Queer Book Club

A monthly club for reading queer books of various genres | Adults


Monsoon Roastery and Espresso Bar
Saturdays, once a month | 12:30-1:30 PM | Adults

Discover Queer Book Club! A monthly club for reading queer books of various genres. Read one (or all!) of the 4 book options and meet us at Monsoon’s cafe for coffee or lunch to discuss.

June 15th: Contemporary Romance

Upcoming Meetings

  • June 15: Contemporary Romance
  • July 13: Historical subgenre
  • August 8: Mystery subgenre

Questions?

Get in touch with Blaise Kyrios at bkyrios@springfieldlibrary.org

Silent Book Club

Wish you had more time to read? Looking for some book lovers to hang out with? Join us for Silent Book Club! | Central Library | Adults and Teens 16+

Central Library
Second Monday of the Month
6:00 – 7:30 pm | Adults and Teens 16+

Wish you had more time to read? Looking for some book lovers to hang out with? Join us for Silent Book Club! One night a month, we get cozy at the library for an hour of solo reading and time at the end to chat. Come to meet new people and leave with new book recommendations! For Adults and Teens 16+.

Registration optional, but if you register, you’ll get reminders.

Register on our online calendar.

Romance Book Club – Online

Get your Happily Ever After fix from the Romance Book Club! | Online | Adults

Our Romance Book Club meets online! Registration is optional to get reminders and book choices, click for  link.

ONLINE via Zoom
Saturdays once a month | 10:00-11:00 AM ET | Adults

Upcoming 2024 dates:
May 18, June 15, July 13, August 10, September 7, October 5, November 2, December 14

CLICK FOR ZOOM LINK for meeting each month.

Join us for the Romance Book Club! We read as many romance genres as we can, sharing our thoughts and expanding our romance reading experience. As long as it has a Happily Ever After, it’s fair game.

Typically each month we choose the book for the following month.

May Book Choice
We will be reading Custom Built by Chantal Fernando.

Book cover of Custom Built, by Chantal Fernando

After losing her job, saying goodbye to a lifelong dream and having an all-around cruddy year, Bronte Pierce needs a break. A job at Fast & Fury might be just the thing to reset her life, even though she knows nothing about custom motorcycles. But taking a job isn’t the same as keeping it, and her fresh start quickly turns into a fresh nightmare.

Starting with her boss. Crow is hardheaded, stubborn and brutally honest. He may be easy on the eyes, but he runs with an MC and he’s anything but friendly to Bronte. She suspects he has a softer side—just not for her.

Her whole life, Bronte has known that the only person she can truly count on to save the day is herself. But when a single murder turns into a conspiracy and the threat to her life is more than she can handle alone, it’s Crow who comes through—and her newfound family might just become her greatest strength.

See previous group book choices below the group guidelines – scroll down.

Register if you’d like to be added to our email list, but no registration is required – just join us at the Zoom link, above. For adults 18+.

Please email Elizabeth McKinstry at emckinstry@springfieldlibrary.org or Anna Mickelsen at amickelsen@springfieldlibrary.org if you have any questions, or call either one of us at 413-263-6828 x213.


Group Guidelines

The book group will meet monthly via zoom to discuss books in the romance genre. Our definition of romance includes both HEA (Happily Ever After) and HFN (Happy For Now) endings. We will discuss what we read on our own, talk about forthcoming titles, and also pick books to read as a group, either voting on titles prepared by group leaders or taking turns selecting titles.

This book group will strive to be a safe and inclusive space. Racist and homophobic remarks will not be tolerated, and the group may set other content lines to be drawn in discussion or in reading material (e.g., mentions of self-harm, gore, sexual assault) in order to make the experience as fun for all participants as possible. As this is a romance book group, it should be assumed that books read and discussed will often include sex, sometimes explicit in nature.

