The following article was submitted by Therese Horstketter, a Public Services Associate at the Manitowoc Public Library.
Read with me, will not you?
That question pretty much sums-up the foundation of our book discussion program. Most avid readers I know love to share or recommend books, but also, without providing any spoilers, eventually are looking to discuss a particular book.
Manitowoc Public Library offers an evening book discussion the third Thursday of each month at 6 PM in our Second Floor Board Room. Staff select a book for each month and prepare an accompanying pamphlet that includes the discussion questions, as well as a mention of the next book to be discussed. Books are available for roughly a month before the next discussion and can be found on a display on the First Floor, near the entrance, for checkout.
You can stroll in the night of the discussion, whether you’ve read the entire book or not. You can hang out and listen to the discussion or join in as much as you are so inclined. We know that book groups are very popular and we have a huge amount of book discussion kits covering pretty much every genre to offer. Even if you belong to a book group of your own — through friends or work or just a random mix of readers that get together each month or so — you are very welcome to stop in at our discussions. Some people even stop in to see if the title being discussed that night is a good fit for their group and would like to hear a discussion of it before they bring the title up to their group.
One thing I must make clear — we do not have wine or cheese or chocolates at our book discussions. Treats seem to be a staple of some book groups. Others highlight specific food to go along with the title they’re discussing. More power to all of these groups! However, we are not allowed to serve drinks or food with our discussion, but we’re strong on the discussion. Seeing as we’re a library that’s probably not surprising!
Our next title is “Lights Out in Lincolnwood” on Thursday, April 21. It is both fun and a little nerve-wrenching at times with it being a book about a complete power outage in a small geographic area. People have no way to communicate or know if this is just happening in their neck of the woods. Or is it all over? The way people either step up or panic — all in different ways — takes center stage in this book. I thought it was a great read!
Switching to Morning Book Talks, the next one of those takes place on Tuesday, May 10, when we’ll be discussing “Where the Forest Meets the Stars.” Morning Book Talks take place on the second Tuesday of the month at 11 AM in our Second Floor Board Room. Recommended by a staff member, this book tells the story of a woman named Jo. Jo is reeling from a loss that causes her to go back to resume work on nesting birds in a cabin in rural Illinois. A mysterious child — covered in bruises and barefoot — shows up at her cabin. Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor and between the two of them, they try to solve from where the child came. But, while they’re busy working with her, they form a bond that causes them to forget to maintain their search for her roots. I am really looking forward to this one!
As I mentioned, you can be as involved or as much on the sidelines as you wish when you join us for a discussion. We’ve had readers describe books from “Loved it!” to “It was ok” and many comments in between. We also tend to drift to other books or to real-life situations as we discuss the book for that evening. True life stories have been shared many times and many laughs — as well as a few tears — have been part of our short times together.
For all of these reasons, and maybe to chat with some new faces, please join us!