- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
The West Valley Book Club will meet on Wednesday evening, December 10 at 6:30pm in the Community Room to discuss Farewell to Manzanar. This famous memoir published in 1973 by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston chronicles Jeanne Wakatsuki's experiences before, during, and after her family's imprisonment at the Manzanar concentration camp in central California during World War II.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt, which called for the internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans. While this is a dark chapter in recent American history, it is important to honor the experiences of those that endured it and to learn from historical mistakes through empathy and understanding. Join the book club for engaging literary conversation and to find out our first pick for 2013.
The West Valley Book Club members are keeping up with their summer reading, and will meet on August 8th 2012 at 6:30pm to discuss State of Wonder by best-selling author Ann Patchett, most well-known for her award-winning novel Bel Canto. Please join us!
"In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity. As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy."
Keep that brain active this summer with a good book (or several!), don't miss your chance to win prizes during the Summer Reading Celebration through the end of July, and join us in August for lively literary converation.
An elderly Russian-American woman prepares to attend her granddaughter’s wedding; suffering from dementia, her mind shuffles between past and present. In 1941 the German army surrounds Leningrad; Marina and other staff at the Hermitage Museum prepare art work for safekeeping. As they walk through the rooms with empty frames and display cases, an attendant helps Marina construct a “memory palace” so these treasures will remain with her. Now, at the wedding, each new event recalls a picture and memories of romance, deprivation and survival. For a slide show of the artwork mentioned in the book click here.
The West Valley Book Club will meet on Wednesday, July 11th 2012 at 6:30 PM to discuss Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. We have this book in various formats, including print, audio, downloadable eBook, and eAudio. Want to learn how to download this book onto your computer or eReader device? Join us at West Valley on Wednesday, June 20 2012 at 4:30pm OR Friday, July 6 2012 at 2:00pm. We're offering monthly workshops throughout the summer for people to learn how to use SJPL's growing and thriving eBook collections!
At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.
As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires. (From Amazon.com)
Whether you read the book or the eBook, please join us in July for lively literary conversation!
Persuasion, Jane Austen's last completed novel, satirizes social status and emotional turmoil with her famed wit and ironic style. Not just any love story – Penguin Classics has compared the romantic narrative to the well-loved fairy tale, “Cinderella,” in the characters, conflict, and aspects of plot. However, this tale is distinguished by the resplendence of literary beauty that is both philosophical and awe-inspiring: the impact of the theme, ‘persuasion,’ is recounted in a cleverly woven path that directs the heroine to her eventual felicity.
Intrigued with the return of her former beau -- Captain Wentworth -- from eight and half years prior, Anne Elliott is placed in the uncomfortable position of remaining in company with him while he is courting another! Austen displays the pain and agony of his return, the unspoken words, and misunderstandings that continue to evolve and devolve in the plot. Along with that conflict is an underlying tension from the recommendations of Lady Russell, who discouraged the engagement all those years ago in the first place.
Gillian Beer explains that Austen was perceptive that the ability to persuade or to be persuaded is crucial in regards to communication. Beer states: "... Jane Austen gradually draws out the implications of discriminating 'just' and 'unjust' persuasion." That is, the narrative displays a profusion of variations of those inducing, or attempting to entice, others—or themselves. Finally, Beer describes Austen's work as: "… the novel's entire brooding on the power pressures, the seductions, and also the new pathways opened by persuasion.” Although, erudite in tone, Persuasion is in effect, a treatise on Austen’s personal challenges with similar phenomena in her own familial relationships. It is one of the most fascinating and enduring novels ever!
A fabulous read!