Updates:

  • Library and Book Drop will be closed from 3:00 pm December 24th to 9:30 am January 2nd.

 

Adult Programs

Adult Programs

General Program Information

 

How much do the programs cost? They are all FREE

Book Clubs

Who can join? Everyone 18 years and older is welcome to join!  

What is the difference between the four book clubs? The two afternoon book clubs read the exact same books, just in a different order. The After Dark evening book club has a different set of books entirely. 

The Pride Pages evening book club focuses on LGBTQ2+ books and requires registration (stephaniejames@summer.com or 250-770-7786) 

Can I join more than one club? You are welcome to join the evening book club, and one of the afternoon book clubs. You are welcome to register for Pride Pages, but space is limited for this club.  

Where do I get the book? Come to the circulation desk, and see if there is a copy OR pick a copy up when the book club meets.

Learning at Lunch

Who can come? This program is designed for adults, but anyone may come. We also have a ton of excellent children's programing available specifically for our younger patrons!

When does it start? At 12:00pm (noon).

Tuesday Night Movies

Who can come? Everyone 18 years and older is welcome to come to our Tuesday Night Movies.

When does it start? The doors open at 5:45pm and the movie starts at 6:00pm.

I want to run my own book club

That is great! We have book club sets that you can borrow. The titles available can be found here: Book Club Sets 

Anyone with a Penticton Public Library card can check out a Book Club Kit for their book club.  The person who checks out the kit assumes responsibility for returning the complete kit (bag and all copies) to the library by the due date.

** Please note that you MUST put a request in for the set, either by phone (250) 770-7782, in person, or by going here

 

 

Tuesday Night Movies: Moonlight

Tuesday, January 14
06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

Moonlight movie poster

Title: Moonlight (2016)
Rated: 14A
Run time: 1h 55m
 
A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him.
 

Jazz Time: Learning at Lunch

Friday, January 17
12:00 pm to 01:00 pm

Jazz Man

Presented by: Andrew Stauffer
From ragtime to bebop, jazz has a rich history of passionate musicians who see themselves as being more than mere entertainers. 
These musicians, who come from many different religious traditions, have often seen themselves as exploring and expressing something deeply spiritual in their music. Through stories and recordings, this talk will introduce some of the most influential jazz musicians with a focus on how their spiritual outlooks influenced their music.  
 

A Novel Idea: The Clockmaker's Daughter

Monday, January 20
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

The Clockmaker's Daughter

Title: The Clockmaker’s Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Pages: 496
Published: 2018
 
My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.
 
In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.
 
Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.
 
Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?
 
Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love, and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.
 

Pride Pages: The Left Hand of Darkness

Tuesday, January 21
06:30 pm to 08:00 pm

The Left Hand of Darkness

Penticton Public Library welcomes you to a new book club which is being hosted in partnership with S.O.S. Pride Society! 

The program is FREE; registration is required. 

Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking work of science fiction—winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards!

A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters...

Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

 

** This book club requires sign up, please contact Stephanie  (Adult Services Librarian) at: 250-770-7786 or stephaniejames@summer.com if you are interested in attending! **

 


 

Creative Non-Fiction Writing Group

Thursday, January 23
09:30 am to 11:30 am

January 23

 

We all  have stories to share! 

  • Our aim is to inspire and help each other write anecdotes about specific events in our lives -- personal stories to hand down to future generations and possibly become archival public history.
  • At each meeting the participants will bring a story (or part of a story) they have written, of between 300 to 500 words, to share with the group.
  • You will then edit your story to add a sense of place and time, emotion, character development, dialogue, if appropriate. You may wish to improve your story with the help of the group’s constructive feedback.
  • The animator will provide tips and exercises to tap your resources for more writing ideas. You are encouraged to contribute by bringing your own writing ideas for stories to the group. During each session we will take time to write a story to share with the group.

This program is FREE, and is open to anyone 18 and older

Between the Covers: Hillbilly Elegy

Monday, January 27
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

 

Hillbilly Elegy
Title:  Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
Author: J. D. Vance
Pages: 272
Published: 2016
 
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class
 
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
 
The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.
 
But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
 
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
 

 

After Dark Book Club: Swing Time

Tuesday, January 28
06:30 pm to 07:30 pm

 

Swing Time
Title: Swing Time
Author: Zadie Smith
Pages: 464
Published: 2016
 
Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
     Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.
 

