Believe it. Friday, November 7 at 6:30pm, Brookline Booksmith is proud to present John Cleese for his memoir So, Anyway… at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s Smith Hall, in conversation with Here and Now’s Robin Young. I just fell off my chair. John Cleese and Robin Young, two of my favorite people, in the same room, talking intimately with only me. I know there will be a lot of you there as well, but it's really just going to be us three. There, I fell off my chair again. Tickets will be available starting September 2nd online at, over the phone by calling 617-566-6660, or in-store. Tickets are $60 and include one copy of So, Anyway...

Events this week include the Boston Globe Book Club this evening and the highly anticipated visit from Daniel J. Levitin tomorrow, with Randy Susan Meyers and Ray Daniel rocking the microphone early next week.

Booksmith is honored to feature on two cool new independent bookstore interactive maps: first at Better Places to Buy Books,
and also on the Independent Bookstore Road Trip Map from the folks at Chin Music Press. Thanks for thinking of us!

We are also honored to be voted #1 Bookstore by Boston A-List voters! Thanks everyone! We didn't even have to bribe anyone are just grateful to be nominated at all!

And now for something completely different:

Wedneday, August 27th at 7pm
Boston Globe Book Club

Join the Boston Globe Book Club in a discussion of Maryanne O'Hara's Cascade, led by Maryanne herself. Seating is limited and you can pre-register by visiting
Thursday, August 28 at 7pm
Daniel J. Levitin
The Organized Mind

We're taking in more information than ever, required to make decisions faster and faster—so how are we supposed to remember where we put our stupid keys? There are some people who (somehow) do this. Neuroscientist and bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods and to regain a sense of mastery over the daily challenges of memory and focus.
Sunday, August 31 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, September 2 at 7:00pm
Randy Susan Meyers
ccidents of Marriage

Join us for the launch party for Accidents of Marriage. Years ago, social worker Maddy fell in love with public defender Ben, drawn to his fiery passion. But now that they are married, he’s lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She maintains a fragile peace by vacillating between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their 3 kids. Then one rainy day in the car, his volatile temper gets the best of him, and leaves her in the hospital fighting for her life. Meyers' stunning character work and storytelling reveals the challenges of family, faith, and forgiveness.
Wednesday, September 3 at 7:00pm
Ray Daniel

Husband and wife Tucker and Carol developed security software together for MantaSoft until the day he was fired and she was murdered. Now, six months later, another software engineer is dead, bringing new clues to light in Carol's cold case. Haunted by the memory of his wife, Tucker is determined to track down the truth behind the killings. He pulls strings to get hired back into MantaSoft, but office politics turn deadly as Tucker takes on the FBI, Russian mobsters, and a psychopath known as the Duct Tape Killer.

The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter

Susan Pinker
HC, $26
Bleeding Edge

Thomas Pynchon
PB, $17
Diary of the Fall

Michel Laub
HC, $20
The Miniaturist

Jessie Burton
HC, $26.99
Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools

Diane Ravitch
PB, $16.95

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto
Steve Almond
Melville House
Hardcover, $22.95


Against Football is classic Steve Almond. You read Almond, and you wonder why you haven't gotten as mad as he is about the American football machine. Former players shuffle out of retirement to tell us their story of addled brains, broken bodies or suicidal depression. Student athletes drop from heat exhaustion and concussions. And above it all is the massively successful league that knowingly allows and encourages it all to continue. Steve Almond tells us to turn the game off, because football isn't just killing the players, it's killing this country. It not only hurts those involved, it sucks obscene sums of money away from every other program at nearly every college and high school in the country. You can go to to find out more, and Steve will be at the Coolidge Corner Theater on Thursday, September 18 at 6pm. Get your tickets here.


Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel
Jules Feiffer
Liveright Publishing
Hardcover, $27.95


The legendary Jules Feiffer presents Kill My Mother, a noir graphic novel and loving homage to the pulp-inspired films and comic strips of his youth. Channeling Eisner, Hammett, Chandler, John Huston and Billy Wilder, the tale centers on five formidable women from two families, linked by a washed-up drunken detective.Take a peek!

Daniel Kehlmann
Hardcover, $25.95


From the author of Measuring the World, comes a brilliant tragicomedy about three brothers whose father takes on the occult and both wins and loses. Arthur is a wannabe writer who decides to fill an afternoon by taking his three young sons to a performance by the Great Lindemann, Master of Hypnosis. While allowing one of them to be called onto the stage and made a spectacle of, Arthur (foolishly) declares himself to be immune to hypnosis and a disbeliever in all magic. The Great Lindemann accepts his challenge, gets Arthur to tell him his deepest secrets and then tells him to make them real. Funny, heartbreaking, tragic, Daniel Kehlmann’s novel about truth, family and fortune is a triumph.


Adventure Classics for Boys: Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Kidnapped!
Daniel Defoe, Robert Louis Stevenson
Egmont Books (UK)
Remainder Hardcover, $7.99

Yes, it irks me that the assumption persists that these adventure stories are "for boys", but let's look past that. In this handsomely illustrated collection children hailing from all corners of the gender map will find three classic adventure stories of swashbuckling fun, abridged for easy reading. All may thrill to these tales of derring-do!

derring-do a very silly word, late 16th century, from late Middle English dorryng do, 'daring to do', used by Chaucer, and, in a passage by Lydgate based on Chaucer's work, misprinted in 16th-century editions as derrynge do; this was misinterpreted by Spenser to mean 'manhood, chivalry', and subsequently taken up and popularized by Sir Walter Scott. again, very silly.

Give and Take
Chris Raschka
Atheneum Books
Hardcover, $17.99


Chris Raschka's new book begins with the line
Every morning a farmer said to his dog, "Let us inspect the apples."
and although I can't quite put my finger on why, I just know I'm going to like this book.
Give and Take is a modern fable with an air of antiquity about giving and taking (obviously), by the only illustrator to be honored with a solo exhibition of his work at the Art Institute of Chicago. He's won a handful of Caldecott's as well.

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
Rick Riordan, John Rocco
Hardcover, $24.99

In Percy Jackson's Greek Gods the son of Poseidon adds his own magic - and sarcastic asides - to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on the entire cast, from Apollo to Zeus. Dramatic full-color illustrations throughout make this a thoroughly stimulating, entertaining and informative guide for fans of Rick Riordan's mega-popular Percy Jackson books.

Tibor & Maira Kalman
Abrams, 2004
Used Hardcover, $15

Started by the late Tibor Kalman, one of the graphic design giants of the 20th century, and completed by his wife and partner, Maira Kalman, (un)FASHION is a magnificent collection of candid portraits from around the world which displays the fabulous native genius for fashion that human beings share. Any designer would find inspiration as they sift through this book and contemplate the myriad ways we adorn our bodies at times of work or play, in luxury, silliness, holiness, despair and joy.

Hansel and Gretel
Margaret Evans Price
Laughing Elephant Books, 2005
Used Paperback, $5.50
This is a reprint of a book first published by the Stecher Litho Company in 1916. Margaret Evan's Price's verses and illustrations are beautiful, but this is one of those versions of the story that leaves me puzzled/disturbed. First of all, there is zero backstory. No parents, no poverty, and Gretel assumes the worst of the Witch right away, almost before the Witch can say more than a few words (she merely invites them to eat more gingerbread!). And then, once inside - cue scary music - they get to eat more cake. The old lady (she's not a witch, I've decided.) then offers to teach them how to bake a cake. She leans over to put the cake in the oven and so obviously Gretel has to murder her.
Great looking book and all, but I'm just not sure I am ever going to read this version to my kids. It is about two sneaky, sweets-obsessed kids murdering a very nice old lady in the most horrifying way imaginable. Great looking book, though.

Nantucket Rhyming Recipes

Larry Wasser, 2007
Used Paperback, $7.50


Brookline native Larry Wasser's Nantucket Rhyming Recipes is a charming concoction of travel journal, poetry, and down-home recipes from that most unique of islands away out there. Journey with Larry as he recounts his yearly pilgrimage back to Nantucket, his efforts to wrangle recipes out of reluctant island chefs, and his attempts to recreate the magic of Nantucket cuisine in his own kitchen.


Chris Cleave
Simon & Schuster, Paperback
Orig. $14, Sale $5.99
In an emotionally raw voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, a woman mourns the loss of her husband and son at the hands of one of history’s most notorious criminals. And in appealing to their executioner, she reveals the desperate sadness of a broken heart and a working-class life blown apart. Chris Cleave's Incendiary is a critically-acclaimed, controversial and gut-wrenching story not for the faint of heart.

Box Set of Smithsonian Handbooks
Dorling Kindersley, Paperback
Sale $19.99
Reptiles and Amphibians!
Insects, Spiders and Other Terrestrial Arthropods!
Stars and Planets!
The best gift for a inquisitive mind? Yes, this is.

The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides
4th Estate, Paperback
Sale $5.99
In the early 1980s, the country is in a deep recession, and life after college for an English major is hard. Madeleine Hanna is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, and she struggles to understand why “it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France.” When two men come into her life the confusion mounts, as her romantic and intellectual relationship with a mysterious new student gets tangled up with the reappearance of a strange friend from her past who seems to think that Madeleine is meant for him. Over the course of Eugenides' spellbinding tale, the members of the triangle are forced to reckon with life after academia, and with each other.

There goes Laina, back to school! Sure, she looks happy, but it's miserable for the rest of us. The only thing keeping our chins in the air are these hot colors and new styles from Baggallini, one of our favorite and bestselling lines of bags. Come in to the Giftsmith before you hit the books, and get back to school in style!

Monday, September 8th @7:30pm

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Anthony Marra

No need to sign up, just show up!


I know, I know, it's hot out there today. And I know that summer isn't nearly over. But if you are anything like me, you start  looking forward to the first day of Autumn right around the middle of May. Also, you are always thinking about making art. Well cheer up, because the Brookline Arts Center is pleased to host a Fall Open House on Saturday, September 20 from noon-4pm! The Fall Open House will provide the community with the opportunity to meet the BAC’s new Executive Director, Carl Mastandrea, watch demonstrations, participate in free craft making activities, and to learn about new class offerings and welcome new instructors. Two workshops will be offered during the Open House for ages 12+. The Brookline Arts Center's all faculty exhibition curated by Jennifer Okeeffe will also be on view in the BAC's gallery.

The first ever Edible Book Festival is coming on Wednesday, September 3, from 4-7pm! To celebrate the end of the Brookline Public Library's summer reading challenge for adults and teens, we’re inviting everyone to come in to the library to judge the best entries from staff in our Edible Book Festival. We’ll be serving up edible creations themed on books, and you decide who wins the day. Categories will include funniest or punniest, most delicious, and best in show.


Four days back from the White Mountains, swamped with bookstore business, children are away for a whole week, and one mean bug bite still itches on my belly. Way too many beloved Booksmith coworkers have left in the month of August. Sigh.
When will it ever snow?

Thanks for reading,

currently reading Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan
currently dying to hear more from 21st Kong.

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


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



Brookline Booksmith Online