Happy Halloween! If you've got any literary-themed costumes, snap a pic and send it along to us, we'd love to see them. Our favorite entry gets a free new blue Booksmith totebag!

Our thanks go out to all who stopped by our pop-up Booksmith store on Copley Square this past weekend. The Boston Book Fest was a blast, and we can't wait for next year! This week in our events series we welcome Jessica Keener, Julie Wu, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Askold Melnyczuk for the Writing Across Gender Panel, followed by Heidi Siefkas, Lizzie Stark and Anthony Flint. That's quite a week of amazing nonfiction! Don't forget about these big events just around the corner:
John Cleese and Robin Young at the JFK Library on November 7th.
Amanda Palmer: The Art Of Asking Book Tour at the Royale Boston on Tue, Nov 11, 8pm. Don't call us for tickets! Click here to get your tickets.

Thursday, October 30 at 7pm
Writing Across Gender Panel
ft. Jessica Keener, Julie Wu, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Askold Melnyczuk
Sponsored by Women’s National Book Association

In celebration of National Reading Group Month, four authors gather to discuss writing across gender. Can a man write a convincing woman, and vice versa? When you read a book, can you determine the author’s gender by how a character is developed? These questions and more will be explored by Jessica Keener (Women in Bed), Julie Wu (The Third Son), Hank Phillipi Ryan (Truth Be Told), and Askold Melnyczuk (Smedley’s Secret Guide to World Literature).

Saturday, November 1st at 4:00 pm
Heidi Siefkas
When All Balls Drop
Book Release Party

Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly had it all—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss.
Monday, November 3rd at 7:00 PM
Lizzie Stark
Pandora's DNA

Would you cut out your healthy breasts and ovaries if you thought it might save your life? That’s not a theoretical question for journalist Lizzie Stark’s relatives, who grapple with the horrific legacy of cancer built into the family DNA, a BRCA mutation that has robbed most of her female relatives of breasts, ovaries, peace of mind, or life itself. In Pandora’s DNA, Stark uses her family’s experience to frame a larger story about the so-called breast cancer genes.
Tuesday, November 4th at 7:00 PM
Anthony Flint
Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow

In Paris in the roaring twenties, Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, re-branded himself Le Corbusier and set out to change the course of architecture and urban planning.The original star architect, innovator and disrupter, he traveled the world and dressed the part. In Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow, author Anthony Flint suggests that there is much to learn from the man often derided for inspiring the concrete towers of urban renewal -- from his innovative, super-efficient housing designs to the grand scale needed to plan the developing world's burgeoning cities.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Patrick Rothfuss
HC, $18.95
A True Novel

Minae Mizumura,
Juliet Winters Carpenter
PB, $22.95
Charlie Chaplin: A Brief Life

Peter Ackroyd
HC, $25.95
The Book of Strange New Things

Michel Faber
HC, $28
The Peripheral

William Gibson
HC, $28.95

Yes Please
Amy Poehler
Dey Street Books
Hardcover, $28.99


Amy Poehler, who makes the hearts of America throb in unison, has written a memoir in which she steps out from behind the characters for which she is so famous, and proves on the page to be just as thoroughly impressive and amazing and compelling and hilarious, etc., etc., etc., as we all imagine her to be. Of course.

Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence
Karen Armstrong
Hardcover, $30


Karen Armstrong has spent decades writing a library's worth of thought-provoking books about the religions of the world and her own spiritual journey. She has delved into the Bible, the life of Muhammad, and the Buddha with a compassion and determination that few writers have achieved. We are witnessing a spectacularly violent moment in human history, when the actions of extremists of all religions seem to be speaking louder than the words of their moderate counterparts. Karen Armstrong's newest book Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, a rebuttal to the easy and growing assumption in that religion is the cause of violence, could not enter the public debate at a more appropriate moment.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Jill Lepore
Hardcover, $29.95
The Secret History of Wonder Woman is as racy, as improbable, as awesomely righteous, and as filled with curious devices as an episode of the comic book itself. In the nexus of feminism and popular culture, Jill Lepore has found a revelatory chapter of American history. I will never look at Wonder Woman’s bracelets the same way again.” 
- Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home.
Jill Lepore's introduction to the book appeared in The New Yorker in September.
Hansel and Gretel
Neil Gaiman, Lorenzo Mattotti
Toon Books
Hardcover, $16.95
Ages 7-10
Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti both remember the horror and fascination with which they read the Grimm Brothers' "Hansel and Gretel." The writer and the artist now join forces for a brilliant reimagining of one of humanity's most enduring tales. Be brave, be bold, and keep your wits about you--Gaiman and Mattotti are welcoming you into the woods.

