Book Discussions

Subject Specific DiscussionsFriday Frolic Books & MoviesGraphic NovelsAward Winners
Tremont Think & Drink Brew Pub Book ClubStart a Discussion on Race • History Book & Movie Club

Brown Bag Book Clubs

Brown Bag Book Clubs begin at 12:00pm. Bring your lunch!

Social Sciences

Louis Stokes Wing, 5th Floor

I heard you paint houses (book jacket)Thursday, April 12
“I Heard You Paint Houses”: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa
by Charles Brandt
Soon to be a NETFLIX film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, and written by Steven Zaillian. Updated with a 57-page Conclusion by the author that features new, independent corroboration of Frank Sheeran’s revelations about the killing of Jimmy Hoffa, the killing of Joey Gallo and the murder of JFK along with stories that could not be told before.

Queen of KatweThursday, May 1
Queen of Katwe: One Girl’s Triumphant Path to Becoming a Chess Champion
by Tim Crothers
The “astonishing” ( The New York Times Book Review ) and “inspirational” ( Shelf Awareness ) true story of Phiona Mutesi, a teenage chess prodigy from the slums of Uganda. One day in 2005 while searching for food, nine-year-old Phiona Mutesi followed her brother to a dusty veranda where she met Robert Katende. By the age of eleven, Phiona was her country’s junior champion, and at fifteen, the national champion. Now a Woman Candidate Master–the first female titled player in her country’s history–Phiona dreams of becoming a Grandmaster, the most elite level in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday life in one of the world’s most unstable countries.

The Baby TheifThursday, June 11
The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption
by Barbara Bisantz Raymond
The story was shockingly first told by Barbara Raymond in a magazine article that inspired a 60 Minutes feature. Georgia Tann, nationally-lauded for arranging adoptions out of her children’s home in Memphis, Tennessee, was actually a baby seller who terrorized poor, often unwed, mothers by stealing their children and selling them to wealthy clients like actors Joan Crawford and Dick Powell. Parents would keep toddlers indoors, and the mother superior of a local orphanage hid babies in attics, but, protected by political boss Ed Crump, Tann sold over 5,000 children, and did much worse.

GUEST DISCUSSION LEADER: Ms. Barbara Bisantz Raymond is an adjunct professor, adoptive mother, and writer. She received an award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute for her work on this book. Publisher’s Weekly named The Baby Thief a 2007 Best Book Of The Year.

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

Color of Law book jacket

Monday, April 16
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
By Richard Rothstein
Film: A Raisin in the Sun (Directed by Daniel Petrie. Runtime: 128 Minutes)

“This compassionate and scholarly diagnosis of past policies and prescription for our current racial maladies shines a bright light on some shadowy spaces.”
Publishers Weekly review of The Color of Law

“The struggle to triumph in the face of adversity transcends the film being pegged as a civil rights picture, and thanks to the leadership of Poitier, a classic is born.”
– review of A Raisin in the Sun

Charles Wilson's War

Monday, May 21
Charlie Wilson’s War : the Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History
By George Crile, III
Film: Charlie Wilson’s War

“Put the Tom Clancy clones back on the shelf; this covert-ops chronicle is practically impossible to put down. No thriller writer would dare invent Wilson, a six-feet-four-inch Texas congressman, liberal on social issues but rabidly anti-Communist, a boozer, engaged in serial affairs and wheeler-dealer of consummate skill.”
– Publisher’s Weekly

“Wickedly funny” – Roger Ebert


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

The Prime of Miss Jean Broadie book jacket with an image of a womans mouth and chin and nose down to her folded arms in her lap.February 16, 2018
Discussion of Muriel Spark’s novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie followed by a screening of Ronald Neame’s Academy Award winning 1969 20th Century Fox adaptation starring Dame Maggie Smith, Gordon Jackson, Robert Stephens, and Pamela Franklin. (MPAA: PG – 116 minutes)

Secret Adversary (book jacket)February 23, 2018
Discussion of Dame Agatha Christie’s Secret Adversary, a Tommy and Tuppence mystery, followed by a screening of Tony Wharmby’s 1983 London Weekend Television adaptation starring Francesca Annis and James Warwick. (MPAA: PG – 115 minutes)

