Augustback to top
Alfred's Book of Monsters
With nods to Tim Burton, Edward Gorey, and Neil Gaiman, this humorous picture book about a Victorian boy obsessed with monsters presents a dark and appealing world. After reading about the slimy Nixie, the angry Black Shuck, and the creepy Lantern Man in his beloved Book of Monsters, Alfred decides to invite the monsters to teatime with his crusty old aunty, who thinks monsters are an improper obsession for a respectable young boy.
Sam Streed is a children’s book author/illustrator, game artist, and animator. He recently graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. This is his first picture book.
Discussing Loudermilk: Or, the Real Poet; Or, the Origin of the World by Lucy Ives
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s the end of summer 2003. George W. Bush has recently declared the mission in Iraq accomplished, the unemployment rate is at its highest in years, and Martha Stewart has just been indicted for insider trading. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Midwest, Troy Augustus Loudermilk (fair-haired, statuesque, charismatic) and his companion Harry Rego (definitely none of those things) step out of a silver Land Cruiser and onto the campus of The Seminars, America’s most prestigious creative writing program, to which Loudermilk has recently been accepted for his excellence in poetry. Loudermilk, however, has never written a poem in his life.»
The Murder List
Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.
Problem is–she’s wrong.
And in this cat and mouse game, the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.
Hank Phillippi Ryan has won five Agatha Awards, in addition to the Anthony, Macavity, Daphne du Maurier, and Mary Higgins Clark Award for her bestselling mystery novels. As an investigative reporter, her work has resulted in new laws, criminals sent to prison, homes saved from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution for victims and consumers. Along with her 34 Emmys and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank has received dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism.
Join former Brookline poet laureate Jan Schreiber and poet Charles Coe for a reading in our Used Book Cellar.
Jan Schreiber was Poet Laureate of Brookline, Massachusetts from 2015 to 2017. His books include Digressions (1970), Wily Apparitions (1992), Bell Buoys (1998), and Peccadilloes (2014), as well as two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. A cycle of his poems, Zeno’s Arrow, was set to music by Paul Alan Levi in 2001. His criticism has been widely published and was collected in his book Sparring with the Sun (2013). He teaches in the BOLLI program at Brandeis University and runs the annual Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Western Colorado University. His new chapbook, called Bay Leaves, is scheduled to appear in the summer of 2019.
Charles Coe is a poet, prose writer, teacher of writing and a musician (vocals and didgeridoo). He is the author of two books of poetry, All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents and Picnic on the Moon, as well as the novella Spin Cycles. Charles was born and raised in Indianapolis but has lived in the Boston area since 1975.
50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts
In this first-edition guide, Madeline Bilis shares her years of outdoors experience in the Boston area, providing 50 hikes for people of all skill and experience levels. While the Berkshires tend to get all recognition when it comes to hiking in Massachusetts, the eastern part of the state is packed with treasures for lovers of the outdoors. From the rocky ledges of the Blue Hills Reservation to the sandy stretches of the Cape Cod National Seashore, incredible trails and vistas abound in this varied region.
Madeline Bilis is a writer and editor. She grew up in Dudley, Massachusetts, and spent summers exploring places like Mount Wachusett, Purgatory Chasm, and the Cape Cod National Seashore. After years of covering New England for Boston magazine, Bilis is now on staff at Travel + Leisure.
How to Be an Antiracist
UPDATE: This event is now SOLD OUT but a standby line will form at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on the day of the event. There is no waitlist for standby; tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi will speak in conversation with Boston Globe’s Renée Graham at the Coolidge Corner Theatre at 6:00pm on August 28th (ticket required).
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America—but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.»
THIS EVENT was previously scheduled for August 23rd. It will now take place on August 29th.
As one of only two women in history to have won the title of “Fittest Woman on Earth” twice, Katrin Davidsdottir knows all about the importance of mental and physical strength. A gymnast as a youth, Davidsdottir wanted to try new challenges and found a love of CrossFit. But it hasn’t been a smooth rise to the top. In Dottir, the author shares her journey with readers, detailing her focus on training, goal setting, nutrition, and mental toughness.
Katrin Davidsdottir is a former gymnast from Reykjavik, Iceland. She is the third person to ever win the CrossFit Games twice, and only the second woman to do so. She is currently training for next year’s Games in Natick, Massachusetts.
Septemberback to top
The Sin Eater
What if Child Protective Services knocked on your door and threatened to take your child, based on a complaint from your new nanny? Adam Grammaticus grew up in a trailer park on the wrong side of town, but now lives the good life with his wife and daughter. When CPS shows up at his door one night, Adam has to fight back shock waves upon hearing the incredible – and false – allegations against him, but matters take a turn for the worst when he becomes the prime suspect in a murder.
Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. McIntyre is the author of Post-Truth, Respecting Truth: Willful Ignorance in the Internet Age, and Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior.
The Missing Ones
Edwin Hill will be in conversation with Daniel Ford, author of BLACK COFFEE and host of the Writer’s Bone podcast.
Hester Thursby has given up using her research skills to trace people who don’t want to be found. A traumatic case a few months ago unearthed a string of violent crimes, and left Hester riddled with self-doubt and guilt. Caring for a four-year-old is responsibility enough in a world filled with terrors Hester never could have imagined before. This follow-up to Edwin Hill’s debut Little Comfort is an intimate, intricate mystery as smart and complex as it is riveting.
Edwin Hill lives in Boston with his partner, Michael, and his favorite reviewer, their dog Edith Ann, who likes his first drafts enough to eat them. Visit him on the web at edwin-hill.com.
Only Ashes Remain
This event will be moderated by Christine Lynne Herman, author of The Devouring Gray.
After escaping her kidnappers and destroying the black market where she was held captive, all Nita wants is to find a way to live her life without looking over her shoulder. There’s only one way to keep herself safe. Nita must make herself so feared that no one would ever dare come after her again.
Rebecca Schaeffer was born and raised in the Canadian prairies. Her itchy feet took her far from home. You can find her sitting in a cafe on the other side of the world, writing about villains, antiheroes, and morally ambiguous characters. She is the author of Not Even Bones, the first in a dark YA fantasy trilogy.
Justice on the Ropes: Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Fred W. Hogan, John Artis and the Wrongful Conviction Movement
Rubin Carter and John Artis had been knocked down. But the prosecutor–who built a highly questionable case against the famous middleweight boxer, and his teenage acquaintance, in the 1966 Lafayette Bar and Grille triple murders in Paterson, NJ–did not count on a young investigator from the Office of the Public Defender. Fred W. Hogan devoted his free time, talent and energies to picking apart the case built on “eyewitnesses,” who likely saw nothing they had claimed to see and exercised racial prejudice against two African-American defendants. As Hogan revealed that their statements to police were lies, the world began to pay attention.
Revolution of the Soul
Seane Corn will speak at the Coolidge Corner Theatre at 6:00pm on September 9th (ticket required) and sign books afterwards at Brookline Booksmith.
The celebrated yoga teacher and activist shares pivotal accounts of her life in this new book with raw honesty—enriched with in-depth spiritual teachings—to help us heal, evolve, and change the world.
Seane Corn is an internationally acclaimed yoga teacher and public speaker who has been featured in more than 50 print and broadcast media channels including The Today Show, Yoga Journal, and Mantra magazine. She is the co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World®, a global humanitarian leadership training program. In addition to her many popular instructional DVDs, Seane teaches extensively at workshops, conferences, and retreats throughout the US and abroad.
The Bluest Eye
The Brookline Booksmith Book Club meets downstairs at 7:30pm. To contact our moderator, email email@example.com.
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.
Toni Morrison is the author of eleven novels, from The Bluest Eye (1970) to God Help the Child (2015). She received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She died in 2019.
Here All Along
This event will take place at Congregation Kehillath Israel in partnership with Brookline Booksmith.
A renowned political speechwriter rediscovers Judaism, finding timeless wisdom and spiritual connection in its age-old practices and traditions. In this entertaining and accessible book, she shows us why Judaism matters and how its message is more relevant than ever, and she inspires Jews to do the learning, questioning, and debating required to make this religion their own.
Sarah Hurwitz worked in the White House from 2009-2017, serving as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama and as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama. Prior to working in government Hurwitz was the chief speechwriter for Hillary Clinton on her 2008 campaign for president, and a speechwriter for Senator John Kerry and General Wesley Clark during the 2004 presidential election. Hurwitz is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
How the Brain Lost Its Mind
A noted neurologist challenges the widespread misunderstanding of brain disease and mental illness. How the Brain Lost Its Mind tells the rich and compelling story of two confounding ailments, syphilis and hysteria, and the extraordinary efforts to confront their effects on mental life. How does the mind work? Where does madness lie, in the brain or in the mind? How should it be treated?
Allan H. Ropper, M.D., is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Raymond D. Adams Master Clinician of the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Ropper is an author of the most widely consulted textbook of neurology, Principles of Neurology, currently in its eleventh edition, and co-author with Brian David Burrell of Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole.
Brian Burrell is a member of the mathematics faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A teacher and writer, he is the author is several books, including Postcards from the Brain Museum, The Words We Live By, and, jointly with Dr. Allan H. Ropper, Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole. He is an authority on brain collections worldwide, and has discussed his work on NBC’s Today Show, C-SPAN’s Booknotes, and NPR’s Morning Edition.
Co-presented by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism
A deeply human story, Fentanyl, Inc. is the first deep-dive investigation of a hazardous and illicit industry that has created a worldwide epidemic, ravaging communities and confounding government agencies. Poignantly, Westhoff chronicles the lives of addicted users and dealers, families of victims, law enforcement officers, and underground drug awareness organizers in the U.S. and Europe. Together they represent the shocking and riveting full anatomy of a calamity we are just beginning to understand.»
An ABC of Equality
A is for Ability, B is for Belief, C is for Class. All people have the right to be treated fairly, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they come from. An ABC of Equality introduces complicated concepts surrounding social justice to the youngest of children.
Chana Ginelle Ewing is a storyteller, strategist and entrepreneur who galvanizes communities of color, young people, and women to make cultural dents that move society forward.
To Love and Let Go
When Rachel and her husband conceive a child, pregnancy becomes a time to heal and an opportunity to be reborn herself. As she recounts this transformative period, Rachel shares her hard-won wisdom about life and death, love and fear, what it means to be a mother and a daughter, and how to become someone who walks through the fire of adversity with the never-ending practice of loving hard and letting go.
Rachel Brathen is the New York Times bestselling author of Yoga Girl and a world-renowned yoga instructor who teaches workshops and leads retreats around the globe. She is the founder of YogaGirl.com, an online platform for yoga, meditation, and healing, as well as Island Yoga, the largest yoga studio in the Caribbean. Rachel runs two non-profit organizations: Sgt Pepper’s Friends, an animal rescue foundation based in Aruba, and Yoga Girl® Foundation, benefitting women and children in need.
The Deep History of Ourselves: The Four-Billion-Year Story of How We Got Conscious Brains
Renowned neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux digs into the natural history of life on earth to provide a new perspective on the similarities between us and our ancestors in deep time. This page-turning survey of the whole of terrestrial evolution sheds new light on how nervous systems evolved in animals, how the brain developed, and what it means to be human.
Joseph LeDoux is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at New York University, where he is a member of the Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology. He directs the Emotional Brain Institute at New York University and at the Nathan Kline Institute, and is the author of the books Anxious, Synaptic Self, and The Emotional Brain
A prizewinning and word of mouth literary sensation in France, Animalia is an extraordinary epic that retraces the history of a modest French peasant family over the twentieth century as they develop their small plot of land into an industrial pig farm, a visceral, chilling tale of man and beast.
The small village of Puy-Larroque, southwest France, 1898. Éléonore is a child living with her father, a pig farmer whose terminal illness leaves him unable to work, and her God-fearing mother, who runs both farm and family with an iron hand. Éléonore passes her childhood with little heat and no running water, sharing a small room with her cousin Marcel, who does most of the physical labor on the farm. When World War I breaks out and the village empties, Éléonore gets a taste of the changes that will transform her world as the twentieth century rolls on.»
Represent: The Woman's Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World
Party: A Mystery
My Life on the Line
Bubbling under the surface of Ryan’s entire NFL career was a collision course between his secret sexuality and his hidden drug use. When the league caught him smoking pot, he turned to NFL-sanctioned prescription painkillers that quickly sent his life into a tailspin. As injuries mounted and his daily intake of opioids reached a near-lethal level, he wrote his suicide note to his parents and plotted his death. Yet someone had been watching; a member of the Chiefs organization stepped in. Nearing the twilight of his career, Ryan faced the ultimate decision: end it all, or find out if his family and football friends could ever accept a gay man in their lives.
Ryan O’Callaghan played right tackle in the NFL for six seasons, with the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. He is the creator of a foundation designed to provide scholarships for out LGBTQ athletes. All of O’Callaghan’s proceeds from the dale of this book will benefit The Ryan O’Callaghan Foundation (www.ROFDN.org).
History. a Mess
While studying a seventeenth-century diary, the protagonist of History. A Mess. uncovers information about the first documented professional female artist. This discovery promises to change her academic career, and life in general … until she realizes that her “discovery” was nothing more than two pages stuck together. At this point there’s no going back though, and she goes to great lengths to hide her mistake–undermining her sanity in the process. A shifty, satirical novel that’s funny and colorful, while also raising essential questions about truth, research, and the very nature of belief.
Sigrún Pálsdóttir completed a PhD in the History of Ideas at the University Oxford in 2001, after which she was a research fellow and lecturer at the University of Iceland. She worked as the editor of Saga, the principal peer-reviewed journal for Icelandic history, from 2008 to 2016. Her previous titles include the historical biography Thora. A Bishop’s Daughter and Uncertain Seas, a story of a young couple and their three children who were killed when sailing from New York to Iceland aboard a ship torpedoed by a German submarine in 1944. Sigrún’s work has been nominated for the Icelandic Literary Prize, Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize, HagÞenkir Non-fiction Prize, and the DV Culture Prize. Uncertain Seas was chosen the best biography in 2013 by booksellers in Iceland.»
Sontag: Her Life & Work
Every ticket includes 1 copy of Sontag: Her Life & Work. Benjamin Moser will speak at the Coolidge Corner Theatre at 6:00pm on September 25th (ticket required).
Mythologized and misunderstood, lauded and loathed, a girl from the suburbs who became a proud symbol of cosmopolitanism, Sontag left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism. Moser’s masterful new biography explores the insecurity behind the formidable public face: the broken relationships, the struggles with her sexuality, that animated—and undermined—her writing. It shows her attempts to respond to the cruelties and absurdities of a country that had lost its way, and her conviction that fidelity to high culture was an activism of its own.»
This event will be in conversation with Margaret H. Willison.
The long-anticipated follow-up to Carry On is here! Wayward Son is the story of what happens to the Chosen One after the final battle is over…in this case, a roadtrip. Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love. When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
I Survived The Great Molasses Flood
One hundred years ago, a killer wave of molasses struck a crowded Boston neighborhood. Discover the story of this strange disaster in the next book in the New York Times bestselling I Survived series.
Lauren Tarshis’s I Survived series tells stories of young people and their resilience and strength in the midst of unimaginable disasters. Lauren has brought her signature warmth and exhaustive research to topics such as the September 11 attacks, the destruction of Pompeii, Hurricane Katrina, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, among others. She lives in Connecticut with her family.
The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness
When Columbia University doctor Kelli Harding began her clinical practice, she never intended to explore the invisible factors behind our health–but then there were the rabbits. In 1978, a seemingly straightforward experiment designed to establish the relationship between high blood cholesterol and heart health in rabbits discovered that kindness—in the form of a particularly nurturing post-doc—made the difference between a heart attack and a healthy heart. At once paradigm-shifting and empowering, The Rabbit Effect shares a radical new way to think about health, wellness, and how we live.
Dr. Kelli Harding is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine. Kelli works in the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, NPR, The New York Times, Medscape, WFUV’s Cityscape, and US News & World Report.
Why Will No One Play with Me?: The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive
In-demand parenting expert and former Hallowell Center coach Caroline Maguire has worked with thousands of families dealing with chronic social dilemmas, ranging from shyness to aggression to ADHD. In this groundbreaking book, she shares her decade-in-the-making protocol–The Play Better Plan– to help parents coach children to connect with others and make friends. With compassion and ease, Maguire gives parents a tangible, easy to follow guide for helping kids develop the executive function and social skills they need to thrive.
Caroline Maguire, ACCG, PCC, M.Ed. is a personal coach who works with children with ADHD and the families who support them. Caroline earned her ACCG from the ADD Coach Academy and her PCC from the International Coach Federation (ICF). She also received a Master of Education from Lesley University. Her revolutionary coaching program and methodology helps teach executive function skills to children, teenagers, and young adults.
Make It Scream, Make It Burn: Essays
With the virtuosic synthesis of memoir, criticism, and journalism for which she has become known, Leslie Jamison offers us fourteen new essays that are by turns ecstatic, searching, staggering, and wise. In its kaleidoscopic sweep, Make It Scream, Make It Burn creates a profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession.
Leslie Jamison is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Recovering and The Empathy Exams, and the novel The Gin Closet. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and her work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic, Harper’s, the New York Times Book Review, the Oxford American, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She directs the graduate nonfiction program at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn with her family.»
Octoberback to top
The Dutch House
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
Ann Patchett is the author of seven novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England’s Orange Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Ann is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl, and their dog, Sparky.
In this collection of hilarious and poignant essays (including his acclaimed New York Times piece “What if I Bombed at My Own Wedding?”), Josh celebrates a life of good intentions—and mixed results. Whether he’s adopting a dog from a suspicious stranger, mitigating a disastrous road trip, or trying MDMA for the first (and only) time, Josh only wants the best for everyone—even as his attempts to do the right thing occasionally implode.
Josh Gondelman is a comedian and writer who has earned two Peabody Awards, three Emmys, and two WGA Awards for his work on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO. He is currently a writer/producer for Desus & Mero on Showtime. In the past, Josh has written for Billy on the Street. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, and the New Yorker. He lives in New York City with his wife and pug.
The coming of age story of an award-winning translator, HOMESICK is about learning to love language in its many forms, healing through words and the promises and perils of empathy and sisterhood.
Sisters Amy and Zoe grow up in Oklahoma where they are homeschooled for an unexpected reason: Zoe suffers from debilitating and mysterious seizures, spending her childhood in hospitals as she undergoes surgeries. Meanwhile, Amy flourishes intellectually, showing an innate ability to glean a world beyond the troubles in her home life, exploring that world through languages first. Amy’s first love appears in the form of her Russian tutor Sasha, but when she enters university at the age of 15 her life changes drastically and with tragic results.»
Toil & Trouble
From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man’s journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble.Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of Satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all.
Augusten Burroughs is the author of Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking: True Stories, Possible Side Effects, A Wolf at the Table and You Better Not Cry. He is also the author of the novel Sellevision, which has been optioned for film. The film version of Running with Scissors, directed by Ryan Murphy and produced by Brad Pitt, was released in October 2006 and starred Joseph Cross, Brian Cox, Annette Bening (nominated for a Golden Globe for her role), Alec Baldwin and Evan Rachel Wood. Augusten’s writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers around the world including The New York Times and New York Magazine.
This event will take place at Coolidge Corner Theatre at 1:00pm.
In R. J. Palacio’s bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère. Here, Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère’s heartrending story: how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II, and how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend.
R. J. Palacio lives in New York City with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Her books include 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts, Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, and We’re All Wonders. For more than twenty years she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But several years ago a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.
When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back
“There is no one quite like Naja Marie Aidt. She’s comparable only to things like sequoias, whale-song, desert thunderstorms, or wolves. The depth of her emotional world and the diaphanous, often brutal clarity with which she understands the human soul beckon us to pause, breathe, think. Here, she takes us on a journey into death and loss, and then thrusts us back out - back into life - more awake, more ready to embrace it as it comes.” - Valeria Luiselli
In March 2015, Naja Marie Aidt’s twenty-five-year-old son, Carl, died in a tragic accident. When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back chronicles the few first years after that devastating phone call. It is at once a sober account of life after losing a child and an exploration of the language of poetry, loss, and love.»
The Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful
When a fearsome dragon takes over their village bridge, twin sisters Mei and Wei have opposing views of how to fix the problem. Wei wants nothing more than to confront that stinky old dragon head on, but Mei favors a more thoughtful approach. With Wei’s confidence and gumption plus Mei’s creativity and diligence, it’s only a matter of time before everyone can be happy again.
Nancy Tupper Ling is the author of three books for children and the founder of Fine Line Poets. The mother of two girls, she draws her inspiration from the multicultural background of her family and the interwoven fabric of familial culture which is, on the surface, seemingly everyday. She is also the winner of the prestigious Writer’s Digest Grand Prize and the Pat Parnell Poetry Award.
Meet YA author Marie Lu, discussing her newest novel, Rebel! Marie will be in conversation with Brookline Booksmith children’s bookseller Kiersten Frost. Marie’s presentation at the theatre will begin at 6PM, and will be followed with a book signing across the street at Brookline Booksmith, beginning at 7PM.
Respect the Legend. Idolize the Prodigy. Celebrate the Champion. But never underestimate the Rebel. With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend for a truly grand finale.
Odes to Lithium
In Odes to Lithium, Shira Erlichman pens a love letter to Lithium, her medication for Bipolar Disorder. With inventiveness, compassion, and humor, she thrusts us into a world of unconventional praise. From an unexpected encounter with her grandmother’s ghost, to a bubble bath with Bjӧrk, to her plumber’s confession that he, too, has Bipolar, Erlichman buoyantly topples stigma against the mentally ill.
Soft Science explores queer, Asian American femininity. A series of Turing Test-inspired poems grounds its exploration of questions not just of identity, but of consciousness–how to be tender and feeling and still survive a violent world filled with artificial intelligence and automation. We are dropped straight into the tangled intersections of technology, violence, erasure, agency, gender, and loneliness.»
The Grace Year
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Kim Liggett, originally from the rural Midwest, moved to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She’s the author of Blood and Salt, Heart of Ash, The Last Harvest (Bram Stoker Award Winner), The Unfortunates, and The Grace Year. Kim spends her free time studying tarot and scouring Manhattan for rare vials of perfume and the perfect egg-white cocktail.
What is Missing
Costanza Ansaldo, a half-Italian and half-American translator, is convinced that she has made peace with her childlessness. A year after the death of her husband, an eminent writer, she returns to the pensione in Florence where she spent many happy times in her youth, and there she meets, first, Andrew Weissman, an acutely sensitive seventeen-year-old, and, soon afterward, his father, Henry Weissman, a charismatic New York physician who specializes in—as it happens—reproductive medicine.
Michael Frank was a Los Angeles Times book critic for nearly ten years, and his short stories and essays have been widely anthologized. His fiction has been presented at Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story, and his travel writing has been collected in Italy: The Best Travel Writing from The New York Times. He lives in New York City and Liguria, Italy.
The Word Pirates
Just in Case You Want to Fly
Julie Fogliano’s Just In Case You Want to Fly is a gentle, contemplative book about growing up. It’s about parents giving their children the gifts, no matter how quiet or small, to succeed and to navigate the world on their own. And it’s about the connection that binds a parent and child… because no matter how far they fly or who they become, they will always have home.
In Susan Cooper’s The Word Pirates, a ravenous band of pirates who eat words for breakfast gobble up the world’s greatest stories. But never fear–the Word Wizard and the children she reads to are on the case!»
Milk Street: The New Rules
This revelatory new book from James Beard Award-winning author Christopher Kimball defines 75 rules of cooking that will dramatically simplify your time in the kitchen and improve your results. These powerful principles appear in more than 200 recipes that teach you how to make your food more delicious and interesting. The New Rules are simpler techniques, fresher flavors, and trustworthy recipes that just work–a book full of lessons that will make you a better cook.
Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street is located in downtown Boston–at 177 Milk Street–and is home to a cooking school, a bimonthly magazine, and public television and radio shows. Milk Street also released the lauded cookbooks Milk Street: The New Home Cooking; and Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, which won both the IACP and James Beard Awards for General Cooking.
Born to Shine: Practical Tools to Help You Shine, Even in Life's Darkest Moments
When Ashley LeMieux and her husband lost their children in an adoption battle, it sent her into a tailspin that, ultimately, taught Ashley how to soar. Most people live with constant fears, burdens, and pains. Born to Shine shares Ashley’s message of hope for women brave enough to say that everything is not okay.
Ashley LeMieux has made a career out of helping others re-ignite the light within them. She is the founder and CEO of The Shine Project as well as a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. Her company, is an online community for women to find support, resources, motivation, and encouragement to triumph over the challenges in their lives.
Beautiful on the Outside
Former Olympic figure skater and self-professed America’s Sweetheart Adam Rippon showcases his funny and inspiring personality in this entertaining memoir.
Adam Rippon is an Olympic athlete and medal-winning figure skater. He won the 2010 Four Continents Championships and the 2016 U.S. National Championships and was selected to represent the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He came out as gay in October 2015 and, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, won a bronze medal as part of the figure skating team event, thus becoming the first openly gay U.S. male athlete to win a medal in a Winter Olympics.
Caspian Finds A Friend
Ruby’s Sword - Ruby is always racing after her big brothers. But no matter how hard she tries, she can never catch up. Then one day, she discovers some sticks in the grass. Not just any sticks—swords! And suddenly the world is her kingdom.
Caspian Finds A Friend - Caspian lives in a lighthouse surrounded by a cold gray-blue sea. Every day, he watches, wishing for a friend. But no one comes. So, Caspian decides that wishing is not enough. What follows is a friendship story that is tender, warm, and perfect for gift-giving.
Jacqueline Véissid grew up in New York City with two older brothers and one older sister. She can often be found staring out at the sea, wishing for a new picture book idea. She lives in Hull, Massachusetts.
The Cult of Trump
One of America’s leading experts in cults and mind-control provides an eye-opening analysis of Trump and the indoctrination tactics he uses to build a fanatical devotion in his supporters. The Cult of Trump is an accessible and in-depth analysis of the president, showing that under the right circumstances, even sane, rational, well-adjusted people can be persuaded to believe the most outrageous ideas.
Steven Hassan is a mental health professional who specializes in helping people to recover from mind control as well as helping loved ones to exit without coercion. He has been helping people leave destructive relationships and organizations since 1976 after he was rescued from the infamous cult, the Moonies. Hassan directs the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, a counseling and publishing organization outside of Boston, teaches at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Driving in Cars with Homeless Men
Serena, Frankie, Raffa, and Nat collide and break apart like pool balls to come back together in an imagined post-divorce future. Homeless Men is the collective story of women whose lives careen back into the past, to the places where pain lurks and haunts. With riotous energy and rage, they run towards the future in the hopes of untangling themselves from failure to succeed and fail again.
Kate Wisel is a native of Boston. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in publications that include Gulf Coast, New Ohio Review, Tin House online, Redivider as winner of the Beacon Street prize, and on the Boston subway as winner of the “Poetry on the T” contest. She currently lives in Madison, where she is a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Do You Mind If I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me)
Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar. As Gary himself says, “These are essays from my childhood and young adulthood about things that still annoy me.”
Gary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time, and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious, and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life.
The Complete Adventures of Charlie and Mr. Willy Wonka
Join us for a special storytime performance from Wheelock Family Theatre!
Roald Dahl’s timeless musical story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to chocolate-covered life. The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale.
The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek
From the authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality and creators of Good Mythical Morning, a thrilling and darkly funny novel about two best friends fighting the sinister forces at the heart of their Southern town.
Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, raised in North Carolina and best friends since the first grade, are a comedy duo known for creating the internet’s most-watched daily talk show, Good Mythical Morning; their award-winning weekly podcast, Ear Biscuits; and the instant #1 New York Times bestseller Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality. They share an office at Mythical Entertainment, the company they co-founded, but live separately with their respective wives, children, and dogs in Los Angeles.
Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure
Atlas Obscura, Second Edition
This revised and updated second edition includes 120 new entries and a fold-out road trip map (with a dream itinerary) to offer readers even more of the most unusual, curious, bizarre, and mysterious places on earth. Oversized, beautifully packaged, compellingly written, scrupulously researched, and filled with photographs, illustrations, maps, charts, and more, this is the book that inspires equal parts wonder and wanderlust.
Joshua Foer is the co-founder and chairman of Atlas Obscura. He is also the author of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, a bestseller published in 33 languages, and a forthcoming book about the world’s last hunter-gatherers.
The son of a circus performer and an anthropology professor, Jack Lepiarz received his broadcasting degree from Emerson College, where he worked as an anchor, producer and news director for WERS 88.9 FM. He joined WBUR in the spring of 2010, and maintains a healthy love for performing and the circus.
Heather Morris, the author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, returns with Cilka’s Journey, the story of a young woman’s survival from Auschwitz to Siberia. From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka’s journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit—and the will we have to survive.
This event will consist of a talk at Coolidge Corner Theatre, followed by a signing at Brookline Booksmith.
Novemberback to top
Beverly, Right Here
Welcome to a wonderful Sunday with multiple Newbery-winning children’s author Kate DiCamillo! Kate will be speaking at Coolidge Corner Theatre about her new book, Beverly, Right Here. The talk will be followed by a public signing at the Booksmith, directly across the street from the theatre.
