Book Groups

Book Groups at Tredyffrin Public Library

Open Minds Book Group

Meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 2 pm. New members are always welcome. Any questions, contact Gretchen Chamberlin at or 610.688.7092 x 203

Open Minds 2017 Selections:

Open Minds Book Group Selections since 2015

Read It & Steep Book Group

Read It & Steep welcomes readers with a love of non-traditional titles, scrumptious treats & spirited conversation. Read It & Steep meets on the third Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30 pm. New members are always welcome. Any questions, contact Kate Boyle at or 610.688.7092 x 217

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Read It & Steep 2017 Selections:

Read It & Steep 2018 Selections:

Read It & Steep Selections since 2012

Science Books Discussion Group

Meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm. New members are always welcome. Any questions, contact Valerie Green at or 610.688.7092 x 213

Science Book Group 2017 Selections:

Science Book Group 2018 Selections

Complete List of Science Book Group Selections since 2000

History Book Group

History buffs are invited to join this bimonthly book group at Tredyffrin Public Library. Members select the topic for each meeting and are free to read titles of their choosing and to participate in discussion of the topic at the next meeting. Any questions, contact Bill Lynch at or 610.316.8677

  • Tuesday, January 24 at 7 pm
    • Topic: Pearl Harbor
  • Tuesday, March 28 at 7 pm
    • Topic: Mars & the Future of Space Exploration
  • Tuesday, May 23 at 7 pm
    • Topic: The Russian Revolution (centennial year)
  • Tuesday, July 25 at 7 pm
    • Topic: Rise of Fascism in the 1920s & 30s
  • Tuesday, September 26 at 7pm
    • Topic: American Inventions since 1900
  • Tuesday, November 28 at 7pm
    • Topic: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis

History Book Group 2018 Topics

  • Tuesday, January 23 at 7 pm
    • Topic: The Rise of China in the 21st Century

Great Books Discussion Group

Meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. New members are always welcome. Any questions, contact John Dalton at or 484.444.2435

2017 Selections:

  • January 10: The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe & The Knitted Collar by Mary Anne Hoare
  • February 14: Meeting Canceled
  • March 14: Meeting postponed due to snow. Please read these selections for the April Meeting. Selections from 100 Great Short Stories,  pages 192-202 & 234-267; The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett, and How Much Land Does a Man Need? by Leo Tolstoy
  • April 11: March selections & selections from 100 Great Short Storiespages 286-299; 304-310, 323-331, & 368-372; The Sphinx Without a Secret by Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde, A Horseman in the Sky by Ambrose Bierce, Squire Petrick’s Lady by Thomas Hardy, and The Veteran by Stephen Crane.
  • May 9: The Story, Rules, Home Schooling & Hanging Fire by Edith Pearlman in her collection Binocular Vision
  • June 13: A selection of poetry to be emailed to participants.
  • No meetings in July or August
  • September 12: Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
  • October 10: Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman by Stefan Zweig
  • November 14, 2017: (Meeting privately) selections from Binocular Vision: Vallies, Aunt Telephone, Self-Reliance by Edith Pearlman
  • Monday, December 18 (Meeting held at Springton Lake Village): Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers

2018 Selections:

  • January 9: Point Omega by Don DeLillo
  • February 13: Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson (will be emailed to participants)
  • March 13: Selections from 100 Great Short StoriesThe Judgment, A Country Doctor, and A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka
  • April 10: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • May 8: Indignation by Philip Roth
  • June 12: Selected Sonnets (will be emailed to participants)

Book Groups at Paoli Library

Mystery Book Club

The Mystery Book Club will meet at 10:30 AM at Paoli Library on the second Monday of each month. Join us as we discuss mysteries under the following themes:

Mystery Book Club 2017 Themes:

Mystery Book Club 2018 Themes:

For more information or to sign up, contact Beverly Michaels at 610.296.7996 or

Art Book Club

The Art Book Club will meet on the following Wednesdays at 6:30 PM at Paoli Library. For more information or to sign up, contact Victoria Skelly at or call Paoli Library at 610.296.7996.

Art Book Club 2017 Dates and Selections:

