Discover Your Summer Events & Activities

Join us for Discover Your Summer: Summer Reading decorating events, kickoff parties, crafts, and more! | All Ages


June 21 – August 27 | All Ages

This summer, join our Discover Your Summer Reading Club to read and get rewards, enter raffles for prizes, and more! Click the button below to learn more.

Learn About Summer Reading Club!

Summer Reading kickoff concert & Party!

Thursday, June 2 | 3:30-7:00 PM | All Ages

Join us at Forest Park Library as we kick off Summer Reading! Celebrate summer with games, prizes, activities, and a live concert by regionally renowned salsa group, Orquesta Sensacional! Let’s Party!

At the following library locations: Forest Park Branch

Create summer reading program decorations!

Wednesdays, June 8 & June 15 | 5:00-6:00 PM | Ages 3+

Help the Children’s Room create decorations for the Summer Reading Program! We’ll be making sea-themed decorations this year, and we want to make as big a splash as possible!

At the following library locations: Central Library

Decoration Day!

Wednesdays, June 8 & June 15 | Open Hours | Children & Families

Join the fun as we decorate the library for Summer Reading Club. Help us create an ocean-full of sea-inspired crafts just right for this year’s Summer Reading Club.

At the following library locations on June 8: East Springfield, Mason Square
At the following library locations on June 15: Sixteen Acres

Discover Your Summer: Drop-In Crafts!

June 14 & 28, July 12 & 26, August 9, 16, & 30 | Open Hours | Teens

Stop into the Central Branch Library every other Tuesday between June 14 to Aug 30, to see what creative project is waiting for you.

At the following library locations: Central Library

Discover Your Summer: Crafts & Scavenger Hunts!

All Summer Long | Open Hours | All Ages

Check with your local library branch to see what activities, crafts, and scavenger hunts they have going on that week! Available while supplies last.

At All Library Locations

Summer reading Challenge accepted!

3rd Wednesday of the Month: June 15, July 20, August 17
3:00-4:30 PM | All Ages

The Summer Reading Challenge is on! Join us for a monthly meet-up to enjoy some snacks and chat about the books that we’re reading – and what we’re excited to read next!

At the following library locations: East Forest Park Branch

Summer Reading Kickoff with Sparky the fire dog!

Wednesday, June 15 | 3:00-4:30 PM | All Ages

Come join Sparky and the firefighters from the East Forest Park station to celebrate summer reading – with a special guest appearance by Bruins mascot, Blades!! Enjoy some ice cream, check out the cool fire truck – and while you’re at it- sign up for this year’s Discover Your Summer Reading program!

At the following library locations: East Forest Park Branch

Central Library Summer Reading Kickoff!

Saturday, June 18 | 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM | All Ages

Join us to kick-off summer fun! Music by DJ, activities and games, as well as face painting by the Happy Face Painter. While you’re here, DISCOVER our annual summer reading program. Ed Popielarczyk will stop by with walk-about magic too! Fun for all ages. On the Springfield Museum quad. No rain date.

At the following library locations: Central Library

Summer Reading Kickoff!

Wednesday, June 22 | 1:00-3:00 PM | All Ages

Join us on the lawn for games, raffles and crafts to celebrate the beginning of summer vacation- and summer reading! Discover your summer at the Springfield City Library.

At the following library locations: Indian Orchard Branch

How Many? How much? How heavy?

June 20 – August 27th | Open Hours | All Ages

Using your best guesses, guess how many, or how much, or how heavy are the items in our Guessing Jar. Twice a month there will be a new jar. Closest guess wins a small prize.

At the following library locations: Indian Orchard Branch

summer reading celebration!

Thursday, July 7th | 1-2 PM at Brightwood | 3-5 PM at East Springfield
Children & Families

Celebrate Summer Reading! Performer Tom Sieling will keep your toes tapping with an “ocean-full” of songs guaranteed to entertain the whole family. Come join the fun! Refreshments provided.

At the following library locations: Brightwood Branch & East Springfield Brach

Summer Feeding = Summer Reading

Monday through Friday: June 27 – August 26th | All Ages Up to 18

Visit the library locations listed below for special activities, like gardening programs, food trucks visits, as well as delicious nutritious lunches for kids up to age 18!

