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.

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
Palaces for the People: how social infrastructure can help fight inequity, polarization and the decline of civic life by Eric Klinenberg

In Palaces for the People, Klinenberg illustrates how shared spaces – libraries, parks, houses of worship, etc. – encourage the coming-together of people and the building and strengthening of communities.
2pm Saturday, March 14
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, this daring novel finds the President grieving the death of his son Willie who exists in the bardo – a space between the living and the dead. Winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize.
2pm Saturday, May 9


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.

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
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

A compelling, big-hearted epic about four young orphans on a life-changing quest through the magnificent American landscape during the Great Depression, as they seek a place to call their own.

10am Tuesday, March 10
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Based on the true story of the Pack Horse Library initiative in Depression-era America, this is a richly rewarding tale of five extraordinary women and their journey of friendship and love in the mountains of Kentucky.

10am Tuesday, April 14
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

First published in 1970 by Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, the novel tells the story of 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove, the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

10am Tuesday, May 12

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.

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
No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous by Teri Turner

Turner’s ‘Whole 30’ endorsed cookbook shines bright with recipes that can be made gluten free, grain-free, or dairy-free for any occasion, such as ‘Grandma Post’s egg rolls’ or the ‘Pistachio Pesto Chicken Breast.’


7pm Wednesday, March 4
Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen.

Pop culture phenomenon Chrissy Teigen takes us back to her creative kitchen, sharing recipes such as her ‘Blueberry Cream Cheese Pancakes’, ‘Chicken Teriyaki Burgers’ or the ‘Three Ingredient Chocolate Mousse’.

7pm Wednesday, April 1
5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food By Jamie Oliver

World renowned chef Jamie Oliver creates 130 new recipes for his newest cookbook ‘Quick and Easy’, ranging from his quick steak stir-fry, the smoky chorizo salmon, and the irresistible cherry chocolate mousse.


7pm Wednesday, May 6


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.

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
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

This timely novel interweaves the compulsively readable stories of two families, in two different centuries, demonstrating the human capacity for resiliency and compassion as they navigate what seems to be the end of the world as they know it.

2pm Tuesday, March 24
Becoming by Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private.

2pm Tuesday, April 28


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.

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
Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is called to investigate the murder of a young housewife. A mysterious call implies that there may be a link between the murder and the disappearance of a teenage girl Cat knew eighteen years ago. Will Cat be able to trust information from her estranged father to help her solve both cases?
7:30pm Tuesday, March 10
August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones

After blowing the whistle on corrupt Detroit politicians, rebellious ex-cop August Snow begins investigating the suspicious death of a wealthy business woman and finds himself the target of the city’s most dangerous criminals.
7:30pm Tuesday, April 14
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Perveen Mistry, one of India’s first female lawyers, is the only one who can speak to three widows who live in seclusion about their legal rights. Soon after her visit one of the household members is found murdered. Perveen must figure out what happened before anyone else dies.
7:30pm Tuesday, May 12

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.

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
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Told through two intertwining stories, this critically acclaimed novel explores the lasting effects of the AIDS crisis. In 1985, Yale Tishman is a development director for an art museum in Chicago. As his career starts to take off, he watches as his circle of friends grows smaller, leaving only his friend Nico’s little sister, Fiona. In 2015, Fiona is searching for her estranged daughter and grappling with how AIDS affected their relationship.

7pm Monday, March 9
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

In 1939, Rill Foss and her four siblings are left home alone one night when her father must take her mother to the hospital. Suddenly, they are taken by force to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage where Rill must fight to keep her siblings together. In the present day, Avery Stafford, a woman who seems to have it all, must struggle with her family’s hidden history after a chance encounter.


7pm Monday, April 13
The Great Pretender: the Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

In 1970, Stanford psychologist David Rosenham and 7 other well-adjusted people admitted themselves into asylums to test the medical definition of insanity. The resulting study, accounting the alarming diagnoses and the treatments they received there, changed the field of psychiatry and mental health diagnosis. Through this narrative history, Cahalan explores the question “What is mental illness?”

7pm Monday, May 11