Book group leaders will:

  • Read the entire book
  • Gather information to help enhance the discussion
  • Be prepared to offer counter opinions – even if they differ from our own
  • Be prepared to begin new lines of discussion when necessary
  • Not let one person monopolize the discussion
  • Be willing and prepared to take control of the group, firmly but respectfully

Book group participants will:

  • Make their best effort to complete the book
  • Come ready to both share and listen
  • Be ready to back up opinions with the “why”
  • Have a great time — if you stop enjoying it, let the leader know

Previous books read:
  • May 2024 – Custom Built, Chantal Fernando (Contemporary Thriller)
  • April 2024 – The Heiress Hunt, Joanna Shupe (Historical)
  • March 2024 – How To Catch A Queen, Alyssa Cole (Contemporary African Royal)
  • February 2024 – Toxic Desire, Robin Lovett (Alien Mate Sci-Fi)
  • January 2024 – The Holiday Trap, Roan Parrish (Contemporary Holiday, F/F & M/M)
  • December 2023 – Priest, Sierra Simone (Contemporary)
  • November 2023 – Hell on Wheels, Julie Ann Walker (Thriller)
  • October 2023 – And They Lived Happily Ever After, Therese Beharrie (Magical)
  • September 2023 – Something Wilder, Christina Lauren (Adventure)
  • August 2023 – The Baller, Vi Keeland (Sports)
  • July 2023 – I’m in Love with Mothman, Paige Lavoie (Paranormal)
  • June 2023 – Scandalous Passions, Nicola Davidson (Historical Menage)
  • May 2023 – D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding, Chencia C. Higgins (Contemporary F/F)
  • April 2023 – Mafia Casanova, M Robinson and Rachel Van Dyken (Mafia)
  • March 2023 – Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors, Sonali Dev (Contemporary)
  • February 2023 – Hard Sell, Hudson Lin (Contemporary M/M)
  • January 2023 – The Duke Who Didn’t, Courtney Milan (Historical)
  • December 2022 – Reader’s Choice Holiday Romance
  • November 2022 – The Ex Hex, Erin Sterling (Witchy)
  • October 2022 – Natural Born Charmer, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Sports-ish)
  • September 2022 – Neon Gods, Katee Robert (Fantasy Hades/Persephone)
  • August 2022 – Fatal Affair, Marie Force (Romantic Suspense)
  • July 2022 – Never Been Kissed, Timothy Janovsky (Contemporary New Adult M/M)
  • June 2022 – Polaris Rising, Jessie Mihalik (Science Fiction)
  • May 2022 – Luckiest Lady in London, Sherry Thomas (Historical)
  • April 2022 – Writing Her In, Holley Trent (Polyamorous)
  • March 2022 – A Cowboy to Remember, Rebekah Wetherspoon (Contemporary Black Cowboy)
  • February 2022 – Battle Royal, Lucy Parker (Contemporary British)
  • January 2022 – Every New Year, Katrina Jackson (Holiday Second-Chance Contemporary)
  • November and December 2021 – The Matzah Ball, Jean Meltzer (Holiday Contemporary)
  • October 2021- How To Bang A Billionaire, Alexis Hall (Billionaire M/M)
  • September 2021 – Deal With The Devil, Kit Rocha (Science Fiction)
  • August 2021 – Gray Hair, Don’t Care, Karen Booth (Second Chance)
  • July 2021 – Angel’s Blood, Nalini Singh (Paranormal Romance)
  • June 2021 – Entangled, Melissa Brayden (Contemporary F/F)
  • May 2021 – The Obsession, Nora Roberts (Contemporary Romantic Suspense)
  • April 2021 – Destiny’s Embrace, Beverly Jenkins (Historical)
  • March 2021 – Loathe At First Sight, Suzanne Park (Contemporary)
  • February 2021 – Reader’s Choice

Books & Brew Book Club

Cure your mid-week blues with a lively book discussion. | Adults

Nathan Bills Bar and Restaurant
First Wednesday of the month | 6:00-7:30 PM | Adults

Join a lively discussion with other book lovers, and bring your favorite brew too!

Copies of the book will be available at the Forest Park Branch Library, and often are available via Hoopla with a Springfield City Library card too. If Hoopla is new to you, check out this tutorial.

Please email Arlien Ricciardi at aricciardi@springfieldlibrary.org or
Chelsea Bell at cbell@springfieldlibrary.org if you have any questions.

See the books we are reading for upcoming meetings on our calendar!

Afterthoughts Book Discussion Group – Online

A traditional book discussion group where everyone reads and discusses the same book. Join us! | Online | Adults

Online via Zoom
Second Tuesday of each month| 12 – 1 PM | Adults 18+

Explore great books, join in on a lively discussion, and meet others who enjoy reading too. New members are always welcome! Library copies of the book are available at the Central Library’s second-floor Circulation Desk.

For more information or to receive Afterthoughts email reminders and updates, please contact Lisa Lipshires at llipshires@springfieldlibrary.org or (413) 263-6828, ext. 202.

Reading Selections for 2024
Cover: The Empress and the English Doctor

January 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Empress and the English Doctor: How Catherine the Great Defied a Deadly Virus by Lucy Ward (2022) nonfiction.

As smallpox ravaged her empire and threatened her court, Catherine the Great took the momentous decision to summon the Quaker physician Thomas Dimsdale to St. Petersburg to carry out a secret mission that would transform both their lives.

Cover: Symphony of Secrets

February 13 – Online Meeting Via Zoom –Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb (2023) fiction.

A gripping page-turner about a professor who uncovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time—that his music was stolen from a young Black composer named Josephine Reed.

Cover: You'll Like it Here

March 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – “You’ll Like It Here:” The Story of Donald Vitkus, Belchertown Patient #3394 by Ed Orzechowski (2016) nonfiction.

Abandoned by his unwed mother during World War II, Donald Vitkus is committed to the Belchertown State School, where he is labeled a “moron” with an I.Q. of 41…He later serves in Vietnam, searches for his family, marries, and earns a college degree—all in a lifelong battle to convince others and himself, that Donald Vitkus is not a moron.

Cover: Keeping Lucy

April 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood (2019) fiction.

Ginny Richardson’s heart was broken when her baby girl, Lucy, was born with Down Syndrome and was sent to a special school (based on the Belchertown State School) for the “feeble-minded.” Two years later, when Ginny’s friend sees a series of articles exposing the school as a hell-on-earth, she knows she cannot leave her daughter there.

Cover: The Bird Way

May 14 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think by Jennifer Ackerman (2020) nonfiction.

From the author of The Genius of Birds and What an Owl Knows, a radical investigation into the bird way of being, and the recent scientific research that is dramatically shifting our understanding of birds—how they live and how they think.

Cover: Never Let Me Go

June 11 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005) fiction.

Hailsham seems like a pleasant boarding school secluded in the English countryside, but when Kathy and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school, they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

Cover: All the Beauty in the World

July 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom –  All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley (2023) nonfiction.

Heartbroken from the death of his beloved brother, Patrick Bringley seeks refuge as a security guard at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. He enters the museum as a ghost, silent and almost invisible, but soon finds his voice and his tribe: the beautiful artworks and their creators and the lively subculture of museum guards.

Cover: Breakfast with Buddha

August 13 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo (2007) fiction. 

When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home to settle their parents’ estate, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing.

Cover: The Last Slave Ship

September 10 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and An Extraordinary Reckoning by Ben Raines(2022) nonfiction.

The incredible true story of the last ship to carry enslaved people to America, the remarkable town its survivors founded after emancipation, and the complicated legacy their descendants carry with them to this day—by the journalist who discovered the ship’s remains.

Cover: The Personal Librarian

October 8 – Online Meeting Via Zoom –  The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray(2021) fiction. 

When Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. Pierpont Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork, she quickly becomes one of the most powerful people in the art and book world. But she has a secret: she was born Belle Marion Greener, daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality.

Cover: The Woman they Could Not Silence

November 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom –  The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore(2021) nonfiction.

Moore recounts the stunning true account of a woman who fought back against a tyrannical husband, a complicit doctor, and nineteenth-century laws that gave men shocking power to silence and confine their wives.

Cover: When the Emperor Was Divine

December 10 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka (2002) fiction.

