Reading Public Library » RPL Book Group

64 Middlesex Ave. | Reading, MA 01867 | 781-944-0840

RPL Book Group

Open BookThe RPL Book Group is a participant-run adult book discussion group that meets to discuss a broad range of book selections, both fiction and nonfiction. Copies of each months selection are available in the hold shelf area of Borrower Services under RPL Book Group.

When: Meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month and run from 7-9 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Where: 64 Middlesex Avenue

Who: All are invited. If you are interested in leading a book discussion, please contact the Research & Reader Services Desk ( / 781-942-6703).

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RPL Book Group Selections

April 2018 RPL Book Group Title: The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve

Discussion led by Sarah Fennelly  (April 16, 2019)

A novel based on the true story of the largest fire in Maine’s history follows the experiences of a young woman who struggles to protect her children when her husband joins the volunteer firefighters.
Awaiting news of his fate and facing an uncertain future in a town that no longer exists, Grace discovers joys and triumphs she could never have expected.
Join us to discuss this richly-detailed historical novel.


March 2019 RPL Book Group Title: The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

Discussion led by Diana Rhudick  (March 12, 2019)


In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even in winter, he had survived by his wits, developing ingenious ways to store food and water and to avoid freezing to death. Join us to discuss this riveting true story of survival that asks the question…what makes a good life?

RPL Book Group Postponed

The RPL Book Group is postponing their meeting from Tuesday, February 12  to next Tuesday, February 19, due to weather concerns.

February 2019 RPL Book Group Title: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Discussion led by Lisa Goldsmith (February 12, 2019)


In the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower and itinerant news reader, is offered fifty dollars to bring an orphan girl, who was kidnapped and raised by Kiowa raiders, from Wichita Falls back to her family in San Antonio. Come along for the ride and enjoy historical fiction at its finest.

January 2019 RPL Book Group Title: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Discussion led by Cherrie Dubois (January 8, 2019)

Living with his grandparents and sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his mother’s addictions and his
grandmother’s cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.  Join us to discuss this epic family saga, an odyssey through rural Mississippi’s past and present.
Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 2017.

December 2018 RPL Book Group Title: The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Discussion led by Karen Smith (December 11, 2018)

The Music Shop is a story about good, ordinary people who take on forces too big for them. It’s about falling in love and how hard it can be. And it’s about music – how it can bring us together when we are divided and save us when all seems lost.  Join the fun when we talk about this quirky, upbeat novel.

November 2018 RPL Book Group Title: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Discussion led by Bob Montgomery  (November 13, 2018)

A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness lead to unexpected friendship.
Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.


October 2018 RPL Book Group Title: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Discussion led by Susanne Sullivan (October 9, 2018)

Caught between her poor neighborhood and her fancy prep school, sixteen-year-old Starr Carter becomes the focus of intimidation and more after witnessing the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. Don’t let the “young adult” label on this book throw you…there’s lots to discuss here.

September 2018 RPL Book Group Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Discussion led by Maria Blanchard (September 11, 2018)

Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and is a creature of habit and a loner. Her weekends are spent with frozen pizza and large amounts of vodka. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling  IT guy from her office whose big heart will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own damaged one. Join us for this heartwarming season opener!

Past Book Selections
2015-2016 Season, 2016-2017 Season
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