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Events Transnational Literature Series Used Book Cellar Kidsmith Giftsmith

Upcoming Events

This event will be in conversation with author and columnist Meredith Goldstein. 

It’s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris–broke, disowned, and completely alone.  To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father’s art collection, prove her innocence–and exact revenge on George. When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives . . . and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley’s murder.

B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own. In The Collector’s Apprentice, she gives us an unforgettable tale about the lengths to which people will go for their obsession, whether it be art, money, love, or vengeance.

Ticketed Event

This event will take place at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown. Click HERE to purchase tickets.

We are excited to continue our partnership with Earfull - Writers reading, Songwriters singing. Hear work from authors Dawn Tripp and Jonathan Wilson, accompanied by musical acts from Chris Freeman and Walter Rodriguez. Doors at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm.

This event is presented in partnership with the Boston Writers of Color group (supported by GrubStreet).

Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel She Would Be King reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

Wayétu Moore is the founder of One Moore Book and is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University, and the University of Southern California. She teaches at the City University of New York’s John Jay College and lives in Brooklyn.

Tanushree Baidya is graduate of the Yale Writer’s Workshop, a Vermont Studio Center alum, and a member of the Boston Writers of Color Group. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Kweli Journal, Creative Nonfiction, GrubWrites, 2040Review, London Journal of Fiction, The Wrong Quarterly, and Half The World Global literati.

Ticketed Event

This event will take place at Congregation Kehillath Israel. Buy tickets HERE!

The New York Times bestselling author of Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, and The Poisonwood Bible and recipient of numerous literary awards—including the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Orange Prize—returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.

Brilliantly executed and compulsively readable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerizing story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realize that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred—whether family or friends—and in the strength of the human spirit.

Idiophone

Leaping from ballet to quiltmaking, from the The Nutcracker to an Annie-B Parson interview, Idiophone is a strikingly original meditation on risk-taking and provocation in art and a unabashedly honest, funny, and intimate consideration of art-making in the context of motherhood, and motherhood in the context of addiction. Amy Fusselman’s compact, beautifully digressive essay feels both surprising and effortless, fueled by broad-ranging curiosity, and, fundamentally, joy.

Craving

Elisabeth is dying. Coco jumps at this chance to prove her love, and promptly moves in with her deteriorating mother. A venture that quickly sends both parties spiraling out of control. Alongside a supporting cast of ex-bosses, ex-husbands, and (soon to be ex) boyfriends, the two women attempt to work through the annals of their dark yet often wildly humorous relationship. Psychologically astute and eye-poppingly candid, this is a tale about both excess and denial in which some things perhaps would have been better left unspoken. Sometimes the only person who understands you in this world is your hairdresser…

Gerritsen’s sparse and lucid prose chimes with the absurdist logic and melancholy wit of characters as true as they are ridiculous.

Little Wonder

Kat Gardiner’s debut collection of microfiction, Little Wonder, springs from the year she spent in Anacortes, Washington. Young and idealistic, she and her husband moved to town to open a café and music venue in the hopes of finding a home there. The experiment lasted exactly one year.

In interconnected fragments, Little Wonder reads like a series of love notes to a former self. Characters navigate frustration, loss, heartbreak, but they also come into new versions of themselves. Little Wonder sheds light on the idea that joy and pain are often two sides of the same coin — and that being alive in this world can necessitate embracing both.

Let’s face it: we all want a seat at the cool table, a great job, and loads of money. But most of us won’t be able to achieve this widely accepted, black-or-white, definition of winning, which makes us feel like failures, that we’re destined to a life of loserdom. That’s the conventional wisdom. It’s also crap, according to comedian and cult hero Chris Gethard, who knows a thing of two about losing. Failing is an art form, he argues; in fact, it’s the only the way we’re ever going to discover who we are, what we really want, and how to live the kind of life we only dreamed about.

Chris Gethard is a comedian and creator of The Chris Gethard Show and host of the popular weekly podcast Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People. His Judd Apatow-produced one-man show, Career Suicide, premiered on HBO and was nominated for the Lucille Lortel award for its off-Broadway run. He lives in Queens, New York.

Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section with special guest author James Weinberg! James will read his latest picture book, Contrary Creatures: Unique Animal Opposites.

