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‘Let’s Talk About It’

Reading program to focus on modern rural west

Grangeville Centennial Library assistant Debbie Urquhart shows the books to be used for this year’s Let’s Talk About It program.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Grangeville Centennial Library assistant Debbie Urquhart shows the books to be used for this year’s Let’s Talk About It program.

GRANGEVILLE — Chase those winter blues by grabbing a book and discussing it with a group of peers.

Grangeville Centennial Library was again chosen to be a partner in the Let’s Talk About It program. The public discussion group will meet through April. All meetings are set for Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., at the library, 215 West North Street, Grangeville. Call 983-0951.

“Our theme is Living in the Modern Rural West,” said assistant librarian Debbie Urquhart.

The contemporary western writers featured in this theme include a variety of perspectives on rural life in the modern West. Ranging in location across the northern rural West from Washington to various regions of Idaho (the largest cluster) to Montana, their books are said to present a realistic portrait of the West, admitting to difficulties and divisions and misery, both personal and familial.

Readers will focus on difficult questions and unpleasant truths revealed in the pages of the books, along with humor at the sometimes quirky nature of life in the region.

“Authors also celebrate the particular Western landscapes they chronicle, evoking the West’s inspirational, restorative power even as they demolish the idea that coming west can solve all problems. The West, they suggest, is still a place where people can “find themselves,” although perhaps not in the way that they expected,” read the state’s information on the program.

Meeting dates and the books for 2015 include the following:

 •Jan 20: Bloodlines by Janet Campbell Hale (scholar Wendy Green)

•Feb 10: Far Away Places by Tome Spanbauer (scholar Wendy Green)

•March 3: Lochsa Road by Kim Stafford (scholar Nancy Casey)

•March 24: Bitterbrush Country by Diane Josephy Peavey (scholar David Barber)

•April 14: The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (scholar Jennifer Ladino)

Since 1985, Let’s Talk About It has been bringing adult reading discussion groups together with humanities scholars in Idaho’s public libraries to discuss fine literature. These book readings and discussions explore American values, history, culture, aging, classics and more.

“The presentation by and interaction with a program scholar is what sets these discussions apart from traditional book clubs and discussions,” Urqhart explained. “At least 15 libraries statewide were selected to participate and will be provided book copies and theme and book materials for use in the program. Each library will also provide a $100 match; ours is paid by our Friends of the Centennial Library group.”

The Let’s Talk About It program is made possible by the Idaho Humanities Council; the National Endowment for the Humanities; a generous gift from USBancorp Foundation; and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which administers the Library Services and Technology Act. The program is administered by the Idaho Commission for Libraries.


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