 

Tuesday Night Movies: 10 Things I Hate About You

Tuesday, February 4
06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

10 Things I hate about you movie poster

Title: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Rated: PG
Run time: 1h 39m
 
Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn't attract many boys. Unfortunately for her younger sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), house rules say that she can't date until Kat has a boyfriend, so strings are pulled to set the dour damsel up for a romance. Soon Kat crosses paths with handsome new arrival Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). Will Kat let her guard down enough to fall for the effortlessly charming Patrick?
 

Work BC- Resume Help

Thursday, February 6
03:30 pm to 04:30 pm

Join us at the Penticton Public Library during the month of November for help with your job search! Learn different resume options, how to create an impacting cover letter, and get advice on interviewing!

 

This week we will be covering the art of the resume! 

The Silent Epidemic: Learning at Lunch

Friday, February 7
12:00 pm to 01:00 pm

Hearing Loss

Presented by: Adam Verwey

Have you had “the talk” yet with your loved one? Are you concerned about how it will go? Well never fear, Adam Verwey is here!

Hearing loss is no laughing matter, and Adam will dispel common myths and misconceptions about hearing, hearing loss, and hearing aids. The talk will focus on understanding the information on a hearing test, and is designed to give you the information you need to make an informed choice to best suit your needs and finances!

 

 

A Novel Idea: The Child Finder

Monday, February 10
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

 

The Child Finder
 
Title: The Child Finder
Author: Rene Denfeld
Pages: 288
Published: 2017
 
A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
 
"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?"
 
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.
 
Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
 
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?
 
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.
 

 

Work BC- Cover Letters

Thursday, February 13
03:30 pm to 04:30 pm

Join us at the Penticton Public Library during the month of November for help with your job search! Learn different resume options, how to create an impacting cover letter, and get advice on interviewing!

 

This week we will be exploring how to make an eye catching cover letter! 

Work BC- Interview Skills

Thursday, February 20
03:30 pm to 04:30 pm

Join us at the Penticton Public Library during the month of November for help with your job search! Learn different resume options, how to create an impacting cover letter, and get advice on interviewing!

Get some interview tips and tricks this week! 

 

Let's Talk Dirty: Composting 101

Friday, February 21
12:00 pm to 01:00 pm

Compost picture

Presented By: Cameron Baughen

Cameron Baughen (aka the Worm Guy) has been teaching about garbage, recycling and composting with the RDOS for over 15 years. Learn about the 5 easy steps to make beautiful compost for your garden. Late winter is a great time to start thinking about getting ready for spring gardening. Learn the best ways to set up a compost bin, add materials and use the ‘black gold’ you will make! 
 

Between the Covers: The Clockmaker's Daughter

Monday, February 24
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

The Clockmaker's Daughter

Title: The Clockmaker’s Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Pages: 496
Published: 2018
 
My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.
 
In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.
 
Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.
 
Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?
 
Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love, and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.
 

After Dark Book Club: The Library Book

Tuesday, February 25
06:30 pm to 07:30 pm

The Library Book

Title: The Library book
Author: Susan Orlean
Pages: 336
Published: 2018
 
On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?
 
Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.
 
In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.
 
Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.
 
Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.
 

Creative Non-Fiction Writing Group

Thursday, February 27
09:30 am to 11:30 am

February 27

 

We all  have stories to share! 

  • Our aim is to inspire and help each other write anecdotes about specific events in our lives -- personal stories to hand down to future generations and possibly become archival public history.
  • At each meeting the participants will bring a story (or part of a story) they have written, of between 300 to 500 words, to share with the group.
  • You will then edit your story to add a sense of place and time, emotion, character development, dialogue, if appropriate. You may wish to improve your story with the help of the group’s constructive feedback.
  • The animator will provide tips and exercises to tap your resources for more writing ideas. You are encouraged to contribute by bringing your own writing ideas for stories to the group. During each session we will take time to write a story to share with the group.

This program is FREE, and is open to anyone 18 and older

Tuesday Night Movies: Molly's Game

Tuesday, March 3
06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

Molly's Game movie poster

Title: Molly’s Game (2017)
Rated: PG
Run time: 2h 20m
 
The true story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led people to believe.
 

A Novel Idea: The Glass Universe

Monday, March 16
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

 

The Glass Universe
 
Title: The Glass Universe 
Author: Dava Sobel
Pages: 336
Published: 2016
 
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates.
 
