Author and Music Series

Author Series

Music Series

Joseph Rosenbloom and his book, Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last 31 Hours

Thursday, January 17th at 7pm, Assembly Room

Author and former Frontline investigative reporter, Joseph Rosenbloom will discuss his book, Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last 31 Hours.  This book examines in detail the last thirty-one hours and twenty-eight minutes of King’s life, from the bomb threat against him that delayed his flight from Atlanta on the morning of April 3, 1968, to his murder the following night.


Cheryl Suchors and her book 48 Peaks: Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains

Thursday, February 7th at 7pm, Assembly Room

Author photo and book cover for 48 Peaks

Author Cheryl Suchors will discuss her book 48 Peaks: Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains.  At age 48, Cheryl sets out to hike the arduous 4000 Footers of New Hampshire, enduring breast cancer, and redefining success along the way.  In the wild she finds health, spiritual nourishment, and joy.

Kwan Kew Lai and her book Lest We Forget: A Doctor’s Experience with Life and Death During the Ebola Outbreak

Thursday, March 21st at 7pm, Assembly Room

Author photo and cover for the book Lest We Forget

Author Kwan Kew Lai will discuss her book Lest We Forget: A Doctor’s Experience with Life and Death During the Ebola Outbreak.  After fighting through yards of red tape, leaving her family, and putting her own health at risk to help suffering strangers, Kwan Kew Lai finally arrived in Africa to volunteer as an infectious disease specialist in 2014, during the largest Ebola outbreak in history.  What she found was not only blistering heat, inhospitable working conditions, and deadly, unrelenting illness, but hope, resilience, and incredible courage.

Author Events. Tuesday, January 21, 7 pm Local author Len Abram's 3rd book Empty Doorways. Thursday, February 20, 7 pm Shallow Graves by Maureen Boyle. Tuesday, April 21, 7 pm, Sole Searching on the Appalachian Trail with Sam Ducharme. Sponsored by the Friends of the Belmont Public Library.

Note: Sole Searching on the Appalachian Trail with Sam “Sam I Am” Ducharme became a virtual presentation. Watch the recording from June 29, 2020 on the library’s YouTube channel!


COMIC CON AUTHOR KEYNOTE

On Wednesday, March 25th at 7 pm in the Assembly Room, the Belmont Library Comic Con keynote speaker, Dr. Laura M. Jiménez, will present on Graphic Novels and Literacy. This program requires no sign up and is free to all.

A child in a superhero cape reads while sitting on a stack of books. Text reads "Graphic Novels & Literacy Wednesday March 25 7:00 pm".

Dr. Jiménez is the Department Chair for Language & Literacy Education at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Dr. Jiménez’s dissertation was a study motivated by questions around the ease of graphic novel reading. The findings have been published in  scholarly journals such as Journal of Literacy Research, and Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. She teaches children’s literature courses within a literacy program and so her scholarship spans both literature and literacy. Find out more about Dr. Jiménez here!

On Saturday, March 28th, Belmont Library Comic Con is a free, all-ages event celebrating comics, as art, as literature, and as a part of pop culture! This event will bring together fans, young and old, and creators for a jam-packed day of panels, workshops, photo ops, and fun. Our comic convention will feature an Artist’s Alley and Cosplay Contest.

Learn more about BLCC and find a full schedule here. Note: Belmont Library Comic Con, including our Author Keynote, was cancelled due to Covid-19.


Pieometry by Lauren Ko

Thursday, November 12th at 7pm, on Zoom

LaurenPieometry book cover and photo of author Lauren Ko above text reading Friends Author Series, Thursday, November 11 at 7 pm, on Zoom with author Lauren Ko. Ko, author of the beautiful cookbook Pieometry and the baker behind lokokitchen, will discuss the release of her new book, her baking process and tips, and what it’s like going viral on Instagram!

Watch the recording of our evening with Lauren Ko on the library’s YouTube channel.

About Pieometry: 

The pie-making genius behind the popular Instagram account @lokokitchen (337k+ followers) reveals the secrets of her mind-blowing creations in this gorgeous full-color cookbook featuring 50 incredible sweet and savory pie and tart designs.

In only a few short years, Lauren Ko went from novice pie baker to social media star and creator of today’s most surprising and delightful pie and tart designs. Her unique geometric style uses fruit and dough cut and woven into stunning shapes to highlight color and texture, and has captured the attention of bakers worldwide. With elegant patterns that match their knockout flavor, her dazzlingly intricate and inventive creations look difficult to produce but can actually be achieved with little more than a knife, ruler, and some patience.


