Here's an announcement from our hyperventilating events department: On Thursday, October 2nd at 7pm, Brookline Booksmith and the Wilbur Theatre present Lena Dunham for Not That Kind of Girl at the Wilbur Theatre, in conversation with Mary Karr (The Liars' Club, Lit).
The Wilbur box office will be handling ticket sales for this event, beginning July 16th at noon via this link. Tickets are $38, be sure to enter code: "Boston"

The Booksmith has been getting some praise in the press recently! Check us out in Shelf Awareness, where we are proud to feature in part 1 of the Massachusetts Bookstore Field Trip! And we are more than proud to have been voted Best Bookstore in the Improper Bostonian's Boston's Best awards.
Now we can rest on our laurels. We're taking the rest of the summer off.

Just kidding! Later on this month, members of the Coolidge Corner Merchants Association will be taking it to the streets for our annual Summer Sidewalk Sale, but we here at Booksmith are getting started just a little bit early. Right now out in front of the store you can get half off on select merchandise from the amazing Giftsmith!

Since we all know that Brookline Booksmith customers have the absolute best taste in books, every Tuesday, on the Blogsmith, we'll be listing last week's bestsellers. So follow our blog to keep up to date! (also feel free to follow our tweets, our facebooks, our instagrams, our tumblr, our everything.)

Wednesday, July 16 at 7pm
Rebecca Makkai
The Hundred-Yea
r House

A love story and a ghost story all at once, Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower) presents a dazzling novel about fate, family, and the incredible surprises life offers. Zee, a Marxist literary scholar, and her husband Doug move into the coach house of Laurelfield, her family’s 100-year-old estate. Doug is supposedly writing a biography about poet Edwin Parfitt but actually spends most of his time falling in love with Zee’s step-brother’s wife, writing teen novels for a book packaging company, and trying to break into Laurelfield’s attic, which holds records of the arts colony based there in the 1920’s. As the narrative zips back in time, we learn the secrets of Laurelfield, hidden from Doug but laid bare to the reader in an immensely satisfying literary scavenger hunt.
Thursday, July 17 at 7pm
Small Press Book Club

This month, we discuss The Expedition to the Baobab Tree by Wilma Stockenstrom. Our new book club selects readings from independent presses. Read something off the beaten path! Free and open to the public, meeting third Thursday of each month at 7pm.
Friday, July 18 at 7pm
Deborah Harkness
The Book of Life

Deborah Harkness joins us with the long-awaited third and final book of the All Souls Trilogy. Historian and witch Dana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont are back and reunited with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches, with one important exception. As they search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages, Dana and Matthew draw ever closer to learning what the witches discovered centuries ago. From ancestral homes to university laboratories, with a mix of ancient knowledge and modern science, The Book of Life brings the All Souls Trilogy to a satisfying end.
Saturday, July 19 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, July 22 at 7pm
Lesley and David Solmonson
lve Bottle Bar

The husband-and-wife team behind visit with their informative and passionate new book. They show you how to create a versatile home bar with only twelve bottles: seven hard liquors, one liqueur, two vermouths, and two bitters, which can make over 200 delicious cocktails.

Paul Harding
PB, $15

Jo Nesbo
PB, $14.95
Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things

David Rose
HC, $28
The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee

Marja Mills
HC, $27.95
The Valley of Amazement

Amy Tan
PB, $16.99

When the United States Spoke French: Five Refugees Who Shaped a Nation
Francois Furstenberg
Penguin Press
Hardcover, $36


By documenting the experiences and delving into the correspondences of five French refugees who carved out a new home in Philadelphia during the French Revolution, Francois Furstenberg provides a riveting account of an all but forgotten yet pivotal moment in American history. "By showing the importance of the French community to what was the most important city in the United States, Furstenberg brilliantly illuminates the way the American Republic first learned to interact with the wider world."  - David Bell, author of The First Total War.

White Beech: The Rainforest Years
Germaine Greer
Bloomsbury USA
Hardcover, $30


In 2001, at sixty-years of age, Germaine Greer decided to take on the challenge of resucitating sixty hectares of deforested and abused land in Queensland, Australia. The key to success was tempting the massive White Beech to return to its home. Greer's crystal clear voice relays the amazement and appreciation that comes from watching an ecosystem spring back to life, and gives hope to the reader that even though each one of us can't save the world, we must at least work our own patch of soil, and provide the environment with the space to rebuild itself.

