Book groups

ELPL offers book groups for all ages and reading preferences.

Books on Tap - November 2016

Tue, 11/08/2016 -
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Jimmy's Pub

Books on Tap is a book group that combines good books, food, drink, and conversation together in a laid back atmosphere.  Books on Tap meets at Jimmy's Pub, located at 16804 Chandler Road in East Lansing. Books on Tap is hosted by ELPL Adult Services Staff members.

Upcoming sessions of Books on Tap:

November 8 - Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan
December 13 - white elephant book exchange

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Books & Bagels - November 2016

Sat, 11/05/2016 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
East Lansing Public Library - 3/4 Meeting Room

Books & Bagels will be discussing the

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Out of This World - October 2016

Mon, 10/24/2016 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm
East Lansing Public Library - #3 Meeting Room

October's title is Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

Upcoming sessions of Out of This World:


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Better Living Book Club - November 2016

Mon, 11/07/2016 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm
East Lansing Public Library - #3 Meeting Room

The mission of the Better Living Book Club is to read practical and inspirational material that enhances our lives.  As life gets more complicated, we'll focus on readings with suggestions for living more fully with greater joy and less stress.

The November and December 2016 titles have yet to be determined.

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Books & Bagels Returns in October

East Lansing Public Library

Welcome back to another year of Books & Bagels, ELPL's book discussion group for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders! Each month from October through May we will get together to discuss the book of the month and enjoy free bagels and a hands on activity. For the month of October, we won't have a book, but we will have a meet and greet at the library where we can talk about what we've read over the summer, enjoy a snack and meet each other, and pick up copies of November's title - the Young Reader's edition of Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario, the 2016 One Book, One Community selection.

Books & Bagels is a book discussion group for 4th-6th graders.  Thank you to Panera Bread of Frandor for providing the bagels, and many thanks to a generous, anonymous donor for providing copies of Books & Bagels titles to the first 15 program participants.

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Out of This World - September 2016

Schuler Books in Eastwood Towne Center

During the September library closure Out of This World will be meeting at Schuler Books, Meridian Mall.

September's title is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Upcoming sessions of Out of This World:


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Better Living Book Club - September 2016

Schuler Books in Eastwood Towne Center

During the September library closure the group will be meeting at Schuler Books, Eastwood Towne Center.  September's title is Small Move, Big Change by Caroline Arnold.

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NEW! GoodReads YA Book Group

We are very excited to introduce East Lansing Public Library's very first online discussion group for readers of all ages who enjoy young adult/teen fiction! Though the Library may on occasion host tie-in events, such as movie nights for cinematic adaptations of the books we've read, the "meetings" themselves, led by ELPL librarians, will be conducted 100% online via You'll have to create an account (it's free!) and join the group here:

Books on Tap - September 2016

On September 13 at 6:30 pm, Books on Tap will meet to discuss Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.

In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not—charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.

Books on Tap - August Follow Up

The kick-off for One Book, One Community has begun! Last night at Jimmy's, we gathered to discuss the 2016 OBOC selections of Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario and City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence. Both describe very different experiences of immigration and refugee status. The authors have very distinct writing styles, relying heavily on either a journalistic approach or research approach. While discussing these titles, we were able to also draw comparisons to the 2012 OBOC selection Behind the Beautiful Forevers as well as the 2016 Olympics. Overall, we discovered our lack of knowledge surrounding these topics and they served as an eye-opener to important points that we - as mankind - should attempt to be more attuned to.

Books on Tap - August 2016

Come to Jimmy's Pub on August 9 at 6:30pm to discuss the 2016 One Book, One Community selections: Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario and City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence.

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

An astonishing story that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States, now updated with a new Epilogue and Afterword, photos of Enrique and his family, an author interview, and more—the definitive edition of a classic of contemporary America

Books on Tap - July Follow Up

What a group we had!! It was a great time discussing the microhistory of the world through the lens of A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage. Our guest speaker spread some light on the developments of different drinks and foods and how they influenced history. While not all information was new to our readers, it was interesting the little pieces that people picked up on throughout the book. Some people commented on the writing style and questioned why some beverages were included and not others.

Join us next month when we discuss the One Book, One Community titles Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario and City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence.

Out of This World - July 2016

East Lansing Public Library - 3/4 Meeting Room

July's title is Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

Upcoming titles for Out of This World:

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Books on Tap - July 2016

Learn about the history of man as told through the history of drinks! Visit Jimmy's on July 12th at 6:30pm and join our discussion of A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage!

"Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. 

The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay

This story is full of well rounded characters, earth-shattering perils, and a laundry list of fantasy tropes. TL/DR: If you like High Fantasy (as opposed to the gritty stuff currently popular) then read this and be pleased.

Tolkien is visibly present in this book. He is there in the "mortal races band together to fight evil god they already beat once-also, elves are better at everything, and there is a proud race of horse riders on the plain", and "lets have an prolog that tells a thousand years of history". Lewis is there in the "young people from our world turn out to be important in a fantasy world". There are also snips and snails from various European myths and folktales, justified in canon since Fionavar is the the "first of all worlds", so our tales are just echoes of the originals. There is an Action Girl, a High King, a Lovable Rogue, and more.

Kay has said that the book is supposed to be derivative, since he wanted to see how much emotional and moral depth he could explore within the constraints of High Fantasy, but for me the similarities were jarring. Also, the use of overly pompous syntax got on my nerves. In-book, that would have read 'On my nerves, did grow the use of overly pompous syntax'. Thankfully, it was mostly present in the only a few plot lines, those taking place in the High Kingdom (because of course there's a High King), and when the plot is on the plains with the horse-riders the writing is much more naturalistic.

The characters are this book's saving grace. Kay is a master at breathing life into his characters, giving them both noble traits and flaws, deeply held beliefs and contradictions held just as strong. If a figure comes across as one note, it's usually because we just haven't gotten to the reveal yet. There is emotional depth to the characters, and an exploration of morality, of courage and choice, and duty. One character is wracked with guilt, and must struggle to overcome it, Another is filled with shame and anger, none of them are what they seem at first introduction. They must all deal with what they learn while in the other world. I just wish the heroes, college students from our world, weren't so good at doing the fantasy stuff right away, especially the city kid who is suddenly a great warrior on horseback.

Just beware that this is Book 1 of a trilogy (Fionavar Tapestry), and forgive the fact that some characters just seem to be introduced and then do nothing, and that it ends on a non-ending. It was never meant to be a truly stand-alone work.

If you love this book and want to discuss Kay's decision to create a derivative work, join Eric and the other members of the Out of This World book club as they discuss a new science fiction or fantasy title each month.