Book groups

ELPL offers book groups for all ages and reading preferences.


Books on Tap - April 2015

*Meeting the 3rd Tuesday in April*

Wish for good weather as we meet on Jimmy's patio at 6:30 on April 21st to discuss the book and movie Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

"Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest's Ordinary People."

Review from Goodreads.

Books on Tap - March Follow Up

Vendela Vida's book Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name proved a popular pick! Although some members of the group were disappointed by the lack of resolution provided by the ending, overall this novel was appreciated for its storytelling and characters. Our discussion mostly focused on the characters relationships and attempting to figure out the patterns they chose to repeat by their actions. Another point of interest was the location of the book: Lapland or Sampi. This region has land in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia with most of the area being above the Arctic Circle. Not many people in the group had much exposure to the geographical area and it was very interesting to learn about the land and the people.

For April - everyone needs to hope for good weather as we are currently booked to be on the patio! On the 3rd Tuesday, April 21st, we will discuss Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Along with discussing the book, we will also incorporate a movie discussion.

Books on Tap - March 2015

We will discuss Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida on March 10th. Come to Jimmy's Pub at 6:30pm to join our conversation.

"On the day of her father's funeral, twenty-eight-year-old Clarissa Iver­ton discovers that he wasn't her biological father after all. Her mother disappeared fourteen years earlier, and her fiancé has just revealed a life-changing secret to her. Alone and adrift, Clarissa travels to mystical Lapland, where she believes she'll meet her real father. There, at a hotel made of ice, Clarissa is confronted with the truth about her mother's his­tory, and must make a decision about how—and where—to live the rest of her life."

Review from Amazon.

Books on Tap - February Follow Up

Good news - everyone had agreeing opinions on 10:04 by Ben Lerner! Bad news - we all agreed that it was not a favorite by a long shot. His work seemed to leave many questions unanswered for the reader and many of our group questioned the point of this novel. It was interesting to have such a lively conversation about a book that sounded great in reviews and on the book jacket, but didn't quite seem to match up to that in reality. Since people were in attendance this month that had missed out on January's meeting, we then spent time discussing Quiet again. I believe that it says a lot for a book that we had two separate and in-depth conversations over a two-month period.

Our next meeting will be March 10 @ 6:30 pm when we will discuss Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida.

Books on Tap - February 2015

6:30, February 10th - meet at Jimmy's Pub to discuss 10:04 by Ben Lerner.

"In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unlikely literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal medical condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child. In a New York of increasingly frequent superstorms and social unrest, he must reckon with his own mortality and the prospect of fatherhood in a city that might soon be underwater.
A writer whose work Jonathan Franzen has called 'hilarious...cracklingly intelligent...and original in every sentence,' Lerner captures what it’s like to be alive now, during the twilight of an empire, when the difficulty of imagining a future is changing our relationship to both the present and the past."

Review from Goodreads.

Books on Tap - January Follow Up

Welcome to 2015 Books on Tap! One thing that came to light in our meeting is that our group is predominately composed of introverts - completely skewing from the statistics Susan Cain put forth in Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking.

Books on Tap - January 2015

We will start out 2015 reading Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain. Come to Jimmy's on January 13 at 6:30pm to discuss.

"At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled 'quiet,' it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Books on Tap - December Follow Up

What fun we had last night! It was really nice to hear about what people had been reading outside of book group. Not surprisingly, the books brought in for reviews were just as varied and interesting as the people who selected them! 

The white elephant book exchange was also a smashing success! So much so, that we had discussions of having another one in the summer! Check back in for details on that.

Click here to see a list of the books brought in by our group so that you have a list readily available for the holiday season.

In January 2015, we will read Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain.

Books on Tap - December 2014

Come to Jimmy's on December 9th at 6:30pm when we will have our final meetin of 2014! For this month, there is no official book to read. Instead, I'm asking you to bring two books to our meeting.

The first book will be one that you have read outside of Books on Tap and would like to share with the group. Be prepared to give a 2-3 minute blurb on the book - a little teaser to get people interested and possibly add to their own reading lists.

The second book will be put into a white elephant book exchange. Bring it already wrapped and we'll do a swap! It can be a book you love, a book you hate, something that will make people laugh or cringe. Nothing is off limits!

No matter what, it will be a fun night of wrapping up 2014 for Books on Tap!

Books on Tap - November Follow Up

Thank you to those who braved the cold to come discuss One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper! Most of our conversation focused on the characters and whether or not we agreed with their actions. People fell on both sides of the fence, trying to find the redeeming qualities in the main character, Silver, who was choosing to die and other people who were coming to terms with their own flaws. While the overall consensus was that no one appreciated the cliff-hanger ending, that led to a great discussion about what we thought happened afterwards. Readers seemed to appreciate the input of Silver's friends and family and their opinions of how he was choosing to deal with what might remain of his life.

For December we are doing a wrap up session and a holiday book exchange. Keep an eye out for a post on the details of this event.

Books on Tap - October 2014

Come to Jimmy's on October 14th at 6:30 pm when we dive into the world of science fiction with our discussion of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

**Also, remember to bring your summary of a David Sedaris book so that you can be entered to win tickets to his speaking engagement at the Wharton Center on October 26th.**

"Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now..."

Review from Goodreads.

Books on Tap - August Follow Up

Reading a book about travel inspires a great conversation! Last night we discussed Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman and we participated in a discussion with many different themes and insights. People shared their experiences travelling - both solo trips and group outings - and we reflected on what impact one person can have on a community. Overall, the group enjoyed the book, the descriptions of the people she encountered, and the idea of being able to just pick up and go!

Next month will be a little different - there are options for what you choose to read! To support the One Book One Community program we will be reading March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell and/or The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris.

Books on Tap - July Follow Up

Last night saw some new faces as we gathered to discuss Let's Pretend This Never Happened: a Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. Overall, the group enjoyed the book - there were many reports of laughing to the point of tears. While not every story included in the book was believed to be fully true, there were many points that were relatable. Being that the stories in the book were all over the place, it is only to be expected that the discussion covered a wide range of topics: family relations, social media, etiquette, and social boundaries were just a few of the topics covered. As a wider conversation, we also discussed the rise of the blogging culture and discussed other books that have been published by bloggers. If you would like to continue following Jenny Lawson, you can follow her blog called The Bloggess.

Please join us in August when we will discuss Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman.

Books on Tap - July 2014

Join us July 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm when we will discuss our summer fun read, Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by The Bloggess Jenny Lawson.

"For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text."

Review from Goodreads.

Books on Tap - June 2014

Join us June 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm when we jump into the world of graphic novels with Alison Bechdel's memoir, Fun Home.

"A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books.

When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive."

Review from Goodreads.