Events Blog

January 25th Event: “Blind Date with a Book” Wrapped Book Swap

Come out to meet new people and get a free book! Bring a wrapped book to exchange and get an exciting new one in return. Familiar with “Blind Date with a Book?” (If not, Google it, and we’ll pretend you always knew). Same concept!

*JAN 22nd UPDATE: We have a reservation for 10 people at GRBC under the names James and Jordan. If you are planning on attending this event, please shoot an email to and let us know so we can ensure you get a seat!*

Three easy steps to participate:
1. Purchase one book (new or like new condition, please) and wrap it.
2. Write the following on the wrapping paper (or a note attached to the wrapping paper)
-genre of book
-its score
-brief summary or a couple characteristics (just enough to give an idea of what it’s      about without revealing what the book is)
3. Show up ready to swap! We’ll put all of the books on the table, and you’ll choose one you want based on the information written on the wrapping paper.


Worried that you won’t find something you like/haven’t read already? Your Better Off Read cohosts Jordan and James will have at least TEN extra books from various genres!


Event Details

  • Thursday, January 25th, 2018
  • 7:00 PM EST
  • 1 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • We have a reservation under the names James and Jordan
  • There is street parking downtown or paid lots further down Ionia.
  • For additional information, view the Meetup event here




March 18th Event: Book Lovers’ Trivia

Do you know your Dickens from your Dickinson? Can you name all of Harry’s Defense Against the Dark Arts professors? Is your mother a fish?

Join Better Off Read GR on March 18th to show off your literacy in a spectacular battle of the brains: Book Lover’s Trivia! Entry is $5 per person, due in cash when you arrive for the trivia quiz. First, second, third, and fourth place winners will receive fantastic prizes!

You must pre-register for the quiz (so we have enough materials for everyone).

To pre-register, click here.

If we have at least 20 individuals pre-registered, we may allow you to team up with 1 other individual on the day of the event. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Event Details

  • Sunday, March 18th, 2018
  • 1:00 PM EST
  • Schuler Books and Music, 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids MI
  • We will meet in the studio at the back of Schuler’s
  • For additional information, view the Meetup event here

February 18th Discussion: City of Thieves by David Benioff

Join Better Off Read GR to discuss a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.

At A Glance

  • 258 pages
  • 4.28 Goodreads rating
  • Historical Fiction
  • Publication Date: May 15 2008

Event Details

  • February 18th, 2018
  • 1:00 PM EDT
  • Schuler Books and Music, 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids MI
  • We will meet in the studio directly at the back of Schuler’s, no purchase necessary
  • For discussion questions and additional information, view the Meetup event here
  • Better Off Read GR members receive a 20% discount on our picks when purchased from the Book Club table at Schuler’s Books.

November 14th Event: View the film adaptation of “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie

Join Better Off Read GR on November 14th in a trip to the movies for a viewing of Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie.

A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, and more!

Event Details

  • Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
  • Showtime TBD: We will meet immediately in front of the ticket windows 20 minutes prior to showtime. We will choose a showtime after 6pm as soon as Celebration lists showtimes for this film.
  • Celebration Cinema River Town: 3728 Rivertown Pkwy, Grandville, MI 49418
  • We will meet near the box offices 20 minutes prior to showtime.
  • For additional information, view the Meetup event here

December 17th Discussion: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Read the critically acclaimed, soon to be a major motion picture, young adult novel that has been #1 on the NYTimes bestseller list since February! Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

At A Glance

  • 444 pages
  • 4.61 Goodreads rating
  • Fiction, Young Adult Contemporary
  • Publication Date: February 28 2017


Event Details

  • December 17th, 2017
  • 1:00 PM EDT
  • Schuler Books and Music, 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids MI
  • We will meet in the studio directly at the back of Schuler’s, no purchase necessary
  • For discussion questions and additional information, view the Meetup event here


Why We Picked This Book

The Hate U Give hits five of our target genres for Better Off Read GR:

  1. Award winners/critically acclaimed
  2. Books that have been adapted into film
  3. Bestsellers
  4. Contemporary fiction
  5. Banned books (If it hasn’t been banned already, it will be.)


For those wishing to purchase the book, Schuler’s offers a generous 20% discount on our book club picks each month. The book is available at the Book Club table to the left of the entrance. Ask an employee if you have difficulty finding it.

To view the discussion questions for The Hate U Give, click here.