For more information go to:

June Crafts for Children, Teens, & Families

Crafts and activities at the library in June! | Children, Teens, and Families

Father’s Day Cards

Saturday, June 4 – Saturday, June 18 | Open Hours | All Ages

Drop by to make a card for dear ol’ Dad. Supplies and templates will be provided so that you can craft a card that will put a smile on the face of Dad, Pop, Grandpa and Uncle Joe. Show someone how special they are with a personalized card made by you! All supplies provided.

At the following library locations: All Library Locations

bad art night

Wednesday, June 29 | 5:00-6:00 PM | Children & Teens

Head to the children’s room at Central Library to make the weirdest and worst art you’ve ever seen! Geared for ages 5+.

At the following library locations: Central Library

The Haunting of Mirror Lake Manor: A D&D Mini-Campaign

Join us for a seven-week Mini-Campaign online! Beginners and seasoned players welcome. | Teens

Saturdays | April 16, 23, 30 | May 7, 14, 21, 28 | June 4
2:00-4:30 pm | Ages 13-18 | Register for the Campaign

Have you been itching to play D&D? Join us for a seven week Mini Campaign “The Haunting of Mirror Lake Manor!” Beginners and seasoned players welcome.

This program will be held online only. We will use a combination of Zoom and Roll20. (Computers at library locations will be available for the program if needed.)

The campaign will run every Saturday afternoon between April 16th and June 4th, from 2:00-4:30 PM. Registration is required, as program space is limited to 6 players. The registration link is above. Please be aware that you will be registering for all dates of the campaign.

Please send any questions to DM Sam Hoffman:

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Read just one book a day to build a foundation for lifelong success. Prizes awarded for every 100 books! | Children

All Library Locations
Starts January 2022, ongoing

All it takes is sharing one book a day with your child to build a foundation for lifelong success. Start your child’s book journey today! The goal is to have read 1,000 books before your precious one starts kindergarten.

If you read just 1 book a day, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think. So, let’s get started!

How to Participate

Read with your child. Studies have shown that reading with your child provides a great opportunity for bonding. Reading together is fun and will create life-long memories for the both of you.

Keep track of the number of books you read with your child. Ask your librarian for a paper log to start on your reading journey.

You may choose instead to log your books online using Beanstack. Visit our Beanstack website or download the app to log your books digitally. You can view Beanstack instructions here or ask a librarian on how to use it.

After each 100 books you read, visit your local Springfield City Library branch to collect your free book prize. After 1000 books, come in and get a tote bag!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in this program?
– Any child from birth until they enter kindergarten.

How long does the program take?
– The program will take anywhere from a few months to a few years. The program is self-paced and will depend on how often you read together.

Can we repeat books?
– Yes!

How many of my children can participate?
– All of them (provided they have not started kindergarten). Make it even more fun and read as a family!

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 | NEW TIME! 10:00-11:00 AM | Adults

Dates coming up:
June 18
July 16
August 27

CLICK FOR ZOOM LINK for meeting each month.

Join us for the Romance Book Club! We try and 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.

June Book Choice
We will be reading Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik.

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars. Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .

Catalog link (paper book)
CWMARS OverDrive (e-book) (coming soon) and  Boston OverDrive (e-book) (use your CWMARS card or free BPL ecard) and CWMARS OverDrive (e-audiobook)
Hoopla link (e-book) and Hoopla link (e-audiobook)

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

Our Romance collection librarian will tell you all about exciting additions to the collection, and we’ll get your input on what you’d like to see more of and what we should read.

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 or Anna Mickelsen at if you have any questions, or call either one of us at 413-263-6828.

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:

Seed Library at Mason Square

Free seed library with organic non-GMO seeds for the Springfield community. Request some today from our Mason Square Branch!

The Mason Square Branch Seed Library features a great variety of FREE 100% organic, non-GMO seeds for vegetables, greens, herbs, and flowers, made possible through a grant from Vermont-based seed company, High Mowing Organic Seeds. With multiple varieties, there’s something for everyone!

