Big week at Booksmith. Wednesday, 10/07, we have Kate Clifford Larson telling us the sad story of Rosemary Kennedy, tomorrow is a book signing with musical phenom Sara Bareilles, and the rest of the week brings Chaya Deitsch, Brandon Sanderson, and Elin Hilderbrand. But our author events are just part of the excitement. If you could peek into the back room of the bookstore you would be astonished. So many new books. What I've highlighted in the newsletter is just the tip of the iceberg, so come on in and browse our new arrivals tables, they're basically all brand new.

We are thrilled to be a part of Bookbuilders of Boston's panel discussion, Independent Bookstores; Alive and Kicking! Our own Dana Brigham will join the managers and owners of Harvard Bookstore, Porter Square Books, and Paper Cuts J.P. to talk about how indie bookstores are faring in the age of Amazon and eBooks—how they've adapted, what best practices they've adopted, and why reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated. Moderated by Gillian Kohli, Co-owner of Wellesley Books and Vice President of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Board of Directors. This event is free of charge, but registration is required.


Wednesday, October 7th at 7:00pm
Kate Clifford Larson 
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Joe and Rose Kennedy’s beautiful daughter Rosemary attended exclusive schools, and traveled the world, and yet, Rosemary was intellectually disabled — a secret fiercely guarded by her family. Kate Larson reveals both the sensitive care Rosemary received and the often desperate and duplicitous arrangements the Kennedys made to keep her away from home, culminating in Joe’s decision to have Rosemary lobotomized at age twenty-three.


Thursday, October 8th at 6:00pm
Sara Bareilles 
Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song

In Sounds Like Me Sara Bareilles, the five-time Grammy Award–nominated singer, songwriter, and musician, reveals herself, the artist—and the woman—and her take on songwriting, soul-searching, and what she’s discovered along the way.

This will be a signing-only event. The event is not ticketed, but a receipt showing you purchased the book at Brookline Booksmith will be required to enter the signing line. For more information, give us a call at 617.566.6660


Monday, October 12th at 7:30pm
Book Club

The Brookline Booksmith Book Club meets the second Monday of every month, at 7:30 pm downstairs in our Writers and Readers Room. No need to sign up, just show up. This month we'll be discussing Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimmage by Haruki Murakami. To contact our moderator, email


Tuesday, October 13th at 7:00pm
Chaya Deitsch 
Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family

Even as a child, Chaya Deitsch felt that she didn’t belong in the Hasidic world into which she’d been born. Upon attending Barnard College, she discovered a wider world in which she could establish an independent identity filled with secular knowledge and culture. With honesty, sensitivity, and intelligence, Chaya Deitsch movingly shows us that lives lived differently do not have to be lives lived apart.


Wednesday, October 14th at 6:00pm at the Coolidge Corner Theatre 
Brandon Sanderson 
Shadows of Self: A Mistborn Novel

The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of Mistborn with his first novel in the series since The Alloy of Law. With an all new cast of characters, Shadows of Self shows Mistborn's society evolving as technology and magic mix, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force. This event requires tickets which are $5 each or free with purchase of Shadows of Self from Brookline Booksmith.


Wednesday, October 14th at 7:00pm
Elin Hilderbrand 
Winter Stroll

Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn and his family busily preparing for the holiday season. Though the year has brought tragedy, the Quinns have much to celebrate. But when ghosts of Christmas past visit the island, jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption are at an all-time high, and it's going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns through the holidays intact.

    Booksmith Book Club
Monday, October 12th @ 7:30pm

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
By Haruki Murakami

No need to sign up, just show up!

Small Press Book Club
Thursday, October 22nd @ 7pm

The Story of My Teeth
Valeria Luiselli
Coffee House Press


Ancillary Mercy

Ann Leckie
PB, $15.99
The Clasp

Sloane Crosley
HC, $26
A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction

Patrick J. Kennedy
HC, $28.95
Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel

Zachary Thomas Dodson
HC, $27.95
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

George R. R. Martin
HC, $30
The Secret Chord
Geraldine Brooks
Hardcover, $27.95


When Geraldine Brooks' son took up the harp, she probably thought that all it would mean was that she'd have to add an extra wing onto the house. What actually happened was that it sent her back to the Bible to reacquaint herself with David, the warrior-king/harpist who put Jerusalem on the map. Grounded in the gritty reality of Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks reinterprets the well-known episodes of David's life, and gives voice to those around him, characters who have gone neglected until now.


M Train

Patti Smith


M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Patti Smith (National Book Award-winner for Just Kids) goes every morning for black coffee. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima. 


Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art
Julian Barnes
Hardcover, $30

" is a rare picture that stuns, or argues, us into silence. And if one does, it is only a short time before we want to explain and understand the very silence into which we have been plunged." Julian Barnes may feel the need to explain his need to explain the mystery of what makes a great painting so great, but if, over the course of this book, I find that he ever apologizes for his penetrating insights, for the innumerable gems he drops throughout these essays, then I will have to find a way to set him straight.


Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer
Rick Riordan
Hardcover, $19.99
Ages 13-17
Rick Riordan snuck in the back door yesterday, and signed dozens of copies of his newest release, The Sword of Summer, the first installment in a brand new series. There are a lot more thrills to be found beyond the just-dried ink, as readers will quickly find out. Young Magnus Chase has been on the run on the streets of Boston for two years now, and it seems like the kid deserves a break - instead he stumbles into an epic conflict, which has been waiting for thousands of years for him to come along.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition
J. K. Rowling, Jim Kay
Hardcover, $39.99
Ages 8-12

What a terrific surprise! How did I not know that an all-new illustrated Harry Potter was coming out?! I think I must have left my Extendable Ears at camp this summer. Jim Kay has done a masterful job re-imagining the world of Hogwarts, with every lavish, emotionally-charged illustration departing from the previous illustrators, as well as the films. Snap up your copy and squirrel it away for the dead of winter, because this one is going to look great all wrapped up for the holidays. Click that link above to find out all about the struggle and self-doubt of the talented illustrator.

The Nest

Kenneth Oppel, Jon Klassen
 Simon & Schuster
Paperback, $16.99
Ages 10 & up
About The Nest, kids bookseller Clarissa says:
" A beautiful, strange, changeling story of loyalty, love, and acceptance. The first time you read it you will only see half of the story, it won't be until the second or third re-read (and trust me you WILL re-read Nest) that you will see the whole mesmerizing story in all its parts."
Through the Looking Glass
Lewis Carroll, Ralph Steadman
MacGibbon & Kee, 1972
Used Hardcover, $25
Early in his career, Ralph Steadman applied his singular illustrative and design skills to this arresting version of Through the Looking Glass. The images in this large format edition don't show much evidence of his soon-to-be-trademark ink explosions, which were so suited to the volatile and untrustworthy terrain of Hunter S. Thompson. Rather, the work is more precise and clean, the better to accompany Carroll's mirror-like precision, and the fractures that suddenly split Alice's reality in two. You can see a handful of the images here.

Pierre's Book: The Game of Court Tennis
Pierre Etchebaster
Barre Publishers, 1971
Used Hardcover, $15

Game, set, match. Pierre's book is the fruit of twenty-six years of undefeated court tennis play. Court tennis (real tennis) is infinitely more complicated, utilizes a solid, heavier ball, and requires the players to wear thick knitwear, as seen above, because they are constantly running into the solid walls on all four sides. With an introduction by George Plimpton, Pierre's book is a masterstroke of instruction and inspiration, and it concludes with page after page of memories from his students, competitors and admirers.

Block of 4 Design Resource Books
Shambhala Agile Rabbit Editions
Used Paperbacks, $12


Want four thousand hi-res images, on the page and in digital format? BOOM! That's just under one-third of a penny for each image. Our Used Book Cellar has packaged up a few bundles of these great design resource books. Hey graphic designers, here's your bang for your buck!