The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair.
 
Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
 

 

Creative Non-Fiction Writing Group

Thursday, March 26
09:30 am to 11:30 am

March 26

 

We all  have stories to share! 

  • Our aim is to inspire and help each other write anecdotes about specific events in our lives -- personal stories to hand down to future generations and possibly become archival public history.
  • At each meeting the participants will bring a story (or part of a story) they have written, of between 300 to 500 words, to share with the group.
  • You will then edit your story to add a sense of place and time, emotion, character development, dialogue, if appropriate. You may wish to improve your story with the help of the group’s constructive feedback.
  • The animator will provide tips and exercises to tap your resources for more writing ideas. You are encouraged to contribute by bringing your own writing ideas for stories to the group. During each session we will take time to write a story to share with the group.

This program is FREE, and is open to anyone 18 and older

Between the Covers: The Child Finder

Monday, March 30
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

The Child Finder

 
Title: The Child Finder
Author: Rene Denfeld
Pages: 288
Published: 2017
 
A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
 
"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?"
 
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.
 
Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
 
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?
 
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.
 

 

After Dark Book Club: Fifteen Dogs

Tuesday, March 31
06:30 pm to 07:30 pm

 

Fifteen Dogs
Title: Fifteen Dogs
Author: Andre Alexis
Pages: 176
Published: 2015
 
— I wonder, said Hermes, what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.
— I'll wager a year's servitude, answered Apollo, that animals – any animal you like – would be even more unhappy than humans are, if they were given human intelligence.
 
And so it begins: a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto vet­erinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old 'dog' ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.
 
André Alexis's contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness. By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange, Fifteen Dogs shows you can teach an old genre new tricks.
 

 

Tuesday Night Movies: House of Flying Daggers

Tuesday, April 7
06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

 

House of flying daggers movie poster
 
Title: House of Flying Daggers
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 59m
 
The Tang Dynasty is fighting to keep control over China, a battle they are losing to several rebel groups. One such group is the House of Flying Daggers, who steal from the wealthy and give to the poor. Two police deputies working with the government (Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau) are ordered to investigate the dancer Mei (Zhang Ziyi), who is rumored to be working with the House of Flying Daggers. But both men fall under her charms and decide to help her escape instead.

A Novel Idea: The Heaviness of Things that Float

Monday, April 20
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

The Heaviness of Things that Float

Title: The Heaviness of Things that Float 
Author: Jennifer Manuel
Pages: 304
Published: 2016
 
Jennifer Manuel skilfully depicts the lonely world of Bernadette, a woman who has spent the last forty years living alone on the periphery of a remote West Coast First Nations reserve, serving as a nurse for the community. This is a place where truth and myth are deeply intertwined and stories are "like organisms all their own, life upon life, the way moss grows around poplar trunks and barnacles atop crab shells, the way golden chanterelles spring from hemlock needles. They spread in the cove with the kelp and the eelgrass, and in the rainforest with the lichen, the cedars, the swordferns. They pelt down inside raindrops, erode thick slabs of driftwood, puddle the old logging road that these days led to nowhere."
 
 
Only weeks from retirement, Bernadette finds herself unsettled, with no immediate family of her own—how does she fit into the world? Her fears are complicated by the role she has played within their community: a keeper of secrets in a place "too small for secrets." And then a shocking announcement crackles over the VHF radio of the remote medical outpost: Chase Charlie, the young man that Bernadette loves like a son, is missing. The community is thrown into upheaval, and with the surface broken, raw dysfunction, pain and truths float to the light.
 

Creative Non-Fiction Writing Group

Thursday, April 23
09:30 am to 11:30 am

April 23

 

We all  have stories to share! 

  • Our aim is to inspire and help each other write anecdotes about specific events in our lives -- personal stories to hand down to future generations and possibly become archival public history.
  • At each meeting the participants will bring a story (or part of a story) they have written, of between 300 to 500 words, to share with the group.
  • You will then edit your story to add a sense of place and time, emotion, character development, dialogue, if appropriate. You may wish to improve your story with the help of the group’s constructive feedback.
  • The animator will provide tips and exercises to tap your resources for more writing ideas. You are encouraged to contribute by bringing your own writing ideas for stories to the group. During each session we will take time to write a story to share with the group.

This program is FREE, and is open to anyone 18 and older

Between the Covers: The Glass Universe

Monday, April 27
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

 

The Glass Universe
 
Title: The Glass Universe 
Author: Dava Sobel
Pages: 336
Published: 2016
 
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates.
 
The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair.
 
Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of the women whose contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
 

 

After Dark Book Club: Educated

Tuesday, April 28
06:30 pm to 07:30 pm

Educated

Title: Educated
Author: Tara Westover
Pages: 352
Published: 2018
 
Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of traditional lessons, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse. She had no birth certificate and no medical records and had never been enrolled in school.
 
Westover’s mother proved a marvel at concocting folk remedies for many ailments. As Tara developed her own coping mechanisms, little by little, she started to realize that what her family was offering didn’t have to be her only education. Her first day of university was her first day in school—ever—and she would eventually win an esteemed fellowship from Cambridge and graduate with a PhD in intellectual history and political thought.
 

Tuesday Night Movies: The Favourite

Tuesday, May 5
06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

The Favourite movie poster

Title: The Favourite (2018)
Rated: 14A
Run time: 2h 1m
 
In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead, while tending to Anne's ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.
 

A Novel Idea: Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

Monday, May 11
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

 

Mad Bad Dangerous to Know
Title: Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know : The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce 
Author: Colm Toibin
Pages: 272
Published: 2018
 
Colm Tóibín begins his incisive, revelatory Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know with a walk through the Dublin streets where he went to university—a wide-eyed boy from the country—and where three Irish literary giants also came of age. Oscar Wilde, writing about his relationship with his father, William Wilde, stated: “Whenever there is hatred between two people there is bond or brotherhood of some kind…you loathed each other not because you were so different but because you were so alike.” W.B. Yeats wrote of his father, John Butler Yeats, a painter: “It is this infirmity of will which has prevented him from finishing his pictures. The qualities I think necessary to success in art or life seemed to him egotism.” John Stanislaus Joyce, James’s father, was perhaps the most quintessentially Irish, widely loved, garrulous, a singer, and drinker with a volatile temper, who drove his son from Ireland.
 
Elegant, profound, and riveting, Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways these men surface in their work. Through these stories of fathers and sons, Tóibín recounts the resistance to English cultural domination, the birth of modern Irish cultural identity, and the extraordinary contributions of these complex and masterful authors.
 

 

Between the Covers: The Heaviness of Things that Float

Monday, May 25
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

The Heaviness of Things that Float

Title: The Heaviness of Things that Float 
Author: Jennifer Manuel
Pages: 304
Published: 2016
 
Jennifer Manuel skilfully depicts the lonely world of Bernadette, a woman who has spent the last forty years living alone on the periphery of a remote West Coast First Nations reserve, serving as a nurse for the community. This is a place where truth and myth are deeply intertwined and stories are "like organisms all their own, life upon life, the way moss grows around poplar trunks and barnacles atop crab shells, the way golden chanterelles spring from hemlock needles. They spread in the cove with the kelp and the eelgrass, and in the rainforest with the lichen, the cedars, the swordferns. They pelt down inside raindrops, erode thick slabs of driftwood, puddle the old logging road that these days led to nowhere."
 
 
Only weeks from retirement, Bernadette finds herself unsettled, with no immediate family of her own—how does she fit into the world? Her fears are complicated by the role she has played within their community: a keeper of secrets in a place "too small for secrets." And then a shocking announcement crackles over the VHF radio of the remote medical outpost: Chase Charlie, the young man that Bernadette loves like a son, is missing. The community is thrown into upheaval, and with the surface broken, raw dysfunction, pain and truths float to the light.
 

After Dark Book Club: Before we were yours

Tuesday, May 26
06:30 pm to 07:30 pm

 

Before we were yours
Title: Before we were yours
Author: Lisa Wingate
Pages: 352
Published: 2017
 
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
 
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
 
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
 

 

Creative Non-Fiction Writing Group

Thursday, May 28
09:30 am to 11:30 am

May 28

 

We all  have stories to share! 

  • Our aim is to inspire and help each other write anecdotes about specific events in our lives -- personal stories to hand down to future generations and possibly become archival public history.
  • At each meeting the participants will bring a story (or part of a story) they have written, of between 300 to 500 words, to share with the group.
  • You will then edit your story to add a sense of place and time, emotion, character development, dialogue, if appropriate. You may wish to improve your story with the help of the group’s constructive feedback.
  • The animator will provide tips and exercises to tap your resources for more writing ideas. You are encouraged to contribute by bringing your own writing ideas for stories to the group. During each session we will take time to write a story to share with the group.

