Book Discussion Groups

Winter 2020 Book Discussion Banner

The library will offer book groups ONLINE through the summer of 2020.

This page covers Adult Book Discussion Groups. For Youth Book Clubs, visit our Youth Programs page. For Teen Book Clubs, visit our Teen Programs page. 


Fiction Book Discussions

The library's Fiction Book Club meets the second Monday each month at 1 PM and 7 PM. All are welcome!

July 13 - Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything-until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant-a part of a future that belonged to them.

But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.... Jacqueline Woodson's Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood-the promise and peril of growing up-and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.

This book discussion will be held online on the Zoom platform. Click here to connect! Password: 3GWdHC

Questions? Visit

Speculative Fiction Book Discussions

The Portsmouth Public Library Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet on the final Tuesday of each month at 7 PM. Spec Fic is a genre that encompasses fantasy, science fiction, horror and everything in between. Speculative fiction asks, what if? All are welcome! 

July 28 - Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia Butler

Butler's most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana's own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler's mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century.

This book discussion will be held online on the Zoom platform. Click here to connect! Password: 3GWdHC

Classics Book Discussions

Before the lockdown, Portsmouth Public Library had already begun planning a Classics Book Discussion Group! We define a classic not by its specific time period, but by its staying power and recognized value to society and the literary canon. We will endeavor to include a diverse group of authors, across gender, race, nationality and sexuality. Now, we are launching the Classics Book Club online. This means we have chosen new titles based on their easy, free availability in digital format.

We will meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 PM.

This book discussion will be held online on the Zoom platform. Click here to connect! Password: 3GWdHC

July 7 - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston 

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years-due largely to initial audiences' rejection of its strong black female protagonist-Hurston's classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

Available as an audiobook or ebook in Hoopla.

Book Talks

At our Online Book Talk, connect with other readers online, and share your recommendations! Bring a 3-line description of an adult book (or two) that you enjoyed, or just come and listen to community favorites. We’ll be there to guide the discussion and share how you can find more titles you’ll like – especially ones that are available online!

Next Book Talk: July 20 

Past Book Discussions