Beverly Tapinski has run away from home plenty of times, but that was when she was just a kid. By now, she figures, it’s not running away. It’s leaving. Determined to make it on her own, Beverly doesn’t want to depend on anyone, and she definitely doesn’t want anyone to depend on her. But despite her best efforts, she can’t help forming connections with the people around her — and gradually, she learns to see herself through their eyes. In a touching, funny, and fearless conclusion to her sequence of novels about the beloved Three Rancheros, #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo tells the story of a character who will break your heart and put it back together again.
The Hard Times: The First 40 Years
The Hard Times: The First 40 Years is the first book from The Hard Times.net, the Internet’s favorite music satire site. Often referred to as “The Onion for punk rock,” the site has developed a sizable, devoted following for its razor-sharp takes on underground music and alternative culture. And with headlines like “Man Magically Transforms into Music Historian While Talking to Women” and “Pretentious Friend Only Listens to Podcasts on Vinyl,” you don’t have to be a punk rock diehard to appreciate their hilarious commentary.
Matt Saincome and Bill Conway are the founders of The Hard Times, a satirical publication spawned from the depths of DIY punk and hardcore scenes, in 2014.
We Come Elemental
The Great Pretender
From “one of America’s most courageous young journalists” (NPR) comes a propulsive narrative history investigating the 50-year-old mystery behind a dramatic experiment that changed the course of modern medicine.
Susannah Cahalan is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. She writes for the New York Post and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American Magazine, Glamour, Psychology Today, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.
Tiny Feet Between the Mountains
Soe-In is a tiny child in a village full of large people. She struggles with completing chores due to her size, but she never gives up. One day, when the sky grows dark and full of smoke, Soe-In volunteers to travel into the tall mountains to investigate. She’s surprised to find a spirit tiger there and learn he has swallowed the sun by mistake! To help the spirit tiger and her village, Soe-In must come up with a clever idea to solve this gigantic problem. And while she’s at it, she just may prove that the smallest people often have the biggest, bravest hearts.
Hanna Cha is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She spent her childhood in both Korea and America, and currently lives in Boston where she loves crinkling her nose in the early morning breeze and snuggling her tiger-like cat, Hobac. Tiny Feet Between the Mountains is her first book.
Three translators of Silvina Ocampo’s work come together to discuss their recent translations of her fiction: Ocampo’s first work of fiction, a collection of short stories, and her last, a novella Ocampo spent twenty-five years perfecting.
With Forgotten Journey, Silvina Ocampo’s first book of stories and her fiction debut, the poet initiated a personal, idiosyncratic exploration of the politics of memory, a theme to which she would return again and again over the course of her unconventional life and productive career. Forgotten Journey takes its title from the story of a girl who struggles to recall the events of her birth in order to remember her identity. Another story follows a friendship between two girls, one poor and one wealthy, who grow up to appear identical to one another, enabling them to trade lives and families. In “The Enmity of Things,” a young man begins to suspect that his mundane possessions are conspiring against him. When he flees to his rural childhood home, the silent countryside proves only more sinister and mysterious.»
Dictionary of the Undoing
For John Freeman—literary critic, essayist, editor, poet, “one of the preeminent book people of our time” (Dave Eggers)—it is the rare moment when words are not enough. But in the wake of the election of 2016, words felt useless, even indulgent. Action was the only reasonable response. He took to the streets in protest, and the sense of community and collective conviction felt right. But the assaults continued—on citizens’ rights and long-held compacts, on the core principles of our culture and civilization, and on our language itself. Words seemed to be losing the meanings they once had and Freeman was compelled to return to their defense. The result is his Dictionary of the Undoing.
From A to Z, “Agitate” to “Zygote,” Freeman assembled the words that felt most essential, most potent, and began to build a case for their renewed power and authority, each word building on the last. The message that emerged was not to retreat behind books, but to emphatically engage in the public sphere, to redefine what it means to be a literary citizen.
With an afterword by Valeria Luiselli, Dictionary of the Undoing is a necessary, resounding cri de coeur in defense of language, meaning, and our ability to imagine, describe, and build a better world.
How We Fight for Our Lives
Haunted and haunting, Jones’s memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his mother and grandmother, into passing flings with lovers, friends and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.
Saeed Jones is the author of Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The collection was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as awards from Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle in 2015. Jones is a co-host of BuzzFeed’s morning show, AM to DM, and previously served as BuzzFeed’s LGBT editor and Culture editor. He lives in New York City and tweets @TheFerocity.
Tommy Pico’s Feed is the fourth book in the Teebs tetralogy. It’s an epistolary recipe for the main character, a poem of nourishment, and a jaunty walk through New York’s High Line park, with the lines, stanzas, paragraphs, dialogue, and registers approximating the park’s cultivated gardens of wildness.
Carmen Giménez Smith’s Be Recorder offers readers a blazing way forward into an as yet unmade world. The many times and tongues in these poems investigate the precariousness of personhood in lines that excoriate and sanctify.»
If You Give a Dog a Donut
Grab a treat and take a seat! This Sunday’s storytime, we’ll be reading books that are all about DONUTS–and sampling some delicious goodies from our neighbors at Union Square Donuts. All are welcome and no sign-up is required. Please note that this event is not gluten free!
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra
A one-of-a-kind collection of work by one of India’s best contemporary poets.
Gathering the work of a lifetime, spanning four books of poetry and including thirty-four new poems, this is the first comprehensive collection to be published in the United States and the United Kingdom of the work of one of India’s most influential English-language poets. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s poetry has long been known for its mixing of the commonplace and the strange, the autobiographical and the fabulous, in which the insignificant details of everyday life—whether contemporary or historical—bring larger patterns into focus. His celebrated translations from Indian languages (Prakrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali) take up a third of Collected Poems. Selections from The Absent Traveller and Songs of Kabir are followed by those of Nirala, Vinod Kumar Shukla, Mangalesh Dabral, Pavankumar Jain, and Shakti Chattopadhyay. Together they tell the story of Indian poetry over two millennia.»
The Water Dancer
From the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me comes a debut novel that brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families. Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Ta-Nehisi lives in New York City with his wife and son.
Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac
Full of insight, advice and humor for every sign in the zodiac, the Astro Poets’ unique brand of astrological flavor has made them Twitter sensations. Their long-awaited first book is in the grand tradition of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, but made for the world we live in today.
Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky are the duo behind the beloved Twitter account @poetastrologers, better known as Astro Poets. Dimitrov’s poetry has been previously published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The New York Times, and has received a Pushcart Prize and Stanley Kunitz Prize from American Poetry Review. Lasky is the author of five poetry collections and has been published in The New Yorker, Boston Review, and The Paris Review.
Dolefully, A Rampart Stands
In an Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also a Frame
Written over the course of twenty days, coming in and out of trance states brought on by intermittent fasting and somatic rituals while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church, Janaka Stucky’s Ascend Ascend is equal parts Walt Whitman and Maggot Brain, documenting the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.
A close look at the rigors of our current cultural moment, Julia Guez’s debut poetry collection In an Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also a Frame offers readers a way to navigate vital questions: what does it mean to be “secure”? How do we make art amid complexity?
The poems in Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s third collection, Dolefully, A Rampart Stands, explore rural poverty, entrapment, captivity, violence, and a longing to vanish. Ranging from free verse to a long noir prose poem, they examine who her, or our, “captors” might be.»
Pity the Reader: On Writing With Style
Author, editor and writing teacher Suzanne McConnell was a student of Kurt Vonnegut’s at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop during its heyday, the period from 1965-67, when Vonnegut, along with Nelson Algren and other notable authors were in residence. This was also the period when Vonnegut was writing his masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-Five, and had a lot to say about the writing process. Vonnegut and McConnell became friends, and stayed in touch over the years. She has published short memoirs of him in The Brooklyn Rail and The Writer’s Digest, and led a panel at the 2014 AWP conference titled “Vonnegut’s Legacy: Writing about War and Other Debacles of the Human Condition.”
A Trapezoid Is Not A Dinosaur!
Shape up, shapes! Triangle is hosting auditions for all the best shapes to be in his play. Circle, Square, and Star each get a part. But Trapezoid just doesn’t “fit in.” Is he even a shape? The others think he sounds like a type of dinosaur. Determined to show off his usefulness, Trapezoid tries to act like the other shapes, to no avail. Eventually, though, Trapezoid celebrates his own distinct shape properties in order to become part of the performance.
Suzanne Morris is an author, illustrator, and designer with a BFA from Parsons School of Design. She loves words, art, and the magic of a page turn. Suzanne makes her marks by hand, using pencils, ink, watercolor, and collage with digital retouching. She believes the power of the imagination is the gateway to freedom.
Decemberback to top
Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata
Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung
Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place
Newly out as transgender, Ron finds himself adrift: kicked out by his family, jilted by his girlfriend, unable to afford to return to college in the fall. So begins Alex Myers’ debut novel Continenental Divide. From there Ron heads out to Wyoming for a new start, a chance to prove that - even though he was raised as a girl, even though everyone in Boston thinks of him as transgender - he can live as a man.
Sorted is an unflinching and endearing memoir from LGBTQ+ advocate Jackson Bird about how, through a childhood of gender mishaps and an awkward adolescence, he sorted his identity and came out as a transgender man in his mid-twenties.»
The Year of No Nonsense
In The Year of No Nonsense, Atwood shares what she learned, tackling struggles with work, family, and body image, and also willpower and time management. Ultimately, she’s the tough-as-nails coach /slash/ best friend who shares a practical plan for identifying and getting rid of your own nonsense in order to move forward and live an authentic, healthy life.
Meredith Atwood is a recovering attorney, wife, mother of two, four-time IRONMAN triathlete who had never run a mile in her life until she tackled the sport of triathlon. In 2010 she started writing and created her Swim Bike Mom blog. Over 2.5 million words later, she has built a cult following of women (and men) who desired a change in their lives–but not at the expense of their health, family or sanity.