  • January 25: Frida by Barbara Mujica
    • This is the story of the passionate life of amazing artist Frida Kahlo as told from the perspective of her jealous sister, Cristina. This tale of historical fiction  fictionalized account based on historic fact) by author Barbara Mujica, Professor of Spanish at Georgetown University, has been translated into 17 languages and has been a best seller in the United states, Latin America and Europe.
      • This reading should pair nicely with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exhibition, Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910-1950, on view from 10/25/16 to 1/8/17.
  • March 22: The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe
    • Author Tom Wolfe (Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff and more) explains the conundrum of modern art from Abstract Expressionism to Pop, Op, Minimal and Conceptual from his particular perspective. It takes a writer to show us how to understand art that needs a written explanation!
  • May 24: Artist of the Floating World by Kashuo Ishiguro
    • Ishiguro, author of the Booker Prize winning novel, Remains of the Day, captured the 1986 Whitbread Prize for this compelling story of an artist, trained to produce works of beauty reflecting the values of traditional Japanese culture, then becomes a propagandist to Imperial Japan during WW2. Is propaganda legitimate art? What happens to the soul of an artist after making such a conversion? After the war is over, will he ever be able to produce works of beauty again?
  • No meetings in June, July, or August
  • September 20: History of Beauty edited by Umberto Eco
    • Umberto Eco, author of the renowned The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum, leads the reader on a tour of the history of the idea of beauty in Western culture. Almost every page of this book has a beautiful color plate of the sculpture, paintings, frescos, etc. that illustrate the themes. Eco provides an excellent introduction to the aesthetics of beauty.
  • November 15: How to Be Both by Ali Smith
    • Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, this novel (which experiments with literary form in the same way that Modernist visual artists experiment with form) presents 2 stories: one featuring the maturation of Italian Renaissance painter Francesco del Cossa and the other presenting a young woman who is grieving the recent loss of her mother, an arts and culture critic, who had in life become fascinated by the work of del Cossa. The novel’s structure weaves time periods and perspectives. Some editions place the Renaissance artist’s rendition first and some place the modern day tale first leading to differing views and outcomes. This book promises a most interesting discussion!
  • December 13: The Artist’s Voice: Talks With 17 Modern Artists by Katharine Kuh
    • Art historian, critic, curator, and dealer Katherine Kuh interviews 17 modern artists, providing surprising insights into their creative work lives, philosophies, influences and experiences. Do the artists see themselves the same way as the critics, curators, historians and public do? Did Marcel Duchamp intend to shock viewers with Nude Descending a Staircase? Was Edward Hopper thinking about loneliness and alienation of the modern world when he painted his iconic images? What influenced his style? Let’s see what the artists have to say about this and more.

Art Book Club 2018 Dates and Selections:

  • January 24: Everybody Was So Young by Amanda Vail
    • “Gifted artist Gerald Murphy and his elegant wife, Sara, were icons of the most enchanting period of our time; handsome, talented, and wealthy expatriate Americans, they were at the very center of the literary scene in Paris in the 1920s. In this story Vaill brilliantly portrays both the times in which the Murphys lived and the fascinating friends who flocked around them. Whether summering with Picasso on the French Riviera or watching bullfights with Hemingway in Pamplona, Gerald and Sara inspired kindred creative spirits like Dorothy Parker, Cole Porter, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Fitzgerald even modeled his main characters in Tender is the Night after the couple. Their story is both glittering and tragic, and in this sweeping and richly anecdotal portrait of a marriage and an era, Vaill “has brought them to life as never before.”
  • March 14: The Matisse Stories by A.S. Byatt
    • “These three stories celebrate the eye even as they reveal its unexpected proximity to the heart. For if each of A.S. Byatt’s narratives is in some way inspired by a painting of Henri Matisse, each is also about the intimate connection between seeing and feeling–about the ways in which a glance we meant to be casual may suddenly call forth the deepest reserves of our being. Beautifully written, intensely observed.” –
  • May 23: Goya by Robert Hughes
    • “Underlying the exhaustive, critical analysis of the the life and art of  Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes is Hughes’s own intimately personal relationship to his subject. This is a book informed not only by lifelong love and study, but by his own recent experiences of mortality and death. As such this is a uniquely moving and human book; with the same relentless and fearless intelligence he has brought to every subject he has ever tackled, Hughes here transcends biography to bring us a rich and fiercely brave book about art and life, love and rage, impotence and death. This is one genius writing at full capacity about another—and the result is truly spectacular.” –
  • No meeting in June, July, or August
  • September 19: The Unknown Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac
    • “One of Balzac’s most celebrated tales, this is the story of a painter, who depending on one’s perspective, is either an abject failure or a transcendental genius. The story, which has served as inspiration to artists as various as Cezanne, Henry James, Picasso, and New Wave director Jacques Rivette is, in critic Dore Ashton’s words, “a fable of modern art.” –
  • November 14: Georgia O’Keeffe by Nancy J. Scott
    • “Nancy Scott’s thoroughly researched book on Georgia O’Keeffe reads like a novel. Using the artist’s own words to bring her alive, Scott offers a fresh perspective on the painter’s life and work within the context of world events. This introduction to one of the 20th century’s most influential American artists should appeal to novice and scholar alike.” –Lisa Mintz Messinger, former curator to the Metropolitan Museum 
  • December 12: The Music Lesson by Katherine Weber
    • “Patricia Dolan defines herself as an art historian, and as an Irish American. When she is 41, the combination of the two proves explosive, leading her to a rough cottage in West Cork. In Ireland she has for company only her own words, one elerly neighbor, and The Music Lesson, a beautiful Vermeer executed on Wood. As she anticipates the arrival of Mickey, her distant relative and lover, Patricia slowly, tantalizingly reveals the events that have led her to this place, involving a radicalized cousin and a plot to kidnap and ransom the Vermeer, property of the Queen of the United Kingdom. The painting, she tells herself fervently, “is an instrument of magic.” Perhaps now it is also an instrument of change, a talisman, the charm that will force powerful people to pay attentino and take decisive action at last.” –

Art Book Club Selections since 2015