In spare and poetic prose, Otsuka focuses on a single family forced to live in an internment camp during World War II to evoke the oppression of a generation of Japanese Americans.

Click to see books chosen for 2023
1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows Cover

January 10 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir by Ai Weiwei (2021) nonfiction.

Ai Weiwei—one of the world’s most famous artists and activists—tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, Ai Qing, the nation’s most celebrated poet.

The Lincoln Highway Cover

February 14 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (2021) fiction.

Relates the adventures of four boys—three 18-year-olds who met in a juvenile reformatory, plus one of their 8-year-old brothers—as they travel from Nebraska to New York City in 1954.

When Books Went to War Cover

March 14 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning (2014) nonfiction.

Chronicles the joint effort of the U.S. government, the publishing industry, and the nation’s librarians to boost troop morale during World War II by shipping more than one hundred million books to soldiers at the front lines.

The Yellow Bird Sings Cover

April 11 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner (2020) fiction.

In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives.

Finding the Mother Tree Cover

May 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard (2021) nonfiction.

Illuminates the fascinating truths that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life and that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks.

The Violin Conspiracy Cover

June 13 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb (2022) fiction.

Ray McMillian is a Black classical musician on the rise when a shocking theft sends him on a desperate quest to recover his great-great-grandfather’s heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world.

The Secret History of Home Economics Cover

July 11 – Online Meeting Via Zoom  The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live by Danielle Dreilinger (2021) nonfiction.

Danielle Dreilinger traces home economics from Black colleges to Eleanor Roosevelt to Okinawa, from a Betty Crocker brigade to DIY techies, restoring a disparaged field to its rightful importance.

Joan is Okay Cover

August 8 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Joan is Okay by Weike Wang (2022) fiction.

Joan is a successful thirtysomething ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital, but when her father suddenly dies in China, and her mother returns to America to reconnect with her children, a series of events sends Joan spiraling out of her comfort zone.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher Cover

September 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan (2012) nonfiction.

A biography of Edward Curtis, the photographer who devoted 30 years to documenting the lives, stories, and rituals of Native American tribes.

The House of the Seven Gables Book Cover

October 10 – Online Meeting Via Zoom  The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851) fiction.

Greedy, piratical Colonel Pyncheon builds his mansion on ill-gotten ground, setting the stage for generations of suffering. Years later, a country cousin and an enigmatic young boarder attempt to reverse the tide of misfortunes surrounding the house.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever Cover

November 14 – Online Meeting Via Zoom  The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War by John “Chick” Donohue and J.T. Molloy (2020) nonfiction.

A wildly entertaining  memoir of an Irish-American New Yorker and former U.S. marine who embarked on a courageous, hare-brained scheme to deliver beer to his pals serving in Vietnam in the late 1960s.

The Remains of the Day Cover

December 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989) fiction.

A profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world in post-World War II England.

Click to see books chosen for 2022

Braiding Sweetgrass Book CoverJanuary 11 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013) nonfiction.

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.

The Mountains Sing Book CoverFebruary 8 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (2020) fiction.

The multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam War, brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

Mill Town Book CoverMarch 8 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains by Kerri Arsenault (2020) nonfiction.

In this investigative memoir, Kerri Arsenault examines what happened to her small hometown in Maine, which orbited around a paper mill that provided jobs for nearly everyone, but which also contributed to the community’s extremely high cancer rate.

Nobody's Fool Book CoverApril 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo (1993) fiction.

A slyly funny, moving novel about a blue-collar town in upstate New York—and the life of Sully, one of its unluckiest citizens, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years.

Hooked Book CoverMay 10 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions by Michael Moss (2021) nonfiction.

Moss uses the latest research on addiction to uncover what the scientific and medical communities—as well as food manufacturers—already know: that food, in some cases, is even more addictive than alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.

The Vanishing Half Book CoverJune 14 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (2020) fiction.

After growing up together in a small, southern Black community and running away at age sixteen, identical twin sisters choose dramatically different paths—one embracing her identity as a Black woman, and the other passing for White.

