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

June 2018 RPL Book Group Title: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Discussion led by Sarah Fennelly  (June 12, 2018)

Three German women, left widows by the cruelties of WWII in their own country, form tenuous friendships while living together in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society.  In war they made impossible choices.  Now can they live with them?

May 2018 RPL Book Group Title: The Delight of Being Ordinary by Roland Merullo

Discussion led by Karyn Storti  (May 8, 2018)

Roland Merullo’s playful novel asks, “What happens when the Pope and the Dali Lama decide they need an undercover vacation?”  During a highly publicized official visit at the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist. Before dawn, two of the most beloved and famous people on the planet don disguises, slip into a waiting car, and experience the countryside as regular people. Charming and…hardly ordinary.

April 2018 RPL Book Group Title: The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

Discussion led by Brenda Wettergreen (April 10, 2018)

Both an incredible adventure story and a biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration down the Amazon, one of the most dangerous rivers on earth.
You will never look at river cruises the same way again!


RPL Book Group – The Handmaid’s Tale rescheduled

The March meeting of RPL Book Group was cancelled due to snow.
The new date for this meeting is Tuesday, March 27 at 7 PM.
Diana Rhudick will lead a discussion of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

March 2018 RPL Book Group Title: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Discussion led by Diana Rhudick  (March 13, 2018)

Offred, a Handmaid, describes life in what was once the United States, now the Republic of Gilead, a shockingly repressive and intolerant monotheocracy, in a satirical tour de force set in the near future.  There has never been a better time to read this chilling novel.  Join the discussion!

February 2018 RPL Book Group Title: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Discussion led by Sheila Young  (February 13, 2018)

Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Get and give perspective on this timely issue.  Soon to be a movie directed by Ron Howard.


January 2018 RPL Book Group Title: War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans

Discussion led by Cherrie Dubois  (January 9, 2018)

The group starts the year off right with a novel/memoir hybrid that claimed a spot the NY Times Best Books of 2016 list.
The author’s grandfather, Urbain Martien left behind two notebooks when he died in 1981. His life was marked by years of childhood poverty in late-nineteenth-century Belgium, by horrific experiences on the frontlines during the First World War and by the loss of the young love of his life. Hertmans has produced a poetic novelization of his grandfather’s story, brought to life with great imagination and detail. If you’ve always wanted to join a book group…January is a great time to start!


December 2017 RPL Book Group Title: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Discussion led by Karen Smith  (December 12, 2017)

Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need and issues a call to fix our broken system of justice.
Join us for a timely discussion of this eye-opening and heart-wrenching memoir.

November 2017 RPL Book Group Title: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Discussion led by Ardella Montgomery (November 14, 2017)

Growing up in Brooklyn, August, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi shared friendship and a future that belonged to them.  But beneath the hopeful promise there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place.
Jacqueline Woodson illuminates the formative period when a child meets adulthood and when innocence meets the perils of growing up.  Lots to talk about in this coming of age novel.

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