Decemberback to top
The Brookline Booksmith Book Club meets downstairs at 7:30pm. To contact our moderator, email email@example.com.
Discussing Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi.
In the village of al-Awafi in Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who chooses to refuse all offers and await a reunion with the man she loves, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families, their losses and loves, unspool beautifully against a backdrop of a rapidly changing Oman, a country evolving from a traditional, slave-owning society into its complex present.
Jokha Alharthi is the first Omani woman to have a novel translated into English, and Celestial Bodies is the first book translated from the Arabic to win the Man Booker International Prize. Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book, and three novels in Arabic. Fluent in English, she completed a PhD in classical Arabic poetry in Edinburgh and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. She has been short-listed for the Sheikh Zayed Award for Young Authors and her short stories have been published in English, German, Italian, Korean, and Serbian.
Once More to the Rodeo: A Memoir
Five years into fatherhood, Calvin Hennick is plagued by self-doubt and full of questions. How can he teach his son to be a man, when his own father figures abandoned him? As a white man, what can he possibly teach his biracial son about how to live as a black man in America? And what does it even mean to be a man today, when society’s expectations of men seem to change from moment to moment?
In this unforgettable debut memoir, Calvin Hennick holds a mirror up to both himself and modern America, in an urgent and timely story that all parents, and indeed all Americans, need to read.
Calvin Hennick is a business and technology writer based in Boston. He wrote for many years for The Boston Globe and his prize-winning work has appeared in over 50 publications.
Adrian Walker is a columnist for the Metro section of The Boston Globe. He provides commentary and opinion on local and regional news as well as society and culture. Walker started as a Metro columnist in 1998. His column appears Mondays and Fridays.
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.»
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists
THIS EVENT WAS PREVIOUSLY TICKETED. ATTENDANCE IS NOW FREE AND DOES NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION TO ATTEND.
This event will be in conversation with Margaret H. Willison.
Join us for a talk and signing with Mikki Kendall to celebrate her new book! Each ticket includes a copy of Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights.
Mikki Kendall is a writer, historian, and diversity consultant who writes about intersectionality, policing, gender, sexual assault, and other current events. Kendall’s nonfiction can be found at Time.com, the Guardian, Washington Post, Ebony, Essence, Salon, XoJane, Bustle, Islamic Monthly, and a host of other outlets. Her media appearances include BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, WVON, WBEZ, TWIB, and Showtime. Her comics work can be found in the Swords of Sorrow anthology, the Princeless charity anthology, and in the Columbus College of Art and Design anthology of 2016.
The Year of No Nonsense: How to Get Over Yourself an On With Your Life
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.
Januaryback to top
All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember anything before an accident robbed him of his memories, so when three of his classmates claim to be his friends and the only people who know what’s truly going on, Kane isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere–the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery–Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident, and only he can stop their world from unraveling.
Ryan La Sala grew up in Connecticut, but only physically. Mentally, he spent most of his childhood in the worlds of Sailor Moon and Xena: Warrior Princess, which perhaps explains all the twirling. He studied Anthropology and Neuroscience at Northeastern University before becoming a project manager specialized in digital tools. He technically lives in New York City, but has actually transcended material reality and only takes up a human shell for special occasions, like brunch, and to watch anime (which is banned on the astral plane). Reverie is Ryan’s debut novel.
We Are the Luckiest
What could possibly be “lucky” about addiction? Absolutely nothing, thought Laura McKowen when drinking brought her to her knees. As she puts it, she “kicked and screamed … wishing for something – anything – else” to be her issue. The people who got to drink normally, she thought, were so damn lucky. But in the midst of early sobriety, when no longer able to anesthetize her pain and anxiety, she realized that she was actually the lucky one. Lucky to feel her feelings, live honestly, really be with her daughter, change her legacy.
Laura McKowen had a successful career in public relations and the Mad Men-esque drinking culture of advertising. After getting sober, she became recognized as a fresh voice in recovery, beloved for her soulful and irreverent writing. She now leads sold-out retreats on sobriety and is a celebrated yoga instructor.
The Magical Language of Others
The Magical Language of Others is a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter. After living in America for over a decade, Eun Ji Koh’s parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in California. Overnight, Eun Ji finds herself abandoned and adrift in a world made strange by her mother’s absence. Her mother writes letters, in Korean, over the years seeking forgiveness and love–letters Eun Ji cannot fully understand until she finds them years later hidden in a box.
The Magical Language of Others weaves a profound tale of hard-won selfhood and our deep bonds to family, place, and language, introducing–in Eun Ji Koh–a singular, incandescent voice.»
You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time
Enter code BOSTON to purchase tickets before 11⁄1.
The perfect Valentine’s Day or anniversary gift: An illustrated collection of love and relationship advice from New Yorker writer Patricia Marx, with illustrations from New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. Every ticket to this event includes a copy of You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples.
Discussing Jakarta by Rodrigo Marquez Tizano
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.
In a chaotic city, the latest in a line of viruses advances as a man recounts the fated steps that led him to be confined in a room with his lover while catastrophe looms. As he takes inventory of the city’s ills, a strange stone distorts reality, offering brief glimpses of the deserted territories of his memory. A sports game that beguiles the city with near-religious significance, the hugely popular gambling systems rigged by the Department of Chaos and Gaming, an upbringing in schools that disappeared classmates even if the plagues didn’t–everything holds significance and nothing gives answers in the vision realm of his own making.
The turbulent and sweeping world of Jakarta erupts with engrossing new dystopias and magnetic prose to provide a portrait of a fallen society that exudes both rage and resignation.
House on Fire
Nick Heller is at the top of his game when he receives some devastating news: his old army buddy Sean has died of an overdose. Sean, who once saved Nick’s life, got addicted to opioids after returning home wounded from war.
Then at Sean’s funeral, a stranger approaches Nick with a job, and maybe also a way for Nick to hold someone accountable.
Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen previous novels, including Judgment, The Switch, Guilty Minds, The Fixer, and Suspicion. Finder’s international bestseller Killer Instinct won the International Thriller Writers’ Thriller Award for Best Novel of 2006. Other bestselling titles include Paranoia and High Crimes, which both became major motion pictures.
Politics Is for Power
In Politics Is for Power, pioneering and brilliant data analyst Eitan Hersh shows us a way toward more effective political participation. Aided by political theory, history, cutting-edge social science, as well as remarkable stories of ordinary citizens who got off their couches and took political power seriously, this book shows us how to channel our energy away from political hobbyism and toward empowering our values.
Eitan Hersh received a PhD from Harvard University in 2011. He served for six years on the faculty of Yale University as assistant professor of political science and resident fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies before becoming a tenured associate professor of political science at Tufts University. His peer-reviewed articles have been published in the major political science journals. Hersh is the author of Hacking the Electorate and Politics Is for Power.
Don't Read the Comments
One of Us is Next
Slay meets Eliza and Her Monsters in Eric Smith’s Don’t Read the Comments, an #ownvoices story in which two teen gamers find their virtual worlds—and blossoming romance—invaded by the real-world issues of trolling and doxing in the gaming community.
Karen McManus’s One of Us is Next is the highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling thriller everyone is talking about, One of Us Is Lying! There’s a new mystery to solve at Bayview High, and there’s a whole new set of rules.»
Februaryback to top
A Queen in Hiding
Exiled and hunted, Cerulia, Princess of Weirandale, knows she has one destiny. Her enemies failed to kill her, and no one harboring her is safe. Raised in obscurity, she has no resources, no army, nothing that can help her against her enemies.
Except their gods.
Sarah Kozloff holds an Endowed Chair as a professor of film history at Vassar College. She worked in the film industry in both television and film before becoming a professor. A Queen in Hiding is her debut fantasy novel.
Local poet (and Booksmith staff member!) Bradley Trumpfheller shares their beautiful collection.
“Bradley Trumpfheller has made for us (the ‘unbecame beloved across’) a simply stunning book that begs to be read aloud. I’m reminded here how tender and intelligent, how generous and fierce one must be to play with language, to let it make and be made from one’s body, to construct and to be re-constructed, to say anything one means and know ‘it will never mean again, not even now.”
-TC Tolbert, author of Gephyromania
Bradley Trumpfheller is from Alabama & Virginia. Their work has appeared in Poetry, The Nation, jubilat, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. They co-edit Divedapper & currently live in Massachusetts.
The Escape Artist
In the tradition of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home or George Hodgman’s Bettyville, Fremont writes with wit and candor about growing up in a household held together by a powerful glue: secrets. Her parents, profoundly affected by their memories of the Holocaust, pass on a penchant for keeping their lives neatly–even obsessively–compartmentalized, as well as a zealous determination to protect themselves from the dangers of the outside world.
Helen Fremont is the author of the national bestseller After Long Silence. Her works of fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, Ploughshares, and The Harvard Review. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she has been a teaching fellow at Bread Loaf and a teaching fellow at the Radcliffe Institute. From 1999–2008 she was a Scholar in the Women’s Studies Research Center Scholars Program at Brandeis University. She works as a public defender and lives with her wife in Boston.
Trans(re)Lating House One
In the aftermath of Iran’s 2009 election, a woman undertakes a search for the statues disappearing from Tehran’s public spaces. A chance meeting alters her trajectory, and the space between fiction and reality narrows. As she circles the city’s points of connection–teahouses, buses, galleries, hookah bars–her many questions are distilled into one: How do we translate loss into language?
Melding several worlds, perspectives, and narrative styles, trans(re)lating house one translates the various realities of Tehran and its inhabitants into the realm of art, helping us remember them anew.
Poupeh Missaghi is a writer, a translator both into and out of Persian, Asymptote’s Iran editor-at-large, and an educator. She holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Denver and an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her nonfiction, fiction, and translations have appeared in numerous journals, and she has several books of translation published in Iran. She is currently a visiting assistant professor at the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.
All the Best Lies
The highly anticipated third novel in the award-winning Ellery Hathaway mystery series.
FBI agent Reed Markham is haunted by one painful unsolved mystery: who murdered his mother? Camilla was brutally stabbed to death more than forty years ago while baby Reed lay in his crib mere steps away. The trail went so cold that the Las Vegas Police Department gave up hope of solving the case - but then a shattering family secret changes everything Reed knows about his origins; his murdered mother; and his powerful adoptive father, state senator Angus Markham.
Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20⁄20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.
Lilah Tov Good Night
As the moon rises, a family steps into the night on a journey toward a new beginning. Along the way their little girl delights in the wonders of nature, saying good night–lilah tov–to the creatures and landscapes they pass. Wherever she looks–on land, in the sky above and even, eventually, in the water below her boat–there are marvels to behold. “Lilah tov to the birds in the trees, lilah tov to the fish in the sea.” When their travels are finally over, her parents tuck her in tight, safe and ready for dreams in their new home.
A former teacher with a Masters of Education, Ben Gundersheimer (aka Mister G) is a Latin GRAMMY Award winner for Best Children’s Album, and has been called “a bilingual rock star” by the Washington Post and “irresistible” by People magazine. His dynamic, original music has won praise from the Boston Globe, Chicago Sun Times, New York Post, and Parents magazine. He tours internationally headlining major venues in cities including New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New Orleans. He also wrote the picture book Señorita Mariposa. He lives in Whately, Massachusetts.
My Part of Her
“A searing novel, by Iranian exile Djavahery, of love and betrayal in a time of revolution…. Djavahery’s novel is an aching evocation of paradise lost, one that is impossible to regain, even in our narrator’s searching dreams. Vivid, shattering, and utterly memorable.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
For our unnamed confessor, the summer months spent on the Caspian Sea during the 1970s are a magically transformative experience. There, he is not the “poor relative from the North,” but a welcome guest at his wealthy cousin Nilou’s home and the gatekeeper of her affections. He revels in the power of orchestrating the attentions of her many competing admirers, granting and denying access to her would-be lovers and divulging intimate details of her life. In a moment of jealousy and youthful bravado, he betrays and humiliates an unlikely suitor, unwittingly setting into motion a series of events that will have drastic repercussions for all of them as the country is forever transformed by the Iranian Revolution a few short years later.»
The Girl in the White Gloves
Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamor and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves. But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth.
Kerri Maher is the author of The Kennedy Debutante, and This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World under the name Kerri Majors. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. A writing professor for many years, she now writes full time and lives with her daughter and dog in a leafy suburb west of Boston.
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years—sixteen of his best—plus a new novelette and an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.
Ken Liu is the winner of the Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, Locus Sidewise, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards, he has also been nominated for the Sturgeon and Locus Awards. He also translated the 2015 Hugo Award–winning novel The Three-Body Problem, written by Cixin Liu, which is the first novel to ever win the Hugo award in translation. He lives near Boston with his family.
Marchback to top
A Kid of Their Own
In this fresh and funny follow-up to the Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book A Crow of His Own, rooster Clyde is forced to adjust to new roommates on the farm when Fran the goat and her kid, Rowdy, take up residence. Can Clyde handle having a new kid in town?
Megan Dowd Lambert is the author of A Crow of His Own, Real Sisters Pretend, and Reading Picture Books with Children. She is an instructor at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons University, where she earned her master’s degree. She writes about books and parenting for Horn Book Magazine, has served on a Caldecott Committee, and worked at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for many years.
An electrifying debut memoir from the son of working-class Mexican immigrants, Noé Álvarez fled a life of labor in fruit-packing plants to run in an Indigenous marathon from Canada to Guatemala. Running through mountains, deserts, cities, and the territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents’ migration, and–against all odds, in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit–the dream of a liberated future.
Noé Álvarez was born to Mexican immigrant parents and raised working-class in Yakima, Washington. He holds degrees in philosophy and creative writing from Whitman College and Emerson College, respectively. He studied conflict analysis, peacemaking, and conflict resolution at American University and in Northern Ireland, received a fellowship at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and researched U.S. drug policy, military aid, and human rights issues in Colombia’s Putumayo jungles. He lives in Boston, where, until recently, he worked as a security officer at the Boston Athenæum.
The Power Worshippers
Katherine Stewart shows that the real power of the American religious right lies in a dense network of think tanks, policy and legal advocacy groups, and pastoral organizations, embedded in a growing network of international alliances with like-minded religious nationalists around the world. The Power Worshippers is a brilliantly reported book of warning and a wake-up call.
Katherine Stewart is one of the leading authorities on the political aspects of the Religious Right. The author of The Good News Club, she contributes to the New York Times, the American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Nation, the Guardian, the Advocate, Slate, and the Atlantic. In 2014, she was named Person of the Year by the national civil liberties group Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
For years Lizzie Benson has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She’s become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you’ve seen the flames beyond its walls.
Jenny Offill is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award), and Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award and the International Dublin Award. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low residency program at Queens University.
Nini loves everything about ballet–the sparkles, the costumes, the twirling! But in the spring there’s only baseball practice. Baseball is nothing like ballet. Or is it?
Erin Dionne is the author of the picture book Captain’s Log: Snowbound and several middle-grade novels, including Lights, Camera, Disaster and Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, an Edgar Award nominee. Erin is an associate professor of liberal arts at Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts.
The Wanting Life
The Wanting Life tells the intertwined stories of three Novak family members: Father Paul, a closeted gay Catholic priest who’s dying of cancer and has secrets he desperately wants to share; Britta, his self-destructive sister and caretaker, who’s struggling to find meaning in a world without her beloved husband; and Maura, a 39-year-old artist torn between family and the man she believes is her one, true love.
Mark Rader has had stories published in Glimmer Train, Epoch, The Southern Review and shortlisted for an O. Henry Award, the Best American Non-Required Reading anthology, and a Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.
The Other Madisons
In The Other Madisons, Bettye Kearse—a descendant of a slave named Coreen and, according to oral tradition, President James Madison—finally shares her family story, exploring legacy, race, and the powerful consequences of telling the whole truth.
Bettye Kearse is a retired pediatric physician and geneticist. Her commentary “Our Family Tree Searches for Branches” appeared in the Boston Herald. “Destination Jim Crow” was published in River Teeth, listed as notable in The Best American Essays 2014, and nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize. “Mammy Warriors” is included in the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. Her research for The Other Madisons was recently covered in the Washington Post. She lives in New Mexico.
The Passover Mouse
In this charming and witty Passover story about kindness, community, tradition, and forgiveness, a little mouse disrupts a town’s preparations for the holiday when it steals a piece of leavened bread—or chometz—just as all the houses have been swept clean in time for the holiday.
Joy Nelkin Wieder is the author of over 30 books for children. She is also an illustrator, and her work has been exhibited in libraries and synagogues around the greater Boston area. She is a frequent school and library visitor and runs children’s writing sessions on historical fiction, oral history, and Jewish children’s books, highlighting Shabbat, family, and ancient Israel. Learn more about her work at jnwieder.com.
The Rocket Years
We tend to think of our twenties as a playground for life; a time for low-consequence experimentation and delaying big decisions. But the truth is that while you’re muddling through those years—exploring new cities, dating the wrong people, hopping between jobs—a small shift in your flight path can mean the difference between landing on Mars or Saturn. Rather than prescribing one correct path (who are we kidding, there’s no such thing anyway!), Elizabeth Segran invites readers to think critically and holistically about the life they want to build.
Elizabeth Segran spent her childhood in Brussels, Paris, Singapore, and Jakarta. She attended Columbia University, then got a Ph.D. in Indian literature and women’s studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She’s a senior staff writer at Fast Company, and her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Atlantic, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and the New Republic. She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, and books.
Aprilback to top
A stunning picture book biography about the tightrope walker who dazzled Paris as she danced across the sky with impeccable balance and unparalleled skill during the French Revolution. This remarkable biography unveils the inspiring story of a trailblazing woman who revolutionized the circus world– without ever missing a step.
Lisa Robinson was born in Uganda to two Peace Corps volunteers who would eventually become world-traveling diplomats. She has lived all over the world, including Seattle, Dakar, London, and Moscow. She and her family now call Massachusetts home, where Lisa spends time at the local circus gym, flying through the air with aerial silks. She is also the author of Pippa’s Night Parade. Visit her at author-lisa-robinson.com.
You're Invited to a Moth Ball
Kids are usually asleep when moths come out at night. But discovering the diverse moth population is simple–stay up late and set up a party for moths! Nature centers and museums host events called Moth Balls each summer, but kids can create their own right at home with this handy guide.
Loree Griffin Burns is an award-winning writer who holds a PhD in biochemistry. Each of her books draws heavily on both her passion for nature and her experience as a working scientist. She is the author of Life on Surtsey: Iceland’s Upstart Island; Citizen Scientist: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery in Your Own Back Yard; and Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It.
Mayback to top
Building on his classic bestseller Buddha’s Brain, New York Times bestselling author and senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley Rick Hanson uses his Buddhist analysis of the mind as a roadmap for strengthening the neural circuitry of deep calm, contentment, kindness, and wisdom–qualities we all need to succeed in the face of adversity.
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times bestselling author of Resilient; Hardwiring Happiness; Just One Thing; Buddha’s Brain; and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he has been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.