Book Discussions

Subject Specific DiscussionsBooks & Movies
Graphic NovelsTremont Think & Drink
Award Winning Books


Brown Bag Book Clubs begin at 12:00 p.m.   Bring your lunch

Center for Local and Global History

Monday, November 20
The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers
by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
This is the story of how America’s first women soldiers helped win World War I, earned the vote, and fought the U.S. Army. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France. They were masters of the latest technology: the telephone switchboard. General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, demanded female “wire experts” when he discovered that inexperienced doughboys were unable to keep him connected with troops under fire.

 Sargent's women : four lives behind the canvas by Donna M. Lucey (book jacket). Image of a pale woman in old fashioned clothing.Monday, December 18
Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas
by Donna M Lucey
“Choosing four striking Sargent portraits of wealthy, cosmopolitan American women, Lucey vividly reveals the hidden truths of their tumultuous lives, while also succinctly telling the artist’s own intriguing story.” Booklist Review 

The unwomanly face of war : an oral history of women in World War II Author: Aleksievich, Svetlana, 1948- author (book jacket) Monday, January 22
The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II
by Svetlana Aleksievich
“Unlike other Allied powers in WWII, the Soviet Union utilized many women in combat roles. Most served away from the front on farms and in factories and hospitals, but thousands fought as partisans or with regular combat units. Nobel laureate Alexievich (Secondhand Time, 2016) created this riveting oral history in 1985, and it retains its eloquence and often-shocking power in its first English translation.” Booklist Review 

 Title: Jane Crow : the life of Pauli Murray Author: Rosenberg, Rosalind, 1946- author. (Book Jacket)Monday, February 26
Jane Crow: the Life of Pauli Murray
by Rosalind Rosenberg
“This thorough investigation into Murray’s life is fascinating, as the author traces the intersection among gender, race, and politics. In doing so, Rosenberg successfully covers the various aspects of Murray’s experience. From her legal scholarship on race discrimination, which encouraged Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to attack segregation as a violation of equal protection in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), to her being the first known black female Episcopal priest, exploring transsexuality in the mid-20th century.”  Library Journal Review

Social Sciences Department

The SilencingThursday, November 9
The Silencing:  How The Left Is Killing Free Speech
by Kirsten Powers
Life-long liberal Kirsten Powers blasts the Left’s forced march towards conformity in an expose of the illiberal war on free speech. No longer champions of tolerance and free speech, the illiberal Left now viciously attacks and silences anyone with alternative points of view. Powers asks, “Whatever happened to free speech in America?”

GUEST DISCUSSION LEADER: Ms. Kristen Schmidt, Branch Manager, East 131st Street Branch, Cleveland Public Library

Thursday, December 12
The Power of Positive Thinking
by Norman Vincent Peale
Faith in yourself makes good things happen to you. This classic guide to self-esteem and success will help you learn how to: break the worry habit; get other people to like you; avoid “the jitters” in your daily work; believe in yourself and everything you do; develop the power to reach your goals, and so much more.

GUEST DISCUSSION LEADER: Ms. Tonya Thompson, Graphic Designer, Cleveland Public Library

lit-friday-frolics-headerLiterature Department, Main Library, 2nd floor
Fridays, 12:00 p.m. • 4:00 p.m.

November 10, 2017
Discussion of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw followed by a screening of Jack Clayton’s 1961 20th Century Fox adaptation The Innocents starring Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, and Pamela Franklin.  (MPAA: NR – 100 minutes)

November 24, 2017
Discussion of Henry James’ Washington Square followed by a screening of William Wyler’s 1949 MGM film adaptation The Heiress with Sir Ralph Richardson, Olivia de Havilland, and Montgomery Clift. (MPAA: NR – 115 minutes)

Our Man in Havana book jacket. Drawing of a man's face with colored lines coming out behind his face, each pointing to a picture of a person.December 8, 2017
Discussion of Graham Greene’s novel Our Man in Havana followed by a screening of Sir Carol Reed’s 1959 Columbia Pictures film adaption starring Sir Alec Guinness, Maureen O’Hara, and Burl Ives. (MPAA: NR – 103 minutes)

Movie poster for Grand Prix. Cartoonish drawing of a man in a helmet and women behind him laughing.December 22, 2017
Screening of John Frankenheimer’s 1966 MGM film Grand Prix starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, and Yves Montand. (MPAA: NR – 178 minutes)


Main Library, Literature Department, 2nd floor
With Guest Reader Valentino Zullo

Memoirs of the Middle East

In this series we will explore Middle East history through the stories and cartoons of those who witnessed the changing landscapes.

November 2, 2017
by Leila Abdelrazaq

November 16, 2017
Dare to Disappoint
by Ozge Samanci


Blacks Lives in Comics

Black Lives Matter — in the Ohio Center for the Book!  February is Black History Month AND the month that Black Panther premieres in movie theaters worldwide. From contemporary black superheroes to America’s earliest black writers, join us for an exploration of racial politics and struggle through the lens of the comics medium.

African-American Classics edited by Tom Pomplun and Lance Tooks - Jacket cover with image of three men sitting on a bench in a large room with windows, such as a bus or train station.December 7, 2017
African-American Classics
edited by Tom Pomplun and Lance Tooks
Editor Pomplun focuses on classic African-American works in the public domain, and each of these comics adaptations are fascinating. He zeroes in on writers central to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s with an important mix of voices, ranging from highly refined language to dialect, from the serious to the comedic, and the pointedly sociopolitical to the fantastical.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers (jacket cover). Image of a young man in glasses looking down, his lips pursed as if in thought.December 21, 2017
by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy Sims, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile
Sims and Anyabwile are smart enough not to mess with a good thing, and they stick closely to the original Myers novel to tell the story of New York teenager Steve Harmon’s trial for felony murder. Anyabwile’s black-and-white illustrations add subtle layers to the courtroom accounts and journal entries, all while maintaining the narrative suspense and ambiguity that’s made this story linger with a generation of readers.

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate Collection by Bendis, Brian Michael, author (jacket cover). Image of Spider-Man without a mask, revealing him to be an African-American.

January 4, 2018
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate Collection
by Brian Michael Bendis
Miles Morales takes up the mantle of the Ultimate Spider-Man when a spider’s bite grants the teenager incredible arachnid-like powers. Now, Miles has been thrust into a world he doesn’t understand, with only gut instinct and a little thing called responsibility as his guides. Can he live up to Peter’s legacy as Spider-Man?

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy (jacket cover) Drawing of two brown hands with the wrist being held by a pink hand. The darker-skinned wrists are shacked.January 18, 2018
Kindred: A Graphic Novel  Adaptation
by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy
The novel tells the story of Dana, a black woman who time travels from 1976 to the antebellum South to rescue a white slave owner. Octavia Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece now receives a new identity in graphic novel format while retaining all of the complexities, politics, and moral questions that propelled its author to literary icon status. Master storyteller Butler was the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur “Genius” grant and the recipient of several Hugo and Nebula awards.

March: Book One & March: Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin (jacket cover) A number of people sitting at a diner counter.February 1, 2018
March: Book One & March: Book Two
by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
Before he became a respected Congressman, John Lewis was clubbed, gassed, arrested over 40 times, and nearly killed by angry mobs and state police, all while nonviolently protesting racial discrimination. He marched side-by-side with Martin Luther King as the youngest leader of the Civil Rights Movement that would change a nation forever. Now, experience Lewis’s incredible story first-hand, brought to life in a stunning graphic novel trilogy. Among many other awards, March became the first graphic novel to win the National Book Award.

February 15, 2018: Two Black Panther titles!

Black Panther & The Crew 1: We Are the Streets by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Yona Harvey (jacket cover) a woman with a gun crouching, with large faces people and aliens behind her.Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet: Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates (jacket cover). A muscular superhero in a tight dark costume and mask, resembling Batman, and others in the background, with a laser shootin from above into the floor.Black Panther & The Crew 1: We Are the Streets
by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Yona Harvey
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet: Book 1
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer T-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) takes the helm, confronting T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before.



Award Winning Books

First Tuesday of Every Month at 4pm
Main Library, 2nd Floor, Literature Department & Ohio Center for the Book

November 7th, 2017
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Juno Diaz (book jacket). Title of book in black trext on top of a red siloute of a person's face.December 5th, 2017
The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao

by Junot Diaz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú – the curse that has haunted the Oscar’s family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (jacket cover). Line drawings of two African-American women's facial profiles.January 2rd, 2018

by Yaa Gyasi, winner of the Winner of the PEN/ Hemingway Award
A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel.

Behold the Dreams by Imbolo Mbue (jacket cover) New York City skyline in white on a multicolored background.February 6th, 2018
Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue, winner of the Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award
A debut novel about an immigrant couple striving to get ahead as the Great Recession hits home. With profound empathy, keen insight, and sly wit, Imbolo Mbue has written a compulsively readable story about marriage, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream.



Think & Drink

Join us for engaging book discussions as the Jefferson Branch Library
teams up with neighborhood watering holes.

This is Where I Live (book jacket)This is Where I Live: Cleveland People and Their Neighborhoods
by Justin Glanville and Bob Brown
Learn fascinating new things about 30 different Cleveland communities through short stories, articles, interviews, and illustrations.
Monday, December 11, 2017 • 7:00 pm at Edison’s Pub, 2373 Professor Ave.

TribeTribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
by Sebastian Junger
We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding–“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.
Monday, January 8, 2018 • 7:00 pm at Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave.

Hunger (book jacket)Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body
by Roxane Gay
The best-selling author of Bad Feminist explores the devastating act of violence that triggered her personal challenges with food and body image, sharing advice for caring for oneself and eating in healthful and satisfying ways.
Monday, February 12, 2018 • 7:00 pm at Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave.