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Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square

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700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
617.536.5400 www.bpl.org

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January 2016

Tzivia Gover, author of “Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life”

January 14, 2016 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Tzivia Gover demonstrates skills and knowledge for living your best life and making 2016 more joyful. Gover shares her knowledge of brain science, psychology, and practical mindfulness and offers simple tips and techniques—including mini-meditation and gratitude practice—to uncover happiness in even the most seemingly mundane moments. Gover is an author, educator, active member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and the founder of 350 Dreamers, an international network of people who dream together for global healing.

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April 2016

On the Job: Ancestors Who Worked in the Public Sector and the Amazing Records They Left Behind

April 13, 2016 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
Free

Records created by state and municipal workers are extensive, well preserved, and increasingly accessible. From biographical information, pension records, and ID photos to tales of heroism and scandal, public employment records offer details about an ancestor’s life and times. Margaret R. Sullivan draws on documents available online to review specific cases and discusses her efforts to use city employment records to flesh out the later lives of the 1,170 Boston police officers who went out on strike in 1919. Sullivan is…

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February 2017

Considering Matthew Shepard: A Boston Day of Reflection

February 4, 2017 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. That same night, Gay Awareness Week was beginning at the University of Wyoming, and the keynote speaker was LESLEA NEWMAN, discussing her book Heather Has Two Mommies. Shaken, the author addressed the large audience that gathered, but she remained haunted by Matthew’s murder. On Saturday, February…

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African American Poetry and Blackness in the 21st Century

February 23, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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The Boston Public Library hosts The Living Archive: African American Poetry in this exploration of Black identity articulated by contemporary African American poets. The panel (and audience) discussions with poets and writers will explore the significance of African American literature, the ways in which literature has examined and illuminated Black identities, the connection between spoken and written word, language styles and culture in Black poetry, and the relationship between writers of the past and the present. They panel includes: NICOLE TEREZ DUTTON:…

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March 2017

NICOLE GALLAND – The Play’s the Thing: Shakespeare on Stage

March 6, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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NICOLE GALLAND is an award-winning performer, screenwriter, and historical fiction writer. Her novels include I, Iago, a brilliant retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello. She co-founded and co-directs Shakespeare for the Masses, a project-based theatre on Martha’s Vineyard that has irreverently adapted more than 20 of Shakespeare’s plays by way of making the famous playwright more accessible to Bardophobes. Galland’s presentation will be part lecture, part performance in this free celebration of Shakespeare.

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April 2017

Desperately Seeking Shakespeare- Lowell Lecture

April 6, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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The Boston Public Library is pleased to host MARJORIE GARBER for a lecture entitled, "Desperately Seeking Shakespeare." GARBER has published seventeen books and edited seven collections of essays on topics found in Shakespeare’s work and was a featured commentator on the BBC/PBS television series, "Shakespeare Uncovered." Newsweek magazine chose GARBER’s Shakespeare After All as one of the five best nonfiction books of 2004. With the recent attention to Shakespeare’s life and work through commemorative celebrations (the 450th anniversary of his…

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May 2017

How to Teach Shakespreare to Children

May 3, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Join KEN LUDWIG at the Boston Public Library for this free Lowell Lecture. LUDWIG is the winner of the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of 2014, How to Teach Shakespeare to Children. LUDWIG provides the tools to help children understand, and love, Shakespeare’s works. Ludwig’s plays and musicals have been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages, and have been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company with performances by Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, and Kristin Bell. This event…

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Remembering PHILLIS WHEATLEY

May 8, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Barbara Lewis, the Director of the William Trotter Institute at UMass Boston, presents "Remembering Phillis" in the Commonwealth Salon at the Boston Public Library's Central Branch in Copley Square. Phillis Wheatley, the African-born muse of 18th century Boston, arrived in Boston in 1761 in what is now Chinatown, near the corner of Beach and Tyler. A frail girl, not yet ten, she was purchased on board the slave ship, Phillis. Ten years later, she was an internationally famous poet. Barbara Lewis explores…

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June 2017

Centennial Celebration of the Women’s National Book Association with Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author, Megan Marshall

June 1, 2017 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
Free

In celebration of their Centennial year, the WNBA is thrilled to announce that renowned author Megan Marshall, will be speaking about women and their involvement in the arts and literature. Her biography Margaret Fuller: A New American Life (2013), a richly detailed account of the 19th-century author, journalist, and women’s rights advocate who perished in a shipwreck off New York's Fire Island, won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 1st from 7:00-8:30 PM at the Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon. This event is free and…

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JESSAMYN STANLEY, author of Every Body Yoga, Interviewed by ROBIN YOUNG