This program is FREE, and is open to anyone 18 and older

Tuesday Night Movies: West Side Story

Tuesday, June 2
06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

West side story movie poster

Title: West Side Story
Rated: G
Run time: 2h 33m
 
A musical in which a modern (1961) day Romeo and Juliet are involved in New York street gangs. On the harsh streets of the upper west side, two gangs battle for control of the turf. The situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival's sister.
 

A Novel Idea: Patient H.M.

Monday, June 22
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

Patient H.M.

Title: Patient H.M. 
Author: Luke Dittrich
Pages: 480
Published: 2017
 
In 1953, a twenty-seven-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison—who suffered from severe epilepsy—received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today.
 
Patient H.M. is, at times, a deeply personal journey. Dittrich’s grandfather was the brilliant, morally complex surgeon who operated on Molaison—and thousands of other patients. The author’s investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history, and to reveal the tragedy that fueled his grandfather’s relentless experimentation—experimentation that would revolutionize our understanding of ourselves.
 
Dittrich uses the case of Patient H.M. as a starting point for a kaleidoscopic journey, one that moves from the first recorded brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the cutting-edge laboratories of MIT. He takes readers inside the old asylums and operating theaters where psychosurgeons, as they called themselves, conducted their human experiments, and behind the scenes of a bitter custody battle over the ownership of the most important brain in the world.
 
Patient H.M. combines the best of biography, memoir, and science journalism to create a haunting, endlessly fascinating story, one that reveals the wondrous and devastating things that can happen when hubris, ambition, and human imperfection collide.
 

Creative Non-Fiction Writing Group

Thursday, June 25
09:30 am to 11:30 am

June 25

 

We all  have stories to share! 

  • Our aim is to inspire and help each other write anecdotes about specific events in our lives -- personal stories to hand down to future generations and possibly become archival public history.
  • At each meeting the participants will bring a story (or part of a story) they have written, of between 300 to 500 words, to share with the group.
  • You will then edit your story to add a sense of place and time, emotion, character development, dialogue, if appropriate. You may wish to improve your story with the help of the group’s constructive feedback.
  • The animator will provide tips and exercises to tap your resources for more writing ideas. You are encouraged to contribute by bringing your own writing ideas for stories to the group. During each session we will take time to write a story to share with the group.

This program is FREE, and is open to anyone 18 and older

Between the Covers: Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

Monday, June 29
01:00 pm to 02:00 pm

Mad Bad Dangerous to Know

Title: Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know : The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce 
Author: Colm Toibin
Pages: 272
Published: 2018
 
Colm Tóibín begins his incisive, revelatory Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know with a walk through the Dublin streets where he went to university—a wide-eyed boy from the country—and where three Irish literary giants also came of age. Oscar Wilde, writing about his relationship with his father, William Wilde, stated: “Whenever there is hatred between two people there is bond or brotherhood of some kind…you loathed each other not because you were so different but because you were so alike.” W.B. Yeats wrote of his father, John Butler Yeats, a painter: “It is this infirmity of will which has prevented him from finishing his pictures. The qualities I think necessary to success in art or life seemed to him egotism.” John Stanislaus Joyce, James’s father, was perhaps the most quintessentially Irish, widely loved, garrulous, a singer, and drinker with a volatile temper, who drove his son from Ireland.
 
Elegant, profound, and riveting, Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways these men surface in their work. Through these stories of fathers and sons, Tóibín recounts the resistance to English cultural domination, the birth of modern Irish cultural identity, and the extraordinary contributions of these complex and masterful authors.
 

 

After Dark Book Club: Do not say we have nothing

Tuesday, June 30
06:30 pm to 07:30 pm

Do not say we have nothing

Title: Do not say we have nothing
Author: Madeleine Thien 
Pages: 496
Published: 2017
 
“In a single year, my father left us twice. The first time, to end his marriage, and the second, when he took his own life. I was ten years old.”
 
Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations―those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to reimagine their artistic and private selves during China’s political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences.
 
With maturity and sophistication, humor and beauty, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of life inside China yet transcendent in its universality.
 

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