Agent Sonya Book CoverJuly 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Agent Sonya: The Spy Next Door by Ben Macintyre (2020) nonfiction.

The thrilling true story of the most important female spy in history: an agent code-named “Sonya,” who lived as an unassuming housewife in the English countryside and who set the stage for the Cold War.

Jack Book CoverAugust 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Jack by Marilynne Robinson (2020) fiction.

The fourth novel in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead series tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the beloved, erratic, and grieved-over prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister from Gilead, Iowa.

Children of the Land Book CoverSeptember 13 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Children of the Land: A Memoir by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (2020) nonfiction.

Prize-winning poet Castillo describes his and his family’s encounters with an immigration system that treats them as criminals for seeking safe, ordinary lives.

Gilgamesh Book CoverOctober 11 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Gilgamesh by Joan London (2001) fiction.

Nineteen-year-old Edith and her young son leave rural Australia for Soviet Armenia in 1939, inspired by an earlier visit from her English cousin and his Armenian friend and their talk of “Gilgamesh,” only to be trapped by World War II.

H is for Hawk Book CoverNovember 8 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (2014) nonfiction.

Recounts how the author, an experienced falconer grieving the sudden death of her father, endeavored to train for the first time a dangerous goshawk predator as part of her personal recovery.

The Pull of the Stars Book CoverDecember 13 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (2020) fiction.

Julia Power, a dedicated nurse at a Dublin hospital in 1918, pours her energy into caring for patients in the women’s fever ward, tending to pregnant women who are struggling to both give birth and fight off the flu.

Click to see books chosen for 2021

July, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Book CoverJanuary 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (2017) fiction.

A socially awkward, routine-oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret unhappiness.

May, Plainsong Book CoverFebruary 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom Plainsong by Kent Haruf (1999) fiction.

In the small town of Holt, Colorado, several intertwined lives undergo radical change. A high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother abandons them, while his sons try to cope with the violent behavior of a school bully. Out in the country, two gruff, unpolished cattle farmers, bachelors for decades, must relearn the art of conversation when a pregnant teen enters their lives.

Just Mercy Book CoverMarch 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014) nonfiction.

An unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

The Golden Age Book CoverApril 13 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Golden Age by Joan London (2014) fiction.

Escaping the perils of World War II Hungary for Australia, Frank is diagnosed with polio and sent to a children’s hospital where he falls in love with a fellow patient while their families struggle to adjust to life in a new culture.

Biased Book CoverMay 11 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt (2019) nonfiction.

You don’t have to be racist to be biased. Unconscious bias can be at work without our realizing it, even when we genuinely wish to treat all people equally. The good news is that we are not hopelessly doomed by our innate prejudices.

Chances Are Book CoverJune 8 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Chances Are… by Richard Russo (2019) fiction.

Three sixty-six-year old men convene on Martha’s Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. Each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend in 1971.

The Salt Path Book CoverJuly 13 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (2018) nonfiction.

Just days after Raynor Winn learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their house and farm are taken away, along with their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of England’s sea-swept South West Coast Path.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo Book CoverAugust 10 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (2019) fiction.

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo–until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.

The Library Book CoverSeptember 14 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – The Library Book by Susan Orlean (2018) nonfiction.

Chronicles the Los Angeles Public Library fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity.

Year of Wonders Book CoverOctober 12 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks (2001) fiction.

Based on the true story of the English village of Eyam, Year of Wonders chronicles the year 1665-1666, in which the community was infected by the bubonic plague and a fictional housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer.

Half Broke Book CoverNovember 9 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – Half Broke: A Memoir by Ginger Gaffney (2020) nonfiction.

A top-ranked horse trainer’s life-affirming memoir that offers profound insight into the fascinating ways both horses and humans seek relationships to survive.


On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Book CoverDecember 14 – Online Meeting Via Zoom – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
by Ocean Vuong (2019) fiction.

A letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born—a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam—and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known.

Click to see books chosen for 2020

January, A Piece of the World Book CoverJanuary 14A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline (2017) fiction.

