Book & Social Groups

Library staff members lead a variety of book discussion and other social groups for adults and teens — we are always excited to welcome new participants. Explore the descriptions below to find out more about each group.

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.

Need a copy of this page in plain text? You can access a copy here.

Brookline Village Library


Brookline Village Book Group

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


Asymmetry Lisa Halliday Cover
December 2

Asymmetry

Lisa Halliday

A TIME and NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOK of the YEAR * New York Times Notable Book and Times Critic’s Top Book of 2018 NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2018 BY * Elle * Bustle * Kirkus Reviews * Lit Hub* NPR * O, The Oprah Magazine * Shelf Awareness The bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel by Lisa Halliday, hailed as “extraordinary” by The New York Times, “a brilliant and complex examination of power dynamics in love and war” by The Wall Street Journal, and “a literary phenomenon” by The New Yorker. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is “a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas, and a politically engaged work of metafiction” (The New York Times Book Review), and a “masterpiece” in the original sense of the word” (The Atlantic). Lisa Halliday’s novel will captivate any reader with while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.

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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 3, 2019, Jenny Xie

Jan 3: Jenny Xie

February 7, 2019, Lucille Clifton

Feb 7: Lucille Clifton

March 7, 2019, Mary Oliver

Mar 7: Mary Oliver

Common Threads Poetry Packet (April is Poetry Month!)

Apr 5: Common Threads

May 2, 2019, Abraham Sutzkever

May 2: Abraham Sutzkever

June 13, 2019, James Wright

Jun 13: James Wright

July 11, 2019, W. S. Merwin

Jul 11: W. S. Merwin

August 1, 2019, Ursula Le Guin

Aug 1: Ursula Le Guin

September 5, 2019, Hafez

Sep 5: Hafez

October 3, 2019, Octavio Paz

Oct 3: Octavio Paz

November 7, 2019, Joy Harjo

Nov 7: Joy Harjo

December 5, 2019, Wallace Stevens

Dec 5: Wallace Stevens


ELL Graphic Novel Club

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

This club is open to adults learning English. Native speakers and fluent speakers are also welcome. The group reads a variety of graphic novels and graphic memoirs and meets every second Wednesday of the month to discuss them. Snacks are provided.


The Encyclopedia of Early Earth Isabel Greenberg Cover
October 9

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

Isabel Greenberg

Winner of the Best Book Award at the 2014 British Comic Awards Readers! This book is not a real encyclopedia! It is an epic work of fiction, detailing the many tales and adventures of one lonely storyteller, on a quest for Enlightenment and True Love. This book contains many stories, big and small, about and pertaining to the following things: Gods, monsters, mad kings, wise old crones, shamans, medicine men, brothers and sisters, strife, mystery, bad science, worse geography, and did we already mention true love? Critics are saying it is probably the best thing since sliced bread. Maybe even since bread knives.

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Stitches David Small Cover
November 13

Stitches

David Small

A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Best Book of the Year An Amazon.com Top Ten Best Book of 2009 A Washington Post Book World’s Ten Best Book of the Year A California Literary Review Best Book of 2009 An L.A. Times Top 25 Non-Fiction Book of 2009 An NPR Best Book of the Year, Best Memoir With this stunning graphic memoir, David Small takes readers on an unforgettable journey into the dark heart of his tumultuous childhood in 1950s Detroit, in a coming-of-age tale like no other. At the age of fourteen, David awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover his throat had been slashed and one of his vocal chords removed, leaving him a virtual mute. No one had told him that he had cancer and was expected to die. The resulting silence was in keeping with the atmosphere of secrecy and repressed frustration that pervaded the Small household and revealed itself in the slamming of cupboard doors, the thumping of a punching bag, the beating of a drum. Believing that they were doing their best, David’s parents did just the reverse. David’s mother held the family emotionally hostage with her furious withdrawals, even as she kept her emotions hidden — including from herself. His father, rarely present, was a radiologist, and although David grew up looking at X-rays and drawing on X-ray paper, it would be years before he discovered the shocking consequences of his father’s faith in science. A work of great bravery and humanity, Stitches is a gripping and ultimately redemptive story of a man’s struggle to understand the past and reclaim his voice.