This vibrantly illustrated nonfiction picture book goes beyond expected animal opposite pairings by comparing and contrasting behaviors like migration habits (or lack thereof) and sleeping schedules.Featuring snow monkeys, sea dragons, peacocks, and more, this is an eye-catching and thought-provoking concept book. It will appeal to nature-loving readers, making them think about opposites in new ways.

James Weinberg is an illustrator and designer creating everything from murals to silkscreened posters to this, his debut picture book. He fills some of his spare time by riding his bike around Somerville, MA, where he lives.

A sweeping, unforgettable love story of a young doctor and nurse at a remote field hospital in the First World War Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives–at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains–he discovers a freezing outpost ravaged by typhus. The other doctors have fled, and only a single mysterious nurse named Sister Margarete remains. 

Daniel Mason is a physician and author of the novels The Piano Tuner and A Far Country. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages and adapted for opera and theater. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, he is currently a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in the humanities and medicine. He lives in the Bay Area with his family.

Saud Alsanousi is an award-winning Kuwaiti novelist and journalist, born in 1981. His debut novel The Bamboo Stalk won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). His work has appeared in a number of Kuwaiti publications, including Al-Watan newspaper and Al-Arabi, Al-Kuwait and Al-Abwab magazines and he currently writes for Al-Qabas newspaper. Jonathan Wright studied Arabic, Turkish, and Islamic civilization at St John’s College, Oxford. He joined Reuters news agency in 1980 as a correspondent, and has been based in the Middle East for most of the last three decades. He translated numerous novels from Arabic, including, most recently, Ahmed Saadawi’s award-winning novel Frankenstein in Baghdad. He won the 2016 Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of The Bamboo Stalk.

About the book:

Josephine escapes poverty by coming to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a maid, where she meets Rashid, an idealistic only son with literary aspirations. Josephine, with all the wide-eyed naivety of youth, believes she has found true love. But when she becomes pregnant, and with the rumble of war growing ever louder, Rashid bows to family and social pressure, and sends her back home with her baby son, José. Brought up struggling with his dual identity, José clings to the hope of returning to his father’s country when he is eighteen. He is ill-prepared to plunge headfirst into a world where the fear of tyrants and dictators is nothing compared to the fear of ‘what will people say’. And with a Filipino face, a Kuwaiti passport, an Arab surname and a Christian first name, will his father’s country welcome him?, The Bamboo Stalk takes an unflinching look at the lives of foreign workers in Arab countries and deals with the problem of identity through the life of a young man of mixed race who returns to Kuwait, the ‘dream’ or ‘heaven’ which his mother had described to him since he was a child.

Winner of the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), the most prestigious and important literary prize in the Arab world. Its aim is to reward excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and to encourage the readership of high quality Arabic literature internationally through the translation and publication of winning and shortlisted novels in other major languages.

Ticketed Event

This event will take place at Coolidge Corner Theatre - BUY TICKETS HERE.

Best known for his surreal camera obscura pictures and luminous black-and-white photographs of books, photographer Abelardo Morell now turns his transformative lens to one of the most common of artistic subjects, the flower. The concept for Flowers for Lisa emerged when Morell gave his wife, Lisa, a photograph of flowers on her birthday. “Flowers are part of a long tradition of still life in art,” writes Morell. “Precisely because flowers are such a conventional subject, I felt a strong desire to describe them in new, inventive ways.” With nods to the work of Jan Brueghel, Édouard Manet, Georgia O’Keeffe, René Magritte, and others, Morell does just that; the images are as innovative as they are arresting.

 

Ticketed Event

This event will take place at the Wilbur Theatre. Buy tickets HERE.

Being “shook” is more than a rap lyric for Charlamagne, it’s his mission to overcome. While it may seem like he is ahead of the game and should have nothing to worry about, he is still plagued by anxieties—fear of being weak; fear of being a bad dad; fear of being a worse husband; and ultimately, fear of failure. Shook One chronicles his journey to beat back those fears and empowers you to no longer be held back from your potential.

