Books & Bars

Minnesota’s Largest Open Book Club


First Tuesdays

(with some exceptions)

5:00 Social Hour

6:15 Discussion


With The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, moderator Jeff Kamin brings his unique take on a public book club show to Saint Paul every first Tuesday of the month. Kamin has taken the suburban book club tradition and put it in a public bar where people’s opinions flow freely with a little “liquid courage.” Even if you don’t like the featured book, he “guarantees a good time at our entertaining discussions.” All are welcome to try this moderated reinvention of the book club.

Winter (Oct-April):
The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave., Saint Paul

Summer (May-Sept):
Amsterdam Bar & Hall

6th & Wabasha, Saint Paul

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 

A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

Tuesday, June 7

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

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My Brilliant Friend – Neapolitan Novels, Book One
by Elena Ferrante

Tuesday, July 19

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila.

The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change.

Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists. It is a meticulous portrait of two women that is also the story of a nation—and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.

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"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" cover imageHarry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II, by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production (Rehearsal Edition)*

Tuesday, August 16

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I & II, is an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, accompanying the opening of a new play by Jack Thorne on July 30, 2016. Everyone will be able to delight in an entirely new chapter of the Harry Potter adventure—no matter how far away they are from the London stage—when the book is released on July 31.

The Cursed Child will tell the “untold part” of the boy wizard’s story, promises the author, including the story of the lives of his murdered parents. It will pick up 19 years after Harry was last seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, waving his two eldest children off to Hogwarts. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.

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* The special rehearsal edition of the script book will comprise the version of the play early in the production’s preview period and is therefore subject to being changed before the official opening. Previews of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” begin in May at London’s Palace Theatre, with both plays set to open on July 30. The hardcover and ebook will go on sale at 12:01 a.m. on July 31. Subtext Books now taking advanced orders.

Books & Bars