Book Discussions @Shaker Library

Lively discussions! Engaging book selections! Interesting people! These are just some of the benefits of joining one of the library’s book discussion groups that meet once a month.

We make it easy. All you have to do is pick up your copy of each monthly read and join in!

Contact us to reserve your place or stop by the Library Information Desk to pick up your copy of the book.

Join us as we discuss a variety of award winning titles, including those from the Pulitzer, Booker, and National Book Award Lists.

Award Winners Book Discussion is led by Lynne Miller. The group meets from 2-3:30pm at the Bertram Woods Branch. Please register and pick up books at the Bertram Woods Information Desk one month before the discussion.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Almost 50, faltering writer Arthur Less is invited to his one time-boyfriend’s wedding. To escape the awkwardness of the situation, he accepts invitations to various author events around the world and sets out on an unlikely adventure.

2pm Saturday, November 23
The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok
The Winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography tells the story of the long estrangement of the author and her homeless schizophrenic mother, and their reunion.


2pm Saturday, January 18


Book Buzz is led by Lynda Thomas. The group meets from 10-11:30am at the Main Library. Please register and pick up books at the Main Library Information Desk one month before the discussion.

The Soul of America by Jon Meacham

In this inspiring book, Meacham illustrates dramatic turning points in American history which demonstrate how our national spirit has been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear.

10am Tuesday, November 12
A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

An astonishingly tender-hearted story of family identity and belonging follows an Indian family through the marriage of their daughter, from the parents’ arrival in the United States to the return of their estranged son.

10am Tuesday, December 10
There There by Tommy Orange

A fierce, funny, suspenseful story of twelve unforgettable characters, urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge on one fateful day and collide in a shocking yet inevitable conclusion.

10am Tuesday, January 14
Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal by Yuval Taylor

A highly readable examination of the friendship and subsequent falling-out between two literary stars of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, uncovering little-known details.

10am Tuesday, February 11

Do you like to cook or bake? Love experimenting in the kitchen and trying new cuisines? If so, join “Cook the Book,” Shaker Library’s new cookbooks Club! Each month, we’ll select a cookbook and each member will make a dish from that book. Discussion will be about the recipe, the cookbook, what worked (or didn’t), why you chose the recipe, etc.

Cook the Book! is led by Lynne Miller and Jim Bagwell. The group meets from 7-8:30pm. Please register and pick up books at the Bertram Woods Branch Information Desk one month before the discussion.

Dinner for Everyone: 100 Iconic Dishes Made 3 Ways – Easy, Vegan, or Perfect for Company by Mark Bittman

Former NYT columnist and James Beard award winner Mark Bittman crafts a simple and straightforward cookbook featuring 100 diverse recipes made in three different ways: easy, vegan, or for company. With impressive dishes such as lemon polenta with mushroom ragu or tandoori-style shrimp, Dinner for Everyone will fill your kitchen with meals that your friends and family will treasure.

7pm Wednesday, November 13
Once Upon a Chef  by Jennifer Segal

Jennifer Segal transforms her successful blog Once Upon a Chef into this 100 recipe cookbook, focusing on dishes that are easy to make for the whole family. Treat your family with her buttermilk fried chicken tenders and indulge everyone with her classic chocolate lover’s birthday cake.

7pm Wednesday, December 4
Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks
Parks’ 2018 James Beard desserts award winning cookbook will test your New Year’s resolution with its irresistible recipes such as the Lemon Meringue Pie, homemade Cinnamon Rolls, and homemade ice cream.
7pm Wednesday, January 8
Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

In this NYT bestseller, author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi presents 130 simple Middle Eastern inspired recipes that can all be prepared in the simplest of ways.

7pm Wednesday, February 5


The Fourth Tuesday Book Discussion is led by Janis Williams. the group meets from 2-3:30pm at the Main Library. Please register and pick up books at the Main Library Information Desk one month before the discussion.

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation until his master’s eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant. Surprisingly, a life of dazzling adventure, dignity and meaning follows – until a man is killed and a bounty is placed on the young boy’s head.

2pm Tuesday, November 26
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

An honest and stunning love story told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, who is faced with injustice when her fiance is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned.

2pm Tuesday, December 17
White Trash: the 400-year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

A history which upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society, and illuminates the crucial legacy of the underprivileged white demographic, and the rise of the Republican Party.

2pm Tuesday, January 28
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley

A masterful, moving novel about age, memory, and family, in which Mosley captures the compromised state of his ninety-one year old protagonist’s mind with profound sensitivity and insight.

2pm Tuesday, February 25


Mystery Book Discussions are led by Pam Tidwell and Lynne Miller. The group meets from 7:30-8:30pm at the Main Library.

Please register and pick up books at the Main Library Information Desk one month before the discussion.

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

Stirred from sleep one autumn morning, night watchman Mickel Cardell is notified that a body has been seen floating in the Larder. Now it’s a race against time to see if lawyer Cecil Wing and Cardell can identify the mutilated body before Cecil himself dies from consumption.

7:20pm Tuesday, November 12

Shanghai Moon by S. J. Rozan

New York private eye Lydia Chin is called upon to help solve the mystery of a jewel theft halfway across the world in Shanghai. Now Lydia is on the trail of the stash including the Shanghai Moon, a gem worth millions, and the events that led to its disappearance after WWII.

7:30pm Tuesday, December 10

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano

Poldi moved to the Sicilian village of Torre Archirafi, where she planned to live peacefully drinking the rest of her life away after her husband passed away. Now she’s fully immersed in the village and can’t resist investigating the poisoning of a dog. Poldi suspects the Mafia, and a trip to the vineyard leads to a dead body.

7:30pm Tuesday, January 14
Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison

In the early days of the American Revolution, Scotsman Duncan McCallum finds himself surrounded by the Sons of Liberty as he  investigates the sabotage of a ship in Boston Harbor.

7:30pm Tuesday, February 11

Enjoy a burger and beer with your biography? A martini with your mystery? Then please join us for some “savory” stories and a “spirited” discussion of a good book.

Pub Reads is led by Rachel Wilhoyte and Stacie Anderson. The group meets from 7-8:30pm at The Academy Tavern. Copies will be available at the Main Library Reference desk for loan one month before the discussion and at Loganberry Books for sale.

The Academy Tavern is at 12800 Larchmere Blvd. Loganberry Books is at 13015 Larchmere.

White Houses by Amy Bloom

A fictionalized account of the intimate relationship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and “first friend” Lorena Hickok.
7pm Monday, November 11

Pub Reads is on ice in December

We will see you in January


Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

Oluale Kossula, also known as Cudjo Lewis, was an 86-year-old formerly enslaved man living in Plateau, Alabama when Hurston came to interview him about his life. Barracoon is an intimate narrative told through much of his own words.

7pm Monday, January 13
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The fictional oral history of a 70’s rock band, chronicling that fateful moment when budding star Daisy Jones gets thrown together with the band The Six and exploring the band’s meteoric rise and fall.

7pm Monday, February 10