This Saturday and Sunday, members of the Coolidge Corner Merchants Association will be taking to the streets for the annual Summer Sidewalk Sale! Come down to Coolidge Corner from 10am-6pm on Saturday 7/26, and noon-5pm on Sunday 7/27 to do some shopping in the sunshine! Click the link above to find out which local businesses are participating, and to find out about live musical performances that will liven up your outing.

We kick off the week of events with Lesley and David Solmonson, a husband and wife team who can show us how just 12 bottles and a little know-how can create a versatile home bar. This event is BYODD. (bring your own designated driver.) The middle of the week brings four authors in two nights, with Celeste Ng and Jennifer de Leon followed by Edan Lepucki (you might recognize that name from Stephen Colbert's anti-Amazon crusade) and Joanna Rakoff. Next Monday we welcome back Benoit Denizet-Lewis, with his Steinbeck-ian travel memoir.

Join us for our annual Booksmith Staff Talent Show this Friday night at 7pm where we show off our talents, literary and otherwise. There's a lot of "otherwise" on our staff, always has been, always will be!

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.
Wednesday, July 23 at 7pm
Celeste Ng and Jennifer de Leon

Unquestionably Marilyn and James Lee’s favorite child, Lydia is meant to be the embodiment of her parents’ dreams - popular at school and a future career as a doctor, not a homemaker. When her dead, waterlogged body is found at the local lake, the Lee family falls apart. James, consumed by guilt, Marilyn, bent on revenge, Nathan, certain neighborhood bad boy Jack is involved, and Hannah, the youngest, who realizes things the others do not. As loss and grief intertwine, dragging the family down, Celeste Ng writes with a merciless beauty, portraying humanity at its most vulnerable in Everything I Never Told You.

In Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, Jennifer de Leon has put together an anthology of essays representing the Latina experience in academia. The essays range from dealing with traditional cultural expectations, to navigating the gap between American and Latina cultures, to embracing the change that college inevitably invokes. de Leon provides a platform for Latina writers to share their personal experiences in this rich collection.
Thursday, July 24 at 7pm
Edan Lepucki and Joanna Rakoff

Dan Chaon calls Edan Lepucki’s California as “a wholly original take on the postapocalypse genre,” and he is so, so right. Cal and Frida, living in a shack in the wilderness after the apocalypse has wiped away the only world they have ever known, survive by seeking solace through the other. Their life—hard but their own—is turned upside down when Frida discovers she is pregnant. Unsure of their ability to raise a child in the wilderness, the couple seek out the nearest settlement, finding themselves in a guarded and paranoid community—one that provides ostensible security but has dangers of its own.

In Joanna Rakoff’s My Salinger Year, she recounts the year she spent as an assistant at J.D. Salinger’s literary agency, contemplating her dreams to become a poet. In this love letter to books, youth, and New York, she writes of romance and realism, of learning how to come into her own as well as figuring out who she wants to be and navigating the world on her own terms.
Friday, July 25 at 7pm
Booksmith Staff Talent Show

Join us for our annual Booksmith Staff Talent Show where we show off our talents, literary and otherwise.
Sunday, July 27 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.

Monday, July 28 at 7pm
Benoit Denizet-Lewis
Travels With Casey

“Does my dog really like me?” Benoit Denizet-Lewis (America Anonymous, American Voyeur) asked himself, starting a journey that would take him through 32 states and last four months as he tested his relationship with his golden Labrador Casey. In this truly charming and enjoyable book, Benoit and Casey meet a bevy of dogs and the people that love them, exploring the powerful bond between humans and canines.
The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime

Judith Flanders
PB, $16.99
A God in Every Stone

Kamila Shamsie
PB, $20
Thirst: A Novel of the Iran-Iraq War

Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
PB, $16.95
Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life

Melody Moezzi
PB, $17
Travels with Casey

Benoit Denizet-Lewis
HC, $26

Double Agent: The First Hero of World War II and How the FBI Outwitted and Destroyed a Nazi Spy Ring
Peter Duffy
Scribner Book Company
Hardcover, $28


From the time Adolf Hitler came into power in 1933, German spies were active in New York City. As war began in Europe in 1939, a naturalized German-American was recruited by the Nazis to set up a radio transmitter and collect messages from spies active in the city to send back to Nazi spymasters in Hamburg. This German-American, William G. Sebold, approached the FBI and became the first double agent in the Bureau's history, the center of a sixteen-month investigation that led to the arrest of no less than thirty-three enemy agents. A riveting, meticulously researched, and fast-moving story, Double Agent details the largest and most important espionage bust in American history.

Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces
Miles J. Unger
Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, $29.95


Michelangelo stands alone as a master of painting, sculpture, and architecture. He was not only the greatest artist in an age of giants, but a man who reinvented the practice of art itself. Miles J. Unger attempts to illuminate the life and struggle of Michelangelo through the story of six of his greatest masterpieces. A work of deep artistic understanding, Unger's biography brings to life the irascible, egotistical, and undeniably brilliant man whose artistry continues to amaze and inspire us after 500 years.

