There are days when you think that this month will never end. But here's the good news for the kids who have been on the hunt for Waldo all month long: the 31st of July is almost here! This Thursday, July 31 from 3-5pm we're hosting the Find Waldo Local Fête! Kids, wear your best Waldo-themed costumes and bring your stamped passports to the Booksmith to have a chance to win prizes in our costume contest, collect some neat Waldo freebies, and maybe a Booksmith gift card! Get Mom and Dad to dress up, too! Then we can all laugh at them!

Other events this week? We've got a few. Wednesday night brings Amy Bloom and her brand new novel to the events space, followed on Friday by Buddhist teacher Noah Levine, who recommends the Four Noble Truths as a middle way to addiction recovery. The Boston Globe's longtime TV critic Matthew Gilbert will be with us next Monday to tell all about the colorful cast of characters that welcomed him and his yellow lab into the fold at Amory Park, which is just a few blocks from the store!

And there's plenty of other reasons to come to the Booksmith this week. For one, our fantastic Summer Sidewalk Sale continues apace, with fresh gift merchandise showing up everyday, all of it 50% OFF! And when you come inside, head straight to the middle of the store to spin the calendar racks. Our always-amazing calendar selection is really starting to grow. Because 2015 is just around the corner! Seriously, how fast did July just fly by?

Wednesday, July 30 at 7pm
Amy Bloom
Lucky Us

In this sweeping new novel spanning the years, we meet Iris, gorgeous and meant to be a star, and Eva, the quiet sidekick who wants more. As the years pass, the cast of characters grows—Edgar, their unpredictable father, Francisco, always steady and ready to save the girls, and the men and women who Iris and Eva fall in love with. In a story of family, success, and failure, Amy Bloom (Away) has given us a story of fragile yet hardy people that have survived despite love and betrayal.
Thursday, July 31 from 3-5pm
Find Waldo Local Fête

Where’s Waldo? Starting on July 1st at participating Brookline businesses, find him to collect passport stamps and bring them to our Where’s Waldo party on July 31st. Wear your best Waldo or Wenda costume and be entered to win one of our Waldo prize packages!
Friday, August 1 at 7pm
Noah Levine
Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovery

In a much-needed alternative to 12-step programs, renowned Buddhist teacher Noah Levine (Dharma Punx) presents a path to healing addiction and the suffering it causes with the foundational practices of Buddhism: the traditional formulation of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
Monday, August 4 at 7pm
Matthew Gilbert
Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park

From The Boston Globe's longtime TV critic comes Off The Leash, a group portrait of dog people. Dragged into the world of dog parks by his stubbornly social Yellow Lab Toby, Gilbert finds himself in Brookline’s Amory Park, a space that becomes a second home, filled with strange, wonderful, neurotic and eccentric dogs and their owners.
Tuesday, August 5 at 7pm
Elizabeth Little

Dear Daughter

What happened the night Janie Jenkins' mother died? The former "It Girl" was convicted of her murder, but after being released on a technicality, investigates the one clue she has about her mother's actual killer. She is led to an isolated South Dakota town and strange mysteries about their past emerge. Tana French (In the Woods) calls this debut "an all-nighter."

The Illusion of Separateness

Simon Van Booy
PB, $14.99
The Home Place

Carrie La Seur
HC, $25.99
The Trauma of Everyday Life

Mark Epstein
PB, $16
Boston Mob: The Rise and Fall of the New England Mob and Its Most Notorious Killer

Marc Songini
HC, $27.99
White Girls

Hilton Als
PB, $16

Ishmael's Oranges
Claire Hajaj
Oneworld Publications
Hardcover, $24.99


in her debut novel, Claire Hajaj explores the impossibility of escaping from our past, and how hope may be compromised by the pain and rage we bury deep in ourselves. Hajaj shares Palestinian and Jewish heritage, and has worked for the United Nations in warzones around the world. Ishmael's Oranges begins in Jaffa, 1948, at the moment when seven-year-old Salim's innocence is shattered. The narrative follows his story of displacement to 1960s London, and his relationship with Jude, who shares a similar tale of devastation and exile. Even as the bond between them strengthens, events in the world without threaten to tear them apart, as they struggle to reconcile their love with the legacy of hatred and mistrust they have carried inside themselves since childhood.

Back Channel: A Novel
Stephen L. Carter
Hardcover, $27.95


Stephen Carter (The Emperor of Ocean Park) returns with a novel that focuses on a pivotal moment of the twentieth century, as Kennedy and Kruschev stare each other down in the Cuban missile crisis. The only way these two can find a way to take their fingers off the buttons is to find a "back channel," a means of communication hidden from their own people. Carter's daring reimagining of a clandestine experiment that has the slimmest chance of bringing superpowers back from the brink of World War III will keep you on the edge of your seat. And if you've been reading the news today, you know that this couldn't be a more timely publication. Boys, put your missiles down and come back to the dinner table. Nobody wants a fight.