Pygmalian (book jacket)March 9, 2018
Discussion of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion followed by a screening of George Cukor’s Academy Award winning 1964 Warner Brothers musical production My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. (MPAA: NR – 170 minutes)

Wind in the Willows jacket coverMarch 23, 2018
Discussion of Kenneth Grahame’s novel Wind in the Willows followed by a screening of Mark Hall’s BAFTA winning 1983 Thames Television adaptation featuring Sir Ian Carmichael, Sir David Jason, and Sir Michael Hordern. (MPAA: NR – 78 minutes) and Walt Disney’s 1949 version. (MPAA: NR – 30 minutes)

The Secret Life of Bees (book jacket)April 13, 2018
Discussion of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees followed by a screening of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s People’s Choice Award winning 2008 20th Century Fox adaptation starring Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Dakota Fanning. (MPAA: PG-13 – 114minutes)

Sounder (book jacket)April 27, 2018
Discussion of William H. Armstrong’s novel Sounder followed by a screening of Martin Ritt’s Oscar nominated 1972 20th Century Fox adaptation starring Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield. (MPAA: G – 105 minutes)

Nuremberg Diary (jacket cover)May 11, 2018
Discussion of the chapters “Goering’s Defense,” “Hess’ Defense,” and “The Epilogue—The Condemned” from First Lt. Gustave Mark Gilbert’s book Nuremberg Diary, followed by a screening of the episodes – “Goering” and “Hess” from the 2006 BBC documentary Nuremburg: Nazis on Trial. (120 minutes)

Von Ryan's Express (book jacket)May 25, 2018
Screening of Mark Robson’s Oscar nominated 1965 20th Century Fox film Von Ryan’s Express starring Frank Sinatra, Trevor Howard, and Edward Mulhare. (MPAA: NR – 1hr 57 minutes)

Get Graphic

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

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.

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.

Cosmic Comics

Welcome to the Twilight Zone! In this series we will explore dystopian worlds far off (and some much like our own), alien civilizations, cyborgs, and imagined futures. Join us as we explore science fiction comics.

Two Thursdays a Month.

Bitch Planet Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine book jacketMarch 1, 2018
Bitch Planet. Book One: Extraordinary Machine
by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
In the near future, a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords results in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of female prisoners arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker? “…one of the most unique and subversive artifacts of pop culture in recent memory.” –

Injection. Volume One (book jacket)March 15, 2018
Injection. Volume One

by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey
Five eccentric geniuses poison the 21st Century. Now they have to deal with the corrosion to try and save us all from a world becoming too weird to support human life. In a story that crosses science fiction, horror, crime fiction, techno-thriller, and the paranormal, this group of highly specialized individuals must come together to deal with unusual artificial intelligence, and the growing weight of what they did to the planet with the Injection.

Low (book jacket)April 5, 2018
Low Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope
by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini
Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth’s surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun’s scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope.

Monstress (book jacket)April 19, 2018
Monstress. Volume One: Awakening
by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, Monstress tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war. She shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Portrait of Valentino Zullo

Guest Reader Valentino Zullo is a PhD student in the English department at Kent State University. 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. He is also a student pursuing psychoanalytic training at the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center. 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

March 6, 2018
The Leavers
by Lisa Ko, winner of the PEN/Bellwether prize for fiction and finalist for the National Book AwardOne morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.

Exit West (book jacket)April 3, 2018
Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid, winner of the ALA Book Club Central, finalist for the 2017 Kirkus Prize, shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price.

Sing, Unburied, SingMay 1st, 2018
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel
by Jesmyn Ward, Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.
An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds.

Tremont Think & Drink

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

March 12, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather
Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation
by Brad Ricca
This is the shocking and amazing true story of the first female U.S. District Attorney and traveling detective who found missing 18-year-old Ruth Cruger when the entire NYPD had given up.