June 6, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
Free

In Every Body Yoga, Stanley offers an unprecedented new beginner’s guide to yoga—specifically for anyone who has ever felt as though their body was too “different” to start a practice. JESSAMYN STANLEY is an internationally recognized yoga teacher and award-winning Instagram star. She has been featured in a wide range of media outlets, including Good Morning America, New York, Glamour, and the Huffington Post. ROBIN YOUNG brings more than 25 years of broadcast experience to her role as host of Here &…

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Celebrating Gay Pride with “The Boys in the Band”

June 15, 2017 | 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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In honor of Gay Pride Month, The Boston Public Library and the Boston Literary District are pleased to present a screening and discussion of the pioneering LGBTQ film, The Boys in the Band with MATT BELL and MICHAEL BRONSKI. In this 1970 film, directed by William Friedkin and based on the play by Mart Crowley, Michael (Kenneth Nelson) is hosting a birthday celebration for a pal when he gets an unexpected visit from old friend Alan (Peter White). The problem is, Alan is…

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MARIANNE LEONE and MICHAEL PATRICK MACDONALD Discuss Her New Memoir, Ma Speaks Up

June 22, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
Free

MICHAEL PATRICK MACDONALD, author of All Souls: A Family Story from Southie will be in conversation with MARIANNE LEONE, author of Jesse: A Mother's Story and the newly released, Ma Speaks Up, at the Central Library in Copley Square on Thursday June 22nd at 6pm. Both authors will read from their works, before sitting down to discuss memoir-writing and the transformation of personal loss into a voice and platform for empathic civic discourse and grassroots action. Seating is first come,…

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30th Joiner Institute Writers’ Workshop Poetry and Music Celebration

June 27, 2017 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Join the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences based at UMass Boston for a night of music and poetry celebrating the 30th year of our annual Writers Workshop and its community and creative response to war.  Featuring poetry readings by Yusef Komunyakaa, Kevin Bowen, Nguyen Ba Chung, and more TBA. Live music performed by Layth Sadiq, the UMB Jazz Trio, and more TBA. Hosted by the Boston Public Library, this event is not ticketed.

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July 2017

The Silver Linings Playbook author MATTHEW QUICK on The Reason You’re Alive

July 8, 2017 | 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Boston Public Library hosts MATTHEW QUIRK as he discusses his newest novel The Reason You're Alive.  The New York Times-bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook offers a timely novel featuring his most fascinating character yet: a Vietnam vet embarking on a quixotic crusade to track down his nemesis from the war. This event is not ticketed, and is part of the Author Talks Series at the Boston Public Library.

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The Cartel 7: Illuminati book tour kick-off at the Boston Public Library

July 24, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

The Boston Public Library welcomes ASHLEY ANTIONETTE and JAQUAVIS COLEMAN, authors of The Cartel 7: Illuminati as they kick off their national book tour in Boston.  ANTIONETTE and COLEMAN are the youngest black writers to ever debut on the New York Times list. The duo is responsible for breathing life back into black fiction and was recognized by Ebony Magazine when they made the POWER 100 list in 2012. The saga of love, loyalty, and crime continues in the next explosive…

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The Launch of City of Notions: An Anthology of Contemporary Boston Poems

July 27, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Boston’s Poet Laureate DANIELLE LEGROS GEORGES celebrates the release of “City of Notions: An Anthology of Contemporary Boston Poems,” with a public reading in the Courtyard of the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.  Welcoming remarks by City of Boston's Chief of Arts and Culture Julie Burros at 6 pm. “City of Notions” is a collection that salutes aspects of everyday life in Boston. Nearly sixty poets contributed to the anthology and run the spectrum from up-to-now…

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September 2017

“America’s librarian” NANCY PEARL shares her debut, “George and Lizzie”

September 12, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States

From “America’s librarian” and NPR Books commentator NANCY PEARL comes a debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads. George and Lizzie is an intimate story of new and past loves, the scars of childhood, and an imperfect marriage at its defining moment. PEARL speaks about the pleasures of reading to literacy organizations and community groups throughout the world and hosts a monthly television show, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl. Among her many honors and awards are the 2011 Librarian…

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November 2017

Film Screening: Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive

November 4, 2017 | 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States

Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive draws on the rich palette of Poe’s evocative imagery and sharply drawn plots to tell the real story of the notorious author. The film features Tony Award-winning and Emmy-nominated actor Denis O’Hare and will air on American Masters (PBS) later this year. This program is presented in partnership with the Boston Athenaeum and the Boston Public Library.      

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January 2018

It Occurs to Me That I Am America: A Book Launch at the Boston Public Library

January 22, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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The Boston Public Library is proud to host the release of It Occurs to Me That I'm America: New Stories and Art with acclaimed contributors HEIDI PITLOR, HA JIN, ALICE HOFFMAN in a discussion moderated by JONATHAN SANTLOFER. It Occurs to Me That I'm America features original short stories that consider the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy. Sales of this anthology benefit the ACLU.