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When the Croatian War of Independence breaks out in her hometown of Vukovar in the summer of 1991 she is nine years old, nestled within the embrace of family with her father, mother, and older brother. She is sent to a seaside vacation to be far from the hostilities. Meanwhile, her father has disappeared while fighting with the Croatian forces. By the time she returns at summer’s end everything has changed. Against the backdrop of genocide (the Vukovar hospital massacre) and the devastation of middle-class society within the Yugoslav Federation, our young narrator, now with her mother and brother refugees among a sea of refugees, spends the next six years experiencing her own self-discovery and transformation amid unfamiliar surroundings as a displaced person. As she grows from a nine-year old into a sparkling and wonderfully complicated fifteen-year-old, it is as a stranger in her own land.
            
Applauded as the finest work of fiction to appear about the Yugoslav Wars, Ivana Bodrožić’s The Hotel Tito is at its heart a story of a young girl’s coming of age, a reminder that even during times of war—especially during such times—the future rests with those who are the innocent victims and peaceful survivors.

IVANA BODROŽIĆ was born in Vukovar, Croatia, in 1982 where she lived until the Yugoslav wars started in 1991. That year her father disappeared while fighting for Croatian independence and she and the rest of her family moved to Kumrovec, where they stayed at a hotel for displaced persons. In 2005, she published her first poetry collection, The First Step into DarknessThe Hotel Tito, her first novel, was published in 2010, receiving high praise from both critics and audiences and becoming a Croatian bestseller. She has since published a second poetry collection, A Crossing for Wild Animals, and a short story collection, 100% Cotton
 
ELLEN ELIAS-BURSAĆ is a translator of fiction and nonfiction from Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. She has taught in the Harvard University Slavic Department and is a contributing editor to the online journal Asymptote. She lives in Boston.

Ticketed Event

This event will take place at Congregation Kehillath-Israel.Purchase tickets HERE.

Celebrated children’s author Jason Reynolds discusses Lu, the fourth and final book in the Track series.

Lu was born to be cocaptain of the Defenders. Well, actually, he was born albino, but that’s got nothing to do with being a track star. Lu has swagger, plus the talent to back it up, and with all that—not to mention the gold chains and diamond earrings—no one’s gonna outshine him. Lu knows he can lead Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and the team to victory at the championships, but it might not be as easy as it seems. Suddenly, there are hurdles in Lu’s way—literally and not-so-literally—and Lu needs to figure out, fast, what winning the gold really means.

Starting with National Book Award finalist Ghost, the Track series follows the four rookie members of a middle school track team.

THE LAST PASS situates the Celtics dynasty against the full dramatic canvas of American life in the 50s and 60s. It is an enthralling portrait of the heart of this legendary team that throws open a window onto the wider world at a time of wrenching social change. Ultimately it is a book about the legacy of a life: what matters to us in the end, long after the arena lights have been turned off and we are alone with our memories.

Gary M. Pomerantz, historian, journalist and Stanford University lecturer, is the author of six nonfiction books on topics ranging from history to sports to civil rights. His first, Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn, on Atlanta’s racial conscience, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He also authored WILT, 1962, about Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary 100-point game (a New York Times Editors’ List selection), Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds, about an aviation crash, and The Devil’s Tickets about a Jazz Age murder and trial. His most recent book, Their Life’s Work, a narrative about the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, explores football’s gifts and costs. For the past twelve years, he has taught reporting and writing at Stanford’s Graduate Program in Journalism.

The Bullet Journal Method is about much more than organizing your notes and to-do lists. It’s about what Carroll calls “intentional living”: weeding out distractions and focusing your time and energy in pursuit of what’s truly meaningful, in both your work and your personal life. It’s about spending more time with what you care about, by working on fewer things.

Ryder Carroll is a digital product designer and inventor of the Bullet Journal. He’s had the privilege of working with companies like Adidas, American Express, Cisco, IBM, Macy’s, and HP. He’s been featured by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Fast Company, Bloomberg, Lifehacker, and Mashable.

Leah Trouwborst is an associate editor at Penguin Random House who seeks out books on new systems, strategies, or vocabulary that help us reach our goals. Editing Ryder’s book made her hold a mirror up to all the unintentional habits that were draining her energy, disrupting her life in the best possible way.

Before they met, both the author and Jim had believed they were done with marriage, and even after they married, Joyce resolved that no one could alter her course of determined independence. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple–to be a true partner and to have one.

Joyce Maynard was born and raised in New Hampshire.  She is the author of several books, including To Die For, Where Love Goes, Domestic Affairs, Baby Talk, and her memoir Looking Back, which she wrote at the age of eighteen.  Joyce Maynard has written for many national publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Parenting and Good Housekeeping.  She lives in Mill Valley, California, with her three children.

Our Transnational Book Club will discuss a book that explores themes of migration, displacement, and exile. To contact our moderator, email shuchi@brooklinebooksmith.com.


Tommy Orange’s “groundbreaking, extraordinary” (The New York Times) There There is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It’s “the year’s most galvanizing debut novel” (Entertainment Weekly).

As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.
 

What is a country? While certain basic criteria—borders, a government, and recognition from other countries—seem obvious, journalist Joshua Keating’s book explores exceptions to these rules, including self-proclaimed countries such as Abkhazia, Kurdistan, and Somaliland, a Mohawk reservation straddling the U.S.-Canada border, and an island nation whose very existence is threatened by climate change. Through stories about these would-be countries’ efforts at self-determination, as well as their respective challenges, Keating shows that there is no universal legal authority determining what a country is. He argues that although our current world map appears fairly static, economic, cultural, and environmental forces in the places he describes may spark change. Keating ably ties history to incisive and sympathetic observations drawn from his travels and personal interviews with residents, political leaders, and scholars in each of these “invisible countries.”

Joshua Keating is a foreign policy analyst, staff writer, and editor at Slate. Previously he was an editor at Foreign Policy.

Ticketed Event

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE.
This event will take place at the Chevalier Theatre in Medford. Co-sponsored by Jewish Women’s Archive.

Abbi Jacobson is one of the series creators, executive producers, and stars of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed hit show Broad City. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the illustrated book, Carry This Book, and has also created two coloring books: Color This Book: New York City and Color This Book: San Francisco. She is the host of A Piece of Work, the Webby award winning podcast from Museum of Modern Art and WNYC Studios.

I Might Regret This is a hilarious and poignant collection about love, loss, work, comedy, and figuring out who you really are when you thought you already knew.

kidsmith

Summer Ink

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At Summer Ink, campers explore Boston and engage in activities like rock climbing, fencing, circus arts, and sports – all to develop their writing. Come hear these middle and high school students from Greater Boston and beyond read from their work. Their powerful words will transport you!

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They sell you books - but did you know they can also do other stuff? Come and be dazzled by the hidden gifts of your friendly neighborhood booksellers. Past performances include poetry, fiction, essays, live music, acrobatic corgies, juggling, and more!

This event will take place at the Brookline Village Library at 361 Washington St., Brookline.

Too often, accomplishment does not equate to success. We did the work but didn’t get the promotion; we played hard but weren’t recognized; we had the idea but didn’t get the credit. We’ve always been told that talent and a strong work ethic are the key to getting ahead, but in today’s world these efforts rarely translate into tangible results. Recognizing this disconnect, Laszlo Barabási, one of the world’s leading experts on the science of networks, uncovers what success really is: a collective phenomenon based on the thoughts and praise of those around you.

Albert-László Barabási is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research, and holds appointments in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and at the Central European University in Budapest. A native of Transylvania, Romania, he received his Masters in Theoretical Physics at the Eötvös University in Budapest and his Ph.D. at Boston University. His work has led to many breakthroughs, including the discovery of scale-free networks in 1999, which continues to make him one of the most cited scientists today.

This event will be in conversation with Karen McManus, author of One of Us Is Lying.

Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. This is where the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match.

Julie Dao is a proud Vietnamese American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author.

From the acclaimed author of Clara’s Heart and Cloudland comes a rich, literary mystery based and united by two real events that occurred at Middlebury College; the disappearance of a student during winter break; and the vandalism of the Robert Frost Homestead located on one of the outer campuses. Luc Flanders has just finished playing a game of pond hockey with his college roommates when he realizes he has lost something precious and goes back to the ice to find it. He never returns, and the police department in Middlebury, Vermont are divided in their assessment of what may have happened to him. As Luke Flanders disappears, the Robert Frost house near the Middlebury campus is vandalized. And there seems to be a link between the two events that the police are determined to discover. 

Joseph Olshan is the award-winning author of ten novels including Cloudland, Nightswimmer and The Conversion. He is the Publisher of Delphinium Books and spends most of the year in Vermont.

Nearly every US city would like to be more walkable—for reasons of health, wealth, and the environment—yet few are taking the proper steps to get there. The goals are often clear, but the path is seldom easy. Jeff Speck’s follow-up to his bestselling Walkable City is the resource that cities and citizens need to usher in an era of renewed street life. Walkable City Rules is a doer’s guide to making change in cities, and making it now.

Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who, through writing, lectures, and built work, advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts, he oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. He is author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time and the co-author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream as well as The Smart Growth Manual.

Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section with special storytime guest Francie Latour!

Every winter, a young girl flies to Haiti to visit her Auntie Luce, a painter. The girl has always loved Auntie Luce’s paintings - the houses tucked into the hillside, colorful fishing boats by the water, heroes who fought for and won the country’s independence. Through Haiti’s colors, the girl comes to understand this place her family calls home. And when the moment finally comes to have her own portrait painted for the first time, she begins to see herself in a new way, tracing her own history and identity through her aunt’s brush.

Discussing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

The Brookline Booksmith Book Club meets downstairs at 7:30pm. To contact our moderator, email bookclub@brooklinebooksmith.com.

This event is co-sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves.

In the vein of Tuesdays with Morrie, a devoted protégé and friend of one of the world’s great thinkers takes us into the sacred space of the classroom, showing Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel not only as an extraordinary human being, but as a master teacher.

Ariel Burger is a writer, artist, teacher, and rabbi whose work combines spirituality, creativity, and strategies for social change. A lifelong student of Elie Wiesel, he spent years studying the great wisdom traditions, and now applies those teachings to urgent contemporary questions. When Ariel’s not learning or teaching, he is creating music, art, and poetry. He lives outside of Boston with his family.

 

Available now for the first time in English, Doctor Levitin is a modern classic in Jewish literature. A major work of late twentieth-century Russian and Jewish literature since its first publication in Israel in 1986, it has also seen three subsequent Russian editions. It is the first in David Shrayer-Petrov’s trilogy of novels about the struggle of Soviet Jews and the destinies of refuseniks. In addition to being the first novel available in English that depicts the experience of the Jewish exodus from the former USSR, Doctor Levitin is presented in an excellent translation that has been overseen and edited by the author’s son, the bilingual scholar Maxim D. Shrayer.

David Shrayer-Petrov is a well-known contemporary Russian-American writer and medical scientist. He has published twenty-five books in his native Russian and three books of fiction in English translation, including Dinner with Stalin and Other Stories. Maxim D. Shrayer, the author’s son and translator, is professor of Russian, English, and Jewish studies at Boston College and a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow. His books include Waiting for America: A Story of Emigration and Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story.

Arna Bronstein is a professor at the University of New Hampshire. She is the co-author of several acclaimed textbooks of Russian, including Making Progress in Russian, and has translated fiction and nonfiction from the Russian. 

Ticketed Event

This event will take place at the Wilbur Theatre. Purchase tickets HERE.

Few bands have inspired as much devotion as the Chicago rock band Wilco, and it’s thanks, in large part, to the band’s singer, songwriter, and guiding light: Jeff Tweedy. But while his songs and music have been endlessly discussed and analyzed, Jeff has rarely talked so directly about himself, his life, and his artistic process.

Until now. In his long-awaited memoir, Jeff will tell stories about his childhood in Belleville, Illinois; the St. Louis record store, rock clubs, and live-music circuit that sparked his songwriting and performing career; and the Chicago scene that brought it all together. He’ll also talk in-depth about his collaborators in Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and more; and write lovingly about his parents, wife Susie, and sons, Spencer and Sam.

Ticketed Event

This is a ticketed signing event. Get tickets here!

Meet Crusoe the Celebrity Wiener Dog (and his faithful human) as they celebrate their new book, CRUSOE, THE WORLDLY WIENER DOG: Further Adventures with the Celebrity Dachshund.

Join the photogenic Crusoe as he leaves fame and fortune behind to expand his horizons, get his passport stamped, and journey across the globe to eat delicious food, relax on beautiful beaches, dig lots of holes, and generally enjoy all that celebrity travel has to offer. 

Ryan Beauchesne is the proud owner, father, manager, and chief pooper-scooper of Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund. The last few years of Ryan’s life have been entirely devoted to Crusoe and his antics. With multiple viral videos, travels across the world, a New York Times bestselling book, and over 3.5 million followers on social media, Crusoe has become the unofficial ambassadog for dachshunds everywhere, and for any dog with a passion for whimsy and adventure.

Discussing me Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda. 

Read something off the beaten path! Our Small Press Book Club will meet to discuss a book from an independent publisher. To contact our moderator, email smallpress@brooklinebooksmith.com

Considered by many to be the grand achievement of her later period, Death in Spring is one of Merce Rodoreda’s most complex and beautifully constructed works. The novel tells the story of the bizarre and destructive customs of a nameless town–burying the dead in trees after filling their mouths with cement to prevent their soul from escaping, or sending a man to swim in the river that courses underneath the town to discover if they will be washed away by a flood–through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old boy who must come to terms with the rhyme and reason of this ritual violence, and with his wild, child-like, and teenage stepmother, who becomes his playmate. It is through these rituals, and the developing relationships between the boy and the townspeople, that Rodoreda portrays a fully-articulated, though quite disturbing, society.

Discussing winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China by Xiaolu Guo. Our Transnational Book Club will explore themes of migration, displacement, and exile. To contact our moderator, email shuchi@brooklinebooksmith.com.

Xiaolu Guo is one of the most acclaimed Chinese-born writers of her generation, an iconoclastic and completely contemporary voice. Her vivid, poignant memoir, Nine Continents is the story of a curious mind coming of age in an inhospitable country, and her determination to seek a life beyond the limits of its borders.

Xiaolu Guo has traveled further than most to become who she needed to be. Now, as she experiences the birth of her daughter in a London maternity ward surrounded by women from all over the world, she looks back on that journey. It begins in the fishing village shack on the East China Sea where her illiterate grandparents raised her, and brings her to a rapidly changing Beijing, full of contradictions: a thriving underground art scene amid mass censorship, curious Westerners who held out affection only to disappear back home. Eventually Xiaolu determined to see the world beyond China for herself, and now, after fifteen years in Europe, her words resonate with the insight of someone both an outsider and at home, in a world far beyond the country of her birth.

Xiaolu Guo was born in south China. She studied film at the Beijing Film Academy and published six books in China before she moved to London in 2002. The English translation of Village of Stone was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her first novel written in English, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, published in 2008, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her most recent novel, I Am China, was longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 2013 she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Xiaolu has also directed several award-winning films including She, A Chinese and a documentary about London, Late at Night. She lives in London and Berlin.

Rob Sheffield, the Rolling Stone columnist and bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape offers an entertaining, unconventional look at the most popular band in history, the Beatles, exploring what they mean today and why they still matter so intensely to a generation that has never known a world without them.

Rob Sheffield is a columnist for Rolling Stone, where he has written about music, TV, and pop culture since 1997. He is the author of the national bestsellers Love Is a Mix Tape: Love and Loss, One Song at a Time and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut, as well as Turn Around Bright Eyes: A Karaoke Journey of Starting Over, Falling in Love, and Finding Your Voice and On Bowie.

In this whimsical book, James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, from its role in innovation to why puns demonstrate the essence of creativity. Geary reasons that wit is both visual and verbal, physical and intellectual.

In Wit’s End, Geary embraces wit in every form by adopting a different style for each chapter; he writes the section on verbal repartee as a dramatic dialogue, the neuroscience of wit as a scientific paper, the spirituality of wit as a sermon, and other chapters in jive, rap, and the heroic couplets of Alexander Pope. Demonstrating that brevity really is the soul of wit, Geary crafts each chapter from concise sections of 200, 400, or 800 words. Entertaining, illuminating, and entirely unique, Wit’s End shows how wit is much more than a sense of humor.

Against all challengers, Barberton, Ohio proudly defends its title as “Fried Chicken Capital of the World.” Founded by industrialist Ohio Columbus Barber, the city drew workers from around the globe, especially eastern Europe. Immigrants brought their traditions and their cuisine. In time, Barberton became home to five Serbian fried chicken restaurants, all within a two-mile radius. Belgrade Gardens, Hopocan Gardens, White House Chicken, Terrace Gardens and Milich’s Village Inn (later Village Inn Chicken) were Serbian in origin yet consummately American. All served up the traditional dinner–chicken, fries, coleslaw and hot sauce. Grab a seat and a handful of napkins and join author Ron Koltnow as he recounts the mouthwatering story of an Ohio original.

At the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a prominent physician working in Sierra Leone, Sheikh Humarr Khan, became infected with the virus and died. As Pardis Sabeti and Lara Salahi show, much more could have been done within the medical community and among international actors to protect not only this renowned infectious disease expert but also the well-being of his patients and others affected by this devastating disease.

Written by an award-winning genetic researcher and a tenacious journalist, Outbreak Culture examines each phase of the epidemic–the largest and deadliest of its kind–and identifies the factors that kept key information from reaching physicians and complicated the government’s response to the crisis. Drawing insights from clinical workers, data collectors, organizational experts, and scholars, Salahi and Sabeti expose a fractured system that failed to share knowledge of the virus and ensure containment.

Ticketed Event

Tickets for this event may be purchased HERE.

For anyone who has ever had trouble staying on track while trailblazing towards badassery, You Are a Badass Every Day is the companion to keep you fresh, grateful, scrappy, and driven. In this inspirational guide, bestselling author and world-travelling success coach Jen Sincero distills the big ideas behind her iconic books You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money into bite-sized, daily exercises and reflections you need to stay sharp. Giving you permission to let go of missteps, the tools to keep yourself accountable, and the space and acceptance to celebrate like mad when you are kicking butt, You Are a Badass Every Day is organized to help you maneuver through the challenges and maximize the advantages of our seasonal rhythms to power you past beliefs and behaviors that hold you back from greatness.

Through stories remembered and imagined, and images by acclaimed photographers, A Stranger’s Pose draws the reader into a world of encounters in more than a dozen African towns. Iduma blends memoir, travelogue and storytelling in these fragments of a traveller’s journey across several African cities. Inspired by the author’s travels with photographers between 2011 and 2015, the author’s own accounts are expanded to include other narratives about movement, estrangement, and intimacy. These include: an arrest in a market in N’djamena, being punished by a Gendarmes officer on a Cameroonian highway and meeting the famed photographer Malick Sidibe in Bamako.

Jews in America are in a period of unprecedented status and impact, but for many their identity as Jews–religiously, historically, culturally–is increasingly complicated. Many are becoming Jews without Judaism. It appears success and acceptance will accomplish what even the most virulent antisemitism never could—if not the disappearance of Jews themselves, the undermining of what it means to be Jewish.

Mnookin shares provocative stories of the ways American Jews have forged (or disavowed) their Jewish identity over the past half-century, including his own, to answer the standing question: How can Jews who have different values, perspectives, and relationships with their faith keep the community open, vibrant, and thriving?

The interrelated short prose pieces in Ben Berman’s Then Again explore a life outside of chronological order, bounce back and forth between foreign adventures and domestic routines. One moment we’re in a Mommy and Me yoga class, the next we’re gutting a goat in rural Zimbabwe. As much a meditation on language as a coming to terms with middle age, these stories navigate the distance between words and worlds. And yet whether getting chased by wild dogs through the alleyways of Kathmandu or desperately trying to stop his three-year-old from drawing all over the walls, Berman contemplates life’s ambiguities with both wisdom and wonder.

Do you like picture books? Join us for this special Hanukkah storytime with guest author Jane Sutton!

It’s hard to pick the perfect gift, and Esther the Gorilla’s choices seem all wrong at first. But it all gets sorted out when she invites her animal friends to a joyful Hanukkah party.

Discussing Improvement by Joan Silber. 

The Brookline Booksmith Book Club meets downstairs at 7:30pm. To contact our moderator, email bookclub@brooklinebooksmith.com.

Caught in a Three Strikes law that sends him to prison for life, Nate Larson negotiates with prosecutors for an early release in exchange for testifying against his brother in an upcoming trial. As part of the deal, he demands custody of his fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Grace, who’s survived a string of disastrous foster homes.

The Kortelisy Escape is a moving, unlikely love story narrated in alternating chapters by Grace and Nate Larson. It’s also a coming-of-age story enriched by mounting tension and large questions concerning magic, loyalty and wonder.

Ticketed Event

Moderated by authors Michelle Hodkin and Malinda Lo. This event will take place at Coolidge Corner Theatre. TICKETS SOLD HERE.

Cassandra Clare returns to the world of the Shadowhunters in the third book in the Dark Artifices trilogy, The Queen of Air and Darkness.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined.

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