- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
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 book club at West Valley Branch Library has chosen to read Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. "Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US when she was young. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over." The group will discuss the book at their next meeting in the library’s Community Room Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Everyone is welcome to join the reading club.
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.
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!
The West Valley Book Club is taking a break from fiction for their next meeting on June 13 at 6:30 PM to discuss a nonfiction memoir called The Promise by Oral Lee Brown with Caille Milner. The subtitle says it all: "How one woman made good on her extraordinary pact to send a classroom of 1st graders to college". It's an inspiring and true local story of a middle-class woman in Oakland who took on the challenge to make a profound difference in others' lives. It started in 1987 with a simple interaction with a young girl in need, which resulted in Brown's amazing promise to send a whole class of 23 students to college by saving and investing her own money into the Oral Lee Brown Foundation. Over the years, she went on to fund even more students, and in 2003, LaTosha Hunter became the first of Brown's "babies" and the first in her family to graduate from college.
Brown’s pledge to the students was not without great personal and public sacrifice. Her promise turned her life upside-down—it strained her relationships, and at times required her to work several different jobs. Brown also developed a strong emotional attachment to the children—for many of these students Brown was the one consistent adult in their lives. In a world short on heroes, altruism, and dedication, The Promise shows that it is still possible to change lives for the better. This book will encourage, uplift, and inspire every reader. (From Amazon.com)
Watch this segment from KGO7 to see Oral Lee Brown and some of the lives she's touched:
SJPL's online book club selection for April is Dubliners by James Joyce, and next month the West Valley Book Club will meet to discuss another novel that takes place in San Jose's sister city of Dublin, Ireland. Our book club will meet on Wednesday, May 9 at 6:30pm to discuss bestselling Irish author Maeve Binchy's novel Quentins. Be sure to join us for lively literary conversation!
Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant? Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and times when it seemed as if it must close in failure. But as Ella uncovers more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to wonder whether some secrets should be kept that way... (from Amazon)