Get Your 2024 CLSC Membership & 20% Off Announced Selections

2024 Membership and Book BundleReading together since 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle has remained a leader in adult education through quality programming. Each summer, the CLSC chooses at least nine books of literary quality and invites the authors to Chautauqua present their work to an audience of approximately 1,000 readers.

Current membership entitles you to a 20% discount on all CLSC and CLSC Young Reader books sold in the Chautauqua Bookstore and CLSC Octagon for the calendar year, as well as a 10% discount on all other books in the Bookstore.  On our website, registered members receive a 20% discount on most CLSC selections, and 10% off all other titles (your registration activates after this purchase is completed).

Your dues support the operation of the CLSC, the appearance of the CLSC authors each summer, your recognition, and other CLSC efforts in support of literary inquiry.

Begin or renew your CLSC Membership and buy the first four announced 2024 selections together.

Bundle includes:

2024 CLSC Membership ($10)
Dances, Nicole Cuffy (hardcover)
Horse, Geraldine Brooks (hardcover)
Apple: (Skin to the Core), Eric Gansworth (hardcover)
The Devil's Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance, Dan Egan (hardcover)

No substitutions.

The 20% CLSC discount is already applied to the titles in the bundle and reflected in the price. (List price: $103.99; Discounted Price: $83.19 + $10 membership).  Buying the bundle also comes with reduced shipping.

First 2024 CLSC Selections Announced!

The Devil's Element by Dan Egan

The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance by Dan Egan is a selection for Week Three: What We Got Wrong: Learning from our mistakes.

The story of phosphorus spans the globe and vast tracts of human history. Phosphorus has played a critical role in some of the most lethal substances on earth: firebombs, rat poison, nerve gas. But it’s also the key component of one of the most vital: fertilizer, which has sustained life for billions of people. As Egan harrowingly reports, our overreliance on this vital crop nutrient is today causing toxic algae blooms and “dead zones” in waterways from the coasts of Florida to the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes and beyond. Egan also explores the alarming reality that diminishing access to phosphorus poses a threat to the food system worldwide—which risks rising conflict and even war.

Horse by Geraldine BrooksHorse by Geraldine Brooks is a selection for Week Five: Our Greatest Challenges (That We Can Actually Do Something About).

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, far from the glamor of any racetrack. 

 New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner noted for taking risks, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.

 Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.


Dances by Nicole CuffyDances: A Novel by Nicole Cuffy is a selection for Week Nine: Rising Together: Our Century of Creativity and Collaboration with Wynton Marsalis.

At twenty-two years old, Cece Cordell reaches the pinnacle of her career as a ballet dancer when she’s promoted to principal at the New York City Ballet. She’s instantly catapulted into celebrity, heralded for her “inspirational” role as the first Black ballerina in the famed company’s history.   Haunted by the feeling that she doesn’t belong, she begins to unravel the loose threads of her past. Cece is faced with a choice that has the potential to derail her career and shatter the life she’s cultivated for herself, sending her on a pilgrimage to both find her brother and reclaim the parts of herself lost in the grinding machinery of the traditional ballet world.

Apple: (Skin to the Core) by Eric GansworthApple: (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth is a combined CLSC and Young Reader selection for Week Six: Exploring the Transformative Power of Music with Renee Fleming.

In Apple: (Skin to the Core), Eric Gansworth tells his story, the story of his family—of Onondaga among Tuscaroras—of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.





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The Devil's Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance By Dan Egan Cover Image
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Horse: A Novel By Geraldine Brooks Cover Image
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Dances: A Novel By Nicole Cuffy Cover Image
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Apple: (Skin to the Core) By Eric Gansworth Cover Image
2024 CLSC Book Bundle

2023 Chautauqua Prize Winner

image of The Song of The Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee with Chautauqua Prize Winner badge

Chautauqua Institution has announced The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human (Scribner) by Siddhartha Mukherjee as the 2023 winner of The Chautauqua Prize. 


Awarded annually since 2012, The Chautauqua Prize celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and to honor the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts. As author of this year’s winning book, Mukherjee receives $7,500, and will be presented with the Prize during a celebratory event and public reading at 5 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy. 


Mukherjee’s book, the first Prize winner so extensively dedicated to the hard sciences, stands apart in the tradition of doctor-writers due to the poetic, almost cosmic tone of its language, said Sony Ton-Aime, the Michael I. Rudell Director of the Literary Arts at Chautauqua Institution. 


“I have read authors who write about science with such verve and beautiful prose, and I have read scientists with deep command and knowledge on their subject matters, but never have I seen the two collide so well,” Ton-Aime said. “Siddhartha Mukherjee has made centuries of serious scientific knowledge accessible to everyone through lively and masterful prose. This makes The Song of the Cell the perfect book to win the Prize this year, as it undoubtedly is a richly rewarding reading experience and is a significant contribution to our world that will stand for ages.” 


The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human begins in the late 1600s, when the Pulitzer Prize-winning author introduces us to English polymath Robert Hooke and Dutch cloth merchant Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. The two men looked down their handmade microscopes and saw something that introduced a radical concept that altered biology and medicine forever. It was the fact that complex living organisms are assemblages of tiny, self-contained, self-regulating units — “cells,” Hooke christened them — that build our organs, our physiology and our selves. The Song of the Cell tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. In his exploration — both panoramic and intimate — of what it means to be human, Mukherjee uses his expertise to make “a very important and complex topic accessible,” one Prize reader said. “Mukherjee is a phenomenal writer and storyteller,” another shared, who, in his “wonderful book,” “… has a way of explaining concepts in an interesting way that entices one to keep reading.”   


Since first appearing on bookshelves in October 2022, The Song of the Cell has been named a New York Times Notable Book and a “Best Book of the Year” by publications and organizations as diverse as The Economist, Oprah Daily, BookPage, Book Riot and the New York Public Library, among others. It was the winner of the 2023 PROSE Award for Excellence in Biological and Life Sciences from the Association of American Publishers. Since 1976, the PROSE Awards have recognized best-in-class scholarly publications and publishers who produce books, journals, and digital products of extraordinary merit that make a significant contribution to a field of study. 


For The Song of the Cell to be lauded in critical, academic, and mainstream circles alike, noted Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill, indicates both the book’s depth and breadth, and its author’s mastery of his craft. 


“Dr. Mukherjee has spent his medical career probing further and further the question of our most minuscule components, and how they impact the full scope of our bodies and our being. It is work that is both microscopic and sweeping; infinitesimal and magnificently infinite,” Hill said. “Similarly, his literary career is a natural extension of this path. Dr. Mukherjee’s writing is at once academic and accessible. Beyond that, he makes the complex compelling, conveying the hard science of the cellular into grand, almost mythic prose that encompasses the largest questions of philosophy and humanity. With this approach, he inspires and empowers his readers toward a greater understanding of the science of our lives.” 


Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of The Gene: An Intimate History, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller; The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction; and The Laws of Medicine. He is editor of The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013. Mukherjee is an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. Widely published, his articles have appeared in journals and periodicals that include Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker. 

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The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human By Siddhartha Mukherjee Cover Image

2023 Chautauqua Prize Shortlist

2023 Chautauqua Prize Shortlist titles, stackedChautauqua Institution has announced 11 exceptional books as the 2023 finalists for The Chautauqua Prize, now in its 12th year. These 11 books represent the largest group of finalists ever selected for the Prize, from a yet-again record-breaking number of submissions from publishers, agents and authors. Awarded annually since 2012, The Chautauqua Prize draws upon Chautauqua Institution’s considerable literary legacy to celebrate a book that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and to honor the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts.  Read the full announcement on

Congratulations to all the finalists!

(A note to CLSC members: remember that while the prize-winning selection counts toward graduation requirements, the rest of the list will not.  We're excited about all of them, though, and you should read them anyway!)

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The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human By Siddhartha Mukherjee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982117351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - October 25th, 2022

Chautauqua Prize Winner logo

The Song of the Cell is the Winner of the 2023 Chautauqua Prize! 
Read the announcement on

The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin By Hafizah Augustus Geter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593448649
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 20th, 2022

Border Hacker: A Tale of Treachery, Trafficking, and Two Friends on the Run By Levi Vonk Cover Image
ISBN: 9781645037057
Availability: Not on our shelves, but we can order this for you!
Published: Bold Type Books - April 26th, 2022

A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times: Stories By Meron Hadero Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632061188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Restless Books - June 28th, 2022

Four Treasures of the Sky: A Novel By Jenny Tinghui Zhang Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250811806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - April 4th, 2023

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Horse: A Novel By Geraldine Brooks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399562969
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - June 14th, 2022

The Latecomer: A Novel By Jean Hanff Korelitz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250790798
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - May 31st, 2022

Night of the Living Rez By Morgan Talty Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953534187
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - July 5th, 2022

The Orchard: A Novel By Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593356036
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 7th, 2023

Solito: A Memoir By Javier Zamora Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593498064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hogarth - September 6th, 2022

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs By Sidik Fofana Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982145811
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 16th, 2022

SKU: 2023PrizeFinalists