Book Discussions

History Book & Movie ClubFriday Frolic Books & MoviesGraphic NovelsAward Winners
Tremont Think & Drink Brew Pub Book ClubStart a Discussion on Race 


Center for Local and Global History
Book and Movie Club

Book discussions begin at 12:00 PM, film begins at 1:00 PM.”
Center for Local and Global History, Louis Stoke Wing, 6th Floor

Charles Wilson's WarMonday, August 20
In The Heart of The Sea : The Tragedy of The Whaleship Essex
By Nathaniel Philbrick
Film: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex and In the Heart of the Sea (2015, directed by Ron Howard)

“Philbrick has created an eerie thriller from a centuries-old tale of cannibalism on the high seas. It’s all here: audacious seamanship, untold suffering, race and madness.”

W. Jeffrey Bolster, New York Times Book Review

“It’s at once a biopic and an adventure yarn that, with harpoons and ploddingly good intentions, turns a story of survival into an ecological cautionary tale.”

Manohla Dargis, New York Times Movie Review

September 17
A Walk in the Woods
Discuss Bill Bryson’s humorous travelogue of an attempted hike of the Appalachian Trail – no hiking boots required. A screening of the 2015 film starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte will follow the discussion.

 October 15
The Lost City of Z

Discuss David Grann’s tale of adventurer Percy Fawcett and the search for a lost civilization in the Brazilian rainforest. A screening of the 2017 film starring Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson will follow the discussion.

 November 19
Discuss Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic long-distance runner and prisoner-of-war during World War Two. A screening of the 2014 film starring Jack O’Connell and Domhnal Gleeson will follow the discussion.


Literary Frolic Fridays

Join us for discussions, followed by screenings of cinematic adaptations of of the stories or plays
Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd floor on Fridays from 12:00pm—4:00pm

September 14th
Discussion of Walter Mosley’s novel Devil in a Blue Dress followed by a screening of Carl Franklin’s 1995 Tri-Star adaptation featuring Denzel Washington as Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins. (R, 1hr 42min).

September 28th
Discussion of Walter Mosley’s Anisfield-Wolf award winning novel Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned followed by a screening of Michael Apted’s 1998 adaptation featuring Laurence Fishburne (R, 1hr 44min). **Teleplay written by Walter Mosley

October 12th
Discussion of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (the 1818 edition) followed by a screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1994 TriStar production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh (R: 2hrs).

October 26th
Discussion of Jack Finney’s horror thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers followed by a screening of the 1956 Don Siegel adaptation starring Kevin McCarthy. (NR: 1hr 20min).

November 9th
Discussion of H. Rider Haggard’s adventure thriller King Solomon’s Mines followed by a screening of the 1950 MGM adaptation starring Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger. (NR: 1hr 43min).

November 30th
Discussion of Saint Sir Thomas More’s Utopia followed by a screening of Charlton Heston’s 1988 version of Robert Boult’s play A Man for All Seasons costarring Vanessa Redgrave and Sir John Gielgud. (NR: 2hrs. 30min).



Get Graphic

Two Thursday each month at 4:00pm with Guest Reader Valentino Zullo
Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd floor

Fall Fantasy Comics

Fantasy, from Lord of the Rings to today’s digital immersion, is still and always about creating entire worlds and amazing characters we can love and hate and escape with into foreign lands. Forget fortunes follies this fall and discover – or rediscover – the worlds of both classic and new fantasy comics.

First and Third Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.

 September 6, 2018
Fables: Legends in Exile
by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, and Steve Leialoha
Traditional fairy tale and fantasy characters live in modern-day New York City. The secret society they have created is soon to be disrupted by Snow White’s rebel sister, Rose Red. Sheriff Big Bad Wolf is determined to set their world right again.

September 20, 2018
The Wicked + The Divine: Volume 1: The Faust Act
by Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.

 October 4, 2018
Castle Waiting, Volume 1
by Linda Medley
A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that’s not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil – but about being a hero in your own home.

  October 18, 2018
The Chronicles of Conan, Volume 1: Tower of the Elephant and Other Stories
by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith
In the early 1970s, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian exploded on to the comics scene. Writer Roy Thomas teamed with a young artist named Barry Smith, and together the two mapped out some of the most stirring and memorable Conan adventures

 November 1, 2018
Birthright, Volume One: Homecoming
by Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, and Adriano Lucas
For the Rhodes family, losing their son was the most devastating thing that could have occurred…but it couldn’t prepare them for what happened when he returned.

 November 15, 2018
The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III
An occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.

Portrait of Valentino Zullo

Guest Reader Valentino Zullo is a PhD student in the Department of English at Kent State University and a Therapist in the Maternal Depression Unit at Ohio Guidestone. He holds a Master of Arts in English and Women’s Studies from Bowling Green State University, and a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. Valentino believes in Literature, Social Justice and the Superhero Way!

Award Winning Books

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

 September 4th, 2018
The Fortunes
by Peter Ho Davies
Winner of the  Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and A New York Times Notable Book. Inhabiting four lives—a railroad baron’s valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood’s first Chinese movie star, a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes Asian Americans, and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption—this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history, showing that even as family bonds are denied and broken, a community can survive—as much through love as blood.

 October 2nd, 2018
What We Lose
by Zinzi Clemmons
Winner of the National Book Foundation 5 under 35. Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love.

 November 6th, 2018
Delicious Foods
by James Hannaham
Winner of the 2016 PEN/Faulkner award for Fiction, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Fiction Award. Darlene, a young widow and mother devastated by the death of her husband, turns to drugs to erase the trauma. In this fog of grief, she is lured with the promise of a great job to a mysterious farm run by a shady company, with disastrous consequences for both her and her eleven-year-old son, Eddie–left behind in a panic-stricken search for her.

Tremont Think & Drink

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

Furnishing EternityMonday, August 13, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave.
Furnishing Eternity: A Father, a Son, a Coffin, and a Measure of Life
by David Giffels
From the acclaimed author of The Hard Way on Purpose, a vibrant, heartfelt memoir about confronting mortality, surviving loss, finding resilience in one’s Midwest roots and seeking a father’s wisdom through an unusual woodworking project, constructing his own coffin.

 Monday, September 10, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
by Mark Manson
There are only so many things people can care about so they need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear.  A much needed moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, this is a refreshing slap for this generation, to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

 Monday, October 8, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Gawande asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

 Monday, November 12, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave.
Ordinary Light 
by Tracy K. Smith
“From the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet: a deeply moving memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter. Written with a poet’s precision and economy, this gorgeous, probing kaleidoscope of self and family offers us a universal story of belonging and becoming, and the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home”– Provided by publisher.


Brew Pub Book Club

Second Wednesday of each month, discover the lives of extraordinary women.
Fourth Tuesday of each month, explore engaging titles from our Science & Technology collection.
Masthead Brewery • 1261 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114 • 5:30-6:30pm

 September 12, 2018
Nobody’s Girl Friday: The Women Who Ran Hollywood
by J. E. Smyth

“History professor Smyth takes a look at Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, when women held positions of power behind the scenes in the booming film industry. The careers of women profiled here run the gamut, from actresses who were influential off camera, as well, such as Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn, to significant but largely forgotten female writers, producers, editors, and costumers who wielded just as much power as their male counterparts. For every recognizable name, such as legendary costume designer Edith Head, there are numerous mentions of women whose contributions have been neglected by historians, such as Mary C. McCall, Jr., a gifted writer and two-time president of the Screen Writers Guild, who saw her career snuffed out by the persecution of Communists, despite the fact that she was a political moderate.”–Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2018 Booklist

September 25, 2018
Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey To Discover Americas New Melting-Pot Cuisine
by Edward Lee
“At a time when America’s melting-pot culture frightens so many citizens, Lee finds hope and joy in visiting ethnic communities all across the nation’s breadth. A professional chef, Lee took to American roads and found a host of people who either came to this country or were born of immigrants. He visits a Muslim community in Dearborn, Michigan, where he learns the value of Ramadan fasting. He gathers recipes and inventively adapts them to his own tastes, such as mixing bourbon with Vietnamese dipping sauce to top roasted oysters. Lee’s most touching prose comes with his recounting of his Korean War-veteran father’s favorite food, an outlandish concoction of soy sauce, Korean chili paste, kimchi, tofu, fried bologna, and ramen noodles, topped with poached eggs and American cheese. Lee regards all these recipes as home cooking, so he offers no pictures of final dishes to avoid stifling a home cook’s own imagination.”–Knoblauch, Mark Copyright 2018 Booklist

  October 10, 2018
Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
by Racquel Cepeda
“Abandoned by her mother, raised in Harlem by her violent father, Cepeda felt estranged from her family, except for fond memories of her grandparents in the Dominican Republic and her own intriguing image in the mirror. The hints of African and Indio she saw in the mirror were reflected in dreams as well, as spiritual guides occasionally made themselves felt at crucial times in her life. When her father suffered a near-fatal heart attack, Cepeda overcame her animus and spent a year searching for her tangled roots. Through DNA testing, she found the complexity of Hispanic heritage, a blend of indigenous Caribbeans (whose bloodlines were thought to be extinct), Africans, Amazigh, and European. Cepeda details painful memories of her highly dysfunctional family and the crushing adjustments of immigrants to an American culture that imposes race and ethnic categories in ways that defy history and the cultures of other nations.”–Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist

  October 23, 2018
Soonish : Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything
by Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith
In this smart and funny book, celebrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and noted researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what’s coming next — from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. By weaving their own research, interviews with the scientists who are making these advances happen, and Zach’s trademark comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way. To this end, Soonish investigates ten different emerging fields, from programmable matter to augmented reality, from space elevators to robotic construction, to show us the amazing world we will have, you know, soonish.

November 14, 2018
Glory in their spirit: How four black women took on the Army during World War II
by Sandra M. Bolzenius
“Bolzenius, formerly a transportation specialist in the U.S. Army, tells the remarkable stories of four African American women who were early enlistees in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in the 1940s. Drawing on military archives and interviews, she traces the individual stories of Mary Green, Anna Morison, Johnnie Murphy, and Alice Young, who courageously protested segregation and inequities in training and opportunities compared to what was available to white WACS by going on strike in 1945 at Fort Devens. Ultimately, the four chose court-martial over discrimination. By recounting their experiences, Bolzenius presents a microcosm in which to explore the army’s personnel policies and the status of African American service women during World War II.” Jackson-Brown, Grace Copyright 2018 Booklist

November 27, 2018
Why Time Flies : A Mostly Scientific Investigation
by Alan Burdick
In this witty and meditative exploration, award-winning author and New Yorker staff writer Alan Burdick takes readers on a personal quest to understand how time gets in us and why we perceive it the way we do. In the company of scientists, he visits the most accurate clock in the world (which exists only on paper); discovers that “now” actually happened a split-second ago; finds a twenty-fifth hour in the day; lives in the Arctic to lose all sense of time; and, for one fleeting moment in a neuroscientist’s lab, even makes time go backward.