Our kids booksellers are the best in the business.
Claustrophobia is not an excuse when it comes to promoting reading.

The Town of Brookline is looking for our next Poet Laureate! Judith Steinbergh's tenure ends on March 31st, 2015, and the Brookline Commission for the Arts, which coordinates the program, is accepting applications for her successor. The Poet Laureate’s mission is to enhance the town’s cultural life, promote awareness and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts and connect members of the community through poetry. This honor of Poet Laureate is open to residents of Brookline who have a substantial body of work, including published poems, and who have demonstrated a commitment to the community. A full description of the program and Poet Laureate’s duties is available on the BCA website ( The deadline for applications is March 1st.
Let the search begin!

Have you heard of the Rescued Film Project? I hope you don't have anything to do for the next hour or two.

Our very own Tate Mitchell just posted this video she filmed and edited for a class project! We're so proud to have an employee like Tate and a staff as wonderful as ours! Brookline Booksmith thrives on a steady diet of loyal customers and dedicated staff; the rest is pixie dust, elbow grease, and coffee. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21st at 7:00 pm
Roger Rosenblatt
The Book of Love

The beloved New York Times bestselling author of Making Toast and Kayak Morning returns with a powerful meditation on a universal subject: love. In The Book of Love, Roger Rosenblatt explores love in all its moods and variations—romantic love, courtship, battle, mystery, marriage, heartbreak, fury, confusion, melancholy, delirium, ecstasy; love of family, of friends; love of home, of country, of work, of writing, of solitude, of art; love of nature; love of life itself. Lively yet profound, poignant yet joyous, The Book of Love is a triumph of intellect and imagination: a personal discourse on love that is both novel and timeless.


Thursday, January 22nd at 7:00 pm
Steve Himmer
Robert Repino

Steve Himmer’s Fram is the story of Oscar, a minor bureaucrat in the US government’s Bureau of Ice Prognostication, an agency created to compete with the Soviets during the heyday of the Cold War and still operating in the present without the public’s knowledge. Oscar and his partner Alexi are tasked with inventing discoveries and settlements in the Arctic, then creating the paperwork and digital records to “prove” their existence, preventing the inconvenience and expense of actual exploration. The job is the closest Oscar has come to his boyhood dream of being a polar explorer, until he and Alexi are sent on a secret mission to the actual Arctic, which brings them into a mysterious tangle of rival agencies and espionage that grows more dangerous the farther north they travel.

In Robert Repino’s Mort(e) the “war with no name” has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. But the true motivation behind his recklessness is his ongoing search for a pre-transformation friend—a dog named Sheba. When he receives a mysterious message from the dwindling human resistance claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will take him from the remaining human strongholds to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the source of EMSAH and the ultimate fate of all of earth’s creatures.

Sunday, January 25th at 10:30 am

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, January 27th at 7:00 pm
Roger Cohen
The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory from a Jewish Family

In this luminous memoir, award-winning New York Times columnist Roger Cohen turns a compassionate yet discerning eye on the legacy of his own forebears. Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing through to the present day, Cohen tracks his family’s story of repeated upheaval, from Lithuania to South Africa, and then to England, the United States, and Israel. It is a tale of otherness marked by overt and latent anti-Semitism, but also otherness as a sense of inheritance. At the heart of The Girl from Human Street is the powerful and touching relationship between Cohen and his mother, that “girl.” Graceful, honest, and sweeping, Cohen’s remarkable chronicle of the quest for belonging across generations contributes an important chapter to the ongoing narrative of Jewish life. This event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Archive. Please visit them at


Wednesday, January 28th at 7:00 pm
Brandon Sanderson

Firefight is the second book of Brandon Sanderson’s exciting new young adult Reckoners series, and the sequel to the #1 New York Times Bestseller Steelheart. If you haven’t read Steelheart, stop reading this now! Spoilers ahead...

They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart – invincible, immortal, unconquerable – is dead. And he died by David's hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers. Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it's the path that will lead him to what he needs to find.


The Evil Hours" A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

David J. Morris
HC, $27
If I Fall, If I Die

Michael Christie
HC, $25
Etta & Otto &
Russell & James

Emma Hooper
HC, $26
Once Upon a Revolution

Thanassis Cambanis
HC, 26
A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France

Miranda Richmond Mouillot
HC, $26

The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and
America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II

Jan Jarboe Russell
Hardcover, $30


You could be excused for thinking that you knew pretty much everything about World War II by this point. But the most examined conflict in human history still holds surprises, it seems. From 1942 to 1945, Japanese, German and Italian families were rounded up and shipped to the southern tip of Texas, to an internment camp in Crystal City. They had done nothing wrong, but they were deemed to be likely trade assets for other Americans trapped behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany. Jan Jarboe Russell diligently tracked down more than fifty people who lived in a strange in-between world where their lives were in many ways allowed to go on as normal, but their future was entirely in the hands of a government who viewed them primarily as human capital.

