FIA book discussions focus on works of fiction and non-fiction related to art, art museums, or FIA collections. The first meeting for each book sets the stage by exploring artists and artwork related to the selected book. Two weeks later, the book is discussed. These free programs are offered on Wednesdays at 1:30p in Isabel Hall.

The Music Lesson

By Katharine Weber

Part 1: Art History Presentation

Sept 21 • 1:30p

Part 2: Book Discussion

Oct 5 • 1:30p

Isabel Hall 

Patricia Dolan is alone with a stolen Vermeer painting in an Irish cottage by the sea. How she got here is part of the story she tells us: about her father, a Boston cop; the numbing loss of her daughter; and her charming Irish cousin, who has led her to this high-stakes crime. Her vigil becomes a tale of love, regret, and transformation. As Patricia immerses herself in the passions of her Irish heritage, she discovers what has been hidden beneath the surface of her own life--and what she must do to preserve the things she values most.

Books are available in the Museum Shop.

Discussion Questions PDF


The Shadow of the Wind

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Part 1: Art History Presentation

Nov 2 • 1:30p

Part 2: Book Discussion

Nov 16 • 1:30p

Isabel Hall 

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

Books are available in the Museum Shop.

Discussion Questions PDF

The Personal Librarian

By Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray

Part 1: Art History Presentation

Jan 18 • 1:30p

Part 2: Book Discussion

Feb 1 • 1:30p

Isabel Hall 

The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths to which she must go—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.

Books are available in the Museum Shop.

Discussion Questions PDF

Still Life with Monkey

By Katharine Weber

Part 1: Art History Presentation

Mar 8 • 1:30p

Part 2: Book Discussion

Mar 22 • 1:30p

Isabel Hall 

Duncan and his wife, Laura, find themselves in conflict as Duncan's will to live falters. Laura grows desperate to help him. An art conservator who has her own relationship to the repair of broken things, Laura brings home a highly trained helper monkey--a tufted capuchin named Ottoline--to assist Duncan with basic tasks. Duncan and Laura fall for this sweet, comical, Nutella-gobbling little creature, and Duncan's life appears to become more tolerable, fuller, and funnier. Yet the question persists: Is it enough?

Books are available in the Museum Shop.

Discussion Questions PDF

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

By Gail Tsukiyama

Part 1: Art History Presentation

May 24 • 1:30p

Part 2: Book Discussion

June 7 • 1:30p

Isabel Hall 

It is Tokyo in 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms, two orphaned brothers dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows early signs of promise at the national obsession of sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of Noh theater masks. But as the ripples of war spread to their quiet neighborhood, the brothers must put their dreams on hold―and forge their own paths in a new Japan.

Books are available in the Museum Shop.

Discussion Questions PDF