Book groups

ELPL offers book groups for all ages and reading preferences.

Out of This World - November 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Staff Conference Room

November's title is Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Books on Tap - November 2015

Mystery and intrigue is the order of November for Books on Tap. November 10th at 6:30pm at Jimmy's Pub, we will discuss The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. There will be many spoilers at the meeting so make sure you've finished the book before coming to discuss!!

"Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. 'Jess and Jason,' she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

Books on Tap - October Follow Up

Even though it is something that will happen to everyone, death is a topic that brings up a range of emotions and beliefs. Inspired by Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Stories from the Crematory by Caitlyn Doughty, we discussed how we do everything we can to prolong life and make sure that we get every single drop out of it. As a society, we don't have the discussions about death as a part of our life - we are too focused on living in the now. It was firmly established that everyone deals with death in their own way, and that's okay! When we don't talk about death as a society, then we don't know how to deal with it when it happens. Alex was able to provide some insight into the mortician's work after a person has taken their last breath and what that means in terms of scientific study at Michigan State University. If you want to start thinking about how to deal with death, these are some questions we used: what makes a "good death?" How are you prepared for death? Why do you have to be prepared? Do your loved ones know of your final plans? After thinking about this, come discuss the work of fiction The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins on November 10.

Better Living Book Club - November 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Staff Conference Room

November's title is Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier.

Upcoming titles for Better Living Book Club:


Please note, beginning November 2, Better Living Book Club will meet in the Library Staff Conference Room.

The move is due to the library's renovation project which begins this fall.

Want to know more about the renovation of the East Lansing Public Library?  Visit:





Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Out of This World - October 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Conference Room

October's title is The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson.

Upcoming titles for Out of This World:

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Better Living Book Club - October 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

October's title is The Color of Water by James McBride.

Upcoming titles for Better Living Book Club:

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Out of This World - September 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Tutor Study Room

September's title is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  Station Eleven is the Great Michigan Read for 2015-2016.

Upcoming titles for Out of This World:

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Books on Tap - October 2015

Interested in talking about death? Interested in exploring how our society and our beliefs shape the industry of death? Come to Jimmy's on October 13th at 6:30pm to discuss Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Stories from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. We will also have a professional from the field as a guest speaker.

"Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Books on Tap - September Follow Up

I always think it's amazing how our books can be tied together! This month's selection, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, brought up points that we discussed last month with Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy, and found commonality with current events even though it was written in 2008. In the book, Brooks' research truly showed through: while it is still a work of fiction, the way in which facts are presented in-line with her narrative storyline, is very convincing to make you question the possibility that these events actually happened. Our discussion ran through numerous topics, including: religious freedom/persecution, feminism, war, morality, and literary conventions to name a few. Overall, the book appealed to our entire group and kept the reader engaged throughout.

Come to Jimmy's on October 13th at 6:30pm when we will talk about Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty with our special guest!

Better Living Book Club - September 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

September's title is Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen.

Upcoming titles for Better Living Book Club:

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Books on Tap - September 2015

On September 8 at 6:30, Books on Tap will discuss People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. See you at Jimmy's!

"In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.

In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author."

Review from Goodreads.

Books on Tap - August Follow Up

What an amazing discussion about such an important issue. Our discussion of the One Book, One Community 2015 selection Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson revealed that there is much more to the prison institution that guity people being sentenced and life moving on. Along with the OBOC selection we discovered ties to many other works: The House I Live InThe New Jim CrowAnnie's Ghosts, and The True American to name a few. This book is not just about being sentenced to death - whether that be the death penalty or serving life without parole - but a much broader range of issues. It encompasses socio-economic issues, poverty, drug use, emotional and physical trauma, mental disorders and how we treat them, race, and so many other concerns we as a nation should look at with a more critical eye. We ended the night with some overwhelming questions: how can this cycle change? And how can we, as individuals and groups, make a change? As one member put it, this book makes you think. It forces you think about everything you want to bury your head in the sand about. But something needs to give, and we the people need to lead that charge. Please join the East Lansing community as they welcome Bryan Stevenson to the Hannah Center on Sunday August 30 at 7pm.

Better Living Book Club

Meeting Room

Better Living Book Club's August selection:  Being Mortal by Atul Gawande 

Books on Tap - August 2015

Come discuss Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson before he comes to speak in East Lansing! Books on Tap will discuss the One Book, One Community 2015 selection on August 11th at 6:30pm at Jimmy's Pub.

"A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time

 Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once 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."

Review from Amazon.

Books on Tap - July Follow Up

With a majority of the group apparently on summer vacation, we had a small group discussion about The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Overall, this light read with hints of the tale of Forrest Gump, was the perfect summer read for our group. It was interesting to see the history of Allan Karlson and the interesting group of people he encountered through his life (Mao Zedong, Winston Churchill, and Harry S. Truman to name a very few). Jonasson's background in journalism is on full display in this book: even though the idea that Allan led the life in the story is far-fetched; the timeline of his actions was thoroughly researched and lined up accordingly.

We also did our summer book exchange and talked a little about other books we've been reading. See the list and descriptions here.

Come to Jimmy's August 11 when we discuss the One Book, One Community selection Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.