Alphabetabum: An Album of Rare Photographs and Medium Verses
Vladimir Radunsky, Chris Raschka
NYR Children's Collection
Hardcover, $19.95


Another dream team pairs up for a unique project, as celebrated artists and authors Vladimir Radunsky and Chris Raschka put a delightful new spin on the alphabet book. Radunsky has selected portraits of children from his spectacular collection of antique black and-white photographs. Raschka has given the children names and written deliciously teasing rhymes about them. If you miss Chris at the Booksmith on Sunday, you can still get a signed copy of this amazing book.

Space Case
Stuart Gibbs
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, $16.99
Ages 8-12

Like his fellow lunarnauts living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous the world over for being one of the first humans to live on the moon. And he’s bored out of his mind. He's trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy his time, and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games. But when the moon's top scientist turns up dead, Dash senses there’s foul play afoot. The story goes that a faulty helmet was the cause, but it's turns out that Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery - one that certain parties definitely didn't want anyone to find out about. It's a Murder Mystery on the Moon!

And since we're talking about space, how awesome is this project to represent a realistic black hole on the silver screen?

Candide, or Optimism
Voltaire, Chris Ware
Penguin Classics, 2005
Used Paperback, $6


Sure, Theo Cuffe's translation of Candide is eminently readable, and Voltaire himself is sparkling throughout the masterpiece, but to wrap the whole package with Chris Ware's comic artwork is a stroke of genius on the part of Penguin Classics. Ware's reduced version starts on the front of the book with Candide, hands stuffed in pockets, exclaiming "Golly, what a swell life this is, getting to live in a Westphalian castle, the possible illegitimate son of the Baron's sister...it's a good thing, too, otherwise It'd be sort of weird for me to feel all amorous towards Cunégonde, the beautiful daughter of the Baron himself...", and ends on the rear french flap, with the fatal gunshot. Every classic should get the Chris Ware treatment!


Emergency Sandbag Shelter
Nader Khalili
Cal-Earth Press, 2008
Used Paperback, $18

Nader Khalili (anyone with basic anagramming skills knows that this man is most likely named Dean Hair Kill.) grew up as one of nine children who "constantly knew need." His life's work - developing simple breakthrough natural building technologies for people in need - was fueled by the poetry of Rumi, which his grandmother recited to him in his youth. An architect who made his mark in the skyscraper business, Khalili has spent three decades developing shelters made from the stuff of war: sandbags, barbed wire and fire. The seed of his "Superadobe" design came from his presentation to NASA for habitats on the moon and Mars.

Into the Night House
Heather Eyles
Barron's, 1990
Used Paperback, $2.50


Into the Night House is a creepy little book for kids. It's like an introduction to the work of John Bellairs (an author whom I adore, but it turns out my wife considers him a joke. we are no longer speaking, until this evening when she gets home from work. wait, she just texted me, I'll be just a minute.), or that spot down at the bottom of the stairs leading to your grandparent's basement where the kids' rooms are, which by day is just as welcoming as the rest of the house but for some reason at night presents itself as the place where you will probably be dying soon. Ugh. Heather Eyles' little nightmare tells the story of Roger and his little's sister's antique dollhouse. She won't let him play with it, so he creeps in after midnight to check it out. Unfortunately for Roger, this dollhouse is evil, and he finds himself sucked into a Victorian household, with a different sister and a very, very cruel nanny. Each night brings a chilling return to Roger's new nightmare. How will he ever break the cycle?

