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

 Monday, July 16
Into The Wild
by: Jon Krakauer
Film: Into The Wild (2007, directed by Sean Penn)

“Mr. Krakauer has taken the tale of a kook who went into the woods, and made of it a heart-rending drama of human yearning.”
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times Book Review

“…this is a serious, personal movie about what it is to be human, and what happens when we admire nature more than humanity: does it make us less than human, or do we fulfil and even transcend our humanity?”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian Movie Review

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

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

Man and woman drawing in front of mountains.July 13
Discussion of the political and cultural significance behind the “Figaro” plays by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais followed by a screening of the 2017 critically acclaimed Garsington Opera production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro) featuring Jennifer France, Joshua Bloom, and Duncan Rock. Sung in Italian with easy to follow English subtitles. (NR: 3hrs)

Black and white photo of Frank Lloyd WrightJuly 27
Discussion of T. Coraghessan Boyle’s The Women (2009), a novel about the romantic relationships of architect Frank Lloyd Wright with Montenegrin dancer Olgivanna Milanoff, Southern belle Maude Miriam Noel, the tragic Mamah Borthwick Cheney, and his young first wife, Kitty Tobin. Following the discussion will be a screening of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary Frank Lloyd Wright. (NR: 2hrs, 26minutes)

Portrait of a man and two women, in sepia tone.August 10
Discussion of Charles Frazier’s 1997 National Book Award winning novel Cold Mountain followed by a screening of Anthony Minghella’s 2003 Miramax adaptation featuring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger whose performance as Ruby Thewes won an Academy Award. (R: 2hrs, 34minutes)

A man standing behind three women.August 31
Discussion of John Updike’s 1984 novel The Witches of Eastwick followed by a screening of George Miller’s 1987 Warner Brothers’ film production featuring Jack Nicolson, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher. (R: 1hr, 58minutes)

Get Graphic

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

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

Visions of Violence

BAM! BANG! BOOM! Is violence in comics just TOO MUCH? Has it grown worse over the years? Or has it always been endemic to the medium? This summer, join the discussion on violence in comics.

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

The Punisher (book jacket)

June 7, 2018
Punisher: The Complete Collection. Volume 1
by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson
When a mob hit killed his beloved wife and children, Frank Castle became the Punisher – an unstoppable one-man army waging war on every piece of criminal scum plaguing New York’s streets. But do the Punisher’s origins trace back even further? In 1971 Vietnam, Captain Castle’s platoon faces a Viet Cong attack…and to survive, he must make a grim choice. Collecting Born issues 1-4, and Punisher (2004) 1-12

Batman: The Dark Night Returns

June 21, 2018
Batman: Dark Knight Returns. 30th Anniversary Ed.

by Frank Miller
Celebrate 30 years of one of the most influential stories ever told in the comics medium with the anniversary edition of the graphic novel masterpiece Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Writer/artist Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in this saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, 10 years after the Dark Knight’s retirement. Forced to take action, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of fury, taking on a whole new generation of criminals and matching their level of violence.

Scalped (book jacket)

July 5, 2018
Scalped: Indian Country
by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera
Jason Aaron, writer of the critically acclaimed series The Other Side, teams with gritty artist R.M. Guéra for an intense crime drama that mixes organized crime with current Native American culture. Fifteen years ago, Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse ran away from a life of abject poverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation searching for something better. Now he’s come back home armed with nothing but a set of nunchucks, a hell-bent-for-leather attitude and one dark secret, to find nothing much has changed on “The Rez” — short of a glimmering new casino, and a once-proud people overcome by drugs and organized crime. Is he here to set things right or just get a piece of the action?

 July 19, 2018
by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
This internationally acclaimed series took Europe by storm in 2000 and has won nearly a dozen prestigious awards including the Angoulême Comics Festival prizes for Best Series and Best Artwork. Guarnido reinvents anthropomorphism in these pages with Private investigator John Blacksad up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets. Guarnido’s sumptuously painted pages and rich cinematic style bring the world of 1950s America to vibrant life.

