Brown University

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Bookstore Location:

244 Thayer Street at Angell Street
Providence, RI
(401) 863-3168

Please contact us if you are unable to attend an event but would like an autographed book. We will do our best to accomodate your request at the
author's and publisher's discretion.

Thursday, February 1st at 6:00PM
The Brown Bookstore presents
Brown Alum author Peter Rush discusses his novel "Wild World"

"Wild World takes us inside the Vietnam era on campus, and the author captures it perfectly. The devastating effects to the innocent are all here, especially those who try to set things to right.”
– Mary Ann Tirone-Smith, author of Girls of a Tender Age


Set Against The Backdrop Of the 1970s, Debut Novelist Peter Rush Provides An Enthralling Narrative Through the Eyes of a University Student Turned Police Officer On a Mission to Change the System

You can’t change a system unless you understand it and are part of it.  In May 1970, Steve Logan is a senior at Brown University, deeply in love with his girlfriend Roxy, and on his way to law school at Georgetown.  Then the news hits; four students killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State. As Brown’s campus roils with protests, Steve meets a New York City police officer taking on corruption in the force.  Steve is inspired by his example; a person making a real difference.  Looking for a way to stay with Roxy in Providence, he decides to join the police force and change the system from within. But he soon realizes that his idealism is no match for the hard reality of life as a cop and he must make the most difficult choice of his life: should he do the right thing, despite the costs?

Peter Rush brings the 70s to vivid life in his stunning novel WILD WORLD (Prior Manor Press; September 2017) which is based on his experiences studying at Brown University and as a police officer in Providence. A time of protests to the Vietnam War and a burgeoning feminism movement, he provides a soundtrack to the era with references from Jimi Hendrix to The Doors.  At turns tender, humorous, poignant, and hopeful, Rush shows Steve and Roxy fall deeper in love as they spend the summer together.

However, as Steve begins active duty, he witnesses cops being paid to look the other way while crimes are committed.  He also sees fellow officers exercise their power to oppress the vulnerable and escalate incidents to violence. At the same time, Roxy is increasingly dismayed by their changing their relationship. His rotating shifts mean he is away at odd hours and they see less and less of each other.

Steve must focus on the one thing he has left; his chance to make a difference.  An assignment to type up some false reports arouses his suspicions to a larger conspiracy that goes far beyond the force. With the Captain and the rest of the officers either indifferent or hostile towards him, and unable to turn to Roxy or anyone at Brown for assistance, Steve realizes just how high the stakes are and how much it will cost him.  He must now find a way to change the system and fight for the love of his life without compromising his principles.

WILD WORLD is a tour de force, both poetic and realistic.  Instead of providing readers with a bird’s eye view, Rush immerses them in Steve’s reality as he comes to understand the world around him differently. The book is set in an era not so very different from today, with a burgeoning movement of people committed to social causes, and making a difference in a world determined to maintain the current order.  Amidst all this, Rush shows that change is not only possible, but inevitable. -- Publisher Description

Peter S. Rush is a graduate of Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and received a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Florida.  He was a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, Peace Corps volunteer, and a police officer.  He is currently CEO of a global management firm.

Tuesday, February 6th at 5:30pm
Professor Rachel Herz discusses "Why You Eat What You Eat"

Dr. Rachel Herz was always been fascinated by the experience of eating—the smell, the feel, the golden hue, the gratifying taste of freshly baked bread, why we eat differently at parties than we do when we’re alone—and has sought to understand how and why our senses, our minds, and our environments impact our enjoyment of food. Her new book WHY YOU EAT WHAT YOU EAT introduces readers to this growing field of science, which argues that what we love to eat has as much to do with our minds as our mouths. Rachel is a brilliant speaker with a well-honed ability to break down scientific terms and concepts into fun facts, accessible to all. In her newest book, Rachel shares countless fun facts about why we eat what we eat, and offers practical advice that can help us influence our emotions and improve our lives. Here are just a few:

  • When your favorite sports team loses, you are likely to eat more fattening food the next day—but if they win, you will probably eat more healthfully.
  • Using red plates can make you eat less, and using blue bowls may make food taste saltier.
  • The scent of vanilla can make foods taste sweeter.

Rachel also explains why some people love certain scents (such as bacon) and loathe others (such as wintergreen), and what would happen to our eating experience if we lost our sense of smell, among other fun food-science topics. Brimming with fascinating scientific and psychological insight, WHY YOU EAT WHAT YOU EAT captures our complex, multilayered relationship with food—including stories of extremely picky eaters, and a man who never feels full unless he has rice.

Rachel Herz is a professor of neuroscience at Brown University and Boston College, specializing in perception and emotion. She is the author of two previous books: The Scent of Desire and That’s Disgusting. She lives in Rhode Island, where she serves as a professional consultant.

Thursday, February 8th at 6:00PM
The Brown Bookstore Presents
Alumna Sandra Allen '09 Reads & Discusses "A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise"

Dazzlingly, daringly written, marrying the thoughtful originality of Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts with the revelatory power of Neurotribes and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, this propulsive, stunning book illuminates the experience of living with schizophrenia like never before.

Sandra Allen did not know her uncle Bob very well. As a child, she had been told he was “crazy,” that he had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. But Bob had lived a hermetic life in a remote part of California for longer than she had been alive, and what little she knew of him came from rare family reunions or odd, infrequent phone calls. Then in 2009 Bob mailed her his autobiography. Typewritten in all caps, a stream of error-riddled sentences over sixty, single-spaced pages, the often incomprehensible manuscript proclaimed to be a “true story” about being “labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic,” and arrived with a plea to help him get his story out to the world.

In A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise, Allen translates her uncle’s autobiography, artfully creating a gripping coming-of-age story while sticking faithfully to the facts as he shared them. Lacing Bob’s narrative with chapters providing greater contextualization, Allen also shares background information about her family, the culturally explosive time and place of her uncle’s formative years, and the vitally important questions surrounding schizophrenia and mental healthcare in America more broadly. The result is a heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious portrait of a young man striving for stability in his life as well as his mind, and an utterly unique lens into an experience that, to most people, remains unimaginable.

Story Time twice a week!
Story Time every Thursday and Saturday

Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. 
Saturdays at 11:00 a.m.

Get ready for a reading adventure!

Join us for a story on Thursday or Saturday (or possibly both) in our new Children's Section on the mezzanine level (2nd floor) of the bookstore.




IndieBound Kids' Next List
Caldecott Medal & Honors Books
Newbery Medal & Honors Books