Book groups

ELPL offers book groups for all ages and reading preferences.


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.

Books on Tap - May Follow Up

Over the noisy setting of the dining room, we were able to have a great discussion about the memoir When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago. There were differing opinions on whether or not people enjoyed the book, but I think overall we agreed that there were many relatable themes presented by the author that inspired an open dialogue about what to do when life isn't peachy keen. The book allowed the readers to experience a lifestyle that was previously unfamiliar to them and see where there was overlap with their lives. If you would like to learn more about the author, you can visit her website as well as read her other memoirs: Almost a Woman and The Turkish Lover.

Please join us in June when we will discuss Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Best of 2013 reads at ELPL

End of year best lists are great for catching up on wonderful books you might have missed.  But we agree with NPR that year end lists have gotten a bit out of hand.

Top Ten Book Club Books in October

The following is a list of October's top book club picks as reported by Enjoy them with your book group or snuggle up with these titles as the evenings start getting colder.

1. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
3. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
5. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
8. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
9. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
10. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Books & Bagels List Nov 2013 - March 2014

Books & Bagels, a book discussion group for 4th - 6th graders, is the oldest ongoing book group at East Lansing Public Library - 11 years! During the school year, the group meets five or six times to discuss a pre-determined book, do a fun activity related to the book, and munch on yummy bagels generously donated by Panera in Frandor.  The first meeting of 2013-2014 took place last October 5, 2013 with the group discussing the multi-award winning One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia.  If you are in 4th-6th grade and would like to come to any of the other Books & Bagels meetings, please see the dates and titles for the rest of the 2013-2014 school year listed below. Registration will take place at the circulation desk for each Books & Bagels date starting four weeks ahead of the meeting. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, a limited number of copies of each month's books will be available to those who sign up to attend the book group that month. Library staff will also be happy to place a hold on one of ELPL's copies for you or help you request a copy through MeLCat, our interlibrary loan system. 

November 9, 2013, 2-3pm, The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

December 7 (new day), 2013, 2-3pm, The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

January 11, 2014, 2-3pm, Below by Meg McKinlay

February 8, 2014, 2-3pm, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

March 8, 2014, 2-3pm, Navigating Early  by Clare Vanderpool 

Top Ten Book Club Books in July

The following is a list of July's top book club picks as reported by Enjoy them with your book group or just as a good read for summer!

1. Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
5. Inferno by Dan Brown
6. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
7. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
8. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
9. Defending Jacob by William Landay
10. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Top Ten Book Group Picks

The Great GatsbyBelong to a book group or just looking for a good book to read? Here is a list of the most popular book club books in May from The popularity of the new Great Gatsby movie has pushed that classic to the top of the list!

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
3. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed
4. Unbroken: A World War II Tale of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
6. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
7. Defending Jacob by William Landay
8. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
10. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Books On Tap - Looking Ahead to this Summer!

Here's a list of what we'll be talking about this summer at Books on Tap. 

June 11 - Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
July  9 - This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
August 13 - Manhunt by James L. Swanson

September 10 - The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers - This year's One Book, One Community selection.

We have new people drop in every month! So if you have been looking for a place to meet and discuss books, stop by Jimmy's Pub the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Have a drink and join the discussion!

Liar & Spy: The Big Picture at Books & Bagels

Books_and_Bagels_May_2013On May 11, the Books & Bagels group discussed Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead. In general, the group enjoyed the book, especially because it involved a number of themes including lies and truth, bullying, family, and friendship. Our group also discussed the work of French artist Georges Seurat (1859-1891) who used a technique called pointillism (using tiny dots, not brush strokes to paint a picture).

This artist is mentioned in the book because the family of the main character, Georges (named after Seurat), owns a cherished print by Seurat. Georges' mom has always told him that life is a thousand little dots that make up a beautiful big picture. She tells him not to worry about the little dots, just concentrate on the big picture they make. For our activity, each group member had fun creating a painting on an 8" x 10" canvas using pointillism (see picture to left). 
Books & Bagels for 4th-6th graders will resume in October, title to be announced at the end of summer.

Here's the slideshow on Flickr, which is your favorite?


Books & Bagels Group Will Discuss the Book Breadcrumbs

Saturday, April 13th2-3 pmFor children in grades 4-6Join us for juice and bagels, discussion of the book Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, and a fun activity! This fantasy book is full of interesting content that provokes a wide range of responses in readers. Listen to a fascinating interview with Anne Ursu from NPR's 

Books On Tap - May 14, 2013

Join us May 14 at 6:30pm when we will discuss The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. Books On Tap meets at Jimmy's Pub the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

A riveting, powerful debut novel about a pilot living in a world filled with loss—and what he is willing to risk to rediscover, against all odds, connection, love, and grace.

Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life—something like his old life—exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return—not enough fuel to get him home—following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face—in the people he meets, and in himself—is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.

Looking Ahead:
June 11, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer