Book Discussion Groups

The library will offer book groups ONLINE until further notice.

Our book groups are free and open to all! 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 Club

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

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

April 12 - Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall-Smith

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540.

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe--with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi--navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea. Precious Ramotswe is the eminently sensible and cunning proprietor of the only ladies' detective agency in Botswana. In Tears of the Giraffe she tracks a wayward wife, uncovers an unscrupulous maid, and searches for an American man who disappeared into the plains many years ago. In the midst of resolving uncertainties, pondering her impending marriage to a good, kind man, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, and the promotion of her talented secretary (a graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College, with a mark of 97 per cent), she also finds her family suddenly and unexpectedly increased by two.

May 10 - The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540.

A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.  Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she'll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.  When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It's also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel's core.  Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America.

Speculative Fiction Book Club

The Portsmouth Public Library Speculative Fiction Book Club 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? 

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

March 30 - Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540. This title is also available as an audiobook on Hoopla!

Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, celebrated writer Mr. Fox can't stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It is not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently. Mary challenges Mr. Fox to join her in stories of their own devising; and so, through different times and places, the two of them seek each other, find each other, thwart each other, and try to stay together, even when the roles they inhabit seem to forbid it. Their adventures twist the fairy tale into nine variations, exploding and teasing conventions of genre and romance, and each iteration explores the fears that come with accepting a lifelong bond. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox's game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?

April 27 - This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540.

In the ashes of a dying world, Red finds a letter marked "Burn before reading. Signed, Blue." So begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents in a war that stretches through the vast reaches of time and space. Red belongs to the Agency, a post-singularity technotopia. Blue belongs to Garden, a single vast consciousness embedded in all organic matter. Their pasts are bloody and their futures mutually exclusive. They have nothing in common--save that they're the best, and they're alone. Now what began as a battlefield boast grows into a dangerous game, one both Red and Blue are determined to win. Because winning's what you do in war. Isn't it? A tour de force collaboration from two powerhouse writers that spans the whole of time and space.

May 25 - Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne's docks, is nothing her unique abilities can't handle. But unbeknownst to her, Sancia's been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic--the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience--have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact's secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims. Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there's nobody with the power to stop them. To have a chance at surviving--and at stopping the deadly transformation that's under way--Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact's power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

Classics Book Club

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. Classics Book Club meets 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

March 2 & April 6 - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Please note that we’ll be discussing Great Expectations over two months. We’ll cover chapters 1 – 29 on March 2, and chapters 30 – 59 on April 6.

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540. This title is also instantly available on Hoopla as an audiobook, and as an ebook.

Pip's life was stricken with tragedy as a small boy, being orphaned with the loss of his mother, father and siblings. Pip forms a relationship with the odd Miss Havisham and her lovely adopted daughter Estella. An anonymous benefactor whisks Pip away from the life he once knew and the people he cared for to one of class and high society. When his beloved Estella enters his life once more, after many years apart, she denies him the affections he longs for. Pip has life-altering experiences throughout this story that will keep the listeners intrigued until the end.

May 4 - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540. This title is also instantly available on Hoopla as an audiobook, and as an ebook.

A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900's, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity. His wife Katie scrubs floors to put food on the table and clothes on her children's' backs, instilling in them the values of being practical and planning ahead. When Johnny dies, leaving Katie pregnant, Francie, smart, pensive and hoping for something better, cannot believe that life can carry on as before. But with her own determination, and that of her mother behind her, Francie is able to move toward the future of her dreams, completing her education and heading off to college, always carrying the beloved Brooklyn of her childhood in her heart.

LGBTQ Book Club

Join us for our newest book group at Portsmouth Public Library! LGBTQ Book Club is for those who identify as LGBTQ or simply want to learn more about LGBTQ stories, narratives and experiences. All are welcome. Copies of each title will be available for library cardholders to place on hold for curbside pickup. LGBTQ Book Club will meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 PM.

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

April 20 - Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540.

San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city:  the Magic City of the World's Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer "authentic" experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet. Six women find their lives as tangled with each other's as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where magic, science, and art intersect.

May 18 - Maurice by E.M. Forster

Copies of this title will be available for checkout with a library card. Place a hold online or by calling us at 427-1540.

Set in the elegant Edwardian world of Cambridge undergraduate life, this story by a master novelist introduces us to Maurice Hall when he is fourteen. We follow him through public school and Cambridge, and on into his father's firm, Hill and Hall, Stock Brokers. In a highly structured society, Maurice is a conventional young man in almost every way, "stepping into the niche that England had prepared for him": except that his is homosexual. Written during 1913 and 1914, immediately after Howards End, and not published until 1971, Maurice was ahead of its time in its theme and in its affirmation that love between men can be happy.

Book Talks

At our Online Book Talk, connect with other readers online, and share your recommendations! Bring a three-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! Upcoming book talks:

No registration necessary. Click here to connect! Password: 3GWdHC

Past Book Discussions

Content

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2010-2011

2009-2010

2008-2009

2007-2008