Book Groups

Join one of our book clubs

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.

Book Groups on different themes begin twice a year (in September/October and again in January/February) and meet once a month at the Library. There is no additional fee for the book groups, but you must be a member of The American Library in Paris to participate. To sign up for a group, send an email to programs manager Grant Rosenberg at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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?

Please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 Spring 2017 

Rock n’ Roll Memoirs
led by John Gridley

These books are by rock stars we know to varying degrees, but also are human stories about the 20th century in all its glory. Beyond--or in some cases--far from--the clichés of excess, these memoirs reveal their writers' passions, creative process, and history and what it is to be at the forefront of the culture. The group will meet on the following Thursday evenings at 19h30-21h30pm on the following dates:

January 26 | Chronicles, Volume 1 - Bob Dylan
February 23| Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
March 23 | Life - Keith Richards
April 27 | Just Kids - Patti Smith


Trump’s America
led by Maurice Lanman and Laurie Calvet

The outcome of the 2016 election was a surprise for many Americans. How did this divided United States come to be and why was it so surprising? In this book group we will address these questions by reading four books written by both left and right leaning authors. The meetings will be on the following Thursdays from 17h-18h30.

March 2 | The Populist Explosion - John B. Judis
March 30 | The New Minority -Justin Gest
April 27 | Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russel Hochschild
June 8 | The Fractured Republic - Yuval Levin

Reading Shakespeare
led by Neil Heims

This group will explore Shakespeare plays, from lesser-read works to the Bard’s most famous, Measure for Measure, Henry IV, Part I, Romeo and Juliet, and The Winter's Tale.The group will meet on the following Thursdays at 14h30-16h30pm on the following dates:

January 27 | Measure for Measure
February 24 | Henry IV, Part I
March 24 | Romeo and Juliet
April 28 | The Winter's Tale


America and Vichy
led by Philippe Mélot

This group will explore the role played by certain Americans in Vichy France, 1940-44. It will meet at 18h-20h on the following Thursdays:

February 2 | Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order - Robert Paxton
March 9 | Doctor to The Resistance: The heroic true story of an American surgeon and his family in Occupied Paris - Hal Vaughan
April 13 | FDR's 12 Apostles: The Spies Who Paved The Way For the Invasion of North Africa -Hal Vaughan
May 11 | An American Heroine in the French Resistance: The Diary and Memoir of Virginia d'Albert-Lake - Virginia D'Albert-Lake


Scandinavian Literature
led by Bengt Magnusson

This book group will focus on discovering that "Nordic literature" is so much more than crime-writing. We meet around four novels published in the 1900's, one from each of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The group will meet on the following Tuesdays at 14h-16h.

February 14 | Serious Game - Hjalmar Söderberg
March 14 | Stolen Spring -Hans Scherfig
April 18 | The Year of the Hare - Arto Paasilinna
May 16 | Dina’s Book - Herbjorg Wassmo


Knowing the Government
led by Heather Bryant

What is American policy? This question is at the center of thought post-election. This group will look at government’s framework, as well as its trade, immigration, and foreign policies. After these readings, members will come away with a better understanding of the United States. The fourth book will be decided later. The groupi will meet on the following Wednesdays at 14h -16h. 

January 25 | The Federalist Papers - Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
February 22 | A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America - Aristide Zolberg
March 29 | Remaking U.S. Trade Policy - Nitsan de Chorev
April 26 | TBA


The Spread of Populism
led by Ed Turner

This group pivots from racism in America to the growing populist movements being seen around the globe. The first book will be All The King’s Men and the others will be decided when the group begins.

January 25 | All The King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
Further dates TBA

Last modified on Friday, 09 December 2016 15:57