Yep-that’s the theme this summer for our summer reading program. I’ve already has several patrons ask when they can pick up their log and start reading, and the answer is-Wednesday May 30th. Public libraries across Illinois will be joining us in using this theme, which is developed by the Illinois Library Association more than a year in advance. Here at St. Charles, our adult Reader’s Services staff has been brainstorming for months concerning prizes, decorations and events to whet your appetite, and we are excited about serving it up! We strive to make participation as easy as possible, and if you haven’t participated before, we hope you’ll give the program a try. As for everyone else, Welcome Back! For details, check out our 2012 Summer Reading- Adult Menu here.
Can you believe it???
Summer is quickly passing us by and so is the amount of time left to participate in our summer reading program. But Good News: Adult & GTGR readers have until Wednesday, August 3rd to log in at our Readers Services Desk and pick up their prizes, coupons, drawing entries, and as always, book recommendations.
We are thrilled to have had such a wonderful response and invite you to stop in and see us. Don’t wait until MidKnight to storm the castle!
Though we’re well into January, and the second Tuesday of the month has come and gone, now is as good a time as any to give a major shout-out to the roster of new titles selected for our 2ndTuesday Book Discussion Groups.
For the science buffs out there, we’ll look at the inner body with Rebecca Skloot’s acclaimed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – as well as outer space through the irreverent eye of Mary Roach and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void.
We’ll look at Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell’s Outlier’s The Story of Success and Outcasts (Warren St. John’s Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town.)
We’ll explore generosity (Richard Powers’ Generosity: An Enhancement) and friendship (Gail Caldwell’s Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship.)
And we’ll deal with animals in Julia Stuart’s The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise and Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America (or at least the titles tell us we will.)
Intrigued? Want to know more? Just feel like asking a bunch of questions? Our final book of the year (morning group) is Padgett Powell’s inventive The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?
But if you want answers before then, just stop by the Readers Services desk and pick up a complete schedule of dates and titles (or contact us).
There are all sorts of ways I find books to read–everything from serendipity, to hearing friends talk, to reading reviews and searching out books on certain topics. In fact, like many readers, I more often have the problem of too many books to read than not enough. But I’ve found some great books through still another source, and that’s books through my e-mail. This is a service that the St. Charles Public Library offers through their web site. Each week a new book is featured, giving a few pages each day– just enough to whet your appetite–or not. Some weeks I don’t even take the time to read that much and just delete. But last Monday started another winner (in my opinion) and I thought, “Wow-this service needs to be promoted to readers regularly,” and hence this blog entry was born. I happen to be in the non-fiction club, but there are many clubs to choose from. Why not try one (or more) of our Online Book Clubs today!
FYI-This is the book that I was excited to find out about this week. The author tells about how he came across two new slave narratives, recently come to light after having been passed on through family members. It’s a perfect read for Black History Month.
Do you belong to a book club or some group where you can discuss books? Finding the right club to join is often bit of a process since they can run the range from extremely laid back to highly intellectual. I think it’s worth the search, however, because discussing a book with others can lend a whole new perspective that you otherwise would have missed. My book club falls somewhere in the middle of the two extremes and – while we always have fun – we definately have the best discussions when we disagree on whether we enjoyed the book!
One comment we often hear at the Reader Services desk is that choosing a book and finding discussion questions are the biggest challenges for a book group leader. We want to remind you that the Library has many resources to make this a lot easier. In the New Books area we have a cart of “Resources for Readers and Book Groups” that has print materials to look at, and there are tips and recommended titles on our web site under “Discuss Books” including a links to sites such as ReadingGroupGuides.com. Readers will also enjoy Book Group Buzz from Booklist – a highly readable blog about books and book discussions.
The Library also sponsors two book discussions which anyone is welcome to attend. They meet the second Tuesday of each month – at 10:00am and 7:00pm. A list of upcoming books they are discussing is online. A recent title that they enjoyed is The Florist’s Daughter by Patricia Hample, a very honest portrayal of the relationship between a daughter and mother that generated great discussion about what makes us who we are (i.e. the town where we grew up, attitudes towards education and beauty, etc.). The author is a poet, so the writing is wonderful too. Some of the titles that have elicited the most “extreme” reactions are books about contemporary dysfunctional families, such as On Beauty by Zadie Smith or Saturday by Ian McEwan. The group realized anew how the author’s tone can make a pivotal difference in enjoying the work.
If you’re not in a book group, I encourage you to ask around and see if there’s one you can join – or start one of your own!