War Fever by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith

Thursday, December 10th at 7pm, on Zoom

War Fever book cover and author photos above text that reads Friends Author Series, Thursday, December 10 at 7pm, on Zoom with authors Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith.

The Nonfiction Book Club presents an author talk and book discussion with Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith, authors of War Fever: Boston, Baseball, and America in the Shadow of the Great War. These two sports historians will give us insights into the research that went into the book before opening a discussion conversation among participants.

Register for this event to receive the Zoom invitation.

About War Fever: 

In the fall of 1918, a fever gripped Boston. The streets emptied as paranoia about the deadly Spanish flu spread. War Fever explores this delirious moment in American history through the stories of three men: Karl Muck, the German conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, accused of being an enemy spy; Charles Whittlesey, a Harvard law graduate who became an unlikely hero in Europe; and the most famous baseball player of all time, Babe Ruth, poised to revolutionize the game he loved. Together, they offer a gripping narrative of America at war and American culture in upheaval.

The Dynasty by Jeff Benedict

Thursday, December 17 at 7 pm, on Zoom

Virtual Author Talk with Jeff Benedict on Thursday, December 17 at 7 pm

Join seven libraries in welcoming Jeff Benedict to talk about his instant bestseller on the New England Patriots, The Dynasty!

This program is brought to you in collaboration by the Watertown Free Public Library, The Belmont Public Library, The Brockton Public Library, The Cary Library, Lexington, Oceanside Library, Medford Public Library, and Weston Public Library.

To register to receive the Zoom link, please go to the Watertown Free Public Library registration page here.

To order a signed copy of the book, please visit the Brookline Booksmith page here.

About The Dynasty:

It’s easy to forget that the New England Patriots were once the laughingstock of the NFL, a nearly bankrupt team that had never won a championship and was on the brink of moving to St. Louis. Everything changed in 1994, when Robert Kraft acquired the franchise and soon brought on board head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Since then, the Patriots have become a juggernaut, making ten trips to the Super Bowl, winning six of them, and emerging as one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. Today, the team’s twenty-year reign atop the NFL stands as the longest in league history. How was the Patriots dynasty built? And how did it last for two decades? In The Dynasty, acclaimed journalist Jeff Benedict provides richly reported answers in a sweeping account based on exclusive interviews with more than 200 insiders, as well as never-before-seen recordings, documents, and electronic communications.

About the Author:

Jeff Benedict is the bestselling author of sixteen non-fiction books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Tiger Woods, with Armen Keteyian. His latest book, The Dynasty, is the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots dynasty and was published in September 2020. He has also been a special-features writer for Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times, an this essays have appeared in the New York Times. Benedict’s stories have been the basis of segments on 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, HBO Real Sports, Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, NFL Network, NPR, and ESPN’s Outside the Lines. He is also a television and film producer.

Stay True by Salpi Dunlap

Wednesday, February 17th at 3pm EST, on Zoom

Join us as we discuss with San Francisco mom and author, Salpi Dunlap, the first book in her mindfulness series, Stay True. Salpi and her children created this series of books to help kids stay true to themselves by being grateful, present, and kind. The series provides practical guidance and thoughtful conversation-provoking questions so you can connect with your child on a deeper level in just 5 minutes a day. This engaging virtual author talk is open to all but geared towards elementary-aged children and their parents. The event will be recorded for future sharing and will be held at 3pm EST/12pm PST.

If you are interested in purchasing copies of Salpi’s books, you can do so here.

New England Love with Barbara Delinsky

Thursday, February 18th at 7pm, on Zoom

Join seven libraries in welcoming New York Times Best Selling author Barbara Delinsky! Barbara will be in conversation with us to talk about her life, works, and New England. Come enjoy this special opportunity for an intimate program with a beloved and renowned local author. Barbara Delinsky is the author of more than 20 New York Times bestselling books and has been published in 28 languages worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Delinsky earned a B.A. in psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in sociology at Boston College. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, more books than she’ll ever be able to read, two tennis racquets, and enough electronic devices to keep in close touch with her children and their families.

This program is brought to you in collaboration by the Belmont Public Library, Watertown Free Public Library, Brockton Public Library, Cary Library, Lexington, Oceanside Library, Medford Public Library, and Wellesley Free Library.

New York Times Bestselling Author Joyce Maynard

Wednesday, October 20th at 7:30pm, on Zoom

The Friends of the Belmont Public Library are delighted to bring New York Times best-selling author Joyce Maynard to the Belmont Public Library virtually to discuss her latest novel, Count The Ways.

