Monday, March 28, 2011

Citywide Reads Nook Drawing

Last week the Santa Monica Citywide Reads nook drawing winner was selected. Those who attended a discussion of Wench were eligible to win.

And the winner is... Robbie Jones of Santa Monica. Congratulations Robbie! And a big thanks to all those who took park in Citywide Reads 2011.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Final Week of Citywide Reads!

Citywide Reads wraps up this Saturday, March 12, but not to worry -- there are still a couple of events remaining.

This year's Citywide Reads pick, Wench, a tale of four slave mistresses taken by their masters to a resort in free territory in pre-Civil War America, has inspired strong feelings in our readers, who have attended Citywide Reads book discussions this year in higher numbers than ever. There is still one more Wench discussion planned, for Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m. in the Main Library's Multipurpose Room. Please join us!

Those interested in African American history won't want to miss "The Clayton Collections Alive," also happening on Saturday, March 12, at 3 p.m. in the Main Library's Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium. Join Larry Earl, Jr. from the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City as he takes us back in time to meet African American poet Phillis Wheatley, and to learn about the struggle for civil rights from the collections housed within this amazing local resource.

About the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum: In the early 1960s, Librarian Mayme A. Clayton, Ph.D., began collecting documents, books, photographs, films and memorabilia chronicling the experience of Americans of African descent. Dr. Clayton collected everything from rare books, to movies, to handwritten slave records. In 2006, the MCLM found a permanent home in Culver City, where researchers may accessand study its rich resources.

Join us for these events on Saturday, and thank you for helping to make Citywide Reads a success!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: Book Discussion and Author Event

A Citywide Reads volunteer wrote the following summary of her experience at the special discussion of Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, as well as the lecture by the author which followed the discussion:

On March 2, a group of adults and teens attended a special Citywide Reads discussion at the Main Library to talk about the novel, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow.

The thought provoking discussion filled more than an hour of exchanges and engaging commentary, with the discussion often centered on the teenage protagonist and her emerging identity. Questions flew back and forth about various characters and the unfolding mystery that wove through the story. Broader issues surfaced like how do we come to know ourselves and how long does the journey take - all of which brought us back to Ms. Durrow's novel and the burning question: when will Rachel know herself? For that question, we later asked the author if there is a sequel forthcoming; she replied that she is currently working on other projects. The group viewed clips from three films that explored themes of identity: Persepolis, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Namesake.

Later in the evening Ms. Durrow gave a reading from her book that moved the audience to another level of understanding identity, as her voice lifted the prose from the page and we wrapped our hearts around the words.

Several people spoke highly of the Citywide Reads program and how much they loved the variety of books chosen over the years. They enjoyed the books on so many levels - reading the novels, discussing the issues, and hearing the authors' perspectives. Check out the Santa Monica Citywide Reads events and discussions through March 12, and join other readers who are talking about issues that rise off the pages of novels and engage us in conversations with one another.