Forbes Library 2nd Monday Book Group

This book group, which meets at the library in Northampton, MA, began in January 2003. We meet at 6:30pm on the second Monday of the month, except when there is a Monday holiday. Please check the Forbes calendar for details. Email to be added to the notification list.

Upcoming books

Booklist so far....


  1. Amsterdam, by Ian McEwan
  2. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
  3. The Optimist's Daughter, by Eudora Welty
  4. Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Isiguro
  5. Cannibal Galaxy, by Cynthia Ozick
  6. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
  7. Sea Glass, by Anita Shreve
  8. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
  9. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
  10. Waiting, by Ha Jin
  11. The Bone People, by Keri Hulme
  12. We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates


  1. Atonement, by Ian McEwan
  2. Disgrace, by J. M. Coetzee
  3. Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf
  4. The Hours, by Michael Cunningham
  5. Headlong, by Michael Frayn
  6. The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara
  7. The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
  8. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi
  9. Anil's Ghost, by Michael Ondaatje
  10. Soul Mountain, by Gao Zingjian
  11. Emma, by Jane Austen
  12. The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx


  1. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
  3. A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe (read with The Shawl)
  4. The Shawl, by Cynthia Ozick (read with A Personal Matter)
  5. A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry
  6. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  7. The Golden Bowl, by Henry James
  8. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
  9. Feast of Love, by Charles Baxter
  10. Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner
  11. The Known World, by Edward P. Jones
  12. Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut


  1. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
  2. The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
  3. A Home at the End of the World, by Michael Cunningham
  4. Absalom, Absalom, by William Faulkner
  5. Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin
  6. The Great Fire, by Shirley Hazzard
  7. The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje
  8. The Map of Love, by Ahdaf Soueif
  9. The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
  10. Saturday, by Ian McEwan
  11. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
  12. "Brokeback Mountain" from Close Range, by Annie Proulx


  1. Lost in Translation, by Eva Hoffman
  2. Graceland, by Chris Abani
  3. Fall on Your Knees, by Ann-Marie Macdonald
  4. Heir to the Glimmering World, by Cynthia Ozick
  5. No Great Mischief, by Alistair Macleod
  6. The Sea, by John Banville
  7. The Sea, The Sea, by Iris Murdoch
  8. Speciman Days, by Michael Cunningham
  9. The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai
  10. The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides
  11. Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
  12. The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shields


  1. Four Souls, by Louise Erdrich
  2. The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles
  3. The Transit of Venus, by Shirley Hazzard
  4. Typical American, by Gish Jen
  5. Flower Children, by Maxine Swann
  6. The Street, by Ann Petry
  7. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer
  8. The Story of Lucy Gault, by William Trevor
  9. Blindness, by Jose Saramago
  10. Flesh and Blood, by Michael Cunningham
  11. A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley


  1. Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem
  2. Mao II, by Don DeLillo
  3. Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie
  4. First Light, by Charles Baxter
  5. The Conservationist, by Nadine Gordimer
  6. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
  7. Arthur and George, by Julian Barnes
  8. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  9. The Leopard, by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
  10. In the Pond, by Ha Jin
  11. A Case of Exploding Mangoes, by Mohammed Hanif
  12. The Gathering, by Anne Enright


  1. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
  2. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
  3. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  4. Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
  5. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
  6. A Passage to India, by E M Forster
  7. On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
  8. A Handful of Dust, by Evelyn Waugh
  9. The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
  10. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
  11. Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson
  12. Regeneration, by Pat Barker


  1. The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
  2. A Room with a View, by E M Forster
  3. People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
  4. The Eye in the Door, by Pat Barker
  5. Mr. Pip, by Lloyd Jones
  6. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khalid Hosseini
  7. The Inn at Lake Devine, by Elinor Lipman
  8. Veronika Decides to Die, by Paulo Coelho
  9. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
  10. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
  11. Bridge of Sighs, by Richard Russo
  12. The Poet and the Murder, by Simon Worrall


  1. The Darling, by Russell Banks
  2. The Ransom, by David Malouf
  3. Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels
  4. The Ghost Road, by Pat Barker
  5. Last Man in Tower, by Aravind Adiga
  6. To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf
  7. Blackwater Lightship, by Colm Tóibín
  8. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  9. Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
  10. The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
  11. The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich
  12. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan


  1. The Privileges, by Jonathan Dee
  2. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers
  3. The Master, by Colm Tóibín
  4. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
  5. Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
  6. Wise Blood, by Flannery O'Connor
  7. Italian Shoes, by Henning Mankell
  8. Continental Drift, by Russell Banks
  9. My Antonia, by Willa Cather
  10. Quarantine, by Jim Crace
  11. Home, by Toni Morrison
  12. Ancient Light, by John Banville


  1. The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
  2. The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes
  3. This Is How You Lose Her, Junot Díaz
  4. The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey
  5. Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
  6. Ru, Kim Thúy
  7. Dissident Gardens, Jonathan Lethem
  8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  9. Tinkers, Paul Harding
  10. White Dog Fell from the Sky, Eleanor Morse
  11. The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson
  12. Mission to America, Walter Kirn


  1. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, by Alice Munro
  2. The Road Home, by Alice Tremain
  3. The Line of Beauty, by Alan Hollinghurst
  4. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
  5. Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
  6. The Harvest, by Jim Crace
  7. Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
  8. Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout
  9. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by R L Stevenson; Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka
  10. A Moveable Feast, by Earnest Hemingway
  11. The Last Time They Met, by Anita Shreve


  1. The Enchanted, by Rene Denfeld
  2. The Cat's Table, by Michael Ondaatje
  3. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
  4. I Curse the River of Time, Per Petterson
  5. Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
  6. Etta and Otto and Russell and James, by Emma Hooper
  7. The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
  8. Nora Webster, Colm Tóibín
  9. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
  10. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
  11. "The Dead" (from Dubliners), by James Joyce


  1. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy
  3. Pompeii, by Robert Harris
  4. Snowdrops, by Andrew Miller
  5. The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman
  6. Wolf Totem, by Jiang Rong
  7. The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes
  8. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
  9. The Quickening Maze, by Adam Foulds
  10. Claire of the Sea Light, by Edwidge Danticat
  11. The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane
  12. My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante


  1. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
  2. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
  3. Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather
  4. Scoop, by Evelyn Waugh
  5. How to Be Both, by Ali Smith
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mary Haddon
  7. Christ Stopped at Eboli, by Carlo Levi
  8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carré
  9. A Bend in the River, by V S Naipaul
  10. The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
  11. Breathing Lessons, by Anne Tyler
  12. The Great Passage, by Shion Miura


NOTE: In 2020 we met through March when the Forbes Library closed in-person meetings due to COVID; our group switched to using Zoom in April for Angle of Repose, then took a break from May through September. We resumed Zoom meetings in October for the rest of 2020, all of 2021, and most of 2022 when we switched to a hybrid version in late summer.

  1. Homecoming, by Yaa Gyasi
  2. The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
  3. Moon Tiger, by Penelope Lively
  4. A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
  5. Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
  6. Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
  7. The Welsh Girl, by Peter Davies
  8. Liars Club, by Mary Karr
  9. An Artist of the Floating World, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  10. Indian Killer, by Sherman Alexie
  11. Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E Butler
  12. A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby


  1. Disobedience, by Jane Hamilton
  2. Housegirl, by Michael Donker
  3. Days Without End, by Sebastian Barry
  4. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner(Zoom)

---hiatus May-September---

  1. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
  2. Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov
  3. Over Story, by Richard Powers


  1. Nothing to See Here, by Kevin Wilson
  2. Machines Like Me, by Ian McEwan
  3. Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker
  4. Howards End, by E M Forster
  5. Autumn, by Ali Smith
  6. The Only Story, by Julian Barnes
  7. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K Dick
  9. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
  10. Hot Milk, by Deborah Levey
  11. Agent Running Through the Field, by John Le Carré
  12. The House in the Cerulean Sea, T J Klune


  1. Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson
  2. Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
  3. Heart's Invisible Furies, by John Boyne
  4. Sea Monsters, by Chloe Aridjis
  5. Justine, by Lawrence Durrell
  6. The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
  7. Improvement, by Joan Silber
  8. Detransition, Baby, by Torrey Peters
  9. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee
  10. Hamnet, by Magggie O'Farrell
  11. Winter, by Ali Smith
  12. The Good Soldier, by Ford Maddox Ford


  1. Jan Milkman, by Anna Burns
  2. Feb Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernadine Evaristo
  3. Mar The Enormous Room, by e e cummings
  4. Apr Spring, by Ali Smith
  5. May Light in August, by William Faulkner
  6. Jun The Trees, by Percival Everett
  7. Jul The Colony, by Audrey Magee
  8. Aug The Custom of the Country, by Edith Wharton
  9. Sep Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng
  10. Oct 2: Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan (2021)
  11. Nov 13: Great Circle, by Maggie Shipstead (2021)
  12. Dec 11: The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family, Joshua Cohen (2021)


  1. Jan 8, 2024: The Book of Form and Emptiness, by Ruth Ozeki (2021)
  2. Feb 12, 2024: Flights, by Olga Tokarczuk (translated, 2007) 416 pp
  3. Mar 11, 2024: This Other Eden, by Paul Harding (2023), 222 pp
  4. Apr 8, 2024: The Quiet American, by Graham Greene (1955), 209 pp
  5. May 13, 2024: Time Shelter, by Georgi Gaspadinov (2020), 304 pp
  6. June 10, 2024: My Russian Grandmother and her American Vacuum Cleaner, by Meir Shalev (2018), 224 pp