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Alpha Bessora Cover
November 13

Alpha

Bessora

A beautifully told and illustrated graphic novel humanizing the urgent migrant crisis

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Snapshots of a Girl Beldan Sezen Cover
December 11

Snapshots of a Girl

Beldan Sezen

In this autobiographical graphic novel, Beldan Sezen revisits the various instances of her coming of age, and her coming out as lesbian, in both western and Islamic cultures (as the daughter of Turkish immigrants in western Europe)—to friends, family, and herself. Through a series of vignettes, she navigates the messy circumstances of her life, dealing with family issues, bad dates, and sexual politics with the raw honesty of a young woman looking for happiness. Snapshots is an amusing, thoroughly modern take on dyke life and cultural identity. Beldan Sezen's previous graphic novels were Zakkum and #GeziPark .

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Good Talk Mira Jacob Cover
December 11

Good Talk

Mira Jacob

A “vibrant, inventive, and vulnerable” (Bustle) graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families, and our most difficult conversations, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing. “By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it’s exactly the book America needs at this moment.”—Celeste Ng “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 “Emphasizes the complexities of being part of an interracial family and the struggles of parenting in the present moment.”—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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Lighter Than My Shadow Katie Green Cover
January 8

Lighter Than My Shadow

Katie Green

A graphic memoir of eating disorders, abuse, and recovery, this hand-drawn story of struggle and healing takes readers into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.

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Woman World Aminder Dhaliwal Cover
February 12

Woman World

Aminder Dhaliwal

"The hilarious and wildly popular Instagram comic about a world with no men"--Publisher's description.

View in Catalog

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 Tides of Heaven JY Yang Cover
September 25

The Black Tides of Heaven

JY Yang

"Joyously wild stuff. Highly recommended." —The New York Times A Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novella The Black Tides of Heaven is one of a pair of unique, standalone introductions to JY Yang's Tensorate Series, which Kate Elliott calls "effortlessly fascinating." For more of the story you can read its twin novella The Red Threads of Fortune, available simultaneously. Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While Mokoya received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What's more, they saw the sickness at the heart of their mother's Protectorate. A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue as a pawn in their mother's twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond they share with their twin? The Tensorate Series Book 1: The Black Tides of Heaven Book 2: The Red Threads of Fortune Book 3: The Descent of Monsters At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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Binti: The Complete Trilogy Nnedi Okorafor Cover
October 23

Binti: The Complete Trilogy

Nnedi Okorafor

Includes a brand-new Binti story! Collected for the first time in an omnibus edition, the Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning Binti trilogy, the story of one extraordinary girl's journey from her home to distant Oomza University. In her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family's concerns, Binti's talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey. But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Medusae attack Binti's spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination. There is more to the history of the Medusae--and their war with the Khoush--than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace. Collected now for the first time in omnibus form, follow Binti's story in this groundbreaking sci-fi trilogy.

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Alif the Unseen G. Willow Wilson Cover
November 20

Alif the Unseen

G. Willow Wilson

“[A] Harry Potter-ish action-adventure romance” set during the Arab Spring, from the New York Times–bestselling author of the Ms. Marvel comic book series (The New York Times). In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker, who goes by Alif, shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, revolutionaries, and other watched groups—from surveillance, and tries to stay out of trouble. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and himself on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God,” as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground. When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen. This “tale of literary enchantment, political change, and religious mystery” was a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (Gregory Maguire). “Wilson has a deft hand with myth and with magic.” —Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods

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Good Omens Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman Cover
December 18

Good Omens

Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

Taking a cynical look at the horror genre, this book features Crowley and Aziraphale, two friends who attempt to prevent the prophesised Armageddon. When the Antichrist is born they divert him from his original home at the American Embassy to Tadfield, where he grows into an unkempt individual.

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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 Dante Club Matthew Pearl Cover
October 15

The Dante Club

Matthew Pearl

In 1865, the preparations of the Dante Club--led by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes--to release the first translation of Dante's "The Divine Comedy" are threatened by a series of murders that re-create episodes from "Inferno."

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Photo Finish Ngaio Marsh Cover
November 19

Photo Finish

Ngaio Marsh

Roderick Alleyn, Scotland Yard's chief superintendent, accompanies his celebrated artist-wife, Troy, to an exotic New Zealand island where Troy begins an opera star's portrait, only to assist in solving her murder

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Six Four Hideo Yokoyama Cover
December 17

