The library closes for Thanksgiving at 5PM on Wednesday, 11/22, and reopens Saturday, 11/25 at 9AM. The west wing Reading Room remains closed for renovations.

Book Club Reading Lists

Looking for some intriguing titles to suggest to your book group? Check out the lists below, recording the books friends, neighbors, and fellow book-lovers have been reading for the past four to ten years. You are bound to find some great ideas.

We encourage you to share the reading history of your book club, whether you live in Belmont, the West coast, or somewhere in between. If you would like us to post your book club’s reading list, please send it to [email protected] and type “book club list” in the subject line.


  • Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass
  • Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck



  • Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
  • Dark Tide by Stephen Puleo and The
  • Given Day by Dennis Lehane
  • Love and Summer (2009) by William Trevor
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (2010) by Walter Mosley
  • Left Neglected by Lisa Genova



  • Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
  • Home by Marilynne Robinson
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
  • Family Album by Penelope Lively
  • Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow
  • Down the Nile by Rosemary Mahoney


  • Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
  • North River by Pete Hamill
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
  • Animal Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
  • Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Reading list 2007 – 2012

(arranged alphabetically by author):

  • Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women
  • Caputo, Philip. A Rumor of War
  • Dickens, Charles. Bleak House
  • Dickens, Charles. Little Dorrit
  • Dickens, Charles. Our Mutual Friend
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment
  • Eliot, George. Adam Bede
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere’s Ride
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth. Wives and Daughters
  • Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Marble Faun
  • Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea
  • Hersey, John. Hiroshima
  • Junger, Sebastian. The Perfect Storm
  • Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (in conjunction with One Book One Belmont)
  • le Carre, John. A Perfect Spy
  • Mortenson, Greg and Relin, David Oliver. Three Cups of Tea (in conjunction with One Book One Belmont)
  • Nemirovsky, Irene. Suite Francaise
  • Puleo, Stephen. Dark Tide (in conjunction with One Book One Belmont)
  • Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Shakespeare, William. King Lear
  • Suskind, Ron. A Hope in the Unseen
  • Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club
  • Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair
  • Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina
  • Trollope, Anthony. The Way We Live Now
  • Undset, Sigrid. Kristin Lavransdatter
  • Waugh, Evelyn. A Handful of Dust
  • Wharton, Edith. The Glimpses of the Moon



2001 to 2011

  • My Brother, My Sister & I Yoko Kawashima Watkins
  • Blizzard’s Wake Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Taste of Salt: The Story of Modern Haiti Frances Temple (A physician who had spent time in Haiti joined us for the discussion…was a great addition)
  • Blackwater Eve Bunting
  • Overboard Fama
  • Speak Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Stranger Next Door Peg Kehret
  • The Wish List Eoin Colfer
  • City Of Ember Jean DuPray
  • Money Hungry Sharon Flake
  • Tunes For Bears To Dance To Robert Cormier
  • Walk Two Moons Sharon Creech
  • Lily’s Ghosts Laura Ruby
  • Give a Boy a Gun Todd Strasser
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
  • Gathering Blue Lois Lowry
  • The Giver Lois Lowry
  • Touching Spirit Bear Ben Mikaelsen
  • Howl’s Moving Castle DW Jones
  • Enders Game Orson Card Scott
  • Good Night, Mr. Tom Caroline Cooney
  • Hope Was Here John Bauer
  • Tangerine John Bloor
  • Rascal Sterling North
  • The Star of Kazan Eva Ibbotson
  • The Ear, The Eye, And The Arm Nancy Farmer
  • Fallen Angels Walter Dean Myers
  • Incident At Hawk’s Hill Allan W. Eckert & John Schoenherr
  • A Child Called It David Pelzer
  • Hoot Carl Hiaasen
  • My Dog Skip William Morris
  • Banner In The Sky James Ramsey Ullman
  • Blizzard’s Wake Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Marley and Me John Grogan
  • Bud Not Buddy Christopher Curtis
  • My Brother, My Sister and I Yoko Kowashima
  • Edgar Allen John Newfield
  • All of the Susan Cooper’s books…..e.g. The Dark Is Rising etc….
  • If You Come Softly Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Last Book in the Universe Rodman Philbrick
  • If You Come Softly Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Secret Live of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
  • Home of the Brave Katherine Applegate
  • Alana, Song of the Lioness Tamora Pierce
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Jacqueline Kelly
  • Black Duck Janet Taylor Lisle
  • Some have been chosen twice…..

