which means that we are pretty close to the kick off meeting for this season’s Bagels and Books.  We are meeting this year on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 2:30 in the Trustees Room at the Maynard Library.

If you haven’t been before – this is a different book discussion group because we don’t all read a book and then talk about it together.  We choose a topic or a place or an author or some other subject that interests us and then we all share information about the books we have read about it.  And we are pretty flexible about how close that connection has to be.

At the first meeting we’ll be sharing our summer reading.  Our last meeting was in March so you should have several books to recommend (or possibly warn against).  We’ll choose topics for the rest of our meetings at that session.  And there will be cookies and tea – hope to see you there.



Man Booker Short List announced

I always have mixed feelings about the winners of the Man Booker – which is indeed a prestigious award but sometimes the books are a bit beyond me.  Any of you have a favorite Man Booker winner?

LONDON — The shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction, among the most prestigious literary honors in the world, includes six books by authors from Britain, Canada, South Africa and the United States, the prize committee said on Tuesday.

The nominees for the award, which comes with a cash prize of £50,000, or around $66,400, were chosen from a longlist of 13 names, which was announced in July.

The shortlisted books are:

■ The Canadian author Madeleine Thien’s “Do Not Say We Have Nothing,” about the legacy of the Cultural Revolution in China.

■ The American writer Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout,” a satire on black life in the United States.

■ The Canadian-British author David Szalay’s “All That Man Is,” a series of nine stories about male protagonists.

■ The Scottish writer Graeme Macrae Burnet’s “His Bloody Project,” a historical thriller inspired by a multiple homicide in the 19th century.

■ The South African-born British novelist Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk,” a coming-of-age story about a young Anglo-Greek woman.

■ “Eileen,” the debut novel by the American author Ottessa Moshfegh, which centers on a young woman working at a juvenile detention center in 1960s New England.

Getting organized for October

The Bagels and Books group will meet at 2:30 on the 3rd Tuesday of the month beginning on October 18.  At that meeting we’ll talk about what we’ve been reading since we last met – it’s been a while so we should get some good recommendations to consider.

At that meeting we’ll also talk about what we’d like to focus on reading – subjects, categories, places, etc….

And we’ll decide if we want to have a December meeting since that would be during Christmas week.   I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again and getting some reading suggestions  because my to-read-shelf is down to only a few hundred.


Stole the mole from Nadia Shireen’s pinterest page  on fall reading

Got a couple good book suggestions from Lynette –

Lilac Girls. Martha Hall Kelly

Last Days of Night by Graham Moore.  Apparently Hollywood also likes the book.  Eddie Redmayne will be the main character.

Both are historical fiction.



A Different kind of book group

We have been playing this summer with a cookbook club.  We got the idea from a couple other libraries who were doing it and decided to try a summer series in conjunction with the Maynard Farmers’ Market.  We chose 4 cookbooks that focused on healthy local food.  We had the 3rd meeting last week when we explored Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers.   Everyone gets a copy of the cookbook (we have copies at the library) and chooses a recipe to make and bring to the meeting – which is held at noon on the second Monday of the month.  We have one more in the summer series on September 12 when we will be cooking from and talking about The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health.  

We have really been enjoying these sessions and we have found that we have different approaches to cooking.  Some people stick to the recipes – some people – most of our people I think – view the recipe as a suggestion.  This has been so much fun that we have decided to extend the series. In October we will be looking at apple recipes – we have found a wonderful cookbook by a local author (Brookline) entitled The Apple Lovers Cookbook and are working on a date – the second Monday being Columbus Day.   In November we will be talking about soup and bread.  We are still looking for a cookbook(s) to use for this session.  Because everyone gets busy in December we decided to take a hiatus until February when we will start again with an evening session devoted to chocolate and celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Several people have lamented that this is a daytime series but I would invite them to join the cookbook club in Stow or in Wayland that meets in the evenings.  After all – libraries are all part of the same family.

And – in chatting with Jan at the Farmers’ Market about the February chocolate session she mentioned a recipe she found from King Arthur Flour for a double chocolate zucchini bread that she said was delicious.  She wasn’t exaggerating the deliciousness of it and since this is zucchini season you might want to check it out.


I would say, however, that calling this bread instead of cake is kind of like our calling those giant blueberry cupcakes muffins instead of admitting what we are really eating.  BUT this would be perfect with a cup of tea or – perhaps in this weather – a glass of iced tea.

So – maybe you’ll think about joining us in September – at any rate, enjoy reading and nibbling.