The Holy or the Broken:
Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah"

Alan Light
Atria, Paperback
Orig. $15, Sale $6.99
How did one obscure song become an international anthem for human triumph and tragedy, a song that speaks to each generation anew, as if it were freshly created just for them? Music journalist Alan Light follows the surprising journey of "Hallelujah" through the strains of popular culture, starting with its release in 1984 through its many reinterpretations by artists in most every genre up to the present day.

If you are sick to death of the song "Hallelujah", then I apologize for bringing it up.
Also, you are a hopeless cynic.

The Painted Girls

Cathy Marie Buchanan
Riverhead Books, Paperback
Orig. $16, Sale $5.99
Degas' sculpture “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" inspired Cathy Marie Buchanan's novel about three sisters faced with ruin following their father's death. In 1870's Paris, there is no social safety net for 17 year-old Antoinette, 14 year-old Marie and 7 year-old Charlotte, and as the novel opens the older sisters are working their way into the Paris Opera ballet school. While Marie rises through the ranks and eventually becomes the model for Degas' iconic statue, Antoinette is cast out of the school and into the street. Buchanan's novel recreates with vivid intensity a social order where artistry and aspiration live cheek by jowl with abuse.

A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies
Ashley English
Lark, Paperback
Orig. $19.95, Sale $8.99

I can read your mind.
"Oooh! Pumpkin pie with walnuts, 'tis the season!
And that strawberry whippy thing down there on the right, oh my goodness.
Check out the browned crust laced atop those barely contained blueberries, I wouldn't mind that falling off my fork! What else do we have here, OH MY, NO, WHO WOULD PUT SO MANY MUSHROOMS IN A PIE, THAT'S A HORROR SHOW, WHY GOD WHY!?!?!? FIRST GLOBAL WARMING AND NOW THIS?!??!!"
But believe me, even if one quarter of the pies in here are filled with hot slimy fungus, that still means that a full 75% of them are going to be delicious.

Hand crafted in the USA! Treat yourself to a therapeutic, stress free day with juniper and geranium bath salts, candles and lotions from US Apothecary. BE YOU (tiful)!

Next book club meeting
November 10th @ 7:30pm

The Hired Man
Aminatta Forna

No need to sign up, just show up!


On Saturday, November 15, 7pm, come and celebrate the beautiful Fall season with wonderful live music and a delicious full course dinner. The Follen Angels: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow will be a most fun Fall evening with songs you love that have stood the test of time. You’ll be tappin’ your toes to tunes like Blue Suede Shoes, In The Still Of The Night, Tears On My Pillow, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Devil With The Blue Dress On, Da Do Ron Ron, Georgia On My Mind, Wooly Bully, Joy To The World, Oh What A Night (December 63) and so many more...Combine these knock-out tunes with a delicious full course dinner at the Holiday Inn Ballroom restaurant - ”the best kept secret in Brookline“ and you’ve got yourself an evening to remember. Tickets are on sale right here at the Brookline Booksmith! Cash or check only, please!

As the days get shorter, and our activities retreat indoors there is still some important work to be done in Hall's Pond Sanctuary and garden. Volunteers will be joining up on Sunday, November 2nd from 11am-2pm to put the garden to bed for the winter, perform basic maintenance to the formal garden, and plant spring bulbs. If you plan to volunteer, please wear weather appropriate clothing. No experience is necessary and tools, gloves and refreshments will be provided.


Brookline Booksmith is the best bookstore in the world, obviously. And we are right in the middle of the best town in the world! But I must admit to carrying a big ol' torch for Jamaica Plain, where my wife and I lived for a number of years, and where both my children were born. Filled with a fierce and creative independent spirit, it's almost shocking that JP lacks a bookstore.
In mid-November, Papercuts, JP will throw open its doors to the public, and a gaping hole in the cultural life of that terrific corner of Boston will finally be filled! In the spirit of many hands making light work, booklovers have been coming together to help the fledgling bookstore find its feet. Papercuts, JP is well on its way with its Indiegogo campaign, but with your help it can reach the top! Click here to check out the project and lend your support. Give a little something, get a little something, and soon enough there will be another independent bookstore in our local constellation!

Thanks for reading,

currently reading Nicholas and the Gang by René Goscinny.
currently listening to Steve Gunn.

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