Book Groups

Join one of our book clubs

Engage in stimulating conversation about books and exchange perspectives about characters and plot in an informal and friendly environment. Readers have been introduced to many interesting books, varying from recent biographies, poetry, historical novels and well-known classics, to recent prize-winning novels or more obscure titles which members might not have discovered for themselves.

Book Groups on different themes begin twice a year (in September/October and again in January/February) and meet once a month at the Library. There is no additional fee for the book groups, but you must be a member of The American Library in Paris to participate. To sign up for a group, send an email to programs manager Grant Rosenberg at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FAQs on Book Groups

Yes. If you are not yet a Library member but would like to participate in one of our book groups, please join the Library before the first session of your selected group or be prepared (and leave enough time) to join or renew at the first session (check/cash/credit card, photo ID and proof of residence required).

Book Groups on different themes begin twice a year (in September/October and again in January/February) and meet once a month. Group meetings take place in the Library unless otherwise advertised.

Please come to the first session prepared to discuss the first book on the list. Arriving 15 minutes early will allow everyone to become acquainted. If you will not be present, you are expected to let the book group leader know, as others may be on a waiting list.

Discussion groups are organized at the Library’s initiative, but group leaders -- and members -- will have broad discretion in how they unfold.

The Library will provide coffee, tea, and water for the discussion groups, whose members also may wish to bring other refreshments or snacks. Group members are responsible for clean-up in Library spaces, including the kitchen.

Please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You must include the TITLE of your desired group in the SUBJECT LINE and your MEMBERSHIP NUMBER in the body of the email

The group leader will confirm your participation (up to twelve members per group) and send further details.


Book Groups Fall 2017 

Book Groups Fall 2017 

WWII’s homefronts in the United States, France, and Germany, led by Philippe Mélot

Far from the battlefields and military feats, what was everyday life in France and in the U.S. during the second world war? On the French side of the Atlantic there was Occupation, Collaboration and Resistance; on the other side, the “Arsenal of Democracy,” a whole country turned into a gigantic armament factory, with millions of women (the Rosies) working in factories and shipyards, and peacetime products turned into war products. In Germany, west of the Rhine River a population fanaticized and kept under brutal dictatorship and “fake news” propaganda.

The group meets on the following Wednesdays at 17h-19h to discuss the listed books:

20 Sep | Freedom's Forge by Arthur Herman

25 Oct | No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin

29 Nov | The Unfree French: Life under the Occupation by Richard Vinen

20 Dec | The German War: a Nation Under Ams 1939-45” By Nicholas Stagardt

The Ongoing debates around the US Healthcare System, led by Graciela Carrasco

This reading group will focus first on two authors who have written compelling accounts of the American medical system, one from the patient perspective, and one from the provider perspective. The group will then tackle a historical account of presidential health policy, which will be quite relevant in light of the ongoing debates around health reform. Finally, the group will read one American doctor’s transformative work on the global health stage. This group meets on the following Thursday evenings at  19h30:

21 Sept |  The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman

19 Oct  | Better: A Surgeon’s Note on Performance OR Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, by  Atul Gawande

16 Nov | The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office, by David Blumenthal

14 Dec |  Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder

Graciela Carrasco is currently a PhD student at ESSEC School of Business. Her research interests are in Health Policy and Management and Health Communications. Previously she did her Masters degree at the Harvard School of Public Health, also in Health Policy and Management. She is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Readings on the Middle East, led  by Maury Lanman and Laurie Calvet


The motivation of this book group is to explore the mostly recent history of the middle east in order to better understand the region today. Our first book is a broad survey of middle eastern history by the renown scholar Bernard Lewis.  The next three notable books each examine a separate aspect of this complex topic, in particular: Iran, the rise of ISIS and the history of Israel.  While it is impossible to cover such a broad and complicated topic in any comprehensive fashion in only 4 books, our selections should provide insight into the middle east puzzle and help us understand in more depth the present challenges of the region. The meetings will be held on the following Thursdays from 17h-18h30.

19 Sept | The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years, by Bernard Lewis

19 Oct | All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer

16 Nov | A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS by Robert F. Worth

11 Jan | My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit

Studying Shakespeare Plays, led by Neil Heims

This group continues from this past spring, reading and discussing the follow classic plays on the following Thursdays at 18H30:

28 Sep | Hamlet

26 Oct | Henry V

23 Nov | King Lear

21 Dec | The Tempest

Democracy Around the World, led by Ed Turner

This group returns to explore a slightly different angle, looking at democratic movements in countries not known for them. This group will meet at 17h-19h on the following dates:

28 Sept |The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo's Scorpion Prison to Freedom by Mohamed Fahmy

21 Nov | Democracy: Stories From the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice

12 Dec | The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

TBD | Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra

World Voices at the Library, led by Grant Rosenberg

Led by the Library’s programs manager, this book group will read a selection of books that have been highlights of the Library’s’ 'evenings with authors'
series, from authors and/or protagonists who are not Western: a Libyan, a Guatemalan, a Kuwaiti, and a Liberian speak to us in these books. The group will meet on the following Thursday mornings at 10h30.

5 Oct | The Return - a memoir by Hisham Matar

9 Nov  | The Polish Boxer / Monastery -  two connected novels by Eduardo Halfon

7 Dec |  The Hidden Light of Objects - a short story collection by Mai Al-Nakib

11 Jan | A Marker to Measure Drift - a novel by Alexander Maksik

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 November 2017 10:37