Not sure when read:

  • Bonfire of the Vanities        Tom Wolff
  • The Poisonwood Bible        Barbara Kingsolver
  • Beloved                Toni Morrison
  • Anna Karennina            Leo Tolstoy
  • A Room of One’s Own        Virginia Woolf
  • The Bridges of Madison County    James Walker
  • The Dubliners                James Joyce
  • The Hiding Place            Trezza Azzopardi
  • The Sound of Waves            Yukio Mishiama
  • The Country Girls            Edna O’Brien
  • Ahab’s Wife                Sena Jeter Naslund
  • In the Beauty of the Lilies        John Updike
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch    Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil    John Berendt

As of January, 2002 or thereabouts

  • A Long Fatal Love Chase    Louisa May Alcott
  • A Month in the Country    J.L. Carr
  • An American Requiem    James Carroll
  • Annie John    Jamaica Kincaid
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum
  • Bel Canto    Ann Patchett
  • Billy Bathgate    E.L. Doctorow
  • Breathing Lessons    Ann Tyler
  • Caucasia    Denzy Senna
  • Charming Billy    Alice McDermott
  • Cod    Mark Kurlansky
  • Cold Mountain    James Frazier
  • Daughter of Fortune    Isabel Allende
  • Disgrace    J.M. Coetze
  • Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisters    Rebecca Wells
  • Emma     Jane Austin
  • Enduring Love    Ian McEuan
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring    Tracy Chevalier
  • God of Small Things    Arundhati Roy
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone    J. K. Rawling
  • Hotel DuLac    Brookner
  • House of the Spirits    Isabel Allende
  • Howard’s End    E.M. Forester
  • Human Stain    Philip Roth
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings    Maya Angelou
  • Interpreter of Maladies    Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Islam    Karen Armstrong
  • Joys of Motherhood    Buch Emecheta
  • Kate Atkinson
  • Last Orders    Graham Swift
  • Love in the Time of Cholera    Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Madame Bovary    Gustave Flaubert
  • Moo    James Smiley
  • Mrs. Dalloway    Virginia Wolf
  • My Son’s Story    Nadime Gordimer
  • Nine Parts of Desire    Geraldine Brooks
  • No Ordinary Time    Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Object Lessons    Ann Quindlen
  • Old Bones
  • Open Secrets    Alice Munro
  • Possessions    Byatt
  • Quartet in Autumn    Barbara Pym
  • Restauration    Rose Tremain
  • Segu    Maryse Conde
  • Smiley’s Sense of Snow    Peter Hoeg
  • Snow Falling on Cedars    David Guterson
  • Song of Solomon    Toni Morrison
  • Sons and Lovers    D.H. Lawrence
  • Still Life    A.S. Byatt
  • The Atonement    Ian McEwan
  • The Awakening    Kate Chopin
  • The Beggar Maid    Alice Munro
  • The Bluest Eye    Toni Morrison
  • The Color of Water    James McBride
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs    Sarah Jewett
  • The Diviners    Margaret Lawrence
  • The English Patient    Ondaatie
  • The Family Orchard    Nomi Eve
  • The Ginger Tree    Oswald Wynd
  • The Joy Luck Club    Amy Tan
  • The Ladies of Misalonghi
  • The Lighthouse    Virginia Wolf
  • The Map of Love    Ahdaf Soueif
  • The Photographer’s Wife    Robert Sole
  • The Professor and the Madman    Simon Winchester
  • The Red Tent    Diane Diamant
  • The Remains of the Day    Ishiguru
  • The River King    Alice Hoffman
  • The Road to Corrain    Jill Kerr Conway
  • The Samurai’s Garden    Gail Tsukiyama
  • The Sheltering Sky    Boules
  • The Snapper    Roddy Doyle
  • The Sound and the Fury    Faulkner
  • The Stone Diaries    Carol Shield
  • The Unbelieveable Lightness of Being    Milan Kundera
  • The Unconsoled    Ishiguru
  • Three Junes    Julia Glass
  • True North    Jill Kerr Conway
  • Tuesdays with Morrie    William Kennedy
  • Waiting    Ha Jin
  • West with the Night    Markham
  • Wild Swans    Jung Chang


  • American Chica                    Marie Arana
  • The Glass Palace                    Amitav Ghosh
  • A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain        Robert Olen Butler
  • The Secret Life of Bees                Sue Monk Kidd
  • Alice in Exile                    Piers Paul Reid