A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald
Errol Morris
Penguin, Paperback
Orig. $18, Sale $6.99

Errol Morris has been investigating the infamous and bloody case of Jeffrey MacDonald - a Green Beret doctor stationed at Fort Bragg, convicted of the murders of his wife and two daughters - for over twenty years. The culmination of his efforts is A Wilderness of Error, which shows us that almost everything we have been told about the case is deeply unreliable, and crucial elements of the case against MacDonald simply are not true. It is a masterful reinvention of the true-crime thriller, a book that pierces the haze of myth surrounding these murders with revelations born or years of dogged investigation.


The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton
Granta, Paperback
Orig. $18.99, Sale $5.99


It is 1866, and Walter Moody, who has come to the New Zealand goldfields to make his fortune, stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved and possibly connected crimes. Winner of the Man Booker Prize for 2013, The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction that introduces a fiendishly clever and original structuring device.


Child of God
Cormac McCarthy
Picador, Paperback
Orig. $12.99, Sale 6.99


Child of God is a taut, chilling novel that plumbs the depths of human degradation. It's Cormac McCarthy, did you expect something else? Lester Ballard, a violent, solitary and introverted young backwoodsman dispossessed on his ancestral land, is released from jail and allowed to haunt the hill country of East Tennessee, preying on the population with his strange lusts.


(instructor's notes from)
Old Grand-Dad's Bourbon-Fueled Yoga

Free Trial Session, Drop-in's Welcome!

Spread some inspiration around!
Our collection of quotable mugs and magnets
has grown bigger and more colorful with the new
season. Come pick the message which suits you or that special someone best.

The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) is a whole weekend of books, fun, and events for every age, with free admission to all, located at University Hall in Porter Square in Cambridge, October 17th & 18th. Unlike traditional comics shows, which emphasize commerce and memorabilia, MICE puts a focus on the art of making comics, connecting local creators with local audience. Sunday, 10/18 is Kids Comics Day, featuring kid-oriented activities and comics! Meet the authors of some of the best kids comic books, including Ryan North (Adventure Time), Gene Luen Yang (Avatar: The Last Airbender), George O’Connor (The Olympians) and Bob Flynn (Spongebob Comics). Just keep an eye out for balloons attached to tables: that’s how to find kid-friendly comics!

Time for Bed: Winterizing the Garden As winter approaches, gardeners wonder how to prepare their gardens for cold, ice and snow. What makes an actual difference for the garden, and what is just a gimmick? Head over to Allandale Farm, Boston's oldest working farm, and get a hands-on how-to from Christie Dustman, life-long gardener and owner of Christie Dustman & Company, who has been establishing and maintaining hundreds of gardens for nearly two decades. That's this Saturday, 10/17, 9-10am.


I want to give James Patterson a hug. Last year he gave away $1 million of his own money in grants to independent bookstores all over the country. Now the announcement comes that he will be giving "holiday bonuses" to individual booksellers, stating that "bookstore employees are saving literature and that their work is critical for building a more literate America." This guy is the best. I know that this newsletter goes out to the farthest corners of the country, so if you've got a bookseller in your neck of the woods that you'd like to nominate, do it right here.

Thanks for reading,

currently reading Lucky Break by Esther Freud.
currently listening to Hamilton the Musical. On repeat, for days and days and days.

email me, if you'd like to make this a conversation.


Boston Magazine's Best Bookstore 2004-2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, & 2015
Boston A-List's Best Bookstore 2014
Boston Phoenix's 2012 "Readers' Pick for Best Bookstore, New"
WBZ-TV A-List Editor's pick for Best Bookstore 2006, 2007, & 2011
Community Newspapers' 2009 Readers' Choice Award

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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



Brookline Booksmith Online