Arts & Entertainment

Group Gets Booked in East Brunswick

The East Brunswick readers have lots to be proud of - literally and literarily!  Hey!  There's Spad! Credits: TAP into East Brunswick

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - This ain't your grandma's book-of-the-month club. A group of longtime East Brunswick friends with big brains, lots of opinions, a few glasses of wine, and many, many comments have tackled a book a month for the past eight years. Starting with The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, that's around 96 all together -- quite an accomplishment, even if a reader only "skimmed" a few along the way.

There are a few retired teachers in this group that meets monthly at a member's East Brunswick home to discuss the reading on the table. For EB grads, there are a few familiar faces, including Kathy Spadafino, former music teacher and current director of the East Brunswick Community Chorus.  

Carole Molchan, a retired math teacher from Piscataway High School and longtime EB resident, explained how the process of choosing, reading, and discussing works:  "First we select a book from the available list put out by the Ocean County Public Library in Toms River. We read it. (Sometimes we listen to the audiobook or watch a current film of the novel.)  Then we discuss it at our monthly meeting.  Everyone gets a chance to speak with without interuption, giving a review of the book and expressing an opinion about it.  Then we discuss it together and decide what, as a group, we got out of it."

Sign Up for E-News

The meetings are cordial and tasty, too - a social event built around discussion and reading.  One reader admitted that "I didn't like the book until we discussed it" based on the fresh input of her peers.  Some conversation is literary, regarding symbolism, character, and theme, but most is sociological and is based on readers' ideas about relationships and perspectives in the novel.  "Ironcially," says, Mrs. Molchan, "the books we thought were bad led to the longest discussions."

Some favorites of the group included The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; 1,000 White Women by Jim Fergus; The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd; Sarah's Key adapted by Tatiana de Rosnay; The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls; and Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham.

Literary classics are included, too.  The group admitted learning a great deal from an adult re-reading of Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, high school coming-of-age favorite.  The most recent book discussed was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which earned mixed reviews, even with the presence of Mr. Darcy, model husband.  It was a "loved it/hated it" thing with regard to this often-read novel.  Happily, though, the group has a standing policy, according to Mrs. Molchan: "If you don't read the book, you have to bring a bottle of wine to the meeting"

During the discussion of the Jane Austen novel, there were four bottles of wine on the table.  It was a win-win situation for the readers.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

East Brunswick: The History of... The East Brunswick Grange

April 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - During East Brunswick’s agricultural years, one of the most active organizations in town was the East Brunswick Grange. Granges were fraternities for farmers that helped promote the well-being of farming in the community. There were many granges across the country during the late 19th and early 20th Century, and East Brunswick was certainly no exception. In the period ...

Highland Park: Teen Mom Charged in Death of Newborn

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - In a tragic turn of events, a teenager from Highland Park was charged in a juvenile complaint with murder in the first degree in the death of her newborn son.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that a 14-year-old teenage girl from Highland Park has been charged with an act of juvenile delinquency for an offense which if committed by an ...

Veinott’s Vietnam – Time Flies When You Fly Away

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – It’s been nearly a decade since South Plainfield native Philip Veinott packed his bags and moved over 8,500 miles away to start the next chapter of his life. And, a lot has changed – both personally and professionally – for Veinott in that time. 

In August 2016, Veinott married the love of his life, Helen Nguyen, and the couple is expecting ...

South Brunswick: Mayor Killmurray’s Funeral Plans Announced, Township Prepares For Administration Change

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Township officials announced funeral plans for Mayor Christopher Killmurray and plans to deal with filling his position and a second one on the Council.

Killmurray, 55, died at home Sunday morning after battling brain cancer for several years.

According to the township, a viewing is scheduled for 3-7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church at ...

South Brunswick: Mayor Christopher Killmurray, 55, Dies

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Township Mayor Christopher Killmurray died at home Sunday morning, officials announced.

In an alert to residents, Township Manager Bernard Hvozdovic said that Killmurray, 55, passed away at home surrounded by his family after battling brain cancer for several years.

A Democrat, Killmurray was first elected to the Township Council in 2003 and served as deputy ...

Mayor Cohen Celebrates Chelsea's 20th Anniversary

April 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ -- Mayor Brad Cohen, an enthusiastic supporter of the Chelsea at East Brunswick, was on hand to help mark the Chelsea's 20th anniversary on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Mayor Cohen read a proclamation honoring the Chelsea and recalled the experience of his late mother who, at age 102, had hip replacement surgery and lived to be 106. Mayor Cohen is a great friend of the ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, April 20, 6:30 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Wild Kratts

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 21, 8:00 AM

White house at Aldersgate UM Church, East Brunswick

RUMMAGE SALE to benefit the Food Bank


Mon, April 30, 7:00 PM

Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough

Auditions for Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of ...

Arts & Entertainment

Reading Like Cats and Dogs: EBPL Launches Second “Reading To Action” Program Series

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) begins its second Reading to Action project, which includes a series of events and volunteer projects this April.

The Reading To Action program encourages library customers to be more active in their community. This year's theme is "animals." The library is presenting a variety of programs for ...

East Brunswick Public Library Screens “Swim Team” Documentary about Autistic Athletes

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—The East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) hosts a screening of the PBS documentary, Swim Team, on Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30 PM. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with director Lara Stolman.

Stolman’s inspiring debut documentary, Swim Team, follows three diverse young men—Michael McQuay ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)


How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...