Joyce Maynard is the author of nine previous novels and five books of nonfiction. Her syndicated column Domestic Affairs ran from 1984 to 1990. Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. Maynard is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is the founder of Write by the Lake, a week-long workshop on the art and craft of memoir, held every year since 2001 at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Her novels To Die For and Labor Day were both adapted for film. Maynard currently makes her home in New Haven, Connecticut. You can learn more about Joyce at her website here.

COUNT THE WAYS is Maynard’s most ambitious novel to date and tells the story of a family―from the hopeful early days of young marriage and falling in love, to parenthood, divorce, and its costly aftermath― illuminating how the mistakes of parents are passed down through generations to fester, or to be healed.

“Count the Ways is the book you will want to curl up in a chair and read from beginning to end. It’s rich and complex, beautiful and heartbreaking, just like life. Reading about this flawed and lovely family will make you want to hug your own flawed and lovely family tight. Joyce Maynard celebrates the messy, wonderful thing that is love.”  — Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and The Book That Matters Most

“Joyce Maynard is the queen of the family saga, and Count the Ways is the best! Instantly addicting, the story of Eleanor, Cam, and their children pulls you in and wraps itself around you like an heirloom quilt made of familiarity, intimacy, and the orchestral complexity of loving the people closest to us. This is the novel you’ll be longing to return to at the end of every day and one you will re-read for years to come.”  — Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family

WBCN and the American Revolution

Wednesday, December 1st at 7:30pm, on Zoom

Journalist and documentary producer Bill Lichtenstein spoke about his book WBCN and the American Revolution: How a Radio Station Defined Politics, Counterculture and Rock and Roll. Lichtenstein is the winner of more than sixty major journalism awards, he has written for publications including the New York Times, the Nation, the Village Voice, and the Boston Globe, and produced and directed the feature-length documentary, WBCN and the American Revolution. He worked at WBCN from 1971 to 1977, beginning as a teenage volunteer on the station’s “Listener Line.”

The book, which was released by MIT Press/Penguin Random House on Tuesday November 23, is a companion to the film festival sensation WBCN and The American Revolution.

“Two years ago, WBCN and The American Revolution launched an exhilarating tour of film festivals and screenings across the United States. Audiences were uplifted and inspired by the story of how an underground rock radio station and a passionate community of listeners mobilized to change their world for the better,” says Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and former WBCN announcer Bill Lichtenstein, who also authored the film’s companion book. “Now, as we grapple with all of challenges of today’s world, I’m thrilled to bring WBCN’s empowering and hopeful message to a national audience.”

At WBCN, creativity and countercultural politics ruled: there were no set playlists; news segments anticipated the satire of The Daily Show; on-air interviewees ranged from John and Yoko to Noam Chomsky; a telephone “Listener Line” fielded questions on any subject, day and night. From 1968 to Watergate, Boston’s WBCN was the hub of the rock-and-roll, antiwar, psychedelic solar system. A cornucopia of images in color and black and white includes concert posters, news clippings, photographs of performers in action, and scenes of joyousness on Boston Common. Interwoven through the narrative are excerpts from interviews with WBCN pioneers, including Charles Laquidara, the “news dissector” Danny Schechter, Marsha Steinberg, and Mitchell Kertzman.


New Inca Sun

Saturday, January 12th at 3pm, Assembly Room

Crowd-favorite New Inca Son will entertain with Andean music played on flute, guitar, charango (Andean guitar), and vocals.  Join us for this fun, multicultural event.


Studio Two: Early Beatles Tribute

Saturday, February 23rd at 3pm, Assembly Room

Studio Two is a headlining Beatles tribute band that focuses on the most exciting, energetic period of The Beatles — the early years.  Choosing from a catalog of songs from their club and touring performances, Studio Two captures all of the excitement and dance-able 50’s and 60’s Rock ‘n’ Roll songs The Beatles helped popularize.  All of this is done with period correct attire and equipment.


Celtic and Folk Music with Colleen and Sean

Saturday, March 9th at 3pm, Assembly Room

Join us for Celtic and folk music with Colleen White and Sean Smith.  This duo are of different generations, but find common ground in their love of the music of Ireland and the UK.  Performing traditional and contemporary songs with pleasing harmonies and solid accompaniment.


Violinist Joshua Peckins

Saturday, April 6th at 3pm, Assembly Room

Violinist Joshua Peckins presents a lecture recital featuring solo violin music by Bach and Ysaye, with warm and personal stories about the composers and their music .

Feb. 29 East Dances with West with Volkan Efe & Company. Mar. 21 Blues, Ballads & Bebop with Bloom/Leighton Duo. Apr. 4 Classical Piano with Svetlana Krasnova. Music on Saturdays 3 pm Assembly Room. A Friends of the Library sponsored series.