  • Revere Beach Boulevard        Ronald Murillo
  • A Very Long Engagement        Sebastien Japrisot
  • The DaVinci Code            Dan Brown
  • Pigeon Feathers            John Updike
  • 100 Years of Solitude            Gabriel Marquez
  • A Gesture Life                Chang Lee
  • The Belles of New England        Moran
  • Middlesex                Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran        Azar Nafisi
  • Half A Life                V.S. Naipaul
  • Women About Town            Laura Jacobs


  • The Kite Runner            Khaled Hosseni
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night    Mark Haddon
  • Bringing Down the House        Ben Mezrich
  • Runaway                Alice Munroe
  • Pinochio                Collodi
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles    Haruki Murakami
  • The Morality Play            Barry Unsworth
  • House of Sand and Fog        Andre Dubois


  • Leaving Mother Lake            Yang Erche Nama & Christine Mathieu
  • Snow                    Orhan Pamuk
  • Gilead                    Robinson, Marilynne
  • A Private View            Anita Brookner
  • Pat Conroy’s Cookbook        Pat Conry
  • Wind, Sand, and Stars            Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The Devil in the White City        Erik Larson
  • House of Mirth            Edith Wharton
  • Death in Venice            Thomas Mann


  • The Peabody Sisters            Megan Marshall
  • The Inheritance of Loss        Kiran Desai
  • The Places In Between        Rory Stewart
  • Suite Francais                Irene Nemirovsky
  • Desert Queen                Janet Wallach
  • A Short History of the Tractors in Ukrainian    Marina Lewycka
  • Out Stealing Horses            Per Petterson
  • The Day of the Scorpion        Paul Scott



  • African Laughter            Doris Lessing
  • The Book of Salt            Monique Truong
  • Christine Falls                John Banville
  • Song of the Lark            Willa Cather
  • Intuition                Allegra Goodman
  • (About lab in Cambridge)
  • The Transit of Venus            Shirley Hazzard
  • (@2 sisters orphaned in Australia, move to England,@ their romances and betrayal)
  • Three Cups of Tea            Greg Mortenson


  • The Rector’s Daughter        F.M. Mayor
    (19th c. Victorian single woman and her life)
  • Someone Knows My Name        Lawrence Hill
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
    (@life on an English island during Nazi occupation)
  • An Unfinished Season            Ward Just
    (@well-to do 19 yr old Chicago boy’s summer in between senior year and college)
  • Brother, I’m Dying            Edwinge Danticot
  • Lark and Termite            Jayne Anne Phillips
  • The Help                Kathryn Stockett


  • The Cellist of Sarajevo        Steven Galloway
    Wolf Hall                Hilary Mantel
  • The Children’s Book            A.S. Byatt
  • The Glass Room            Simon Mawer
  • Let the Great World Spin        Colum McCann
    (@lives of people under tightrope between Twin Towers)
  • Brooklyn                Colm Toiban
    (@Irish girl who came to US, works, meet boy, and returns to Ireland for her sister’s funeral)



  • The Island Beneath the Sea        Isabel Allende
    (@lives of French landowner and slave girl in Haiti and what happens when slaves revolt
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand    Helen Simonson
    (@retired British major in English village who falls in love w/Pakistani widow and how neighbors and family react.)
  • Breaking Clean            Judy Blunt
    (@girl growing up on a farm in Montana and her life as a farmer’s wife)
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoet        David Mitchell
    (@Dutch East India Co. man on island off Japan who falls in love w/Japanese girl and her abduction to cult temple)
  • The Tiger’s Wife            Tea Obreht
  • The Greater Journey        David McCullough
    (@American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, etc  @1850 -1900 who feel it is important to go to Paris.
  • The Late Homecomer        Kao Kalia Yang
    (@Hmong family who fled Laos and came to the US as told by the daughter)
  • River of Darkness            Rennie Airth
  • Inspector Madden Mystery @ finding the killer of women whose throat is cut by bayonet
  • In the Garden of Beasts        Erik Larsen
    @American ambassador to Germany in 1933


  • The Barbarian Nurseries        Hector Tobar
    @wealthy white family in LA and their Mexican housekeeper
  • Caleb’s Crossing            Geraldine Brooks
    @2 Native American boys who went to Harvard in 17th century
  • Still Life                Louise Penny
  • An Inspector Gamache novel @ murder of woman in small village in Canada
  • Bring Up the Bodies            Hilary Mantel
  • Continuation of Wolf Hall about Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell, and Ann Bolyn