Wolverine (book jacket)

August 2, 2018
Wolverine: Old Man Logan
by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, who last teamed up for the monumental Civil War, bring us the most important Wolverine story of the 21st century. Nobody knows what happened on the night the heroes fell. All we know is that they disappeared and evil triumphed and the bad guys have been calling the shots ever since. What happened to Wolverine is the biggest mystery of all. For 50 years, no one has heard from him … and in his place stands an old man called Logan. A man concerned only about his family. A man forced to help an old friend — the blind archer, Hawkeye — drive three thousand miles to secure his family’s safety. Get ready for the ride of your life, Logan.

Sheriff of Babylon

August 16, 2018
The Sheriff of Babylon 1:  Bang. Bang. Bang
by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
One of the most poignant retellings of the Iraq War, Tom King’s critically acclaimed series begins in Baghdad, 2003. The reign of Saddam Hussein is over. The Americans are in command, and no one is in control.  Former cop turned military contractor Chris Henry knows that better than anyone. He’s in the country to train up a new Iraqi police force, and one of his recruits has just been murdered. With civil authority in tatters and dead bodies clogging the streets, Chris is the only person in the Green Zone with any interest in finding out who killed him—and why. Inspired by his real-life experiences as a CIA operations officer in Iraq, writer King, with artist Mitch Gerads, delivers a wartime crime thriller like no other. Collecting issues #1-6

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

Book jacket art: red umbrella propped against wall inside a brown wooden cabinet.June 5th, 2018
The Buddha in the Attic
by Julie Otsuka
Winner of the 2012 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction, finalist for the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction.
A tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago.

Interpreter of MaladiesJuly 3rd, 2018
Interpreter of Maladies
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in 2010.
Navigating between the Indian traditions they’ve inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri’s elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations.

Blue book jacket with silver text of book titleAugust 7th, 2018
Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison
Winner of the National Books Critics Award and cited by the Swedish Academy in awarding Morrison the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.

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

 July 11, 2018
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
by Loung Ung
A precocious, sparkling youngster, Ung was driven from Phnom Penh in April 1975 to relatives in the countryside, then to Khmer Rouge work camps. Here she recalls her fear, hunger, emotional pain, and loneliness as her parents and a sister were murdered and another sister died from disease. By the 1979 freeing of Cambodia by Vietnamese troops, she was a hardened, vengeful nine year old.î Library Journal Review

 July 24, 2018
Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip – Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
by Steve Dublanica
“[The author] unfolds his story along stereotypical memoir lines, mixing anecdotes from his near-decade of waiting tables with stories from his personal life. The author first found an audience at his blog, and although the book starts much too harshly (in tone and language), it eventually settles into an engaging and funny narrative that leaves the reader with a sense of the dignity that can be found in performing any job, even one as prone to customer abuse and lack of respect as food service.” Library Journal Review

 August 08, 2018
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
by Kao Kalia Yang
Yang (cofounder, Words Wanted), of the Southeast Asian Hmong people, was born in a refugee camp in Thailand in 1980. Her family was forced to flee the Pathet Lao, of Laos, who singled out the Hmong in retribution for their aiding the Americans during the Vietnam War. With no homeland to return to and not necessarily welcome in Thailand, Yang’s family took the opportunity to come to the United States and make a new life. Through all the tumult, Yang’s grandmother was a particularly loving influence, providing strength and the stories that molded Yang’s identity as a Hmong woman as her family settled in St. Paul, MN.î Library Journal Review

 August 28, 2018
Astrophysics For People In A Hurry
by Neil deGrasse Tyson
“In his latest work, Tyson offers a breezy but scientifically grounded overview of his primary field of expertise, astrophysics, skillfully tailored to increase lay readers’ understanding of topics such as the big bang and relativity in time to better appreciate the next astronomical discovery or blockbuster science-fiction movie. A final, elegiac chapter extols the virtues of having a cosmic perspective to lighten the burdens of living. Even readers normally averse to anything to do with physics or chemistry will find Tyson’s wittily delivered explanations compelling and disarmingly entertaining.” Booklist Review