Adult Book Clubs

Consider joining one of the library’s numerous book discussion groups to explore great works and socialize with your community!

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Non-Fiction Addiction
This group meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month to discuss nonfiction. From narrative nonfiction to true crime as long as it’s nonfiction. Advance phone or online registration is required.
Please click here for a printable reading list
The upcoming 2024 selections are:

May 16th

Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.
CALL NUMBER: 158.1 PETERSON

June 20th

From SoulCycle to Scientology, we’re all obsessed with cults. Linguist Amanda Montell examines the language cults use to draw us in

July 18th

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone.Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

August 15th

Endless ice. Thin air. The threat of dropping into nothingness thousands of feet below. This is the climb Silvia Vasquez-Lavado braves in her page-turning, pulse-raising memoir chronicling her journey to Mount Everest.
CALL NUMBER: B VASQUEZ LAVADO, SILVIA

September 19th

For at least 20,000 years, we have led not just an earthly existence but a cosmic one. Celestial cycles drove every aspect of our daily lives. Our innate relationship with the stars shaped who we are–our art, religious beliefs, social status, scientific advances, and even our biology. But over the last few centuries we have separated ourselves from the universe that surrounds us. It’s a disconnect with a dire cost.

October 17th

When London street musician James Bowen found an injured cat curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he had no idea how much his life was about to change.
CALL NUMBER: 599.75105 BOWEN

November 21st

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor-including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother-and how she retook control of her life
CALL NUMBER: YA B MCCURDY, JENNETTE

December 19th

Wouldn’t you like to live longer? And better? In this operating manual for longevity, Dr. Peter Attia draws on the latest science to deliver innovative nutritional interventions, techniques for optimizing exercise and sleep, and tools for addressing emotional and mental health.
CALL NUMBER: 612.6 ATTIA

Check out the titles that have been discussed in previous sessions.

2024

In Order to Live
CALL NUMBER: 582.16 WOHLLEBEN
Written with courage and conviction, Mark Mathbane’s reveals the extraordinary memoir of growing up in a world under apartheid.
CALL NUMBER: 968 MAT

2023

America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together.

Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the 20th century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis.

CALL NUMBER: 320.973 KLEIN
Written with courage and conviction, Mark Mathbane’s reveals the extraordinary memoir of growing up in a world under apartheid.
CALL NUMBER: 968 MAT
In the United States, teenagers can focus on one task for only sixty-five seconds at a time, and office workers average only three minutes. Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding that constantly switching from device to device and tab to tab was a diminishing and depressing way to live. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions–even abandoning his phone for three months–but nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention–and he discovered that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong.
CALL NUMBER: 153.7 HARI
Lucie Blackman–tall, blond, twenty-one years old–stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave.
CALL NUMBER: 364.1523 PAR
After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed “The Angel of Death” by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, a husband and beloved father, a best friend and a celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as perhaps as many as 400 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.
CALL NUMBER: 364.1523 GRAEBER
A memoir about a young woman’s coming of age in a tight-knit working-class family during Iraq’s seemingly endless series of wars.
CALL NUMBER: B HASSAN, FALEEHA
With wit, heartwarming stories and a keen insight into new and exciting ways to see both the past and the future of the country, the actor, writer and woodworker takes a literary journey to America’s frontier to celebrate the people and landscape that have made it great.
CALL NUMBER: 973.93 OFFERMAN
A New York Times BestsellerAn Award-winning AuthorIn a time when discussions of race are once again coming to the fore, the event that launched the civil rights movement — the 1955 lynching of a fourteen-year-old black boy named Emmett Till — is now reexamined by an award-winning author with access to never-before-heard accounts from those involved as well as recently recovered court transcripts from the trial.
CALL NUMBER: LP 973.0496 TYSON
Recounts the decades-long saga of the New Jersey seaside town plagued by childhood cancers caused by air and water pollution due to the indiscriminate dumping of toxic chemicals.
CALL NUMBER: NJC 363.72 FAGIN
At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young inmates of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp?mainly Jewish women and girls?were selected to design, cut, and sew beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women in a dedicated salon. It was work that they hoped would spare them from the gas chambers. This fashion workshop?called the Upper Tailoring Studio?was established by Hedwig Höss, the camp commandant?s wife, and patronized by the wives of SS guards and officers. Here, the dressmakers produced high-quality garments for SS social functions in Auschwitz, and for ladies from Nazi Berlin?s upper crust.
CALL NUMBER: 940.5318 ADLINGTON
Much-anticipated, emotionally-charged debut memoir from award-winning actor and icon Viola Davis
CALL NUMBER: B DAVIS, VIOLA
What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.
CALL NUMBER: 591.5 ROACH

2022

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the next Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with its breakthrough device, which performed the whole range of laboratory tests from a single drop of blood. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.5 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work. Erroneous results put patients in danger, leading to misdiagnoses and unnecessary treatments. All the while, Holmes and her partner, Sunny Balwani, worked to silence anyone who voiced misgivings–from journalists to their own employees.
CALL NUMBER: LP 338.7681 CARREYROU
A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade–abducted from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States.
CALL NUMBER: B LEWIS, CUDJO
The surprising and captivating memoir and radical manifesto of one of the most controversial women in Hollywood–actress, activist, musician, director, and all-around feminist badass Rose McGowan
CALL NUMBER: B MCGOWAN, ROSE
The decline and fall of reason — The new culture wars — “Moi” and the rise of subjectivity — The vanishing of reality — The co-opting of language — Filters, silos, and tribes — Technology — “The firehose of falsehood” : propaganda and fake news — The Schadenfreude of the trolls.
CALL NUMBER: 306.2 KAKUTANI
Bryson share his experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail with a childhood friend. The two encounter eccentric characters, a blizzard, getting lost, and rude yuppies along the way.
CALL NUMBER: 917.404 BRY
Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.

Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.

No one expected her to survive.

Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which has been reimagined specifically for a younger audience and includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world–and did.

Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person–one young person–can inspire change in her community and beyond.

CALL NUMBER: YA B YOUSAFZAI, MALALA
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
CALL NUMBER: 305.5 WILKERSON
With more than 52 million pet dogs in America today, it’s clear we are a nation of unabashed dog lovers. Yet the relationship between dogs and humans remains a fascinating mystery, as no one really knows what goes on in the canine mind. Now, in Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz fuses her perspectives as both scientist and dog owner to deliver a fresh look at the world of dogs-as seen from the animal’s point of view.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Castle and The Girls of Atomic City comes the fascinating story of America’s national day of thanks and of the tenacious and inspiring Sarah Josepha Hale, a nineteenth-century woman who made establishing this holiday her life’s mission-one brought to fruition by the wise support of Abraham Lincoln
CALL NUMBER: LP 394.2694 KIERNAN
Quiet
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval–and too little like scientists searching for truth. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.
CALL NUMBER: 153.4 GRANT
Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising–on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen?
CALL NUMBER: 306.2 LUKIANOFF
The sun
Novel Mornings
This group meets at 11:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month to discuss popular fiction. These discussions are open to all adults. Advance phone or online registration is required.
The upcoming Winter and Spring 2024 selections are:

February 1st

Worldwide bestselling “dazzling storyteller” (Associated Press) Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel about three very different people who are brought together in a mesmerizing story that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.
CALL NUMBER: FIC ALLENDE

March 7th

From the number-one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.
CALL NUMBER: FIC HANNAH

April 4th

From James McBride, author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, comes a wise and witty novel about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting.
CALL NUMBER: FIC MCBRIDE

May 2nd

1960s Florida. Kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood Curtis is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South, one mistake is enough to destroy the future.
CALL NUMBER: FIC WHITEHEAD

Check out the titles that have been discussed in previous sessions.

2023

Anxious People meets the delights of bookish fiction in a stunning debut following a librarian whose quiet life is turned upside down when a priceless manuscript goes missing. Soon she has to ask- what holds more secrets in the library-the ancient books shelved in the stacks, or the people who preserve them?
CALL NUMBER: FIC JURCZYK
By
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
CALL NUMBER: FIC TOWLES
Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime fiction plot with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.
CALL NUMBER: FIC HIRAHARA
Sent to a Tasmanian penal colony after conceiving her employer’s grandchild, a young governess befriends a talented midwife and an orphaned Aboriginal chief’s daughter while confronting the harsh realities of British colonialism and oppression in nineteenth-century Australia.
CALL NUMBER: FIC KLINE
Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now-destitute plantation; Juneau Jane, her illegitimate free-born Creole half-sister; and Hannie, Lavinia’s former slave. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following dangerous roads rife with ruthless vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before.
CALL NUMBER: FIC WINGATE
CALL NUMBER: FIC TOI
In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world as she helps build a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white – her complexion is dark because she is African American.
CALL NUMBER: FIC BENEDICT
The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction-to the City of New York.
CALL NUMBER: FIC TOWLES
This unforgettable novel puts human faces on the Syrian war with the immigrant story of a beekeeper, his wife, and the triumph of spirit when the world becomes unrecognizable.
CALL NUMBER: FIC LEFTERI
From the New York times bestselling author of ‘The Paris Wife’ comes an atmospheric novel of intertwined fate and heart-wrenching suspense: A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?
CALL NUMBER: FIC MCLAIN

2022

From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement.
CALL NUMBER: LP FIC ONDAATJE
The long-awaited, daring, and magnificent novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad. Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career with the Ziegfeld Follies, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a nightclub, she chances to meet Dexter Styles again, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.
CALL NUMBER: FIC EGAN
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
CALL NUMBER: FIC WHITEHEAD
From the author of the number-one international bestseller The History of Bees, a captivating story of the power of nature and the human spirit that explores the threat of a devastating worldwide drought, witnessed through the lives of a father, a daughter, and a woman who will risk her life to save the future.
CALL NUMBER: FIC LUNDE
In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
CALL NUMBER: FIC OWENS
By
A chilling debut in which a detective must uncover the dark history of a luxury hotel in the Alps if she has any hope of stopping the deaths that won’t let up. . . Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Once a sanatorium treating tuberculosis patients, it was abandoned years ago and had fallen into disrepair. Long plagued by troubling rumours, it has recently been renovated into a lavish hotel. And an imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place detective Elin Warner wants to be. But having received an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she had no choice but to accept.
CALL NUMBER: M PEARSE
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple–it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area–with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service–it’s hard to know what to believe.

Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple–and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?

CALL NUMBER: FIC ALAM
An epic novel that spans thirty years in the lives of a farm family in Iowa, telling a parallel story of the changes taking place in America from 1920 through the early 1950s
CALL NUMBER: FIC SMILEY
A young Puritan woman–faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul–plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel of historical suspense.
CALL NUMBER: FIC BOHJALIAN
After receiving a call from a stranger about her son’s ex-girlfriend being injured, Willa flies across the country to Baltimore to take care of her and her nine-year-old daughter.
CALL NUMBER: FIC TYLER
A mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana
CALL NUMBER: FIC BASZILE
A stack of books
BYOB: Bring Your Own Book
This book discussion is open to all adults. Discuss whatever book you happen to be reading. Let us know if you like it, love it, hate it, and why. Feel free to bring a non-alcoholic beverage.

The upcoming BYOB is: Tuesday, March 26th 6 p.m.

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