Book Clubs

XMen56CoverBook Clubs! They’re great, and also super not amenable to a weekly publishing schedule. So in the interest of giving people a more useful setup, we’ve decided to move book club events to this page!

That means Book Clubs specifically, “book” type events will still be in the newsletter. We’re just not going to tell you about how you can read a 400-page novel tonight if you want to discuss it tomorrow anymore.

Note: this is not an exhaustive list! We’re still finding new book clubs, and we’ll be happy to add any here that you see missing!

So without further ado:


  Meetup Groups [Various Locations]:

Meets: Every month-ish
February Book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This club focuses on science fiction (you can tell by the name) and generally has a limit of 12 participants. They meet in downtown Northampton, usually at either Mama Iguana’s or the back room at Packard’s.

Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060]:

Meets: First Wednesday of the month 3:00pm – 5:00pm
February Book: These Dark Things by Jan Merete Weiss
March Book: Cosi Fan Tutti by Michael Dibdin
April Book: Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri
May Movie: The Sicilian Girl
Are you frostbitten from all that Scandinavian noir? Put a little Mediterranean in your life! Join moderator Dick Abrams and explore Italian Crime Fiction.
Meets: First Monday of the month 7:00pm – 8:30pm
February Book: Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison
March Book: Pigeon English by Stephen Kellman
April Book: Clear Springs by Bobbie Ann Mason
May Book: Oryx and Crake by Margret Atwood
June Book: The Vegetarian by Kang Han
Respectful, queer/LGBT-friendly, easy-going bunch who want an excuse to get out more and talk about books. And have some snacks.
Meets: First Wednesday of the month 7:00pm – 8:00pm
February Book: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
March Book: The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
April Book: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
May Book: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
June Book: Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
July Book: Feed by Mira Grant
Anyone interested in Science Fiction or Fantasy is welcome! Although they focus on the selection of the month, they will discuss any topics related to Science Fiction or Fantasy books or movies. Copies of the discussion book are available in the library to check out!
Meets: Second Wednesday of the month 7:00pm – 8:00pm
February Book: The Wave by Susan Casey
March Book: 1491 by Charles Mann
April Book: Countdown by Alan Weisman
May Book: Cosmos by Carl Sagan
June Book: The Bees by Laline Paull
July Book: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
The Nature and Environment Book Club is devoted to the best of nature writing and environmental reporting with discussions on the second Wednesday of each month.
Meets: Second Monday of the month 6:30pm – 8:30pm
February Book: Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
March Book: Pompeii by Robert Harris
April Book: Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
May Book: The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
June Book: Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong
July Book: The Noise of Time by Julian Barns
Literary minded discussion. Open to new members.
Meets: Third Friday of the month 1:00pm – 2:00pm
February Book: Pompeii by Robert Harris
March Book: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
April Book: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
May Book: We Were Brothers by Barry Moser
June Book: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
July Book: Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
The Afternoon Book Discussion group meets on the 3rd Friday of the month in the Watson Room for a casual hour long discussion. The reading selections are mostly fiction choices with a sprinkling of non-fiction, young adult, and classics with an emphasis on books appealing to an eclectic taste as well as those with interesting points of discussion.  Pre-registration is not required and drop-ins are welcome. Tea and light refreshments are served.
Meets: Third Monday of the month 7:00pm – 8:30pm
February Book: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
March Book: I, Claudius by Robert Graves
April Book: Beloved by Toni Morrison
May Book: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
June Book: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
July Book: Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
The Great Books discussion is structured so that the evening’s selected reading is discussed in a think tank environment with the intention of gaining insight from other readers that one would not have by reading alone. The seminar facilitator asks questions of the participants about the reading selection and helps the discussion stay focused. Our main goal is to have fun and take many interpretations from the group in order to enjoy a greater understanding of a selected reading.
Meets: Third Monday of the month 7:00pm – 8:30pm
February Book: Someone Else’s Skin and No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary
March Book: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
April Book: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
The Mystery Book Discussion Group meets monthly at the library for a casual discussion. New members are always welcome. Pick up a copy of this month’s discussion book at the library.
Meets: Third Thursday of the month 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Current Book: ??
An informal hour long discussion led by Kat Janeczek. The selections are both fiction and non-fiction, chosen to appeal to a wide variety of people and provoke interesting discussion. Snacks will be provided!

Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002]:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club
Meets: First Tuesday of the month 6:30pm – 8:15pm
February Book: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
This club will discuss a monthly selection, as well as other books and movies of interest. All are welcome, whether you have read the book or not! The club meets on the first Tuesday of the month, from 7 to 9 p.m (and from 6:30-8:15 in July, August, and September). The discussion is moderated by Amherst resident Paul Budney, a retired mathematics professor and long-time enthusiast of science fiction & fantasy books and movies. Contact Linda Wentworth, wentworthl@joneslibrary.org for more information.
Young Adult Book Club for Adults
Meets: First Thursday of the month 6:00pm – 7:00pm
February Book: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Interested in what the teens are reading? Just a fan of YA literature? Young at heart? A vampire, keeping up with you apparent age by staying up on what teens are up to? This book club discusses one YA title a month!
Classics Book Club
Meets: Three Saturdays, January 2017
February Book: The Annotated Persuasion by Jane Austen
This club reads books widely considered classics in the English and American traditions. Recent selections include: Pale Fire, Middlemarch, Light in August, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Bleak House. The group will meet at the Jones Library from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on the scheduled Saturdays (see above). For more information, contact Jones Library staff member Seth Rothberg at 413-259-3092 or rothbergs@joneslibrary.org, or visit their Classics Book Club blog.
Contemporary Book Club
Meets: Second Thursday of the month 7:00pm – 8:30pm
February Book: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
This club focuses on recent works of literary fiction and occasional non-fiction. We normally meet from 7 to 8 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Copies of the current book are available to borrow at the Reference Desk. For more information, please contact Jones Library staff member Linda Wentworth at wentworthl@joneslibrary.org.
Understanding Differences: Expanding Our Social Awareness
Meets: Second Tuesday of the month 7:00pm – 8:15pm
February Book: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Does expanding awareness of social differences interest and concern you? By encouraging ourselves to think outside familiar “boxes” and by imagining what it would be like to walk in another’s shoes, we challenge each other to do just that! All are welcome to join us. We normally meet on the second Tuesday of the month, from 7 to 8:15 pm. Copies of the current book are available to borrow at the Reference Desk. For more information, please contact volunteer Caryl-Rose Pofcher at mydogtraining@aol.com or Jones Library staff member Linda Wentworth at wentworthl@joneslibrary.org.

Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075]:

Meets: Third Monday of the month 7:00pm – 8:30pm
February Book:  Stories About Tacit by Cecil Bodker, translated by Michael Goldman (with the translator)
March Book: We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlin Greenidge
April Book: The Tiger in the House by Jacqueline Sheehan (with the author)
May Book: Kinship of Clover by Ellen Meeropol (with the author)
The group reads one paperback novel a month and its discussions are led by local author Ellen Meeropol. The group typically meets the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m.
Meets: Second Monday of the month 7:00pm – 8:30pm
February Book: The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol & Agnette Freis
March Book: Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason
April Book: The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
The group reads one paperback mystery a month and its discussions are led by co-owner Neil Novik. The group typically meets the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m.
Meets: Last Sunday of the month 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Current Book: ???
Join this group to discuss current affairs in the US and around the world. Future topics will include the environment, racism, economic and gender inequality, and worker’s rights. This group meets monthly on the last Sunday of the month and is lead by Joan Grenier and Jon Weissman.
The Shakespeare Club
Meets: Third Sunday of the month 11:00am
September Book: ???  by Not Shakespeare 😉 jk Shakespeare
This group reads one play each month and its discussions are led by UMass Professor Arthur Kinney. The group typically meets the third Sunday of each month at 11 a.m.
Meets: Second Thursday of the month 6:00pm – 7:30pm
February Book: Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
This group reads one paperback young adult book each month.The discussion will be lead by Hannah Moushabeck, the Odyssey’s children’s department’s director and Ann Childs, a children’s book reviewer for Kirkus Magazine. The club typically meets the second thursday of the month at 6pm.

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