Even if you've been coming to Booksmith for years and years, and you feel like you are intimate with the many moods of the store, watch out: we can still surprise you. Learn about Booksmith's boisterous origin story from our founder Marshall Smith; about Lisa's dramatic vision to take Booksmith literally to the next level; and Zoe's possibly apocryphal memory of our bookstore cat in the LitHub.com Interview With a Bookstore: Brookline Booksmith.

I will be heading out of town with my family for a few days, so I'm afraid that next Wednesday we'll be asking you all to soldier on without your weekly newsletter. This edition has the full event listing for the next two weeks, so take a good look at what's in store, because I won't be here to remind you! Christopher Moore, Michelle Tea and Bill Clegg are the highlights, you can check out our events page for more.
Our event with Joe Hill and The Nerdist Panel has unfortunately been rescheduled for later this year. We'll let you know when we have a date for it, but in the meantime you can either keep the j ticket you've got, or get a full refund. Just stop by or give us a call at 617-566-6660.


Sunday, August 30th 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 1st at 7:00pm
Hester Young
The Gates of Evangeline

When recently bereaved mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children, she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not nightmares; they are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them. A gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates of Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn and Kate Atkinson won't be able to put down.


Wednesday, September 2nd at 6:00 PM at the Coolidge Corner Theatre
Christopher Moore 
Secondhand Souls

Buy Tickets Now!
In San Francisco, something really strange is happening. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going—and you know that can’t be good—in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore’s delightfully funny sequel to A Dirty Job. 
This event requires tickets, which are $5 each or free with the purchase of Secondhand Souls.


Thursday, September 3rd at 7:00pm 
Caroline Bicks, PhD and Michelle Ephraim PhD
Shakespeare, Not Stirred

In Shakespeare, Not Stirred, two professors mix equal parts booze and Bard to help you through your everyday dramas. Each original drink and hors d’oeuvre recipe connects Shakespeare’s characters to life’s daily predicaments. Let Hamlet and King Lear get you through your next dysfunctional family gathering. Invite Ophelia and Othello over to help you drown your sorrows. Or get thee to a winery with Juliet’s Nurse, Elizabeth I, and all your gal pals. A free sample cocktail will be served courtesy of Winestone in Chestnut Hill.


Tuesday, September 8th at 7:00pm
Michelle Tea
How to Grow Up: A Memoir

After fleeing Chelsea, Massachusetts at the age of nineteen, Michelle Tea (Mermaid in Chelsea Creek) resurfaced in California, where she smoked, drank, and worked dead-end jobs. During all of this, she scribbled in notebooks and eventually built herself a literary career. With advice ranging from why you should never hit on your tattoo artist to what you should do when you hit rock bottom, How to Grow Up touches on relationships, religion, and feminism with a no-holds-barred attitude.


Wednesday, September 9th at 7:00pm
Bill Clegg in conversation with Heidi Pitlor
Did You Ever Have a Family

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her entire family.This Man Booker Prize-longlisted debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg (Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man) is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy. Bill Clegg will appear in conversation with novelist Heidi Pitlor (The Daylight Marriage).

    Booksmith Book Club
Monday, September 14th @ 7:30pm

Loving Frank
Nancy Horan

No need to sign up, just show up!

Small Press Book Club
September 17, 7pm

My Documents

by Alejandro Zambra


Rising Strong

Brene Brown, PhD.
HC, $27

Emma Chichester Clark
HC, $16.99
A Window Open

Elisabeth Egan
HC, $26
Good Mourning

Elizabeth Meyer
HC, $24.99
Secondhand Souls

Christopher Moore
HC, $26.99
The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion
Tracy Daugherty
St Martin's Press
Hardcover, $35


Joan Didion lived a life in the public and private eye with her late husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, whom she met while the two were working in New York City when Didion was at Vogue and Dunne was writing for Time. They became wildly successful writing partners when they moved to Los Angeles and co-wrote screenplays and adaptations together. Daugherty takes readers on a journey back through time, following a young Didion in Sacramento, through to her adult life as a writer interviewing those who know and knew her personally, while maintaining a respectful distance from the reclusive literary great. The Last Love Song reads like fiction; lifelong fans, and readers learning about Didion for the first time will be enthralled with this impressive tribute.


