Tip-off in our events this week is set for 7pm tonight with Bob Katz's examination of the life of college basketball referees. The week includes brand new fiction from Melissa Falcon Field, Bill Roorbach, Holly LeCraw and Jacqueline Winspear. Throw in David Shields in conversation with Christopher Lydon, and our events series comes up just one short of an elite 8. Wait, does Sunday's special Passover themed storytime count? Elite 8, here we come!

We are excited to announce that tickets to our event with
Judy Blume on June 24th go on sale today! Brookline Booksmith is thrilled to bring Judy Blume to the Coolidge Corner Theater for her first adult novel in over 15 years, In the Unlikely Event. When Judy Blume was a teenager a series of passenger airplanes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey within a three month period. “These events have lingered in my mind ever since,” says Blume. “We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified.” Blume brings us the lives of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, who are continually affected by these events. Click this link to reserve your seat for the reading!

Wednesday, March 25th at 7:00 pm
Bob Katz
The Whistleblower: Rooting for the Ref in the High-Stakes World of College Basketball

Alone among thousands in the stadium and millions watching at home, the ref’s goal is fairness and neutrality. He truly does not care who wins or loses. His passion to do the right thing on the court is shaped by character and training and a rare kind of honor. During a season on the road with college basketball referees, Bob Katz watched the games they officiated, listened in on their candid conversations in locker rooms and hotel lobbies, and explored the challenges they must regularly confront. In The Whistleblower, we come to actually root for the ref.


Thursday, March 26th at 7:00 pm
Melissa Falcon Field
What Burns Away
Bill Roorbach
The Remedy for Love

Good wife, good mother. That’s all Claire Spruce is trying to be, but the never-ending snow in this new town and her workaholic husband are making her crazy. Feeling overwhelmed and alone, she reconnects with her long-lost high school boyfriend, Dean. But Dean’s reappearance is not a coincidence. He wants something from Claire—and she soon finds that the cost of repaying an old favor may lead to the destructions of her entire life. What Burns Away is a story of loyalty, family, and the consequences of the past’s inevitable collision with our future.

They’re calling for the “Storm of the Century,” and in western Maine, that means something. So Eric closes his office early and heads to the store. But when a seemingly unstable young woman in line comes up short on cash, charity takes hold of his heart—twenty bucks and a ride home; that’s the least he can do. Trouble is, she’s squatting in a cabin deep in the woods. Eric, with troubles of his own, tries to walk away but finds he can’t. And as the storm intensifies, these two lost souls are forced to ride it out together. Intensely moving, frequently funny, The Remedy for Love is a harrowing story about the truths we reveal when there is no time or space for artifice.


Sunday, March 29th at 10:30 am
Special Passover Themed Storytime

Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section as our fine children’s team reads stories aloud. This is a special passover themed story time!

Monday, March 30th at 7:00 pm
David Shields in conversation with Christopher Lydon
I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel   

Caleb Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he’s a stay-at-home dad to three young girls), whereas his former professor David Shields (How Literature Saved My Life) always wanted to become a human being, but he overcommitted to art (he has five books coming out in the next year and a half). Shields and Powell spend four days together at a cabin and talk about everything they can think of in the name of exploring and debating their central question (life and/or art?): marriage, family, sports, sex, happiness, drugs, death, betrayal—and, of course, writers and writing. 
David Shields will appear in conversation with Christopher Lydon of Radio Open Source.

Tuesday, March 31st at 7:00 pm
Holly LeCraw
The Half Brother

When Charlie Garrett arrives as a young teacher at the shabby-yet-genteel Abbott School, he finds a world steeped in privilege and tradition. Before long he is drawn to May Bankhead, the daughter of the legendary school chaplain; but when he discovers he cannot be with her, he forces himself to break her heart, and she leaves Abbott—he believes forever. But nearly a decade later, his peace is shattered when his golden-boy half brother, Nick, comes to Abbott to teach—and May returns as a teacher as well. With wisdom and emotional generosity, LeCraw takes us through a year that transforms both the teachers and students of Abbott forever.


Wednesday, April 1st at 7:00 pm
Jacqueline Winspear
A Dangerous Place

Jacqueline Winspear returns to Brookline Booksmith and her beloved Maisie Dobbs series with A Dangerous Place. Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability—and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. But on a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn’t ready to return. She disembarks in Gibraltar. Days after Maisie’s arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar’s Sephardic Jewish community, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, Seaworld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish

John Hargrove, Howard Chua-Eoan
HC, $26
All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir

Shulem Deen
PB, $16
Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
HC, $27.99
The Book of Wanderings: A Mother-Daughter Pilgrimage

Kimberly Meyer
HC, $27
Narcisa: Our Lady of Ashes

Jonathan Shaw
PB, $16.99

Notes from a Dead House
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
Hardcover, $26.95


From the acclaimed translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky comes a new translation of the first great prison memoir: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fictionalized account of his life-changing penal servitude in Siberia. In 1849 Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison camp for his participation in a utopian socialist discussion group. He said of that time "I consider those four years as a time during which I was buried alive and shut up in a coffin." The account he wrote after his release, based on notes he smuggled out, was the first book to reveal life inside the Russian penal system.

The Sympathizer
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Grove Press
Hardcover, $26


“Magisterial. The Sympathizer is destined to become a classic and redefine the way we think about the Vietnam War.” – T.C. Boyle
The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. In dialogue with but diametrically opposed to the narratives of the Vietnam War that have preceded it, this novel offers an important and unfamiliar new perspective on the war: that of a conflicted communist sympathizer. 


What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir
Abigail Thomas
Hardcover, $24

At first glance, What Comes Next and How to Like It seems like a straightforward follow-up on A Three Dog Life, her 2006 memoir detailing the death of her husband, this book differs greatly from its predecessor. Abigail Thomas' new memoir reads more like a daybook, with some passages as brief as a single sentence. Nothing is lost in the changes, though, as Thomas recounts the unexpected emergence of creativity, her growth into a single parent of four adult children, and the way in which the hole left by a lost loved one never really disappears, but may serve as the vessel in which a new kind of life can grow.

A Rock Is Lively
Dianna Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long
Hardcover, $16.99
Chronicle Books
Ages 5-8


The most mundane of earthly objects is anything but boring when you break out of your habits of thought. This "boring" rock came from outer space, it is millions of years old, it might be dropped by a seagull to crack open a clam, or cracked open to reveal an enchanted garden of crystals inside. Under the eyes of a poet or a painter - or just a curious imagination - a plain old rock certainly is lively!
A Rock is Lively is just one sample in this series of beautiful and surprising books from Aston and Long: A Butterfly is Patient, A Nest is Noisy, An Egg is Quiet and A Seed is Sleepy. Here is a seed who is definitely not sleepy.


David Arnold
Hardcover, $17.99
Groundwood Books
Ages 4-8


Mosquitoland follows the odyssey of one teenager whose family loyalties are suddenly stretched thin between her roots in northern Ohio, and the "wastelands" of Mississippi. Mim feels she has been banished to live out her life in the medicated haze of her father's and stepmother's world. When news of her mother's illness reaches her, Mim sees running away to her old home not just as her grim duty, but also her only chance. On the top of a Greyhound bus, Mim begins an odyssey that is both epic and hilarious on the page. David Arnold's debut novel proved quirky enough to make the cut for the Keep YA Weird movement, which is the product of author Andrew Smith's fertile imagination.


Sidewalk Flowers

Jon Arno Lawson, Sydney Smith
Hardcover, $16.95
Viking Books for Young Readers
Ages 12 & up

Sidewalk Flowers balances on a thin beam. On one side is the tension and chaos of the urban sea of distraction as it is experienced by the father, and on the other is the atmosphere of meditative focus through which his young daughter travels. Talented illustrators Jon Arno Lawson and Sydney Smith offer quiet but essential lessons of observation and generosity not just for their youthful audience, but for their parents as well. Sometimes you ought to watch how your child moves through the world, and then practice to be more like them. Sidewalk flowers are to be sought out and shared.

Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
Svetlana Alexievich
Picador, 2006
Used Paperback, $8.50

Nuclear energy policy decisions hinge on the question of whether we are willing to risk the possibility - or inevitability - of future global-scale disasters like the reactor fire at Chernobyl. Translated from the Russian by Keith Gessen, Svetlana Alexievich's National Book Critics Circle Award-winning book relates the experiences of those most closely affected by the events of April 26, 1986. I recommend that you read this excerpt, and don't be shamed if you find yourself crying, because I did. And if you want the antidote, I recommend that you read this amazing piece about the return of life, flora, fauna and even human, to the Chernobyl region.

Timelines: Flight, Flyers and Flying Machines
David Jefferis, David Salariya
Franklin Watts, 1991
Used Hardcover, $7.50

Some days I would get thrills just imagining myself wrestling with the controls of the AVRO F, the first plane with an enclosed cockpit, others I would be soaring at astronomical speeds in what is basically a spaceship, the awesome X-29. If my memory isn't playing tricks on me, I am pretty sure I had this exact book when I was a kid, and, like that X-29, it was awesome. Each page is filled with precisely rendered illustrations and just enough information and history to make it educational. Mostly it's just awesome.

You Are Not a Gadget
Jaron Lanier
Vintage, 2011
Used Paperback, $8


Jaron Lanier (Who Owns the Future) is known as the father of virtual reality technology and has been working on the interface between computer science and medicine, physics, and neuroscience. This critically acclaimed "poetic and prophetic" book "...challenges us to take a hard look at our cyberculture," to consider the "...loss of a hi-tech Eden, of the fall from play into labour, obedience and faith." Lanier examines the technical and cultural problems that have arisen from programming choices that were effectively "locked-in" at the birth of digital media, and presents vivid predictions of what our future will look like if we don't change our philosophies. To get as worried as Jaron Lanier, check him out on the Colbert Report last year.


The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
Ayana Mathis
Random House UK, 2013
Orig. $24.95, Sale $5.99

In 1923, fifteen-year-old hopeful Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and heads north to Philadelphia. The path to a better life quickly proves to be an illusion, as she marries a man who brings her nothing but sorrow, and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins are lost to an illness that a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children, whom she raises with grit, mettle, and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them to meet a world that will not be kind. Ayana Mathis captures their lives here in twelve luminous threads.

Tipping the Velvet
Sarah Waters
Virago Press, 2012
Orig. $19.99, Sale $5.99

Unsatisfied with the existing lesbian narratives such as Isabel Miller's Patience and Sarah, which followed women who fled their homes to find refuge in rural solitude, Sarah Waters set out to write a book that she wanted to read. The urban setting never allows her characters to escape, and her "breathlessly and wittily detailed" renderings of Victorian London will keep you similarly bound to the page.

Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty
Phoebe Hoban
St. Martin's Press, 2010
Orig. $35, Sale $6.99


Alice Neel portrayed her lovers, her children, her Spanish Harlem neighbors, pregnant nudes, crazy people, famous people, basically anyone who came near her studio in the years from the Depression through the Reagan administration ran the risk of sitting for a portrait. But this impressive and important body of work barely concealed rumors of violence, abuse and neglect. Biographer Phoebe Hoban delves into the transcendent work and the often ugly life of one of the greatest portrait painters of the twentieth century.


This mostly seems do-able.
I mean, with a little focus I'd say all of these can get done in a weekend, although I'd caution against that guitar purchase, since you never know if Mom and Dad might have already gotten you one for Christmas.

But #5, clearing a block of space for nu? That's a pretty serious undertaking. Even with Mercury, whose true anomaly represents the smallest nu value in our solar system, it's gonna take until at least the New Year to block off that space. Do you even have permission?

Bunnies at the Giftsmith! 
Plush happy hoppers,
or pretty porcelain cottontails,
we've got bunnies to snuggle
and bunnies to shake your salt & pepper.
Hop over to the Booksmith and Giftsmith
today for a Happy Easter!

Join the Booksmith Book Club
April 13th @ 7:30pm to discuss

My Struggle
by Karl Ove Knausgaard

No need to sign up, just show up!

Come out and celebrate the Coolidge Corner Community Chorus' first year at the Senior Center with a preview of their spring concert! All are invited to this free performance, which will take place at the Senior Center at 93 Winchester St on Saturday, March 28th at 2pm. Mark your calendars for the Spring Concert proper: Saturday, June 6 at 8pm at All Saints Parish on Beacon St.

Play #BrooklineBingo! now through Monday, April 6th. Complete 5 activities/purchases in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) and be entered into a raffle to win prizes from a bunch of Brookline businesses. Complete the entire board (BLACKOUT) and be entered to win a Special Raffle Prize AND regular raffle prizes! Go to brooklinechamber.com to find out how to get your Bingo card started.

I am a famously forgetful one in my house.

Thanks for reading,

currently in between books...any suggestions?

currently listening to Aim.

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

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Saturday: 9 am - 11 pm
Sunday: 9 am - 9 pm

Open 24/7 at www.brooklinebooksmith.com