San Rafael Public Library

Monday Night Reading/Discussion Group

Posted by bonnie on

March 12, 2018 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Library Meeting Room
1100 E St
San Rafael, CA 94901
Reference Desk

The Downtown library has a book club that meets usually on the 2nd Monday of the month (except where noted) from 6:30 – 7:30 pm in the Library Meeting Room.
We read shorter classics, contemporary short stories, poems, articles, essays, plays, excerpts, and…? Participants have input on future readings.


January 8 (January 1st is New Years Day holiday)
Four Short Pieces in Honor of Martin Luther King’s Birthday:
The Battle Royale from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Growing Up Colored by Henry Louis Gates
The First Day by Edward P. Jones
Everyday use by Alice Walker

February 12 – Farwell to Manzanar  
by Jeanne Wakasuki Houston & James D. Houston

March 12 – Essays: Feminism Past & Present
March is Women’s History Month. We’ll be reading  a selection of essays from Susan B. Anthony, Jill Lapore, Katha Pollitt, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Pearl S. Buck, Katie Piophe.

April 9 – Nature Poetry
April is National Poetry Month! Reading selections include poems of Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver,  Kamilah Aisha Moon, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robinson Jeffers, Robert Frost, Robert Penn Warren, Lloyd Schwartz, William Cullen Bryant, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sheila Black, Marianne Moore, Arthur Sze, and Jane Hirschfield.

Copies are available at the Reference Desk or online here.

May 14 – May is Mystery Month
We’ll read  Murder at the Vicarage (1930) by Agatha Christie
(6 copies are in the MARINet Catalog)

June 11 – June is LGBTQ Month
In honor of LGBTQ month, this month’s reading is A Separate Peace by John Knowles, which has perennially appeared on both high school reading lists and lists of Gay classics. In the early years of World War II, Gene and Phineas attend Devon, an idyllic prep school (based on Phillips Exeter Academy). Gene, the narrator, is the school’s star student, Phineas its star athlete, and the two are roommates and best friends. When Phineas entices Gene to jump from a tree whose branches overhang the school’s river, Gene’s knees bend, he jounces the limb, and Finny falls and is crippled by the accident. A novel of lost innocence- Lets discuss!

July 9 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Money doesn’t buy happiness on Long Island’s north shore, in this fictional tale of a boy who makes good but still can’t find love with the greedy girl of his dreams.

Copies are available to check out at all Marinet libraries.

August 13 – O Pioneers by Willa Cather
O Pioneers! tells the story of Alexandra Bergson who inherits her family’s Nebraska farm and devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time many other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie. But this archetypal success story is darkened by loss, and Alexandra’s devotion to the land may come at the cost of love itself.

September 10 – The Awakening by Kate Chopin
This seminal work of early feminism centers around Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the social attitudes of the southern US states in the 1900s. It faced challenges from the moment of its release in the US, due in part to its treatment of gender roles, but also for its depiction of female sexuality.

October 8 – 7 Short Stories

September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. Here are links to seven short stories by a variety of Latin American and Latino writers for discussion. We will provide printed copies of the story at the Adult Reference Desk on the 2nd floor also.

1. Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Book of Sands” 6 pp.

2. Castellanos, Rosario. Castellanos “Cooking Lesson” 9 pp.

3. Diaz, Junot. “Invierno” 28 pp. (starts on page 119; the link is for the entire book).

4. Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” 4 pp.

5. Guimaraes Rosa, Joao. “The Third Bank of the River” 9 pp.

6. Monterroso, Augusto. “The Eclipse” 2 pp.
a. Viramontes, Helena Maria. “The Moths” 6 pp.

November 19 – 3rd Monday, due to Veteran’s Day Holiday
November’s reading has been postponed and will be discussed on December 10th.

December 10 – William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace

All the dying that summer began with the death of a child, a boy with golden hair and thick glasses, killed on the railroad tracks outside New Bremen, Minnesota, sliced into pieces by a thousand tons of steel speeding across the prairie toward South Dakota. His name was Bobby Cole. He was a sweet-looking kid and by that, I mean he had eyes that seemed full of dreaming and he wore a half smile as if he was just about to understand something you’d spent an hour trying to explain…
It was a summer in which death, in visitation, assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.
Thirteen- year-old Frank Drum is preoccupied with comic books and explorations along the railroad tracks. He is the middle child in a Methodist preacher’s family, with a musical sister, a precocious younger brother, and an artistic mother. During the muggy, Minnesota, summer of 1961, Frank’s serene world is overturned by a series of unsettling events and painful losses. Ordinary Grace is both a coming of age story and a murder mystery, with a memorable cast of characters and a pervasive spirituality rarely found in the mystery genre.
For more information, please call (415) 485-3321.


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