Six Four

Hideo Yokoyama

International Bestseller Winner of the Best Japanese Crime Fiction of the Year Award “Already a bestseller in Japan and the U.K., this cinematic crime novel suffused with fascinating cultural details follows a police department reinvestigating a chilling kidnapping that stumped them 14 years earlier.” —Entertainment Weekly, The Must List THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE. THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE. THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT. For five days, the parents of a seven-year-old Japanese schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter’s kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. And they would never see their daughter alive again. Fourteen years later, the mystery remains unsolved. The police department’s press officer—Yoshinobu Mikami, a former detective who was involved in the original case and who is now himself the father of a missing daughter—is forced to revisit the botched investigation. The stigma of the case known as “Six Four” has never faded; the police’s failure remains a profound source of shame and an unending collective responsibility. Mikami does not aspire to solve the crime. He has worked in the department for his entire career, and while he has his own ambitions and loyalties, he is hoping simply to reach out to the victim’s family and to help finally put the notorious case to rest. But when he spots an anomaly in the files, he uncovers secrets he never could have imagined. He would never have even looked if he’d known what he would find. An award-winning phenomenon in its native Japan—more than a million copies sold, and the winner of the Best Japanese Crime Fiction of the Year award—and already a critically celebrated top-ten bestseller in the U.K., Hideo Yokoyama’s Six Four is an unforgettable novel by a literary master at the top of his form. It is a dark and riveting plunge into a crime, an investigation, and a culture like no other.

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Queer Film Club

Where: Hops N Scotch, 1306 Beacon Street
When: Second Thursday of the month, 6:30 – 8 PM
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.


Saturday Church  Cover
November 14

Saturday Church

A 14 year old boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process.

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As Boas Maneiras  Cover
December 12

As Boas Maneiras

Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of São Paulo, is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana as the nanny for her unborn child. The two women develop a strong bond, but a fateful night changes their plans.

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Tomboy  Cover
January 9

Tomboy

A French family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure and 6-year-old Jeanne, moves to a new neighborhood during the summer holidays. With her tomboy ways, Laure is immediately mistaken for a boy by the local kids and passes herself off as Mickaël.

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The Favourite  Cover
February 13

The Favourite

England, early 18th century. The close relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill is threatened by the arrival of Sarah's cousin, Abigail Hill, resulting in a bitter rivalry between the two cousins to be the Queen's favourite.

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Princess Cyd  Cover
March 12

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 12

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 9

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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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 book group is over for the year. Stay tuned for an announcement about our next Read & Run Book Group!

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. Each meeting will begin with a book discussion and end with the group going on 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.


Eat and Run Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman Cover
June

Eat and Run

Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman

June 6: chapters 1-5, June 13: chapters 6-11, June 20: chapters 12-17, June 27: chapters 18-end

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The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running Adharanand Finn Cover
May

The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running

Adharanand Finn

May 2: chapters 1-6, May 9: chapters 7-11, May 16: chapters 12-16, May 23: chapters 17-21, May 30: chapters 22-end

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Haruki Murakami Cover
April

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Haruki Murakami

April 18: chapters 3-5, April 25: chapter 6-end

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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
Led by: Ricky

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


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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Strangers Drowning Larissa MacFarquhar Cover
August 19

Strangers Drowning

Larissa MacFarquhar

"What does it mean to devote yourself wholly to helping others? In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar seeks out people living lives of extreme ethical commitment and tells their deeply intimate stories; their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their joys and defeats and wrenching dilemmas. Through its sympathetic and beautifully vivid storytelling, Strangers Drowning confronts us with fundamental questions about what it means to be human. In a world of strangers drowning in need, how much should we help, and how much can we help? Is it right to care for strangers even at the expense of those we are closest to? Moving and provocative, Strangers Drowning challenges us to think about what we value most, and why"--

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Mr. Fox Helen Oyeyemi Cover
October 21

Mr. Fox

Helen Oyeyemi

Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction One of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists From the prizewinning young writer of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration. Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, the celebrated writer Mr. Fox can't stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It's not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently. Mary challenges Mr. Fox to join her in stories of their own devising; and in different times and places, the two of them seek each other, find each other, thwart each other, and try to stay together, even when the roles they inhabit seem to forbid it. Their adventures twist the fairy tale into nine variations, exploding and teasing conventions of genre and romance, and each iteration explores the fears that come with accepting a lifelong bond. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox's game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit? The extraordinarily gifted Helen Oyeyemi has written a love story like no other. Mr. Fox is a magical book, endlessly inventive, as witty and charming as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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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.

Read More View in Catalog

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.


