Arts & Entertainment

Book Club Discusses Mystery Title

August 17, 2013 at 6:55 AM

LIVINGSTON, NJ – Approximately 20 people gathered in the program room at Livingston Public Library for “The Coffee & Crime Mystery Book group,” a monthly book discussion focusing on books in the mystery sub-genre.  

Thursday’s discussion was on Amateur Detective: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley. The book is about an 11-year girl who spends a great amount of time in a scientific lab trying to solve a murder.

Ariel Zeitlin Cooke, a librarian at Livingston Public Library who leads each month’s discussion, said, “Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is sort of a historical mystery. It's set in 1950s England.

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“It’s quirky, it’s funny,” she added.

Participants in Thursday’s book discussion talked about how they related to the book’s main character and her relationships. They also discussed other aspects of the book’s themes and plot. 

Each month’s book club features a crossword puzzle based on the book as well as a food or activity with a link to the book. On Thursday, participants brought in pies to share.

“Book reading is about community. That’s why people want to read bestsellers; that’s why you want to read what your friends read,” Cooke said. “This group has such nice community; I could not have sat down and scripted a nicer group.”

Cooke came up with the idea for a mystery book club after Livingston Public Library asked her to hold a book club, but gave her flexibility in terms of what type of book club to have.  

“I thought a mystery book club would be good because so many people like mysteries, and I know there are a lot of really interesting things going on in that genre” she said.

Approximately 30 people are associated with the book club, although they rotate in terms of their attendance to the discussions.

“What we are trying to do in the library is to get people excited about reading, so even if they don’t come to the club, they can borrow the book (that the book club discusses during a meeting) and come to the library, and if they feel excited (about reading)," she said. "That’s the kind of community we want to encourage.”

For more information on the Coffee & Mystery Book Club at Livingston Public Library, visit

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