Imagines the life story of Anna Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World,” describing the simple life she led on a remote Maine farm, her complicated relationship with her family, and the illness that incapacitated her.

February, The Monk of Mokha CoverFebruary 11The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers (2018) nonfiction.

The incredible true story of a young Yemeni American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana’a by civil war.

March, With the Fire on High Book CoverMarch 10With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (2019) fiction.

High school senior Emoni Santiago (an aspiring chef) and her two-year-old daughter live with Emoni’s grandmother. Emoni signs up for a culinary arts class that culminates in a trip to Spain–and she begins to see a path forward, if only she dares follow it.

April, Forty Autumns Book CoverApril 14Forty Autumns: A Family’s Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner (2016) nonfiction.

A former American military intelligence officer goes beyond traditional Cold War espionage tales to tell the true story of her family–of five women separated by the Iron Curtain for more than forty years, and their miraculous reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

May 12 News of the World by Paulette Jiles (2016) fiction.

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a 70-year-old veteran of the Civil war, accompanies 10-year-old Johanna Leonberger on a 400-mile odyssey to her aunt and uncle’s home. Johanna, who has been living with the Kiowa warriors who had killed her parents four years earlier, no longer speaks English, and tries to escape at every opportunity. Yet, as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death.

June, The Feather Thief Book CoverJune 9Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (2020) fiction.

A literature professor tries to rediscover who she is after the sudden death of her husband, even as a series of family and political jolts force her to ask what we owe those in crisis in our families, biological or otherwise.

August, My Family and Other AnimalsJuly 14My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (1956) nonfiction.

Gerald Durrell’s hilarious account of five years in his childhood spent living with his family and an assortment of animals on the island of Corfu.


December, The Sound of a Wild Snail EatingAugust 11
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (2010) nonfiction.

Bedridden with a mysterious virus, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own place in the world.

June, The Feather Thief Book CoverSeptember 8 The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk W. Johnson (2018) nonfiction.

On a cool June evening in 2009, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist grabbed hundreds of bird skins – some collected 150 years earlier – and escaped into the darkness. Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds?

September, The Woman Next Door Book CoverOctober 13 The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (2017) fiction.

Neighborliness isn’t an option for two elderly enemies [one white, one black] living in adjacent homes in Katterijn, an upscale South African residential community. What will happen when events push them into grudging cohabitation?

October, Maid Hard Work Book CoverNovember 10 Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land (2019) nonfiction.

A journalist describes the years she worked in low-paying domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.

November, Little Faith Book CoverDecember 8 Little Faith by Nickolas Butler (2019) fiction.

A Wisconsin couple grapples with the power and limitations of faith when their adopted daughter falls under the influence of a radical church.

Click to see books chosen for 2019


January 8 The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (2017) fiction.

A young Chinese woman, forced to give up her daughter born out of wedlock, finds purpose, passion, and the key to a new life in the tea-growing traditions of her ancestors. Meanwhile, her daughter grows up as a privileged and well-loved California girl who wonders about her origins.


February 12Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland with Charisse Jones (2014) nonfiction.

As the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to become a ground-breaking ballerina.


March 12Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937) fiction.

An American classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God tells the story of Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for over eighty years.


April 9 Night by Elie Wiesel (1956) nonfiction.

Elie Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in Romania to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Wiesel’s memories of the death of his family, the death of his own innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting absolute evil.


May 14The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West (1945) fiction.

In fourteen heartwarming vignettes, a Quaker farming family in southern Indiana at the time of the Civil War must negotiate their way through a world that constantly confronts them—sometimes with candor, sometimes with violence—and tests the strength of their beliefs.


June 11The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantu (2018) nonfiction.

An ex–Border Patrol agent and descendent of a Mexican immigrant finds himself on both sides of the battle over illegal immigration in this fraught memoir of his time patrolling the Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas borders from 2008 to 2012.


July 9Beartown by Fredrik Backman (2017) fiction.

