Book Discussions

Get Graphic: Refuge and Asylum

A Graphic Novel Book Club with Guest Reader Valentino Zullo

In this series we will focus on the history and continuing crisis of refugees around the globe. Comics have documented the crisis and shared these stories; together we will bear witness to these lives and histories.

Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd Floor on the first and third Thursdays at 4pm 

book jacketSeptember 5, 2019
by G.B. Tran
A memoir in graphic novel format about the author’s experiences as the son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled to America during the fall of Saigon describes how he learned his tragic ancestral history and the impact of the Vietnam War on his family while visiting their homeland years later.

book jacketSeptember 19, 2019
Best We Could Do
by Thai Bui
The author describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family’s move from their war-torn home to the United States in graphic novel format.

book jacketOctober 3, 2019
Threads: From the Refugee Crisis
by Kate Evans
Threads is the real story that puts a human face on a very topical news item. We learn of these families’ and individuals’ struggles at the hands of police, racist gangs, and human traffickers. We learn of their struggle for food, for blankets, and bread. Much to our dismay, the French police have arbitrary rules like no dry bedding or bread allowed in the camps. The cruelty and immense wave of suffering Evans sees and captures in her art appears to be crushing her but like the generous soul she is, Evans goes deeper and deeper into the camps and finds people opening up and sharing their stories

book jacketOctober 17, 2019
Drawn to Berlin
by Ali Fitzgerald
All Fitzgerald’s students are among the record-breaking number of people who are seeking asylum in a worldwide crisis on a scale not seen since WWII, fleeing from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. They draw images of experienced violence and careful optimism: rafts and tanks, flowers and the Eiffel Tower. In her decade in Germany, Fitzgerald experiences the highs of the creatively hopeful, along with the deep depression of the disillusioned, all while waiting to stumble onto her own glory like the great Modernists before her.

book jacketNovember 7, 2019
by Eoin Colfer
Ebo is alone. His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life, the same journey their sister set out on months ago. But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. He sets out after Kwame and joins him on the quest to reach Europe. Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family”–Provided by publisher.

book jacketNovember 21, 2019
The Strange
by Jerome Ruillier
“The Strange follows an unnamed, undocumented immigrant who tries to forge a new life in a Western country where he doesn speak the language. Jérôme Ruillier story is deftly told through myriad viewpoints, as each narrator recounts a situation in which they crossed paths with the newly-arrived foreigner. Many of the people he meets are suspicious of his unfamiliar background, or of the unusual language they do not understand. By employing this third-person narrative structure, Ruillier masterfully portrays the complex plight of immigrants and the vulnerability of being undocumented”

Literary Frolic Fridays

Discussion of a classic or contemporary work of Literature, followed by a viewing of a cinematic or made-for-TV adaptation, concluded by a comparison of the two

Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd floor at 12:00 noon


September 27, 2019
12:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Discussion on Captain Edward Latimer Beach, Jr.’s novel Run Silent, Run Deep followed by a screening of Robert Wise’s 1958 United Artists adaptation featuring Cadiz, Ohio native Clark Gable. (IMBD – 7.4/10, 93 minutes)

book jacketOctober 25, 2019

Discussion of William Shakespeare’s play Titus Andronicus followed by a screening of the Globe Theatre’s 2014 production directed by Lucy Bailey. (IMDB – 8.2/10, 186 minutes)

book jacketNovember 22, 2019

Discussion of Elmore Leonard’s novel Hombre followed by a screening of Martin Ritt’s 1967 20th Century Fox adaptation featuring Shakes Heights, Ohio native Paul Newman. (IMBD – 7.4/10, 111 minutes)

book jacketDecember 27, 2019

Discussion of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol followed by a screening of Ronald Neame and Leslie Bricusse’s 20th Century Fox Golden Globe winning musical Scrooge. (G: 1hr 53min)

Tremont Think & Drink

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

Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, at 7pm

Monday, November 4 at 7pm
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
by David Goggins

“For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare. Poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. “–Publisher’s description.

book jacketMonday, December 9
Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen
by Mary Norris
Greek to Me is a charming account of Norris’s lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English.

book jacket

Monday January 13, 2020
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

by Susan Cain
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal and explores how it has come to permeate our culture. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

book jacket

Monday, February 10, 2020
The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations

by Toni Morrison
The late legendary Toni Morrison, one of the most celebrated and revered writers in the history of American literature, gives us a new nonfiction collection–a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.


Award-Winning Book Club

Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd Floor

book jacketTuesday, October 1
The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai

Spanning three decades and two continents, The Great Believers is the story of a group of friends and their stirring emotional journey through the 1980s AIDS crisis in Chicago and its effects on the contemporary lives of survivors.

book jacket

Tuesday, November 5
An American Marriage
By Tayari Jones

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined.