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

 February 25
Team of Rivals
by Doris Kearns Goodwin and Lincoln (film) directed by Steven Spielberg
“Doris Kearns Goodwin has written an elegant, incisive study of Lincoln and leading members of his cabinet that will appeal to experts as well as to those whose knowledge of Lincoln is an amalgam of high school history and popular mythology.” – New York Times Review

 March 18
Angela’s Ashes
by Frank McCourt and Angela’s Ashes (film) directed by Alan Parker
“An extraordinary work in every way. McCourt magically retrieves love, dignity, and humor from a childhood of hunger, loss and pain.” – Kirkus Reviews 

April 15
A Night to Remember
by Walter Lord and A Night to Remember (film) directed by Roy Ward Baker
“Just as Jim Bishop was obsessed for years with the hour by hour happenings which he brought together in The Day Lincoln Was Shot, so Walter Lord has- since he was ten, some 28 years — absorbed every shred of evidence available on the subject of the sinking of the Titanic. And the result is a devastating book, which one reads with complete concentration, and from which one emerges with shredded legends.” – Kirkus Reviews

 May 20
Seven Years in Tibet
by Heinrich Harrer and Seven Years in Tibet (film) directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud 
“TIBET is conventionally the land of romance, of mystery, of fantasy. Almost anything written about it is bound to have a special magic. Certainly Heinrich Harrer’s “Seven Years in Tibet” is no exception — in fact, it tells one of the grandest and most incredible adventure stories I have ever read, compounded of the infallibly exciting elements of mountain climbing, dangerous escapes, life in secret, forbidden Tibet and encounters with extraordinary people.” – New York Times Book 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

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

Alternative Comics

Alternative comics spawned out of the underground comic movement during the 1980s. Unlike underground comics’ focus on gritty realities and shock factor, alternative comics cover a wide range of topics and art styles forms.

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

January 3, 2019
Black Hole 
by Charles Burns
A chilling graphic novel set in suburban Seattle during the mid-1970s describes the lives of the area’s teenagers, who are suddenly faced with a devastating, disfiguring, and incurable plague that has descended on the young people of Seattle.

January 17, 2019
Killing and Dying
by Adrian Tomine
A showcase of the possibilities of the graphic novel medium and a wry exploration of loss, creative ambition, identity, and family dynamics.

February 7, 2019
Book of Genesis 
by R. Crumb
An illustrated adaptation of the entire book of Genesis, providing the biblical accounts of the Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the ark, the Tower of Babel, and other people and events.

February 21, 2019
by Daniel Clowes
A cosmic timewarp deathtrip to the primordial infinite of everlasting love.

Cleveland Public Library and Ohio Center for the Book Present Comics and the Clinic

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

March 7, 2019
Taking Turns
by M.K. Czerwiec

In 1994, at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, M.K. Czerwiec took her first nursing job, at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, as part of the caregiving staff of HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. Taking Turns pulls back the curtain on life in the ward.

March 21, 2019
by Sarah Leavitt
In this powerful memoir … Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother, Midge, and her family forever. In spare black-and-white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family’s journey through a harrowing range of emotions: shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness.

April 4, 2019
Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow
by Anders Nilsen

Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow is a tender collection of letters, photographs, and drawings Anders Nilsen has compiled in memory of his fiancee, Cheryl Weaver, who died of cancer in November 2005. It is an appreciation of the time they shared together, and a heartbreaking account of the progression of her illness.

April 18, 2019
by David B.

Hailed by The Comics Journal as one of Europe’s most important and innovative comics artists, David B. has created a masterpiece in Epileptic, his stunning and emotionally resonant autobiography about growing up with an epileptic brother. Epileptic gathers together and makes available in English for the first time all six volumes of the internationally acclaimed graphic work.

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

March 5th, 2019
The House of the Spirits
by Isabel Allende
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future.

 April 2nd, 2019
by Joan Silber
Winner of the 2018 Pen/ Faulkner Award for Fiction. Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn’t perfect, yet as she visits him throughout his three-month stint at Rikers Island, their bond grows tighter. Kiki, now settled in the East Village after a journey that took her to Turkey and around the world, admires her niece’s spirit but worries that she always picks the wrong man. Little does she know that the otherwise honorable Boyd is pulling Reyna into a cigarette smuggling scheme, across state lines, where he could risk violating probation.

May 7th, 2019
Bluebird, Bluebird
by Attica Locke
Winner of the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Novel. When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.

Tremont Think & Drink

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

Monday, March 11, 2019, at 7:00 pm
Prosperity Social Club 1109 Starkweather Ave.

 Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth 
by Sarah Smarsh Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, Sarah Smarsh’s Heartland is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.

Monday, April 15, 2019, at 7:00 pm
Prosperity Social Club 1109 Starkweather Ave.

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border
by Francisco Cantú

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Nonfiction Award, The Line Becomes a River details a  former Border Patrol agent’s haunting experience of an unnatural divide and the lives caught on either side, struggling to cross or to defend the US-Mexico border.

Monday, May 13, 2019, at 7:00 pm
Prosperity Social Club 1109 Starkweather Ave.

Brief Answers to the Big Questions
by Stephen Hawking

In this slim volume, the late world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking shares his personal views on our biggest challenges as a human race, and where we, as a planet, are heading next.


Brew Pub Book Club
Noble Beast Brewing Company • 1470 Lakeside Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44114 • 5:30-6:30pm

Broads, Books & Beer

Second Wednesday of each month, discover the lives of extraordinary women.
The Second Wednesday of each month from 5:30-6:30pm

March 13
Ladies of the ticker : women and Wall Street from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression
by George Robb
George Robb’s pioneering study explores the financial methods, accomplishments, and careers of three generations of women. Plumbing sources from stock brokers’ ledgers to media coverage, Robb reveals the many ways women invested their capital while exploring their differing sources of information, approaches to finance, interactions with markets, and levels of expertise. He also rediscovers the forgotten women bankers, brokers, and speculators who blazed new trails–and sparked public outcries over women’s unsuitability for the predatory rough-and-tumble of market capitalism.  University of Illinois Press

April 10
Empress : the astonishing reign of Nur Jahan
by Ruby Lal
Born to Persian nobility traveling to the Mughal empire, Nur Jahan (1577–1645) survived an uncertain birth and childhood to go on to hunt tigers, lead men in battle, and wield power and influence at a level almost unheard of for a Muslim woman of that time, reigning over India with her husband, the emperor Jahangir, from 1614 to 1627.  Library Journal Reviews

May 8
Daughters of the Samurai : a journey from East to West and Back
by Janice P. Nimura
In the years after Japan was forcibly opened to the world for trade, a group of five girls, ages 6 to 14, was chosen to travel to America, attend school, and return in 10 years to share their enlightened attitudes about Western ways with their country’s future leaders. The two older girls returned home almost immediately, while the other three were taken in by kind New England families whose alien cultures and traditions slowly distanced them from their memories of home. When the girls returned, they were determined to be good Japanese women, but they were unable to truly fit back into their society. This makes their ultimate accomplishments, which led to nothing less than revolutionizing Japanese women’s education, all the more staggering.  Booklist Reviews

Books on Tap

Fourth Tuesday of each month, explore engaging titles from our Science & Technology collection.
The Fourth Tuesday of each month from 5:30-6:30pm

March 26, 2018
Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education Of A Reluctant Chef
by Gabrielle Hamilton
How was the author’s education inadvertent? What is the reason she was reluctant to become a chef? All will become clear upon completion of the final page of this lusty, rollicking, engaging-from-page-one memoir of the chef-owner of Prune restaurant in New York’s East Village. Hamilton opened her eating establishment without any prior experience in cheffing, but the life experiences she did have before that bold move, told here in honest detail, obviously made up for any deficiencies in heading up a restaurant and also provide material for an electric story that is interesting even if the author hadn’t become the chef-owner of a successful restaurant. An idyllic childhood turned sour when her parents divorced; her adolescence and young womanhood encompassed drugs, menial jobs, and lack of direction and initiative when it came to continued education. All’s well that ends well, however, and her story does indeed do that. Add this to the shelf of chef memoirs but also recommend it to readers with a penchant for forthright, well-written memoirs in general. – Booklist

April 23, 2018
Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam
by Pope Brock
John Brinkley, who grew up poor in rural North Carolina but attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, got his start touring as a medicine man hawking “miracle” tonics and became famous for transplanting goat testicles into impotent men. Brinkley built his own radio station in 1923, hustling his pseudoscience over the airwaves and giving an outlet to astrologers and country music. His nemesis was Dr. Morris Fishbein, the buoyant, compulsively curious editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association whose luminary friends included Sinclair Lewis, Clarence Darrow and H.L. Mencken. Fishbein took aim at Brinkley in JAMA, lay publications and pamphlets distributed by the thousands. Even after the Kansas State Medical Board yanked his medical license in 1930, Brinkley ran twice for governor of Kansas and almost won. – Publishers Weekly

May 28, 2018
The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection
by Michael Ruhlman
In this follow-up to his cooking school odyssey, The Making of a Chef, Ruhlman examines what causes chefs to seek absolute perfection. The book is divided into three parts: in the first, Ruhlman observes the arduous Certified Master Chef exam at the Culinary Institute of America, which was the setting for his first book. The second segment focuses on Michael Symon, a rising star at Lola (in Cleveland) who was recently dubbed one of the 10 best chefs in America by Food & Wine. The third is dedicated to Thomas Keller, chef of California’s esteemed French Laundry. – Publishers Weekly