Note: Blues, Ballads, and Bebop on March 21 and Classical Piano with Svetlana Krasnova were cancelled due to Covid-19.

Music on Saturday: Women in World Jazz Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Saturday, January 30th at 3pm, Virtual

We’re kicking off Music on Saturday in 2021 with a unique virtual concert from local musical group Women in World Jazz!

Jazz and Blues – originated from the African American tradition – were a propelling force in the U.S. during the 1920s, providing women of all ages with an outlet for rebellion in a time when they were also fighting to win the right to vote. Join us as we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment with a concert featuring Women in World Jazz along with the all-girl Women in World Jazz Junior Performers to pay tribute to that hard-won battle.

In this virtual concert, members of the ensemble shared information about the music and the featured composers, as well as engage the audience with a Q&A and discussion at the end of the program.

Matt York & The Highwaymen Songs & Stories Live Concert

Saturday, October 2nd at 1pm, Payson Park

Local singer and songwriter Matt York brings us Songs & Stories: The Highwaymen, a musical journey through the performance and careers of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. Matt will talk about the various collaborations those artists had with each other earlier in their careers, talk about the forming of The Highwaymen and perform a number of their most famous songs.

In-Person Music on Saturdays: Swinging Jazz Standards for June

Saturday, June 4 at 3pm, Assembly Room

Music on Saturdays is back in person in 2022! The acclaimed duo of Peter H. Bloom and Mark Leighton will perform a festive show called Swinging Jazz Standards for June. They’ll play crowd-pleasing favorites like Sunny Side of the Street, Lullaby of Birdland, When You Wish Upon a Star, It’s Only a Paper MoonLet’s Fall in Love, Skylark, and other selections by our great American tunesmiths like Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin. Peter and Mark have performed together for decades, and are known for stellar musicianship and entertaining concerts spanning jazz, blues, Great American Songbook, and classical music.

Flutist Peter H. Bloom has shared the stage with Sheila Jordan, Charles Neville, Ricky Ford, Geri Allen, Jaki Byard and other jazz greats. He is a 45-year veteran with the illustrious Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, has led his own ensembles for decades, and is a founding member of The Modernistics. Praised for “amazing versatility” (Arts Fuse), “exquisite melody” (Jazz Improv), and “hip, jazzy flute work” (AllAboutJazz), Bloom performs in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, and appears on 48 CDs. He has given master classes and lectures across the globe, and is contributing editor for Noteworthy Sheet Music.

Mark Leighton is a jazz and classical guitarist known for his superb artistry and wide-ranging repertoire. He has performed as a soloist and ensemble player across the Northeast, is a founding member of The Modernistics, and has appeared with jazz notables Billy Novick, Ted Powers and Larry Carsman, among others. Leighton is a faculty member at Colby College and St. George’s School and served previously as Artistic Director of First Night Quincy. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Mark Leighton studied with noted guitarists Sharon Isbin, David Leisner and Robert Sullivan.

In-Person Music on Saturdays Concert:
500 Years Of Music For Guitar

Saturday, September 17 at 3pm, Assembly Room

A chronological tour of the guitarist’s repertoire from the Renaissance to the Contemporary. The program features music by J.S. Bach, Gaspar Sanz, Ferdinando Carulli, Bartolome Calatuyud, Django Reinhardt, Thelonious Monk, Vernon Duke, Luiz Bonfa and others. Many different styles of music are included, such as Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, flamenco, jazz, blues and Brazilian music, as well as several original compositions.

Peter Griggs began his musical studies at the Juilliard School of Music Pre-College Division on French Horn, with Louis Ricci of the NY Philharmonic. He went on to study composition with Elliot Schwartz and improvisation with Marion Brown at Bowdoin College, world music at Wesleyan University, tabla with Pandit Sharda Sahai, and composition with Wilfred Mellers at York University (UK). After spending a year traveling in India, Indonesia and Japan studying traditional music, Griggs returned to New York and worked as a free-lance composer, guitarist and percussionist. He performed in a trio with flutist Iris Brooks and percussionist Glen Velez and was a member of Gamelan Son Of Lion (new music percussion ensemble). He also worked as sound designer on more than 50 off-Broadway plays and composed music for modern dance, documentary film and other multi-media projects. Griggs has been commissioned by the National Endowment For The Arts, Meet The Composer, and the Mary Flagler Cary Trust. He has collaborated with choreographers including Nacho Duato, Sally Gross and Linda Diamond and theater groups including Pan-Asian Rep., Kings County Shakespeare Company and the Mint Theatre. From 2002-2012, Griggs was based in Dusseldorf Germany and performed extensively through northern Europe. He currently resides in Cold Spring, New York, and continues to perform throughout the USA and abroad.

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