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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

The Schiappa Branch Library Book Club

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, August 2, 2015

There is one more Book Club operating within the library system, that being the Book Club at our Schiappa Branch Library.


Formed in 2011, the participants meet every month on the last Tuesday at 6:30 pm.


The first meeting featured an autographed copy of the book, “It Ain’t All About the Cookin” by Paula Deen as well as a delicious Mississippi Mud Cake from one of her recipes.


The author even sent promotional materials related to the book.  It is interesting that most of our Book Clubs enjoy books related to cooking and the opportunity to bring something made from the recipes.


At a recent meeting of the Schiappa Book Club, they were fortunate to have a call-in interview with the New York Times Bestselling author, Kathleen Grisson.


She shared her story of how the book came-to-be, called “The Kitchen House.”


The Book Club heard her first-hand account of her plans for a sequel and her discussion with movie producers interested in her work.


She promised to call the Club again once the sequel is written and in production.


Such author visits by phone are becoming more common, with many authors offering the service to Library Book Clubs through their web site.


The meetings of the Schiappa Book Club are filled with stimulating discussion, laughter and new information related to the topic of each book being discussed.


Club participants discuss social issues, important people, and historical events as well as share ideas for other “good reads” that future book topics could cover.


The Book Club consists of up to 15 people each month, and a variety of ages represented.  Coffee, tea, and a dessert or snack is centered on the theme for each month.


To celebrate our summer selection of Jimmy Buffett’s “A Salty Piece of Land,” the Book Club had virgin margaritas, leis, tropical shirts and music provided by the author himself.  A bit of Caribbean in Steubenville…..

The group makes suggestions and they vote on a choice for the next month based on the number of available copies of the book and the variations of the title, regular or large print, eBook, CD or Playa way.


The Book Club reads classics like “Jane Eyre” or mysteries, nonfiction, inspirational, and historical fiction; as well as bestsellers.


Since 2011, the Club members have enjoyed 44 books.


There is also a Teen Book Club at the Schiappa Branch Library which meets on the last Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm.


They combine “movie clips” from popular movies that have been made from books to juxtapose page to screen content for purpose of comparison.


Each month a bookmark or craft is included that relates to the book.


The most recent selection is “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson.


The young people in the Club are looking at the possibility of using Google Plus as social media or Skype as a video chat to include those teens whose busy lifestyle precludes their attendance in-person at the library.


Regarding all the Book Clubs that meet around the library system, there is such a difference between someone reading a book by themselves, and sharing thoughts on a book with a group of other people.


It is amazing what a “group read” can do to expand your thoughts on a particular book to the point of actually changing your outlook on what you read.


I find it exciting when two people who have read the same book share opposing thoughts on the book in a thoughtful considerate discussion.  Wouldn’t it be great if our society could learn to sit and share thoughts and ideas this same way?