Because there is a limited supply of seeds, we ask that patrons request no more than 5 seed envelopes per library visit. Please call the Mason Square Branch Library to reserve your FREE seeds for pickup!

We also have a variety of gardening books, covering urban gardening, vegetable gardens, container gardens, flower gardens, and more – ask library staff to help you find the perfect book!

2022 Seeds Available
Mardi Gras Blend Bean
Mardi Gras Blend Bean

Beans & Peas:
Gold Rush Bush Bean
Mardi Gras Blend Bean
Maxibel Haricot Vert Bush Bean
Midori Giant Soybean
Provider Bush Bean
Quincy Pinto Bean
Rattlesnake Pole Bean
Roma II Bush Bean

Broccoli & Cauliflower:
Belstar Broccoli

Red Cored Cantenay Carrot
Red Cored Chantenay Carrot

Beets, Carrots, Parsnips, Radishes, & Turnips:
Bull’s Blood Beet
Early Wonder Tall Top Beet
Guardsmark Chioggia Beet
Cosmic Purple Carrot
Dolciva Carrot
Napoli Carrot
Red Cored Chantenay Carrot
Yaya Carrot
Yellowstone Carrot
Halblange Parsnips
Watermelon Radish
Purple Top White Globe Turnip

Artichokes, Celery, Cucumbers, & Okra:
Tavor Artichoke
Green Finger Cucumber
Clemson Spineless 80 Okra

Evening Colors Sunflower
Evening Colors Sunflower

Pacific Beauty Calendula
Sensation Blend Cosmos
Galilee Blend Larkspur
Dark Orange Marigold
Evening Colors Sunflower
Goldy Double Sunflower
Yellow Zinnia

Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm
Rutgers Obsession DMR Basil
Caribe Cilantro
Common Sage
Summer Savory

Tokyo Bekana
Tokyo Bekana

Lettuces & Leafy Greens:
Mizuna Asian greens
Tokyo Bekana
Shanghai Green Bok Choy
Farao Cabbage
Fordhook Giant Chard
Orange Chard
Ruby Red Chard
Lacinato Dinosaur Kale
Red Russian Kale
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
Green Towers Romaine Lettuce
Gourmet Blend Lettuce
High Mowing DMR blend lettuce
Lolla Rossa Lettuce
Optima Butterhead Lettuce
Yankee Hardy Blend Lettuce
High Mowing Blend Mesclun
Hotshot Spicy Blend Mustard Greens
Wasabina Mustard Greens
Red Planet Salad Blend
Renegade Spinach

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper
Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper

California Wonder Sweet Pepper (sweet)
Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper (hot)
Shishito Pepper (mild)

Pumpkins, Squashes, & Eggplant:
Howden Pumpkin
Burgess Buttercup Squash
Brulee Butternut Squash
Honeynut Butternut Squash
Waltham Butternut Squash
Black Beauty Eggplant

Peacevine Cherry Tomato
Peacevine Cherry Tomato

Peacevine Cherry Tomato
Roma VF Paste Tomato
Starlight Grape Tomato

Knot Just Knitters

Grab some needles and yarn, then come join us! Newcomers always welcome. | Adults

Whether you knit, crochet, cross-stitch, or crewel, these groups are the place for you. New members are welcome, and current members are willing to teach their skills.

Some yarn and needles are provided, but donations of such items will always be welcome. Many of the finished items are donated to charitable causes.

Coffee and tea provided compliments of the Friends of the Library.

Central Library, Community Room
Thursdays, 12-1:30 pm

East Springfield Branch
Fridays, 10-11:30 am

Forest Park Branch
Saturdays, 11 am – 1 pm

Mason Square Branch
Fridays, 1-2:30 pm

Sixteen Acres Branch
Wednesdays, 1-2:30 pm

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.

Click here to join the monthly Zoom meeting.

Optional: If you’d like to receive Afterthoughts email reminders and updates, please register here.

For further information, please contact Lisa Lipshires at

Reading Selections 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.

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!

Third Tuesday of the month | 10 – 11:30 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