The Orpheus Clock: The Search for My Family's
Treasures Stolen By the Nazis

Simon Goodman
Hardcover, $28


Simon Goodman grew up in London with little knowledge of his father’s efforts to recover their family’s prized possessions, snatched from them by the Nazis. It was only after his father’s death that Simon began to piece together the clues about the Gutmanns’ stolen legacy and the Nazi looting machine. He learned much of the collection had gone to Hitler and Hermann Goering; other works had been smuggled through Switzerland, sold and resold to collectors and dealers, with many works now in famous museums. More still had been recovered by Allied forces only to be stolen again by heartless bureaucrats -European governments quietly absorbed thousands of works of art into their own collections. Goodman’s dramatic story, told with great heart, reveals a rich family history almost obliterated by the Nazis.


Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground
Between Humans and Robots

John Markoff
Hardcover, $26.99

In Machines of Loving Grace, John Markoff offers a sweeping history of the complicated and evolving relationship between humans and computers. In recent years, the pace of technological change has accelerated dramatically, posing an ethical quandary. If humans delegate decisions to machines, who will be responsible for the consequences? As Markoff chronicles the history of automation, from the birth of the artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation communities in the 1950s and 1960s, to the modern-day brain trusts at Google and Apple in Silicon Valley, and on to the expanding robotics economy around Boston ( wait, what!?!), he traces the different ways developers have addressed this fundamental problem and urges them to carefully consider the consequences of their work, and urges us to remember that we still have the opportunity to design ourselves into the future - before it's too late.


The Day the Crayons Came Home
Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers
Philomel Books
Hardcover, $18.99
Ages 5-8

As a write this, my wife and two kids are on the bench under the tree in the children's section reading Daywalt and Jeffers' hilarious new book for the first time. This is the companion to The Day the Crayons Quit, a brilliantly funny satire of life inside the Crayola box. Now the crayons are sending home postcards from their various travels abroad:
lost at the hotel pool; cracked in half in the crack of the couch; inside the family dog and out again by the same route; and, perhaps worst of all, into the hands of BABY BROTHER. Daywalt and Jeffers (and the crayons) do it again! Sometimes a second installment of a perfect picture book feels stale, as if the authors would rather be doing something else, but in this case the follow-up is as fresh and funny as the first.


Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories
R. J. Palacio
Hardcover, $16.99
Ages 8-12

Millions of people have read R.J. Palacio's  Wonder, fallen in love with Auggie Pullman - an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face - and then passed the inspirational story on to a friend. These three stories, previously only available in ebook, offer new views of Auggie’s life before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie’s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie’s new friend at school.

Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes

Rick Riordan, John Rocco
Hardcover, $24.99
Ages 8-12


Legions of Rick Riordan fans will be thrilled to find themselves being transported to a world of magic, myth, fate and adventure with good old Percy Jackson acting as tour guide. Leading readers through the timeless tales of Greek heroes, Riordan and ace illustrator John Rocco continue their labor of love with another kick-butt full-color homage to the ancient stories from which their bestsellers were born.

The Complete Talking Heads
Alan Bennett
Picador, 1998
Used Paperback, $7.50

Alan Bennett's award-winning series of solo pieces is a classic of contemporary drama, universally hailed for its combination of razor-sharp wit and deeply felt humanity. In Bed Among the Lentils, a vicar's wife discovers a semblance of happiness with an Indian shop owner. In A Chip in the Sugar, a man's life begins to unravel when he discovers his aging mother has rekindled an old flame. In A Lady of Letters, a busybody pays a price for interfering in her neighbor's life. From the author of The Uncommon Reader comes this collection of extraordinary monologues, first produced for BBC television in 1988.


In Xanadu
William Dalrymple
Lonely Planet, 2000
Used Paperback, $8

At the age of twenty-two, William Dalrymple left his college in Cambridge to travel to the ruins of Kublai Khan’s stately pleasure dome in Xanadu. This is an account of a quest which took him and his companions across the width of Asia, along dusty, forgotten roads, through villages and cities full of unexpected hospitality and wildly improbable escapades, to Coleridge’s Xanadu itself. At once funny and knowledgeable, In Xanadu is in the finest tradition of British travel writing, told with an exhilarating blend of eloquence, wit, poetry and delight.

Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia, vols. 6, 8, 10 & 12
Popular Mechanics
J.J. Little & Ives, Inc, 1955
Used Hardcovers, $5 each

A word of advice if you're thinking of picking these up for your home DIY library: skip any projects that involve electricity. But the "Youngster's Chair" is a winner, as is the full-size xylophone, phonograph cabinet, and "Smoking Stand, in Colonial Design." Just about a third of the pages feature a photo of a man operating a drill press, so run out and pick one of those up before you attempt to build the table lamp with four hidden ashtrays that swing out when it's time to party!
The People of the Sea
David Thomson
Canongate, UK
Sale Paperback, $5.99
The People of the Sea is a lyrical retelling of the selchie, or seal-people story, a cornerstone of Celtic folklore. Seamus Heaney says of David Thomson's impossible-to-categorize novel:
"In the presence of such alluring inventions and such substantial voice, analysis and appreciation feel superfluous. Talk of the willing suspension of disbelief, of the salubrious effect of imaginative narrative, characterizations of the mental habits of pre-industrial societies, conjectures about how the sociological facts got displaced in earlier days into the parallel universe of the mythological - all such commentary seems to lead in the wrong direction. David Thomson's book is luminously its own thing..."

No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories
Miranda July
Scribner, Paperback
Orig. $15, Sale $7.99

Miranda July does everything, well. Well, and sincerely, without ever being over-sincere. Or rather, she sometimes is over-sincere, but I think she only does it because when she is over-sincere, it allows the rest of us to be sincere. She pushes the envelope. But she's also funny, in sly little ways, and more clever than most, and her experience in performance art and filmmaking imbue her stories with certain qualities that a strict life of letters doesn't always provide. I have a lot of good feelings about Miranda July, and, to get to the point, these stories are just like her.

The Golden Ass
Apuleius, translated by Sarah Ruden
Yale Univ. Press, Hardcover
Orig. $35, Sale $7.99

The Metamorphoses of Apuleius (124 – 170 AD), which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass, is the only Ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety. The protagonist, Lucius, over-eager student of the magical arts, thinks he has found the key to one of humankind's oldest aspirations: flight. His attempt to turn himself into a beautiful bird instead turns him into an ass, whoops. The series of tales and misadventures that follows ultimately leads him to the feet of Isis, who relieves of him of his unwanted form in exchange for his fealty.

Gotta see this.


Booksmith's back-to-school gear for the elementary school set is hard to miss: day-glo zippered pouches, brightly patterned lunch boxes and book bags light up the front of the store the minute you walk in. For the discerning young adult and college-bound students the merchandise might not be leaping off the shelves with its vibrancy, but rather keeping it cool in the background - tongue in cheek, as proven by our cool composition-book-patterned backpack, shown here next to a small sample of our Decomposition Book blank notebooks. And socks, of course.

The Public Library of Brookline is pleased to offer Brookline residents access to Lynda.com's library of instructional videos. Normally, using lynda.com requires a paid subscription, but as a resident library cardholder you can access Lynda.com content from any computer with an Internet connection simply by entering your 14-digit Minuteman Library Network library card barcode and 4-digit PIN. Lynda.com is an online learning site that hosts a constantly growing library of over 3,000 courses that include over 130,000 videos. Courses cover a variety of topics and software that can help you pursue personal and professional goals. These courses are delivered by expert instructors and feature searchable transcripts that make it easy to find quick answers to questions.


Humanity won a small but crucial victory at the Hugo Awards this year, where the so-called "Sad Puppies" were last spotted slinking offstage right with their tails between their legs, their nominees roundly defeated and their agenda vociferously rejected. The heartwarming results appear to confirm that there is less acceptance of misogyny and bigotry in the sci-fi community than there used to be. Corroborating evidence of this blooming of inclusiveness may feel hard to find at times, but advocates express hope that upcoming votes in other fields may well prove that our society is equally dismissive of such retrograde attitudes in other important areas of public life.

B-mail will be back in two weeks. Have a great end of summer vacation, and an even better return to school, should that be your fate!

Thanks for reading,

currently reading The Dying Grass, by William Vollmann.
currently listening to Ayla Nereo and Mr. Lif, Kumite.

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

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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 www.brooklinebooksmith.com