book describes with humor the intersection and overlapping of two cultures.”—The Providence Journal “A humorous and introspective chronicle of a life filled with love—of family, country, and heritage.”—Jimmy Carter “Delightfully refreshing.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “[Funny in Farsi] brings us closer to discovering what it means to be an American.”—San Jose Mercury News From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Her Body and Other Parties Carmen Maria Machado Cover
August 20, 2020

Her Body and Other Parties

Carmen Maria Machado

Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction “[These stories] vibrate with originality, queerness, sensuality and the strange.”—Roxane Gay “In these formally brilliant and emotionally charged tales, Machado gives literal shape to women’s memories and hunger and desire. I couldn’t put it down.”—Karen Russell In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella “Especially Heinous,” Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes. Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.

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Good Talk Mira Jacob Cover
September 17, 2020

Good Talk

Mira Jacob

A “beautiful and eye-opening” (Jacqueline Woodson), “hilarious and heart-rending” (Celeste Ng) graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing. NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Chicago Tribune • The New York Public Library • Publishers Weekly AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Esquire • Library Journal “How brown is too brown?” “Can Indians be racist?” “What does real love between really different people look like?” Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions. Praise for Good Talk “Jacob’s earnest recollections are often heartbreaking, but also infused with levity and humor. What stands out most is the fierce compassion with which she parses the complexities of family and love.”—Time “Good Talk uses a masterful mix of pictures and words to speak on life’s most uncomfortable conversations.”—io9 “Mira Jacob just made me toss everything I thought was possible in a book-as-art-object into the garbage. Her new book changes everything.”—Kiese Laymon, New York Times bestselling author of Heavy

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You Can’t Touch My Hair Phoebe Robinson Cover
October 15, 2020

You Can’t Touch My Hair

Phoebe Robinson

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • "A must-read…Phoebe Robinson discusses race and feminism in such a funny, real, and specific way, it penetrates your brain and stays with you." –Ilana Glazer, co-creator and co-star of Broad City A hilarious and timely essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from upcoming comedy superstar and 2 Dope Queens podcaster Phoebe Robinson Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of "the black friend," as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel ("isn’t that . . . white people music?"); she's been called "uppity" for having an opinion in the workplace; she's been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she's ready to take these topics to the page—and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it. Using her trademark wit alongside pop-culture references galore, Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is "Queen. Bae. Jesus," to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls, to giving her less-than-traditional advice to the future female president, and demanding that the NFL clean up its act, all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast, 2 Dope Queens, to the top spot on iTunes. As personal as it is political, You Can't Touch My Hair examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humor and heart, announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise. One of Glamour's "Top 10 Books of 2016" Featured on Refinery 29's list of "The Best Books Of 2016 So Far"

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Educated Tara Westover Cover
November 19, 2020

Educated

Tara Westover

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD • FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES BOOK PRIZE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • BookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. “Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue “Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review

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Putterham Library


Council on Aging Book Group at Putterham

Where: Putterham Library Meeting Room – 959 W. Roxbury Pkwy.
When: Third Monday of the month, 2 – 3 PM. There will be no sessions in July and August 2019.
Led by: Charlotte & Batia


The Tubman Command Elizabeth Cobbs Cover
FEBRUARY 10, 2020

The Tubman Command

Elizabeth Cobbs

From the bestselling author of The Hamilton Affair, a novel based on a thrilling chapter of Civil War history and African American history, how Harriet Tubman lead a Union raid to free 750 slaves. It’s May 1863. Outgeneraled and outgunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American navy with its artillery and underwater mines. In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman, code named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people. The Tubman Command tells the story of Tubman at the height of her powers, when she devises the largest plantation raid of the Civil War. General David Hunter places her in charge of a team of black scouts even though skeptical of what one woman can accomplish. For her gamble to succeed, “Moses” must outwit alligators, overseers, slave catchers, sharpshooters, and even hostile Union soldiers to lead gunships up the Combahee River. Men stand in her way at every turn--though one reminds her that love shouldn’t have to be the price of freedom.

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The Hidden Life of Trees Peter Wohlleben Cover
MARCH 16, 2020

The Hidden Life of Trees

Peter Wohlleben

In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.

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The Art of Racing in the Rain Garth Stein Cover
APRIL 13, 2020

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein

Soon to be a major motion picture, this heart-warming and inspirational tale follows Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together.

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Snow Hunters Paul Yoon Cover
MAY 18, 2020

Snow Hunters

Paul Yoon

"A highly anticipated debut novel from 5 Under 35 National Book Foundation honoree featuring a Korean War refugee who emigrates to Brazil to become a tailor's apprentice and confronts the wreckage of his past"--

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Lori Gottlieb Cover
JUNE 15, 2020

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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Mahjong Meetup

Where: Putterham Library Meeting Room – 959 W. Roxbury Pkwy.
When: Thursdays at 12:30 PM
Led by: Helen


Join us for a friendly game of Mahjong. Beginners welcome. No registration necessary, drop-in any week. Co-sponsored by the Brookline Council on Aging.


South Brookline Senior Meetup

Where: Putterham Library Meeting Room – 959 W. Roxbury Pkwy.
When: Second Tuesday of the Month from noon until 2 PM
Led by: Jude


Come join us for conversation and refreshments as we provide a setting for exploring topics that are of interest to you. Co-sponsored by the Brookline Council on Aging.

Brookline Community Book Groups

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

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