Engage in stimulating conversation about books and exchange perspectives about characters and plot in an informal and friendly environment. Readers have been introduced to many interesting books, varying from recent biographies, poetry, historical novels and well-known classics, to recent prize-winning novels or more obscure titles which members might not have discovered for themselves.
FAQs on Book Groups
Do I have to be a member to join a book group?
Yes. If you are not yet a Library member but would like to participate in one of our book groups, please join the Library before the first session of your selected group or be prepared (and leave enough time) to join or renew at the first session (check/cash/credit card, photo ID and proof of residence required).
How often and where do book groups meet?
Book Groups on different themes begin twice a year (in September/October and again in January/February) and meet once a month. Group meetings take place in the Library unless otherwise advertised.
What should I do for the first book group session?
Please come to the first session prepared to discuss the first book on the list. Arriving 15 minutes early will allow everyone to become acquainted. If you will not be present, you are expected to let the book group leader know, as others may be on a waiting list.
How do the groups work?
Discussion groups are organized at the Library’s initiative, but group leaders -- and members -- will have broad discretion in how they unfold.
Are snacks or beverages provided?
The Library will provide coffee, tea, and water for the discussion groups, whose members also may wish to bring other refreshments or snacks. Group members are responsible for clean-up in Library spaces, including the kitchen.
How do I sign up for a book group?
You must include the TITLE of your desired group in the SUBJECT LINE and your MEMBERSHIP NUMBER in the body of the email
The group leader will confirm your participation (up to twelve members per group) and send further details.
Book Groups Fall 2016
Mysteries of Paris, led by Janet Hulstrand
A new book group about mysteries, this one focuses on those set in Paris. The four novels that this group will read and discuss reveal much about the pleasures, complexities, and nuances of life in the French capital--as well as its history and darker underside. All the books are by authors who know the Library well, who Library members are certainly familiar with.
The group will meet and discuss the books on the following Wednesdays at 3pm:
September 28 - Murder on the Champ de Mars by Cara Black
October 26- The Paris Librarian by Mark Pryor
November 30 - Paris, City of Night by David Downie
December 21 - Ghosts of Saint Michel by Jake Lamar
Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher.She writes frequently for Bonjour Paris, France Revisited, France Today, and for her blog, Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road. She created and has taught “Paris: A Literary Adventure,” for City University of New York study abroad programs since 1997; a series of literature classes at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.; and writing workshop/retreats in Essoyes, a village in the Champagne region.
The French-American Encounter, led by Philippe Melot
After last season exploring the U.S. Supreme Court and its justices through history, Philippe Melot returns to the theme of his first book group from 2015: the common history between France and the United States, exploring areas where the history of our two nations meet (mainly the American Revolution, WWI and WWII), through biographies of the major players, through untold stories and unknown episodes.
The group will meet and discuss the books on the following Fridays at 10h30:
September 23 - The Paris Years of Thomas Jefferson by William Howard Adams
October 21 - The Marquis: Lafayette reconsidered by Laura Auricchio
November 24 - Allies at War: Churchill v Roosevelt v. De Gaulle by Simon Berthon
December 22 - Americans in Paris : Life and death under Nazi occupation by Charles Glass
Philippe Mélot is a semi-retired lawyer, the founder and a partner at Legalteam, a consulting firm specialising in management consulting for law firms and legal departments.He is also involved in the Executive Master General Counsel, a program set up at Sciences Po Executive Education. Having grown up near Utah Beach in Normandy, he specialized in US political History at Sciences-Po He was the vice-president of the American Club of Paris ( 2006/7) and President of the Cavaliers de Lafayette, a bike club promoting Franco American friendship through rides across France and the US. (He rode hisbike from Seattle to Boston in 2010 and presented the trip at a Library program in November 2010).
Democracy, Government and Alternatives, led by Ed Turner
The group that last year explored slavery and racism in the United States now turns to questions of political systems and government throughout history, beginning with Cicero.
September 22 - Dictator by Robert Harris
October 13 - The Genius Of America:How the Constitution Saved America and Why It Can Again by Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes,
November 17 - Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck, Bodley Head
December 15 - (book TBD)
New Literature in French, led by Marjorie Lallemand
Is French literature dead, as some foreign commentators would have it? Not even close, as we'll see in this group, returning for its fourth season. How better to engage with this culture than by through its latest novels? These books will be read in the original French but discussed in English.
The group will meet on Saturdays at 10h30. The remainder of the reading list will be decided at the first meeting.
September 24 - Gaspard ne Répond Pas
How the Digital Age is Changing Human Society, led by Maurice Lanman and Laurie Calvet
This semester the science/technology book group will focus on the societal implications of digital technology ranging from the philosophical aspect of evolving our collective memory from a written to a digital media to the impact on our social interactions, on our consumption and finally on crime.
All meetings will take place on the following Thursdays, 5-6:30 pm to discuss the following books:
September 15 - Michael P Lynch - The Internet of Us:Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data
November 10 - Sherry Turkle - Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
December 8 - Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers -What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption
January 19, 2017 - Marc Goodman - Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World