On Monday, May 12 at 7pm, join a homecoming celebration for Barney Frank in conversation with Larry Ruttman. Larry Ruttman will be asking Barney Frank questions both personal and political covering all the years from growing up Jewish and playing baseball in Bayonne, New Jersey, through his tumultuous decades in Congress, to still making news in retirement. Larry's book, which tells of American Jewish life over the last eighty years against the backdrop of baseball, was recently chosen the number one baseball book of 2013 among many by Sports Collectors Digest.

As for this week's events, we offer a variety of lovely topics: grumpy bookseller fiction, empathy, beer and desperation. Pick the ones that suit you best, or show up for all of them!
I definitely recommend you check the details below.

We at Brookline Booksmith are proud to be a distribution hub for the fantastic World Book Night! This Wednesday evening scores of volunteers will fan out across the globe to hand out free books. Want to get involved next year? Click on that link above to find out how. And thanks to all of the local givers who are going to be out there spreading the good word(s)!

Tuesday, April 22 at 7pm
Gabrielle Zevin
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Truly a bookseller’s book—Gabrielle Zevin has presented us with the character of A.J. Fikry, a grumbly bookstore owner whose every reference is laced with the literary. Struggling to accept the loss of his wife, his prized collection of first edition Poe poems, and watching his bookstore sales slowly crumble, A.J.’s nature seems set until a two-year-old toddler is abandoned at his store. A tale of love, second chances, and somehow, bookselling, this is a must read.
Wednesday, April 23 at 7pm
Leslie Jamison
The Empathy Exams
In conversation with Dr. Suzanne Koven

How do we react to pain—our own and others’—and what do we do with it? Jamison’s visionary yet intimate essays inquire about the nature of pain: drawing from her days spent as a medical actor, to her fascination with a group of people who suffer from a phantom disease, to her exploration of the plights of the West Memphis Three. She will be joined in conversation by The Boston Globe’s “In Practice” columnist and Mass. General Hospital physician Dr. Suzanne Koven.

Thursday, April 24 at 7pm
Steve Hindy
Craft Beer Revolution
Co-sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery

BEER! We are amidst a (delicious) craft brewing revolution. Co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery Steve Hindy tells the story of how a band of homebrewers and microbrewers came together to become one of America’s great entrepreneurial triumphs, using their individual and collective efforts to grab 10% of the dollar share of the US beer market. Buy Craft Beer Revolution from Brookline Booksmith and get a free beer at the event! Beer for 21 and up only. Obviously.
Sunday, April 27 at at 10:30am
Children’s Storytime

Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section as our fine children’s team reads stories aloud every third Saturday and last Sunday of the month.
Tuesday, April 29 at 7pm
Daniel Palmer

Daniel Palmer’s latest thriller tells the story of Gage and Anna, a barren couple that wants both a child and a fresh start. They meet the young, pregnant, and homeless Lily, who agrees to give her baby to the couple in exchange for financial support. The seemingly ideal situation starts to sour as Gage suspects acts of sabotage within his family and work life, spiraling out of control into a sinister plot. In Harlan Coben’s words: “If you’ve somehow missed reading Daniel Palmer, it’s time to—pardon the pun—get Desperate.”

The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club (Paperback) By Peter Hook $16.99
The Circle (Paperback) By Dave Eggers $15.95
Gone Girl (Paperback) By Gillian Flynn $15
The Serpent of Venice (Hardcover) By Christopher Moore $26.99
The Color Master (Paperback) By Aimee Bender $15

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932
Francine Prose
Hardcover, $26.99


Francine Prose has created a new evil anti-hero in Lou Villars, a cross-dressing French racecar driver who collaborates with the Nazis and aids the Gestapo in the torture of his own countrymen. Lovers at the Chamelion plays that cruel trick and difficult-to-pull-off trick on a reader: it forces you to sympathize with the devil. Prose introduces us to Louisianne Villars as a little girl on a swing, and with a master's touch she shows to us the way that innocence can by degrees be twisted and knotted into evil.

A Fighting Chance
Elizabeth Warren
Metropolitan Books
Hardcover, $28
  "“My daddy stayed away from big sores that hurt...I poked at them.", Senator Elizabeth Warren says of her father's reluctance to expose financial hardship to his children. Whatever side of the aisle you are on, it would be impossible not to notice that she is still poking those sores. A Fighting Chance finds  Warren pushing hard at the foundations of the "rigged" American economy, and sharing compelling anecdotes that connect her personal story to the issues for which she battles so passionately.  

Edmund de Waal
Edmund de Waal
Phaidon Press
Hardcover, $100


The first monograph on internationally famous potter and writer Edmund de Waal, this book brings to life the man behind The Hare with Amber Eyes. Stunning photography reveals a day in the life of de Waal and his studio and documents his major exhibitions and installations. Contributors include novelists Colm Toibín, Peter Carey and AS Byatt.

Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality
Jo Becker
Penguin Press
Hardcover, $29.95


Jo Becker's Forcing the Spring is a dramatic snapshot of the moment when the decade's long strategy for securing gay rights veered onto a new trajectory. This well-written legal drama provides an intimate look at the internal debates that have shaped the movement as it stands today. While it is no mystery on which side of those battles Becker herself comes down on, her book strives to bring the divided parties closer together.

Jim Curious: A Voyage to the Heart of the Sea in 3-D Vision
Matthias Picard
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, $19.95
Ages 6-10

Jim Curious portrays the fantastical story of a young boy and his thrilling trip to the bottom of the sea in an old-fashioned diving suit. But there are no words telling his tale—only intricately illustrated images in exceptional 3-D. On his journey, Jim initially passes the garbage tossed into the waters by land-dwellers, but soon he goes deeper and deeper, immersing himself in the wonders of the waters. He encounters sea creatures large and small, a sunken pirate ship, and even the remnant of what seems to be Atlantis, before coming upon a mysterious force at the bottom that turns everything on its head.

Goodnight Songs:
Illustrated by Twelve Award-Winning Picture Book Artists

Margaret Wise Brown
Hardcover, $17.95
Ages 3-6


From Margaret Wise Brown, author of the beloved Goodnight Moon, comes a previously unpublished collection of charming lullabies, gorgeously illustrated by 12 award-winning artists. An accompanying CD, with lilting songs beautifully composed and sung by Emily Gary and Tom Proutt, makes this the perfect gift to wish children a sweet goodnight.


Fluff Dragon
Platte F. Clark
Aladdin Paperbacks
Hardcover, $16.99
Ages 8-12
In Fluff Dragon, the follow-up to staff super-favorite Bad Unicorn, readers will get sucked back into the bizarre, hilarious, mixed-up mythological imagination of newcomer Platte F. Clarke. Max Spencer is the only person who can read The Codex of Infinite Knowability, but that doesn't amount to a hill of beans this time around, because it has mysteriously stopped working. In order to get the Codex rebooted, Max will have to enlist the aid of some strange new friends (including a certain fluffy dragon) to sneak it inside Rezermoor Dreadbringer's tower...the last place in time and space to which it should ever be brought.

Captains of the City Streets
Esther Averill
New York Review of Books Children's Collection, 2005
Used Hardcover, $9.50

Sinbad and The Duke are two young tramps. They live on the streets and love "the free and easy life." But these two feisty cats need somewhere to practice their boxing technique (obviously), so they leave the skyscrapers of Midtown for the houses and gardens of Greenwich Village - home to the Cat Club. There is a lot more to tell in this utterly charming little book about cool city cats, but the best thing is that they befriend a lonely little kitten named Macaroni.
(I think that's where one would normally exclaim "squeee!!")

Fifty Days of Solitude
Doris Grumbach
Beacon Press, 1995
Used Paperback, $8
Faced with the rare opportunity to experience solitude, Doris Grumbach lived in her coastal Maine home rarely speaking to anyone for fifty days. The result is a beautiful meditation about what it means to write, to be alone, and to come to terms with mortality.

Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps

Claude Goodchild, Alan Thompson
Penguin Handbook, 2008
Used Paperback, $5.50
From Goodchild & Thompson's award-winning series of do-it-yourself animal husbandry/cruelty books (Withholding Flight from Birds, The Aquarist's Guide to Feeding Your Pet Fish With Your Other Pet Fish, and Your Cattle Don't Need As Much Room to Roam As You've Been Led To Believe!) comes Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps, the book that comes with an iron-clad guarantee that you will feel less guilty about dumping leftover mac 'n' cheese into the rabbit hutch.

