Art and literature meet here! Designed for both established book clubs and individuals interested in creating connections between literary and visual arts, the MFAH Book Club links works of literature to works of art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The MFAH Book Club presents three selections per year. Each book:

  • Is featured for a four-month period in the fall, spring, and summer
  • Is accompanied by a downloadable discussion guide to facilitate group discussions • For those in book clubs
  • Culminates with a docent-led tour at the Museum, scheduled in advance • For those in book clubs
  • Has a Goodreads group dedicated to online discussion throughout the book’s four-month period • For individuals

Fall 2017

The fall 2017 selection for the MFAH Book Club is Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani, an exhilarating epic novel of love, loyalty, and creativity, told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies. 

Tours: October 1, 2017–January 31, 2018
Access the discussion guide

The MFAH partners with Houston Grand Opera on a six-year multidisciplinary initiative, Seeking the Human Spirit. The initiative is designed to highlight the universal spiritual themes raised in opera and to expand and deepen Houstonians’ connections to both opera and art. As a part of this collaboration, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has connected with our counterparts at Houston Grand Opera to trace connections between the HGO season opener, La traviata; the fall 2017 MFAH Book Club selection, Kiss Carlo; and artworks from the MFAH collections.

How to Participate

Pick the approach that works best for you and your schedule.

Not already part of a book club? Here's how to partipate on your own!

  1. Read the book at your own pace! MFAH Book Club selections are sometimes available as audiobooks via services such as Audible, or through apps that use your public library card for free audio, such as Overdrive.
  2. Become a part of our Goodreads online discussion group. You can sign in with your Facebook account, or create your own Goodreads account. Discussion questions for the current book club pick are posted every other week, but feel free to pose questions of your own.
  3. Enhance your experience by visiting the Museum and taking a free drop-in tour related to the themes of the book. Drop-in tours related to Kiss Carlo coming soon!

Part of a book club or other group of six or more people? Here's how to participate with your group!

Read the book. Most MFAH Book Club selections may be purchased at the MFA Shop, where Museum members receive a discount. Reading copies are also available in the Museum’s Kinder Foundation Education Center and at the Museum's Hirsch Library.

  1. Download the discussion guide to facilitate your conversation. This guide features questions about the book and select artworks on view at the MFAH.
    Access the discussion guide for “Kiss Carlo”
  2. Request a docent-led tour by e-mailing—a minimum of 3 weeks in advance—with the following information:

    • The name of your group and number of participants
    • The primary organizer's name, telephone number, and e-mail address
    • Your preferred date and time for your tour (see below for tour availability)

    Tours related to Kiss Carlo are available between October 1, 2017, through January 31, 2018.

    Choose from the following days and times:

    Tuesdays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
    Wednesdays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
    Thursdays, 10:30 am, 3:30 p.m., or 6:30 p.m.
    Sundays, 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.

    Note: If your group meets on a specfic day and/or time not listed above, please e-mail with a request, which we will try to accommodate.
  3. Look for a confirmation e-mail, within 5 business days, with information about when and where to meet the docent at the Museum.

Questions? E-mail

What to Expect on an MFAH Book Club Tour

• MFAH Book Club tours are free for MFAH members and free with general Museum admission for nonmembers.
• Tours last approximately 1½ hours.
• Camp stools are provided for seating.
• Docents facilitate tours, selecting several artworks on view at the Museum that they feel best connect with aspects of the featured book.
• Excerpts from the book are a vital component of these discussion-based tours, so we encourage you to bring your copy of the book along.
• Expect lively discussion of the book and artworks!

Planning Ahead?

Spring–summer 2018 selection:
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

The next MFAH Book Club pick is a Pulitzer Prize–winner! Navigating between the Indian traditions they’ve inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of culture and generations. In "A Temporary Matter," published in The New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a stillborn birth while their Boston neighborhood copes with a nightly blackout. In the title story, an interpreter guides an American family through the India of their ancestors and hears an astonishing confession.

Stay tuned for the discussion guide! Tours related to “Interpreter of Maladies” are available February 5–June 30, 2018.

Past Selections

Since the MFAH Book Club's inception, the Museum has featured a wide range of fiction and nonfiction picks. Though tours are not offered for these past selections, discussion guides are available here.