How to Bake Everything Mark Bittman Cover
September 12

How to Bake Everything

Mark Bittman

In the most comprehensive book of its kind, Mark Bittman offers the ultimate baker’s resource. Finally, here is the simplest way to bake everything, from American favorites (Crunchy Toffee Cookies, Baked Alaska) to of-the-moment updates (Gingerbread Whoopie Pies). It explores global baking, too: Nordic ruis, New Orleans beignets, Afghan snowshoe naan. The recipes satisfy every flavor craving thanks to more than 2,000 recipes and variations: a pound cake can incorporate polenta, yogurt, ricotta, citrus, hazelnuts, ginger, and more. New bakers will appreciate Bittman’s opinionated advice on essential equipment and ingredient substitutions, plus extensive technique illustrations. The pros will find their creativity unleashed with guidance on how to adapt recipes to become vegan, incorporate new grains, improvise tarts, or create customized icebox cakes using a mix-and-match chart. Demystified, deconstructed, and debunked—baking is simpler and more flexible than you ever imagined.

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The Vanilla Bean Baking Book Sarah Kieffer Cover
October 10

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

Sarah Kieffer

Sarah Kieffer knows that you don’t have to be a professional baker in order to bake up delicious treats. Though she started out baking professionally in coffee shops and bakeries, preparing baked goods at home for family and friends is what she loves best—and home-baked treats can be part of your everyday, too. In The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, she shares 100 delicious tried-and-true recipes, ranging from everyday favorites like Chocolate Chip Cookies and Blueberry Muffins to re-invented classics, like Pear-Apple Hard Cider Pie and Vanilla Cupcakes with Brown Butter Buttercream. Sarah simplifies the processes behind seemingly complicated recipes, so baking up a beautiful Braided Chocolate Swirl Bread for a cozy Sunday breakfast or a batch of decadent Triple Chocolate Cupcakes for a weeknight celebration can become a part of your everyday baking routine. Filled with charming storytelling, dreamy photos, and the tips and tricks you need to build the ultimate baker’s pantry, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is filled with recipes for irresistible treats that will delight and inspire. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Rose’s Baking Basics Rose Levy Beranbaum Cover
November 14

Rose’s Baking Basics

Rose Levy Beranbaum

The ultimate baking book for everyone from best-selling author and "diva of desserts" Rose Levy Beranbaum In this book of no-fuss recipes everyone should know, trusted baking expert Rose Levy Beranbaum guides you through every recipe for can’t-fail results—with a streamlined, simplified approach and more than 600 mouthwatering and instructive photos. Whether you're a baking enthusiast or just want to whip up the occasional treat, you will be able to easily make perfect brownies, banana bread, holiday pies, birthday cakes, homemade bread, and more, with recipes including: Chocolate Sheet Cake with Ganache Frosting, Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints, Beer Bread, Apple Walnut Muffins, Peach Cobbler, Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart, and more. Throughout, Rose shares her unique tips and methods for unlocking the secrets to the best flavors and foolproof results, for a treasury of essential recipes you'll use forever.

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One Bowl Baking Yvonne Ruperti Cover
December 12

One Bowl Baking

Yvonne Ruperti

Yvonne Ruperti, recipe developer extraordinaire, will tempt readers into the kitchen with a uniquely simplified approach to baking. In this one-of-a-kind recipe collection, Yvonne shows how to create beautiful, delicious, and wholesome desserts from scratch using just one bowl. No mixer, no food processor. It's for anyone looking for the ease and convenience of box mix baking, but with quality ingredients and gourmet results. Best of all, practically all of the recipes are mixed and in the oven in just 15 minutes or less. That's it! One Bowl Baking includes more than 100 effortless recipes for all types of super delicious treats, including: Layer cakes Cookies Muffins Scones Tarts Cheesecakes And more!

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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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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.


Still Midnight Denise Mina Cover
June 10

Still Midnight

Denise Mina

Alex Morrow is not new to the police force-or to crime-but there is nothing familiar about the call she has just received. On a still night in a quiet suburb of Glasgow, Scotland, three armed men have slipped from a van into a house, demanding a man who is not, and has never been, inside the front door. In the confusion that ensues, one family member is shot and another kidnapped, the assailants demanding an impossible ransom. Is this the amateur crime gone horribly wrong that it seems, or something much more unexpected? As Alex falls further into the most challenging case of her career, Denise Mina proves why "if you don't read crime novels, Mina is your reason to change" (Rocky Mountain News).

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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 program is for people in their twenties and thirties. After a one-hour discussion (snacks provided), the group moves to a local eatery to continue socializing.


Dear America Jose Antonio Vargas Cover
June 20

Dear America

Jose Antonio Vargas

“This riveting, courageous memoir ought to be mandatory reading for every American.” —Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow “l cried reading this book, realizing more fully what my parents endured.” —Amy Tan, New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and Where the Past Begins “This book couldn’t be more timely and more necessary.” —Dave Eggers, New York Times bestselling author of What Is the What and The Monk of Mokha Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” tackles one of the defining issues of our time in this explosive and deeply personal call to arms. “This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home. After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.” —Jose Antonio Vargas, from Dear America

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Exit West Mohsin Hamid Cover
July 18

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

"In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. An epic compressed into a slender page-turner, Exit West is both completely of our time and for all time."--

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Ghost World Daniel Clowes Cover
August 15

Ghost World

Daniel Clowes

Ghost World is the story of Enid and Rebecca, teenage friends facing the unwelcome prospect of adulthood, and the uncertain future of their complicated relationship. Clowes conjures a balanced semblance, both tender and objective, of their fragile existence, capturing the mundane thrills and hourly tragedies of a waning adolescence, as he follows a tenuous narrative thread through the fragmented lives of these two fully realised young women.

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Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Mary Roach Cover
September 19

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Mary Roach

A New York Times Bestseller “Rich in dexterous innuendo, laugh-out-loud humor and illuminating fact. It’s compulsively readable.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review In ?Bonk, ?the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

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Homegoing Yaa Gyasi Cover
October 17

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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Furiously Happy Jenny Lawson Cover
November 21

Furiously Happy

Jenny Lawson

For fans of David Sedaris, Tina Fey and Caitlin Moran comes the new book from Jenny Lawson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Let's Pretend This Never Happened... In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson regaled readers with uproarious stories of her bizarre childhood. In her new book, Furiously Happy, she explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best. As Jenny says: "You can't experience pain without also experiencing the baffling and ridiculous moments of being fiercely, unapologetically, intensely and (above all) furiously happy." It's a philosophy that has - quite literally - saved her life. Jenny's first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. Furiously Happy is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. And who doesn't need a bit more of that?

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One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter Scaachi Koul Cover
December 19

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

Scaachi Koul

**National Bestseller **A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice **A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2017 **A National Post Best Book of 2017 **A CBC Best Book of 2017 **An Amazon Best Book of 2017 **A Popsugar Best Book of 2017 **A Kobo Best Book of 2017 **An NPR Best Book of 2017 **A Chatelaine Best Book of 2017 **A Buzzfeed Best Book of 2017 **A Book Riot Best Book of 2017 **A Chicago Review of Books Best Book of 2017 **A Paste Best Book of 2017 **An Amazon Best Humour and Entertainment Book of 2017 **Finalist for the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize **Finalist for the 2018 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour **Nominated for the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award For readers of Mindy Kaling, Jenny Lawson and Roxane Gay, a debut collection of fierce and funny essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, "a land of ice and casual racism," by the irreverent, hilarious cultural observer and incomparable rising star, Scaachi Koul. In One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of colour, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father’s creeping mortality—all as she tries to find her feet in the world. With a clear eye and biting wit, Scaachi Koul explores the absurdity of a life steeped in misery. And through these intimate, wise and laugh-out-loud funny dispatches, a portrait of a bright new literary voice emerges.

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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


Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist) Min Jin Lee Cover
September 16, 2019

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

Min Jin Lee

A New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year and National Book Award finalist, Pachinko is an "extraordinary epic" of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan (San Francisco Chronicle). NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 * A USA TODAY TOP TEN OF 2017 * JULY PICK FOR THE PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB NOW READ THIS * FINALIST FOR THE 2018 DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE* WINNER OF THE MEDICI BOOK CLUB PRIZE Roxane Gay's Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER * USA TODAY BESTSELLER * WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER "There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones." In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history. *Includes reading group guide*

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News of the World Paulette Jiles Cover
October 21, 2019

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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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman Cover
November 18, 2019

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick “Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” —Reese Witherspoon No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.

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The Library Book Susan Orlean Cover
December 16, 2019

The Library Book

Susan Orlean

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR * A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 “A constant pleasure to read…Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book.” —The Washington Post “CAPTIVATING…DELIGHTFUL.” —Christian Science Monitor * “EXQUISITELY WRITTEN, CONSISTENTLY ENTERTAINING.” —The New York Times * “MESMERIZING…RIVETING.” —Booklist (starred review) A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries—from the bestselling author hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post. On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 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 mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before. In 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 across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago. Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves. Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that 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. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.

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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: