Have you ever participated in a book club? Otherwise, your idea of one may be a little more old-fashioned. This perhaps includes a group of scholars sitting in a dimly lit room, sipping tea and discussing the finer attributes of a particular literary genius of the time.
However, a modern book club is something of the stuffy description offered above — and the Delaware County District Library offers a wide variety of options for attending. From location to reading taste, by the end of the month, readers have a choice of five different book clubs.
Next week, Wednesday, May 18, at 12:30 p.m., there will be a mid-month meeting (and special mid-day!) of our Books & Brews book club. Meeting at the Olentangy River Brewing Company, this panel will discuss Sarah Vowell’s ‘killing holiday’ as a precursor to Mrs Vowell’s visit on Friday May 20. Alcoholic beers will be on tap, as well as tea and coffee brewed on-site by the aptly named Roosevelt Coffee Roasters.
If you prefer snacks or even a full meal with your book club, you’ll want to add Around the World in Books and Bites to your schedule. Now meeting twice a month (once in person at a restaurant and once virtually), the Books & Bites group challenges readers to explore the world through a diversity of stories and cuisines. Each month, the group chooses a book from another setting in the world and then accompanies their encounter with food from a nearby restaurant representing that culture. This month’s restaurant reunion has already taken place, but you can still join us virtually for Michelle Zauner’s “Crying in H Mart” on Monday, May 23 at 1 p.m. Claim your spot online at www.delawarelibrary.org/events and enjoy Korean cuisine as you chat.
You can choose which book club you want to join (or double up and join both!) on Tuesday, May 24. At 5:30 p.m. in the Powell Branch Library, Carrie’s Book Club will be discussing “Bewilderment.” by Richard Powers – a story of astrobiologist Theo Byrne who searches for life in the cosmos while single-handedly raising his eccentric and troubled 9-year-old son. Then, at 7 p.m., at the Ostrander branch library, Harla’s book club will tackle Gary Paulsen’s “Gone to the Woods.” Many will recognize Paulsen from their childhood reading of “Hatchet,” and this book is the first time he shares his own personal story of his turbulent childhood with the world.
Wrapping up the month, on Tuesday, May 31 at 1 p.m., Pam’s Book Club gathers at the Delaware Main Library to discuss Alan Brennert’s tropical “Moloka’i.” This title and “Crying in H Mart” help celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, recognized throughout the month of May. My recommendations below also highlight books written by and featuring the AAPI legacy.
• “The Night Diary” by Veera Hiranandani. Newbery Honor winner ‘The Night Diary’ tells the story of shy twelve-year-old Nisha, who is forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the partition of India in 1947. She tries to find her voice and make sense of the world collapsing around her by writing to her dead Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.
• “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner. An unwavering and powerful memoir about growing up Korean-American, losing your mother, and forging your own identity. In this exquisite tale of family, food, heartbreak and endurance, Michelle Zauner reveals herself to be much more than a dazzling singer, songwriter and guitarist.
• “Eyes that kiss in the corners” by Joanna Ho. A confident and strong young girl shares how she shares her eyes – and much more – with her mother, her amah and her little sister.
• “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan. In 1949, four Chinese women – drawn by the shadows of their past – begin to meet in San Francisco to play mahjong, invest in stocks and “tell” stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club – and forge a relationship that has bound them together for more than three decades.
• “The Patron Saints of Nothingness” by Randy Ribay. Jay is an average American teenager, but when he finds out that his cousin, Jun, in the Philippines has been murdered because of the country’s war on drugs, he must act. Jay travels to the Philippines to find answers about why Jun was murdered and who he really is. National Book Award Finalist.
• “Moloka’i” by Alan Brennert. Dreaming of distant lands far from her loving 1890s Honolulu home, seven-year-old Rachel is forcibly removed from her family when she contracts leprosy and is placed in a colony, where she loses a string of new friends before than new medical discoveries allow. his return to the world.
If you have a question you’d like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362 -3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library website at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always happy to hear from you!