In the tiny forest community of Beartown, the possibility that the amateur hockey team might win a junior championship, bringing the hope of revitalization to the fading town, is shattered by the aftermath of a violent act that leaves a young girl traumatized.


August 13The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone (2017) nonfiction.

Traces the life of Elizebeth Smith, who met and married groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman and worked with him to discover and expose Nazi spy rings in South America by cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine.


September 10On Kingdom Mountain by Howard Frank Mosher (2007) fiction.

In 1930 Vermont, Jane Hubbell Kinneson, a local bird carver and the last resident of a remote, wild mountain on the U.S.-Canadian border that is threatened by a proposed new highway, confronts some of the most important decisions of her life.


October 8Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (2017) nonfiction.

Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered a chilling conspiracy.


November 12The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott (2017) fiction.

A portrait of the Irish-American experience is presented through the story of an Irish immigrant’s suicide and how it reverberates through innumerable lives in early twentieth-century Catholic Brooklyn.


December 10Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla (2017) nonfiction.

A woman, born as an “untouchable” into the Indian caste system, describes how she was educated by Canadian missionaries in the 1930s and what it was like growing up in a world full of poverty and injustice but also full of incredible possibility.

413 Gourmet Club

A cooking class meets book club series for those who love to cook at home. Cook together – hands-on and in-person! | East Forest Park | Adults

East Forest Park Branch
Last Wednesday of the Month
6:00 – 7:30 pm | Adults

Join us for a new cooking class meets book club series that will be hands-on and in-person for those who love to cook at home.

During the class, participants will assist in creating a pre-selected dish from the chosen cookbook of the month. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to check out the selected cookbook ahead of time and to bring an accompanying dish from it to share.

Registration for this event is required with a limit of 10 participants.

Register on our online calendar.

Eager Readers Book Club

The book group for reading enthusiasts reads mostly contemporary novels, although occasionally historical fiction, adventures, and some non-fiction. | Sixteen Acres | Adults

Sixteen Acres Branch
3rd Tuesday of the month | 6:30-7:30 PM | Adults 18+

Join this long-running book group of reading enthusiasts! Newcomers welcome. The group reads mostly contemporary novels, although occasionally historical fiction, adventures, and some non-fiction. The book club members jointly choose upcoming books. Check below for this month’s book! No registration required, just drop by.

See the books we are reading for upcoming meetings on our calendar!

Raymond Jordan Senior Center Book Club

Come join us for a fascinating book club at the Raymond Jordan Senior Center! | Adults

Raymond Jordan Senior Center
Third Thursday of the Month | 10:00-11:00 AM | Adults

Come join us for a fascinating book club at the Raymond Jordan Senior Center! Do you love to read about real life events? Are you intrigued by learning more about others’ stories and experiences – whether in the present or the past? If so, then meet us at the Raymond Jordan Senior Center for our monthly Book Club, where we delve into the heart of historical fiction, non-fiction, and even memoir.

We will bring each month’s book in large and regular print to each book club meeting. If you need assistance getting additional copies, please contact Elizabeth McKinstry at emckinstry@springfieldlibrary.org.

What’s Cooking Cookbook Club – Online

Do you enjoy cooking, or would you like to improve your cooking skills? | Online | Adults

Meetings are currently held online.

Click here to join us via Zoom!

Online
3rd Tuesday of the month | 10:00 – 11:00 AM | Adults

Join the monthly Cookbook Club to hear about the latest cookbooks, share great recipes, and more in this casual yet informative discussion group.

For more information, contact Gary Pysznik at 413-263-6828 ext. 395 or by email at gpysznik@springfieldlibrary.org.

Any Book Club (ABC)

Join our Any Book Club and share your recent reads. | East Forest Park | Adults

East Forest Park Branch
2nd & 4th Thursdays | 10 – 11:30 AM | Adults 18+

The Any Book Club (ABC) meets bi-monthly to share stories about their recent reads. In rotation with one another, members review books they’ve read recently so others can learn about what’s great and, sometimes, what’s not! Those who enjoy adult fiction will feel especially at home, but all adult readers are welcomed.

Members can attend either or both sessions. For Adults 18+.