Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hardcover vs. Paperback: Which Image Do You Prefer?

Which Image Do You Prefer?
Our Citywide Reads pick for 2010, Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s Wench, will soon be released in paperback (we’ll be giving out copies of the paperback starting in late January). The paperback cover, pictured at right, is obviously quite different from the hardcover jacket image, shown at left. Which do you prefer, and why? For those of you who have read the book, which do you think better symbolizes what the book is about? Please leave comments below.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meet Dolen Perkins-Valdez, our Citywide Reads Author for 2011

If you’d like to get an early start with Santa Monica Citywide Reads this year, take a look at author Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s website http://www.dolenperkinsvaldez.com/. You’ll find images of the Tawawa House resort, a brief biography of the author, a link to an NPR interview with Lynn Neary on NPR's Tell Me More, and plenty more to explore.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Be Part of Santa Monica Citywide Reads 2011

Interested in talking about books? The Library is currently seeking volunteer discussion leaders for the Santa Monica Citywide Reads featured novel Wench, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. Wench is the story of four slave mistresses in pre-Civil War America.

Volunteers must commit to leading at least one ninety-minute book discussion group, held at various venues throughout Santa Monica, between mid-February and mid-March 2011. Volunteers must also attend one of two discussion leader training sessions, scheduled at the Main Library on Thursday, January 13 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, January 15 at 1:30 pm.
To volunteer and get more details, send an e-mail to libraryprograms@smgov.net or call/leave a message with Library Volunteer Services at 310-458-8646. For more information on Santa Monica Citywide Reads, visit www.smpl.org/cwr.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Santa Monica Citywide Reads selection for 2011 is...

WENCH by Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

WENCH follows the stories of four slave mistresses – Lizzie, Reenie, Sweet and Mawu – over the course of three summers in pre-Civil War America. Taken by their masters on holiday to Tawawa House, a summer resort in Ohio, the women encounter free blacks and whispers of the abolitionist movement and are forced to consider their lives, their positions back home, and their hopes and dreams for the future. Dolen Perkins-Valdez was inspired to write the novel when she came across a footnote about Tawawa House, a real resort, while researching her own doctoral thesis on slave literature. Wench was borne out of the author’s musings on why, when presented with the possibility of escaping into free land, some slaves would run, while others would choose to stay with their masters.

We're certain that WENCH should be a provocative and discussion-worthy book, and we're looking forward to reading it with all of you.

Santa Monica Citywide Reads 2011 will take place from February 14 through March 12, 2011, and will feature free public book discussion groups led by volunteer facilitators and held in libraries, bookstores, coffeehouses, and other venues throughout the city. Related special events, including an author talk with Dolen Perkins-Valdez, are also being planned. Stay tuned here or visit our website at http://www.smpl.org/cwr to keep up with the schedule as it develops.