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Beers and Bites at the Boston Public Library

January 31, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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$25

The Newsfeed Cafe at the Boston Public Library hosts "Beers and Bites" a beer tasting with Turtle Swamp Brewing. Jamaica Plain was once a haven for Boston's best breweries, as "Turtle Swamp" was the colonial name for the lowlands between Forest Hills and Jackson Square. The crystal clear water that flowed there was ideal for making beer, and many breweries flourished from the early 1800s through Prohibition. As JP's first new brewery in a generation, Turtle Swamp Brewing is bringing…

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February 2018

KEVIN POWELL: Looking for Martin―Dr. King, Community, Civil Rights, Social Media, and the New Activism

February 1, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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KEVIN POWELL explores America during the civil rights movement, with an emphasis on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through examinations of the landscape of that era and what has changed since, he highlights the work that remains to be done in the twenty-first century around race, gender, class, sexual identity, spiritual and religious beliefs, different abilities and disabilities, and more. He also explores today’s young people, American pop culture, and social media and its effect…

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March 2018

TED SCHEINMAN, Author of “Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan” at the Boston Public Library

March 12, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

The son of a devoted Jane Austen scholar, TED SCHEINMAN spent his childhood summers eating Yorkshire pudding, singing in an Anglican choir, and watching Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy. Determined to leave his mother’s world behind, he nonetheless found himself in grad school organizing the first ever UNC-Chapel Hill Jane Austen Summer Camp, a weekend-long event that sits somewhere between an academic conference and superfan extravaganza. In Camp Austen, Scheinman tells the story of his indoctrination into this enthusiastic world…

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April 2018

CONSEQUENCE MAGAZINE 10th Anniversary Issue Launch and Panel Discussion

April 18, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Consequence Magazine celebrates its 10th year with an issue of all women contributors and a panel discussion: Women's Voices in War Narratives In journalistic and literary work on the subject of war, writers who are women or who identify as women are often marginalized and underrepresented. Exposing their lack of visibility and peeling back the layers of privilege is the goal of Consequence Magazine’s 10th Anniversary issue devoted to work by women writers. This panel of four esteemed writers, Olivia Kate…

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90 Second Newbury at the Boston Public Library

April 28, 2018 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Welcome to the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival—an annual video contest in which kid filmmakers create short movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery award-winning books in about 90 seconds. For seven years we've screened the best kid-made movies annually in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and many other cities—including right here in Boston! Make your FREE reservation for the BOSTON screening of this year's 90-Second Newbery! The screening is hosted by children's authors James Kennedy (The Order of Odd-Fish) and National Book…

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May 2018

Author Talk with PATRICK K. O’DONNELL at the BPL

May 14, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

When the Unknown Soldier was laid to rest in Arlington, General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI, selected eight of America's most decorated, battle-hardened veterans to serve as Body Bearers. He chose them for their bravery and to tell the larger story of America's role in World War I. For the first time, PATRICK K. O’DONNELL cinematically portrays their heroics on the battlefield one hundred years ago. The Body Bearers appropriately spanned America's service branches and…

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June 2018

Greater Boston Writers Resist 2018

June 23, 2018 | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Last January, writers and readers gathered worldwide at Writers Resist events to voice their solidarity against the divisive tactics employed by the current administration and its supporters. Since then, our First Amendment rights have faced ongoing attacks. Journalists have been told what to write by the Press Secretary, and authors have been threatened online, and subsequently censored when they spoke out. Writers Resist brings together the authors and writers to read their work and talk about the importance of self-expression,…

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September 2018

Boston Authors Club Annual Awards Program at the BPL

September 26, 2018 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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The Boston Authors Club Annual Julia Ward Howe Awards Program for outstanding books in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young reader categories is scheduled for September 26, 2018 from 5:00-7:00PM in the McKim Building Orientation Room at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. The honored Boston-area authors will accept their awards and sign copies of their books, followed by a reception. The Boston Authors Club welcomes all book lovers to attend.

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November 2018

Boston Public Library Art and Architecture Tour

November 4, 2018 | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 2:00pm on Sunday, repeating until January 1, 2019

Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Boston Public Library offers free public tours highlighting the celebrated art and architecture of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building (1895), a designated National Historic Landmark. The hour-long tours explore the work of architect Charles Follen McKim and murals by John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, and Edwin Austin Abbey. Led by volunteer tour guides, the art and architecture tours begin at the Dartmouth Street entrance of the Central Library in Copley Square. No appointment is necessary for parties…

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December 2018

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

December 18, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

Are you a Millennial who loves to read? Then the Boston Public Library's book group, Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them, is for you. Geared toward young adults in their 20s and 30s, the group meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at the Central Library in Copley Square and covers a wide variety of genres, including historical fiction, YA, mystery, nonfiction, and more. Come explore and share your love of fantastic books! Our December pick is The Night Circus by…

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Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.