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

March 14, 2018
What Happened

by Hillary Clinton
“Clinton takes the chance to put forward her ideas on energy, civil rights, and health care, among other topics, many of which were lost in the barn-burning pace of the campaign. Their inclusion takes the book beyond a mere recap of the race and turns it into a starter map for future discussion of progressive ideas. Clinton’s narration shows a side of her that was rarely seen throughout the campaign. She talks with passion about women’s rights, recounting her history in the workplace, along with other personal stories.” Library Journal Review

Cover image for March 27, 2018
United States of Beer
by Dane Huckelbridge
“In this lively romp through American history with beer at the center, Huckelbridge goes from east to west, combining regional background with a roughly chronological approach. Stories and anecdotes are intermingled with thorough research, including explanations of the historical scarcity of beer in the early South (barley didn’t grow well, and bourbon traveled better), the influence of European immigrants on American beer culture, and the lasting effects of Prohibition.” Library Journal

Cover image for April 11, 2018
Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
by Helene Cooper
“In this biography of Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Cooper does more than document the historic rise of Liberia’s first female leader. She presents a harrowing account of the Liberian civil war; the countless deaths, rapes, and abuses suffered by the people of Liberia . . . Cooper details the lives of Liberia’s market women, who watched their children perish, who answered Sirleaf’s call to “vote for woman,” and who fell victim to Ebola. From start to finish, Cooper presents an eye-opening account, holding nothing back.” Library Journal Review

Cover image for April 24, 2018
Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
by Mary Roach
“With compassion and dark humor, Roach delves into the world of military scientists and their drive to make combat more survivable for soldiers. Her interest in military matters wasn’t piqued by the usual aspects of warfare – armaments, tactics, honor – but the more “esoteric” ones: “exhaustion, shock, bacteria, panic, ducks.” Roach goes into great detail about the historical conditions that spawned particular areas of research, and she often describes seemingly absurd tests and experiments. Roach’s book is not for the squeamish or those who envision war as a glorious enterprise; it is a captivating look at the lengths scientists go to in order to reduce the horrors of war.” Publisher’s Weekly

Cover image for May 9, 2018
Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel
by Francine Klagsbrun
“As a child, Ukrainian-born Golda Meir moved from Russia to Milwaukee and later Chicago, eventually dedicating her life to the formation of Israel, becoming the country’s first and only female prime minister in 1969. Often seen as energetic and irascible, Meir spurned feminism as a political movement, and her complex story deserves an examination. Klagsbrun attempts to capture the richness and depth of Meir’s life with the details she feels other accounts have lacked by making the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War the defining event of Meir’s life.” Library Journal Review

Cover image for May 22, 2018
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
by Jennifer Lee
“Readers will take an unexpected and entertaining journey—through culinary, social and cultural history—in this delightful first book on the origins of the customary after-Chinese-dinner treat by New York Times reporter Lee. There are satisfying minihistories on the relationship between Jews and Chinese food and a biography of the real General Tso, but Lee also pries open factoids and tidbits of American culture that eventually touch on large social and cultural subjects such as identity, immigration and nutrition. Copious research backs her many lively anecdotes, and being American-born Chinese yet willing to scrutinize herself as much as her objectives, she wins the reader over.” Publishers Weekly

Cover image for June 13, 2018
American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream
by Julia L. Mickenberg
Professor Mickenberg limns the many intrepid women who finagled their way into Russia, starting in the late nineteenth century, to help with everything that needed to be done, and that was a lot. Many of these American women in Russia came to support not just children or communism but also what they saw as great freedoms for women, freedoms not offered in the U.S. in the 1900s abortion rights, maternity benefits, child care supported by the state, and more. Though success stories are here, so is much disillusionment, as the reality failed to meet the promise.” Booklist Review 26, 2018
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
by Ed Yong
“You are not alone. Smothered in and transformed by microbes, each one of us is a we not a me, insists science-writer Yong. Recent estimates figure around 39 trillion microbes (mostly bacteria but also fungi, viruses, and archaea) and 30 trillion human cells share a symbiotic relationship in the typical person. The title of the book, repurposed from Walt Whitman, is indeed apt. Bottom line: don’t hate or fear the microbial world within you. Appreciate its wonders. After all, they are more than half of you.” Booklist Review