The Hundred-Year House
Rebecca Makkai
Viking Adult
Hardcover, $26.95


When Doug’s mother-in-law offers up the coach house at Laurelfield, her hundred-year-old estate north of Chicago, Doug and his wife Zee accept. Doug is fascinated by the house’s previous life as an artists’ colony, and hopes to find something archival there about the poet Edwin Parfitt, who was in residence at Laurelfield in the twenties (and whose work happens to be Doug’s area of scholarship). When he learns that there are file cabinets full of colony materials in the attic, Doug is anxious to get to work and save his career, but his mother-in-law refuses him access. With help from friends, Doug finally does access the Parfitt file - only to find far stranger and more disturbing material than he bargained for. Doug may never learn all the house’s secrets, but the reader does, as the narrative zips back in time from 1999 to 1955 and 1929. Rebecca Makkai's newest novel is receiving a bunch of rave reviews.

The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning
Chris Colfer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, $18

In the third book in the bestselling series by Chris Colfer, Conner Bailey thinks his fairy-tale adventures are behind him - until he discovers a mysterious clue left by the famous Brothers Grimm. With help from his classmate Bree and the outlandish Mother Goose, Conner sets off on a mission across Europe to crack a two-hundred-year-old code. Meanwhile, Alex Bailey is training to become the next Fairy Godmother, but her attempts at granting wishes never go as planned. Will she ever be truly ready to lead the Fairy Council? When all signs point to disaster for the Land of Stories, Conner and Alex must join forces with their friends and enemies to save the day.

My Pet Book
Bob Staake
Random House Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, $17.99


Bob Staake's newest picture book is such delightful eye candy that it might just become your pet book! Two shrewd parents tell their kid that the best pet is a book, and let him go the bookstore and pick one out for his very own. "A frisky red hardcover" comes home, filled with adventure and mischief, and the little boy finds out just how magnetic a book can be. He takes it everywhere! But when the maid accidentally sweeps it into a box of old things headed for the thrift store, the boy finds out just how much he would miss that book if it ever disappeared. Now, personally I am of the opinion that there are a few too many books out there that are written for the purpose of praising books... but this is definitely one that I would take home with me.

To be sure, Bob Staake's work isn't just for kids.. Check out his almost-NSFW Bad Little Children's Books.


All Four Stars
Tara Dairman
Putnam Juvenile
Hardcover, $16.99

Meet Gladys Gatsby, New York’s toughest restaurant critic. She's in sixth grade. Her career is all a secret, of course - even from her fast-food loving parents she has had to hide the gourmet meals she cooks for herself. After a minor (fire!) cooking mishap, she is barred from the kitchen indefinitely, and it feels like the world is about to end. But then she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world. Can she sneak out of the house under her parents' noses, make it to the Big Apple, and write the review that will open the oven doors to culinary paradise? This eleven-year-old has got a deadline, and there is no stopping the presses this time.

Versed in Country Things
Robert Frost
Photographs by B.A. King
Bulfinch Press, 1996
Used Hardcover, $12

Shot through with the images, rhythms, and voices of rural New Englad, the twenty poems by Robert Frost in this collection perfectly capture the aura of the region, nearly as well as an Caramel Apple Mocha-chino from Dunkies, am I right? B.A. King's photographs in black and white provide a perfectly spare and eloquent accompaniment to Frost's poetic landscapes. Printed by the esteemed (and sadly erstwhile) Stinehour Press, this book is an absolute gem, and would make a great gift for a poet or lover of Frost.

75 Years of the Comics
The New York Cultural Center
Boston Book & Art, Publ., 1971
Used Hardcover, $15
Author Maurice Horn presents the history of comic strips, and what he interprets as the entire range of comic strip expression in clearly defined categories: The Heroic Period, The Great Tradition, Man and Superman, The Current Scene, and The Far-Away and the Far-Out. Horn's aim was to thrust the comic strip form into the spotlight, as he felt that it had suffered from neglect by the Art Establishment. By the time he turns his attention to the "current scene", he sounds decidely pessimistic...but that was back in 1971, before Gary Larson, before Bill Watterson. One can only hope he is encouraged by the expansion of the comic form into all its various forms in the modern day?

She Came to Stay
Simone de Beauvoir
Norton, 1954
Used Paperback, $7


Simone de Beauvoir's open relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre was mostly fun while it lasted, but it didn't bring much peace to the generations that followed - read about the contentiousness that remains when two swinging philosophers finally go the way of all flesh. One gift that keeps on giving from their frolics is de Beauvoir's sensational first novel, She Came to Stay. Simone and Sartre become Francoise and Pierre, and the sisters Olga and Wanda Kosakiewicz, real-life students of de Beauvoir, are joined in the character of Xaviere to complete the ménage à trois, in a story that sizzles with love, anger and revenge.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life
and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

Timothy Egan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover
Orig. $28, Sale $9.99
The renowned photographer Edward Curtis undertook a herculean task, and the effort changed him forever. At the age of thirty-two, Curtis set out to capture on film the original inhabitants of America before their traditions and ways of life were lost forever. He spent the next three decades following his muse across the western half of the country, patiently earning the trust from his would-be subjects that a good photographer needs to make the most of his talent. Over time, as what he saw through his lens convinced him of the outrageous injustices visited upon the people by his county, the project turned him from a detached observer to an passionate advocate. When he completed his epic project, his more than 40,000 photos and 10,000 audio recordings were almost entirely ignored by a nation sunk deep into the Great Depression.

Me Before You
Jojo Moyes
Pamela Dorman Books, Hardcover
Orig. $27.95, Sale $6.99
Me Before You, Jojo Moyes' runaway word-of-mouth bestseller, tells the story of a small-town English girl who takes a new job as assistant to a man whose life as he knew it is gone forever. Will Traynor used to do everything, know everyone, made his own super-successful way in the world, and now here he is strapped into a wheelchair. Louisa Clark is an ex-barista with low expectations for her future. The two could not be more opposite, nor more antagonistic, but their relationship as it grows will prove to both of them that the world is much bigger and wide-open than they thought it could be.

A Strong West Wind
Gail Caldwell
Random House, Paperback
Orig. $15, Sale $5.99
Gail Caldwell, after a quarter century living in Massachusetts, still pined for her Texas home. Surely not everything from her childhood was perfectly rosy, but the landscape of Amarillo, the wind and the sky and the library that became her second home, these things formed the bedrock of her emotional and writing life. A Strong West Wind is a spare, striking memoir, the backstory to Caldwell's bestselling 2010 memoir of her time in Cambridge, Let's Take the Long Way Home.

I am almost positive that this photo was taken in Booksmith
in the year of my birth, because the book faced out on the shelf between the two boys - The Lazlo Letters by Don Novello, who was maybe best known for his Saturday Night Live character "Father Guido Sarducci" - was published in 1977.
Here's a link to Tom Waits performing on Saturday Night Live on April 9th, 1977, on the day of my birth.
I bet my parents weren't even watching.
Rip stop nylon reusable Baggu brand bags are not just for the grocery store (although one of them will easily fit two or three bags of groceries), they are good for any trip you might be taking! Available in a rainbow of colors and patterns, they can scrunch down into your pocket or hang comfortably over your shoulder. The smaller ones shown here are zippered cubes perfect for traveling!

Monday, August 11th @7:30pm

The Lowland
Jhumpa Lahiri

No need to sign up, just show up!


Circus Smirkus is coming to town! The world-class children's circus from Vermont's Northeast Kingdom is on tour this summer, and they'll be swinging into town the weekend of July 25-27th with Anchors Away for Atlantis! Join their intrepid crew as they climb the rigging with aquatic aerialists, tumble the surf with amphibious acrobats, even catch and release some fishy jugglers. Help turn the tides for the castaway clowns set adrift in center ring. Get your tickets here.

Sign up for the Eureka! Game Intensive and get your game on this summer! Our friends over at Eureka! take over Knight Moves Cafe (just a few doors down Beacon Street) and bring tons of games and puzzles over! Go beyond the old chestnuts of Risk and Monopoly into the innovative world of contemporary strategy games: faster-paced games that are far more skill than luck, and may call on powers of reasoning, spatial skills, resource management, negotiation, cooperation, risk management, and logical deduction. In addition to the most popular titles like Settlers of Catan and Dominion, the staff brings their latest favorites - this year they'll be featuring such games as Last Will, String Railway, Casa Grande, Aeroplanes, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, and many more! The program is geared to kids 10 to 15 years old, who like to play games - especially strategy games, and sessions run during the second half of August - a perfect way to get your brain limbered up for the next school year!


Lonely? Keep reading, scientists say.

Thanks for reading,

urrently reading Swann's Way
by Marcel Proust.

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


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
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Subscribe to Shelf Awareness and enter to win a free book!

Boston Magazine's Best Bookstore 2004-2006, 2008, & 2011
WBZ-TV A-List Editor's pick for Best Bookstore 2006, 2007, & 2011
Boston Phoenix's 2010 "Readers' Pick for Best Place to Buy New Books"
Community Newspapers' 2009 Readers' Choice Award


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