Guantánamo Diary
Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Little Brown & Co.
Hardcover, $29


A vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka: perpetual torture prescribed by the mad doctors of Washington." - John Le Carré

The horrifying evidence of imprisonment, torture, and relentless interrogation is revealed in this unforgettable account of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a prisoner still inside the walls of Gitmo. Every page of this memoir is scarred with the opaque black bars of censorship - the physical evidence, there for anyone in America or the world to see, of how fear threatens to undermine even the deepest foundations of our governing principles. But what wells up from around those marks is the light of all that is good in humankind; a demand for justice, an appeal to reason and compassion, a forgiving and brave voice speaking clearly from inside the prison's walls. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, still held without being charged, has made an heroic effort to tell us his story, and perhaps will yet prove that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Find out more here and here, and listen to some of the familiar people who have lent their voices to Slahi's story.


Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant's Pursuit
of the Truth About Guantánamo Bay

Joseph Hickman
Free Press
Hardcover, $28
Another riveting account of Gitmo comes from the other side of the barbed wire fence. Joseph Hickman's Murder at Camp Delta digs deep into the events surrounding the reported suicides of three detainees at Guantanámo Bay. Hickman, a former Staff Sergeant and guard at the prison, was witness to out-of-the-ordinary transports of prisoners on the evening in question, and for him the official story never rang true. In his telling, not only was the manner of death an impossibility - the prisoners would have had to tie their own hands and feet before jumping into their nooses, in a facility where guards were instructed to check on them every three minutes -  but as it turns out these specific prisoners were a primary threat to the mission of the CIA at Guantanámo. They were on a constant hunger strike, and their leadership inspired others to do the same, effectively stopping all interrogations by the CIA. Hickman's brave effort to throw light on these events may not only indicate multiple murders, but may also prove influential in the push to close the prison for good. Here is Joseph Hickman speaking with VICE news.

Hilda and the Troll
Luke Pearson
Flying Eye Books
Hardcover $18.95
Ages 6 & up

There is real magic in this pair of graphic novels by rising star Luke Pearson. Uprooted from her rural wonderland and newly arrived in the small city of Trolberg, one would think that young Hilda has every reason to be sad. No more babbling brooks, mountains to climb, mossy rocks to turn over...but what quickly becomes clear about Hilda is that a love of exploration is in her DNA. City or country, each holds marvels of its own. And in Pearson's world, everyday marvels live comfortably close to myth and magic. Let Hilda show you around.


Dory Fantastmagory
Abby Hanlon
Dial Press
Hardcover, $14.99
Ages 6-8

Kylie from our kids department says of Abby Hanlon's Dora Fantasmagory:
"This book is for anyone with a grand imagination. Anyone who believes in monsters as best friends, and fairy godmothers."
I say Dory is definitely coming home to meet my daughter. A perfect early chapter book for a little kid with a huge imagination.

When it comes to relationships, it's what's inside that counts.
Check out out our kids booksellers' Blind Date with a Book
display this Valentine's Day. What's underneath that plain brown
paper might be a mystery, but there is no doubt about it,
each of them is a sure winner - read, re-read and re-re-read
by our amazing and dedicated team of kids booksellers!

The Transportation of Place
Andrea Robbins, Max Becher
Aperture, 2006
Used Hardcover, $25

In the words of the artists: "The primary focus of our work is what we call the transportation of place - situations in which one limited or isolated place strongly resembles another distant one. Everywhere, not only in the new world, such situations are accumulating and accepted as genuine locales. Traditional notions of place, in which culture and geographic location neatly coincide, are being challenged by legacies of slavery, colonialism, holocaust, immigration, tourism, and mass communication. Whether the subject is Germany in Africa, Germans dressing as Native Americans, American towns dressed as Germany, New York in Las Vegas, New York in Cuba, or Cuba in exile, our interest tends to be a place out of place with its various causes and consequences."

The Image of the Black in Western Art: The Twentieth Century: The Rise of Black Artists
David Bindman, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Belknap Press, 2014
Used Hardcover, $45


In the 1960s, as a response to continuing segregation in America, the influential art patron Dominique de Menil began a research project and photo archive called The Image of the Black in Western Art. Fifty years later, this beautiful book presents the five original books and the soon-to-be-realized new volumes which will complete the series. In here is expert commentary and illustration of the history of the representation of people of African descent, ranging from ancient images of the Pharaohs all the way up to the most contemporary creations by black artists across many fields.


The Genie of Sutton Place
George Selden
Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1973
Used Paperback, $3.50

George Selden's The Genie of Sutton Place is written with the same humor and charm that made his Cricket in Times in Times Square into an enduring classic. Tim's aunt, recently become his guardian, is insisting that he get rid of his dog, Sam. Disaster! Sam is Tim's very closest friend, the only thing left from his once happy life. In his father's archaeological notebooks, Tim finds an ancient spell which is supposed to call up a wish-granting genie, and in his desperation Tim does the deed, bringing to life a truly unforgettable character which will not only be able to save Tim's best buddy, but will prove to have the power to change everything.

The Year 1,000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, An Englishman's World
Robert Lacey, Danny Danziger
Back Bay Books, Paperback
Orig. $14.99, Sale $5.99
Robert Lacey has spent his career as author and historian by sticking close to his subjects. Whether it means moving his family to Detroit (Ford: The Men and the Machine) or to the shores of the Red Sea (The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa'ud), Lacey is no armchair historian. So when he decided to write about English life in the 11th century, how did his methods adapt? Time machine, duh. Well, no, of course not. With the help of Danny Danziger, Lacey combs through mountains of rich source material and, through clever feats of imaginative storytelling, creates characters who provide vivid portraits of how life was lived over a thousand years ago.

The Crook Factory

Dan Simmons
Mulholland Books, Paperback
Orig. $15.99, Sale $4.99

Dan Simmons doesn't shy from using great writers as fodder for his fantastic creations. John Keats traveled to another galaxy in Hyperion, Mark Twain dabbles in the occult in Fires in Eden, and in The Crook Factory we find Ernest Hemingway setting up an intelligence ring in Cuba during World War II. As adept at thrillers and espionage stories as he is at pure fantasy, Simmons picks up the threads of a true account (Hemingway indeed petitioned the American embassy for help in establishing a counterintelligence outfit  to investigate Nazi activity in his adopted home of Cuba), and out of them weaves a fast-paced tale of intrigue, with the larger-than-life Papa in the middle of it all.


Christopher Hitchens
Twelve Books, Hardcover
Orig. $22.99, Sale $7.99


The first seven chapters of Mortality are the seven pieces published over 18 months in the pages of Vanity Fair describing the dark journey of an eminent mind as the body descends rapidly towards death. The eighth and final chapter is comprised of fragments and notes from the very final days of Christopher Hitchens' life, as the esophageal cancer finished its work. Hitchens' remarkable final book is a triumph; a writer of great originality and flair employing his art to the very end. An amazing effort.


On Post-It notes.
Maybe try again in 2016?

Post holiday blues?
Cheer up and swing by The Giftsmith
to check out our post holiday 75% off sale
on all of our holiday cards, wrap and gifts!

Next book club meeting
Monday, February 9th @ 7:30pm

The Cold Song
Linn Ullmann

No need to sign up, just show up!


In the first week of February, Brookline’s 5th Annual Climate Week reaches across town from Coolidge Corner to Larz Anderson Park and offers leadership for climate action. Climate Week events and displays focus on ways we can impact our lives and future now by diving in and working together. What speaks to you? How might you contribute to building a better future? Find out how you can get involved by visiting

The theatre bug is all set to take a bite out of your kids over at the Brookline Music School. There are still openings for either the ten week program or five day intensive course for kids aged 7-12. Singing, dancing and acting skills will all be explored in a creative, low-pressure environment. And of course at the end of the term, family and friends will be treated to a show! Find out more and register for classes here.


In the President's State of the Union address last night, he addressed the pointless gridlock that has become the norm in our politics. It's amazing to think how many hours of the day so many of our elected officials routinely devote to the mission of ensuring that nothing of any use gets done. I think it is safe to say that we can all agree that so much wasted effort is totally depressing. And yet, almost inevitably, it brings the reward of reelection.
Now, when it comes to art, effort expended to make something with no practical use is anything but wasted, even though it usually brings zero reward to anyone but the maker of the art. Here's my current favorite artist who is making perfect and utterly pointless objects.

Thanks for reading,

currently reading Forty-one False Starts by Janet Malcolm.
currently listening to the Country Joe and the Fish.

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


Boston A-List's Best Bookstore 2014
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

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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

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Saturday: 9 am - 11 pm
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