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The Reader's Loft recognizes the importance of book groups as a way of creating community around the written word in these modern and often too-busy times.

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When you register your book group at The Reader's Loft, you receive:
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Adelante! Book Club

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family By Amy Ellis Nutt
Not Open To Public
June 2017


The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post


When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But it wasn’t long before they noticed a marked difference between Jonas and his brother, Wyatt. Jonas preferred sports and trucks and many of the things little boys were “supposed” to like; but Wyatt liked princess dolls and dress-up and playing Little Mermaid. By the time the twins were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt’s insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, to accept and embrace Wyatt’s transition to Nicole, and to undergo an emotionally wrenching transformation of their own that would change all their lives forever.


Becoming Nicole chronicles a journey that could have destroyed a family but instead brought it closer together. It’s the story of a mother whose instincts told her that her child needed love and acceptance, not ostracism and disapproval; of a Republican, Air Force veteran father who overcame his deepest fears to become a vocal advocate for trans rights; of a loving brother who bravely stuck up for his twin sister; and of a town forced to confront its prejudices, a school compelled to rewrite its rules, and a courageous community of transgender activists determined to make their voices heard. Ultimately, Becoming Nicole is the story of an extraordinary girl who fought for the right to be herself.


Granted wide-ranging access to personal diaries, home videos, clinical journals, legal documents, medical records, and the Maineses themselves, Amy Ellis Nutt spent almost four years reporting this immersive account of an American family confronting an issue that is at the center of today’s cultural debate. Becoming Nicole will resonate with anyone who’s ever raised a child, felt at odds with society’s conventions and norms, or had to embrace life when it plays out unexpectedly. It’s a story of standing up for your beliefs and yourself—and it will inspire all of us to do the same.


Euphoria Euphoria By Lily King
Not Open To Public
July 2017


A New York Times Bestseller


Winner of the 2014 Kirkus Prize


Winner of the 2014 New England Book Award for Fiction


A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award


A Best Book of the Year for:


New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Vogue, New York Magazine, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Our Man in Boston, Oprah.com, Salon


Euphoria is Lily King’s nationally bestselling breakout novel of three young, gifted anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is "dazzling ... suspenseful ... brilliant...an exhilarating novel.”—Boston Globe



Louisa Catherine: The Other Mrs. Adams Louisa Catherine: The Other Mrs. Adams By Margery M. Heffron
Not Open To Public
Tuesday, August 15


Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, wife and political partner of John Quincy Adams, became one of the most widely known women in America when her husband assumed office as sixth president in 1825. Shrewd, intellectual, and articulate, she was close to the center of American power over many decades, and extensive archives reveal her as an unparalleled observer of the politics, personalities, and issues of her day. Louisa left behind a trove of journals, essays, letters, and other writings, yet no biographer has mined these riches until now. Margery Heffron brings Louisa out of the shadows at last to offer the first full and nuanced portrait of an extraordinary first lady.

 

The book begins with Louisa’s early life in London and Nantes, France, then details her excruciatingly awkward courtship and engagement to John Quincy, her famous diplomatic success in tsarist Russia, her life as a mother, years abroad as the wife of a distinguished diplomat, and finally the Washington, D.C., era when, as a legendary hostess, she made no small contribution to her husband’s successful bid for the White House. Louisa’s sharp insights as a tireless recorder provide a fresh view of early American democratic society, presidential politics and elections, and indeed every important political and social issue of her time.


Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice By Joan Biskupic
Not Open To Public
September 2017


"I knew she'd be trouble."

So quipped Antonin Scalia about Sonia Sotomayor at the Supreme Court's annual end-of-term party in 2010. It's usually the sort of event one would expect from such a grand institution, with gentle parodies of the justices performed by their law clerks, but this year Sotomayor decided to shake it up―flooding the room with salsa music and coaxing her fellow justices to dance.

It was little surprise in 2009 that President Barack Obama nominated a Hispanic judge to replace the retiring justice David Souter. The fact that there had never been a nominee to the nation's highest court from the nation's fastest growing minority had long been apparent. So the time was ripe―but how did it come to be Sonia Sotomayor?

In Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice, the veteran journalist Joan Biskupic answers that question. This is the story of how two forces providentially merged―the large ambitions of a talented Puerto Rican girl raised in the projects in the Bronx and the increasing political presence of Hispanics, from California to Texas, from Florida to the Northeast―resulting in a historical appointment. And this is not just a tale about breaking barriers as a Puerto Rican. It's about breaking barriers as a justice.

Biskupic, the author of highly praised judicial biographies of Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, now pulls back the curtain on the Supreme Court nomination process, revealing the networks Sotomayor built and the skills she cultivated to go where no Hispanic has gone before. We see other potential candidates edged out along the way. And we see how, in challenging tradition and expanding our idea of a justice (as well as expanding her public persona), Sotomayor has created tension within and without the court's marble halls.

As a Supreme Court justice, Sotomayor has shared her personal story to an unprecedented degree. And that story―of a Latina who emerged from tough times in the projects not only to prevail but also to rise to the top―has even become fabric for some of her most passionate comments on matters before the Court. But there is yet more to know about the rise of Sonia Sotomayor. Breaking In offers the larger, untold story of the woman who has been called "the people's justice."


A Disability History of the United States A Disability History of the United States By Kim E. Nielsen
Not Open To Public
October 2017


Disability is not just the story of someone we love or the story of whom we may become; rather it is undoubtedly the story of our nation. Covering the entirety of US history from pre-1492 to the present, A Disability History of the United States is the first book to place the experiences of people with disabilities at the center of the American narrative. In many ways, it’s a familiar telling. In other ways, however, it is a radical repositioning of US history. By doing so, the book casts new light on familiar stories, such as slavery and immigration, while breaking ground about the ties between nativism and oralism in the late nineteenth  century and the role of ableism in the development of democracy.

A Disability History of the United States pulls from primary-source documents and social histories to retell American history through the eyes, words, and impressions of the people who lived it. As historian and disability scholar Nielsen argues, to understand disability history isn’t to narrowly focus on a series of individual triumphs but rather to examine mass movements and pivotal daily events through the lens of varied experiences. Throughout the book, Nielsen deftly illustrates how concepts of disability have deeply shaped the American experience—from deciding who was allowed to immigrate to establishing labor laws and justifying slavery and gender discrimination. Included are absorbing—at times horrific—narratives of blinded slaves being thrown overboard and women being involuntarily sterilized, as well as triumphant accounts of disabled miners organizing strikes and disability rights activists picketing Washington. 

Engrossing and profound, A Disability History of the United States fundamentally reinterprets how we view our nation’s past: from a stifling master narrative to a shared history that encompasses us all.


The Winona LaDuke Chronicles: Stories from the Front Lines in the Battle for Environmental Justice The Winona LaDuke Chronicles: Stories from the Front Lines in the Battle for Environmental Justice By Winona LaDuke
Not Open To Public
November 2017


Chronicles is a major work, a collection of current, pressing and inspirational stories of Indigenous communities from the Canadian subarctic to the heart of Dine Bii Kaya, Navajo Nation. Chronicles is a book literally risen from the ashes--beginning in 2008 after her home burned to the ground--and collectively is an accounting of Winona's personal path of recovery, finding strength and resilience in the writing itself as well as in her work. Long awaited, Chronicles is a labour of love, a tribute to those who have passed on and those yet to arrive.


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