Actually, when this was first published in 1941 a wave of anxiety about the food supply had washed over Britain. The authors of this book were providing a much-needed road map to fresh meat and eggs that the common household could follow. Some gruesome highlights include a six-point lesson on slaughtering a rabbit, accompanied by photographs showing the uninitiated reader how to dislocate the neck and skin the carcass with a penknife, and how to turn 40 average-sized rabbit skins into a fur coat.

James Joyce
Canongate Books, Paperback
Orig. $12.95, Sale $5.99
This handsome little paperback of Joyce's classic collection Dubliners is yours for just six bucks. Joyce takes us on a street level trip through the lives of men and women from his hometown. From short, lyrical stories to the novella-length masterpiece "The Dead" which concludes the gathering, Dubliners remains a most vital addition to the world's literature.

Notes from Russia

Alexei Plutser-Sarno
Fuel Publishing, Hardcover
Orig. $32.95, Sale $6.99

The folklorist, lexicographer and contributor to the related publications Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia Volumes I and II, Alexei Plutser-Sarno, has been collecting these public notices from all over Russia for many years. The result is a fascinating, poignant and illuminating portrait of the country's underclass.


The Lottery
Shirley Jackson
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Paperback
Orig. $15, Sale $5.99

"The Lottery" is considered to be one of the most terrifying stories of the twentieth century, therefore I will read it once I finish this sentence and report back to you.
Yeah, that was horrible.
Shirley Jackson, why did you do that to me?

Wish I knew what this was all about.
These sweet and playful blank greeting cards spring from the imagination of our own beloved book buyer Alie!
Each delightful card is a hand drawn and homemade creation.
Next time you are in the shop looking for that perfect card,
be sure to browse through the box of Alieleigh Designs.

A Hologram for the King
Dave Eggers

May 12th, 2014 @ 7:30pm
No need to sign up, just show up!


Brookline Open Studios Weekend is April 26 - 27! Open Studios is an annual springtime event, held in locations all over Brookline, since 1986. Artists working in all media participate by opening their homes and studios to the public for one weekend. This allows viewers to experience the dynamic impact of viewing original artworks within the artist's creative space. The public connection to the artist nurtures an understanding of the creative process. Much of the artwork is for sale, providing an incredible chance for collectors and the general public to acquire original pieces directly from the artist. To download a map of participating artist, click here.

Iconic intellectual Susan Sontag is brought vividly to life in Sontag: Reborn, adapted from her early diaries by performer Moe Angelos. Directed by Marianne Weems, this intimate and startling portrait traces Sontag's private life from the age of 14 to her emergence as a world-renowned author and activist. The young Sontag wrestles with her emerging sexuality and precocious intelligence, fraught with doubt and insecurity yet driven by her willfulness, ambition and voracious curiosity. The refuge of her diary became integral to her development as a writer. Sontag says herself, "In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could in person. I create myself." The Builders Association brings its signature synthesis of video and sound back to the ArtsEmerson stage following HOUSE / DIVIDED to poetically tell the personal story of one of America’s most controversial and memorable cultural critics.


The picture up at the very top of this newsletter was snapped from the top rung of a ladder on a busy Friday afternoon, and it warms my heart. In order to meet demand, our kids' book collection has been getting deeper and wider year after year. That can only mean good things for all of us in the future!

Thanks for reading,


currently reading Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson.
currently watching THIS.


Boston Phoenix's 2012 "Readers' Pick for Best Bookstore, New"
Boston Magazine's Best Bookstore 2004-2006, 2008, 2011, & 2013
WBZ-TV A-List Editor's pick for Best Bookstore 2006, 2007, & 2011
Community Newspapers' 2009 Readers' Choice Award

To subscribe to b-mail, enter your e-mail address below
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


brookline booksmith
279 Harvard St.
Coolidge Corner, Brookline
an easy block from the Coolidge Corner T-stop on the C line
Dana Brigham, Co-owner and Store Manager

Open 7 days a week:
Monday - Thursday: 8.30 am - 10 pm
Friday: 8:30 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 11 pm
Sunday: 9 am - 9 pm

Open 24/7 at www.brooklinebooksmith.com



Brookline Booksmith Online