Boston's Cycling Craze, 1880-1900: A Story of Race, Sport, and Society

Lorenz J. Finison
University of Massachusetts Press
Paperback, $24.95


From 1877 to 1896, the popularity of bicycles increased exponentially, and Boston was in on it from the start. The Boston Bicycle Club was the first in the nation, and the city's cyclists formed the nucleus of a new national organization, the League of American Wheelmen. The sport was becoming a craze, and Massachusetts had the largest per capita membership in the league in the 1890s and the largest percentage of women members. Lorenz J. Finison explores the remarkable rise of Boston cycling through the lives of several participants, including Kittie Knox, a biracial twenty-year-old seamstress who challenged the color line; Mary Sargent Hopkins, publisher of "The Wheelwoman"; and Abbot Bassett, a longtime secretary of the League of American Wheelman and a vocal cycling advocate. Finison shows how these riders and others interacted on the road and in their cycling clubhouses, often constrained by issues of race, class, religion, and gender. He reveals the challenges facing these riders, whether cycling for recreation or racing, in a time of segregation, increased immigration, and debates about the rights of women.

She Is Not Invisible
Marcus Sedgwick
Roaring Brook Press
Hardcover, $16.99
Ages 12-17

Marcus Sedgwick (who deserves another trophy on top of his recent Printz Award for engaging in this interview, during which the interviewer pursued a line of questioning designed to dig up the misery of his teenage years) proves that he is a truly versatile writer with his follow-up to the acclaimed Midwinterblood. Where his last book's thrill and intrigue spanned generations of characters, She Is Not Invisible is focused like a laser beam; a taut contemporary story of two siblings, one blind, who cross the Atlantic and risk everything in the bewildering search for their father, who has gone missing while doing research for his new book.

The Scarecrows' Wedding
Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler
Arthur A. Levine Books
Hardcover, $17.99
Ages 4-7


When the snail leads Harry O'Hay away to find a bucket to hold some water for the flowers for their wedding day, Betty O'Barley finds herself waiting alone in the field for well over a day. Then the farmer comes along and sees that one of his scarecrows has gone missing, so he assembles a dashing new fellow; a smooth-talking Casanova who sets his sights on the lovely Betty. Harry arrives back on the scene just in time to throw some cold water on Reginald Rake's scheme. In Julia Donaldson's clever new rhyming tale the wedding day goes off without a hitch, just in the nick of time!


Mr. Rouse Builds His House
Stefan Themerson, Franciszka Themerson
Tate Publishing
Hardcover, $12.95
Ages 4-8

This delightfully tiny and terrifically clever little book (reissued for the first time in English since 1950) will bring chuckles at every turn of the page, as the proper little client Mr. Rouse goes about the lengthy business of building his house. First he must see the architect (who tries to help Mr. Rouse pick the house he wants by showing him pictures of snails, and owls in hollow trees, and moles in holes, and pagodas and houses on stilts and skyscrapers, etc.), then the builder, then plumber, then the glazier for the windows...and at every turn these workmen are so hard to track down. This is such a sensibly funny little book, and the best part is, any kid who reads it will get a pretty good idea of all of the things that went into making their own house.

People of Old Jerusalem
William Papas
Holt Rinehart Winston, 1980
Used Hardcover, $18

Throughout history no other city has inspired or incited quite as many passions as Jerusalem, especially the section known as Old Jerusalem. It was the Old City, with its multitude of shrines and mixture of races and faiths, that captivated political cartoonist and illustrator William Papas. His impressionistic watercolors, full of vibrant characters, combine with his elegant commentary to create a portrait of a complex city within a city.

Steen & Stoffer 1
Bill Watterson
Interpresse (Denmark), 1986
Used Paperback, $6
Calvin & Hobbes in Danish. Bet most of us will be able to translate just from memory.

Now, most translated versions of Bill Watterson's greatest-comic-strip-of-all-time translate their names directly. But it seems the Scandinavian countries choose to leave out the obvious reference to the two influential philosophers altogether, thus obliterating a whole level of meaning from the body of work: Steen & Stoffer (Denmark), Lassi ja Leevi (Finland), Tommy og Tigern (Norway). The Chinese translation - Calvin's Imaginary Tiger World - goes even further, by deciding for the reader that this is all in Calvin's head.

The Meetinghouse Tragedy
Charles E. Clark
Univ. of New Hampshire Press, 1998
Used Paperback, $7.50


In September, 1773 the people of Wilton, New Hampshire gathered to realize their dream, laboring together to raise the frame of a brand new meetinghouse that would be the literal and symbolic center of this small farming community nestled near the Massachusetts line. But the dream became nightmare when a huge center roof beam, temporarily shored up by a treetrunk, gave way, dropping fifty-three workers three stories to the ground and collapsing tons of trusswork, planks and joists, and metal tools in on them. Five died, and every other man was injured, many seriously. The catastrophe might have been lost in history had Charles E. Clark not discovered an heirloom copy of an anonymous, 43-stanza ballad memorializing it. Sifting through clues from the ballad and from archival records, Clark first pieces together the mystery to give a full picture of the events leading up to and surrounding the disaster (the town had voted to provide six barrels of rum for the occasion...could this have had something to do with it?) and then examines the social, cultural, and theological impact of such a central experience upon Wilton's residents.