The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
Margaret MacMillan
Random House
Paperback, $15


Nobody wanted a fight back in 1914, either. Europe was enjoying its most peaceful period since the fall of the Roman Empire when World War I burst upon the continent and changed the course of history forever. Margaret MacMillan's "magisterial" explanation of the political forces and figures whose crucial decisions made the descent into the hell of a new kind of war inevitable has been hailed as a defining book on the "war to end all wars". Who could imagine how optimistic that description would sound  to the world, a century later?

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher
Dana Alison Levy
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, $15.99
Ages 8-12

Meet the Fletchers, whose year will be filled with new schools, old friends, a grouchy neighbor, hungry skunks, leaking ice rinks, school plays, wet cats, and scary tales told in the dark! There’s Sam, age twelve, who’s mostly interested in soccer, food, and his phone; Jax, age ten, who’s psyched for fourth grade and thinks the new neighbor stinks, and not just because of the skunk; Eli, age ten (but younger than Jax), who’s thrilled to be starting this year at the Pinnacle School, where everyone’s the smart kid; and Frog (not his real name), age six, who wants everyone in kindergarten to save a seat for his invisible cheetah. The Misadventures is a fun middle-grade story about a family with two dads and a diverse bunch of adopted sons.

Saving Lucas Biggs
Marisa de los Santos
Hardcover, $16.99

" A page-turner with a hint of sadness in it. Margaret's father is sentenced to death. In order to save him Margaret must travel back in time to 1938. She and her 1938 friend Josh must stop a murder in two time periods. This book is a must read for ages 9-99!"
-- Augusta, Kidsmith Reviewer.


Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting
Erin Dionne
Hardcover, $16.99
Ages 10 & up

Here's a light summertime sleuthing romp! In the exciting follow-up to Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, we find Ollie laying low at Wilderness camp on the Harbor Islands, keeping a low profile after his high-stakes adventures of late. Outsmarting a gangster and recovering priceless artwork is enough stress to make anyone yearn for some quiet time in the great outdoors. As it turns out, this camp experience will feel something like the proverbial fire after the frying pan, and Ollie will find himself turning to a mysterious new friend, Grey - a girl with an uncanny knowledge of all the island's secrets, including the legend of a lost pirate's treasure. Unfortunately for Ollie and Grey (but lucky for the reader!) they won't be the only ones on the hunt!


Juan Rulfo
Pedro Páramo
Grove Press, 1994
Used Paperback, $6

First published in 1955, Juan Rulfo's surrealist masterpiece Pedro Páramo is a strange, brooding novel marked with vivid imagery, passion, and sorcery. The best part about this particular copy of the novel is the inscription:
"Justin -
This is my favorite
book ever - it is perfect.
Sorry this copy is
beat - it's not so
easy to find it & I hate
Amazon - it's soulless to
buy books online.
Anyway, you'll get it,
I know.
- Jude

Terrible Honesty
Ann Douglas
Farrar Straus Giroux, 1995
Used Paperback, $8
Terrible Honesty is the electrifying story of the men and women who made New York the capital of American literature, music, and theater in the 1920s. Ann Douglas brings the Jazz Age to life, showing how "mongrel Manhattan" was the heart of a monumental transformation of the nation's social fabric: blacks and whites, men and women together created a new America, one that incorporated the new mass media, rejected defunct notions of gentility, and brought the creative wave of African American culture crashing into the mainstream.

Art U Need: My Part in the Public Art Revolution
Bob and Roberta Smith
Black Dog Publishing, 2007
Used Paperback, $15


Art U Need documents the work of a quintet of artists and mischief makers in South Essex, England who were charged to find ways to coax art out of the galleries and on to the street. These projects, aimed at transforming open spaces, draw on the history of the site and of the local people for their inspiration. Bob and Roberta Smith narrate with candor and humor the efforts of these intrepid artists.


The Violinist's Thumb
Sam Kean
Doubleday, Hardcover
Orig. $25.99, Sale $7.99
The Violinist's Thumb is a fascinating, spiraling journey down the helices of our DNA,  and we could have no better guide than Sam Kean. Bringing the same ravenously curious mindset to our genetic code that he brought to his tour of the periodic table in The Disappearing Spoon, Kean not only explores how genetics relates to the supremely flexible thumb of the violinist, but also the colorful (and often antagonistic) cast of characters that have spurred the amazing leaps in genetic knowledge in the last century.

All Standing: The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Ship
Kathryn Miles
Free Press, Hardcover
Orig. $26, Sale $5.99
All Standing tells the story of the legendary ship, her heroic crew, and the immigrants who were ferried between Ireland and America during the Irish famine. Over a million people attempted to flee their home island in search of more fruitful shores, and more than one hundred thousand of them would die aboard the so-called "coffin ships". But the Jeanie Johnston, astoundingly, never lost a single passenger in all her journeys. Kathryn Miles scours newspaper accounts, rare archival documents and her own sailing experience aboard the recently re-created Jeanie Johnston to piece together a portrait of a ship and a crew which remained steadfast in the face of water, wind, and desperation.

May We Be Forgiven
A.M. Homes
Penguin, Paperback
Orig. $16, Sale $6.99
In this hypnotizing novel, which garnered A.M. Homes the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) presents a darkly comic look at modern domestic life and the possibility of personal transformation. Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother George accumulate all the trophies of success in life: wife, two kids, beautiful home in the Mew York City suburbs. But George's Edenic existence hangs by a thread. When his hidden rage boils over into an act of violence, the lives of these two brothers is thrown onto a new track. Homes digs into the nature of brotherhood, and the earth-moving pendulum swings of competition and compassion that can stretch the bonds to breaking - and give hope of unexpected reconciliation.

A postcard from Jasper Fforde.
Every home needs a ukelele! You don't even have to know how to play!
Ukelele masters hate it when they hear that, but it's true!
The least intimidating musical instrument in the world now comes in a stylish rainbow of colors. A little bit of strumming (even if it's artless) can turn the muggiest city summer night into a light-hearted beach party under the stars!

Monday, August 11th @7:30pm

The Lowland
Jhumpa Lahiri

No need to sign up, just show up!


Spend an evening out on the lawn with our friendly neighbors in Jamaica Plain! Screen on the Green is a series of free movie screenings on Thursday evenings throughout the summer. Bring a blanket and to the Loring Greenough House, at 12 South Street right near the Monument. The movie starts at 8pm, and this week the featured film will be that timeless classic Casablanca. The rest of the season will bring Best in Show, The Fifth Element, The Royal Tennenbaums and Hook. For more information, you can contact

Come see the beautiful glass specimens of sea creatures by the same artists who made the famed glass flowers! Available daily, free with museum admission. Sea Creatures in Glass: Blaschka Models of Marine Invertebrates is a new exhibit at the Harvard Museum of Natural History featuring recently restored invertebrate models created by famed glass artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka. From delicate jellyfish and anemones to tentacled squid and bizarre sea slugs, these spectacular models were commissioned by Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and many have not been on display for over a century.


As it became clear that her older brother wasn't going to climb the 25' ladder before her, wasn't going to put his toes to the edge of the platform, reach out far, grab the bar and swing out into space, I could see in Libbie's eyes that she finally realized that there was only one person who could get her on that flying trapeze.

I had a show of my paintings a couple months ago, the culmination of several years of practice. After hanging the show I took two months out of the studio, thinking I "deserved" a rest. It's been a halting return to practice in the last few weeks, as I attempt to shed the torpor accumulated from evenings on the couch. My shoulder hurts, it's so hot, I had to pick up the kids from camp, go grocery shopping, get dinner on the table, laundry, the new Martin Amis galley just arrived, the new season of Project Runway just started up...

The trapeze only cost ten bucks to take a swing. It was set up adjacent to the Circus Smirkus bigtop in a field in Waltham, and we had just enjoyed a terrific show (and I mean terrific, if you ever get a chance, they are the best children's circus you'll ever see). Libbie was the smallest kid in line, and when the man at the bottom of the ladder asked her if she wanted him to climb behind her she immediately replied "no." She was resolved, and she didn't need anyone else to get herself on that bar. The kid knows what she wants to do when she wants to do it. So many of us exhausted, distracted adults get exasperated with this natural, positive characteristic of the young human: when they want to do something, they will be doing it now. I'll see if I can bring that to mind before I start humming my personal hymn of excuses this evening.

Thanks for reading,

urrently reading The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis.
currently watching this.

email me, if you'd like to make this a conversation.


Boston Phoenix's 2012 "Readers' Pick for Best Bookstore, New"
Boston Magazine's Best Bookstore 2004-2006, 2008, 2011, & 2013
WBZ-TV A-List Editor's pick for Best Bookstore 2006, 2007, & 2011
Community Newspapers' 2009 Readers' Choice Award

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brookline booksmith
279 Harvard St.
Coolidge Corner, Brookline
an easy block from the Coolidge Corner T-stop on the C line
Dana Brigham, Co-owner and Store Manager

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Monday - Thursday: 8.30 am - 10 pm
Friday: 8:30 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 11 pm
Sunday: 9 am - 9 pm

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