The Iconoclast's Guide to Music
Steve Jelbert
Dog 'n' Bone, Hardcover
Orig. $14.95, Sale $4.99
It takes a lot of effort to make even the worst album. Artists fail all the time, it's part of the process. So let's give the music-makers a break for a moment, and focus our attention on the failures of the music listeners. In The Iconoclast's Guide to Music, Steve Jelbert has a grand old time poking fun at the music obsessives across all genres who make it almost impossible to listen to your favorite song in peace. Each short essay describes how the form came into existence, what its merits are, and often how annoying its fans are. On opera:
"So, opera fans, you're celebrating an unequal society while living so far in the past you might as well be wearing a merkin, and you expect someone else to pay. I'm not sure I shouldn't applaud."
On heavy metal:
"It's adepts hold it above all other forms and value the undeniable virtuosity of its most notable exponenets, and it consciously respects its own history. Let's face it: heavy metal is classical music in T-shirts."
On hip hop:
"'s the mutability of hip hop that makes it a complete form. Accept its parameters...and you can do absolutely anything else with the form. Grating noise, soft jazzy backgrounds,hard funk, heavy metal, spectral beats, daringly complete lifts from old soul records..."


A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Viking, Hardcover
Orig. $45, Sale $19.99
When Neil MacGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects was being compiled, I sent them this photo of the wallet my dad made for me twenty years ago, which bears the autographs of the two greatest living storytellers, rapper Aesop Rock and radio host Garrison Keillor. I was sure it would be a shoe-in. MacGregor invited me to resubmit in 500 years. To me, this object is the equivalent of a 16th century knapsack signed by William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, but not I guess not everyone can recognize real quality like I can. I mean, check out this vocabulary chart. You see where Shakespeare is on there? Aesop Rock's lyrical virtuosity swamps ye olde bard's.
You let one get away, mean old Mr. MacGregor.

Monique Roffey
Penguin, Paperback
Orig. $16, Sale $4.99
Monique Roffey, vibrant new voice in Caribbean fiction and author of the Orange Prize finalist The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, returns with a novel of loss and redemption, Archipelago. A year after a flood destroys Gavin Weald’s home in Trinidad and rips his family apart, he returns to his house and tries to start over. But when the rainy season arrives, his daughter’s nightmares about the torrents make life there unbearable. So father and daughter embark upon a voyage to make peace with the waters. Their journey takes them far from their Caribbean island home, as they sail through archipelagos, encounter the grandeur of the sea, and meet with the challenges and surprises of the natural world.

Brian Stibal's business card was found in a book sold to the UBC this week! Yes, that Brian Stibal, the man who procured the famous "Armpit Tape", the controversial audio of what many believe to be Bob Dylan's earliest recording. He was editor of the great Dylan fanzine that ran from 1975-79, and ranks in the Top 10 of the craziest all-time Dylan fans, according to Pulitzer Prize winner David Kinney in his new book The Dylanologists.
Ooh la la!
Our bouquets of pinwheels are not just for kids! As any bookseller can tell you, these spinning splashes of pointless merriment have been catching the fancy of customers of all ages. We like to imagine these bursts of color floating out of the store, spreading wherever the wind (or their happy new owners) may take them, and settling down to brighten up another bit of Brookline.

Monday, August 11th @7:30pm

The Lowland
Jhumpa Lahiri

No need to sign up, just show up!


For their 19th season of Free Shakespeare on the Common, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's classic comedy of love in disguise. One of The Bard's most popular plays, Twelfth Night follows the journey of Viola and Sebastian, twins separated by a shipwreck, as they encounter loss and love in their new homeland-the mythical and magical land of Illyria. "For 2014, we wanted to bring back an audience favorite - and one of my favorite comedies," says Artistic Director Steven Maler. "We are eager to revisit Illyria and some of Shakespeare's most colorful characters-Sir Toby Belch, Malvolio, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Feste." CSC last presented Twelfth Night in 2001. The show will run July 23 – August 10, FREE and open to the public!

And there's even more free outdoor fun closer to home with Brookline Movie Nights! Brookline Movie Nights continues this Friday, July 25th with a screening of The Incredibles. Join your neighbors at the Driscoll School Field for this free show! The field opens at 6pm and the movie will start at sunset (about 8:15pm). Bring your own chairs, blankets, dinner, flashlights, and your family and friends!


Oh my, to be here right now.
How is something so beautiful even possible?

Thanks for reading,

urrently reading Swann's Way
by Marcel Proust.

currently listening to Pete Fij & Terry Bickers.

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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