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Let’s Talk About it book series to focus on global perspectives; First meeting set for Jan. 16; books available now

Grangeville Centennial Library aide Sandra Aiken displays the books for the 2018 Let’s Talk About It series which focuses on global perspectives.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Grangeville Centennial Library aide Sandra Aiken displays the books for the 2018 Let’s Talk About It series which focuses on global perspectives.

— 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. Books are currently available for pickup and the first session is set for Jan. 16. Call 983-0951.

“Our theme this year is ‘Global Perspectives,’” said library director Angie Norman.

Readers will focus on difficult questions and themes and, with the help of a specific scholar for each book, will discuss that book in a group setting at Grangeville Centennial Library.

Meeting dates, books and scholars for 2017 include the following:

•Jan. 16: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie with scholar Paula Coomer

(2000: In the early 1970s, teenage friends Ma Jianling (Ye Liu) and Luo Min (Chen Kun) are forced to move to a remote mountain village for re-education during China’s Cultural Revolution. Luo falls in love with a beautiful girl known as the Little Seamstress (Zhou Xun), who thirsts for the Western music and literature that the village chief (Chen Tianlu) considers insufficiently Maoist. The friends read to her from a cache of suppressed European literature that opens her mind to new possibilities.)

•Feb. 6: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende with scholar Barbara Meldrum

(1985: The novel tells the story of Eva, an orphan growing up in a South American country that is not specifically named in the book.)

•Feb. 27: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar with scholar Wendy Green

(2006: Set in present-day Mumbai, India, the novel follows the lives of two women: Serabai Dubash, an upper-middle-class widow, and her domestic servant, Bhima. The pair experience similar situations in their lives: abuse, the death or absence of a husband, a pregnant dependent, and the hope for a better future.)

•March 20: Graceland by Chris Abani with scholar Ron McFarland

(2004: A novel which tells the story of a teenager named Elvis, who is trying to get out of the ghettos of Lagos, Nigeria. Chris Abani depicts the poverty and violence in Lagos and how it affects the everyday lives of Elvis and his family.)

•April 10: The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni with scholar Kim Madsen

(1997: Tilo is a shopkeeper born in India and trained in magic, who helps customers satisfy their needs and desires with the mystical properties of spices. Her life changes when she falls for an American man named Raven, whom the book strongly implies is Native American. Unfortunately, she chooses to disregard the rules of her training in her pursuit of romance and her decision to seek out customers outside her shop, which results in the spices inflicting punishment on her and those she cares about.)

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.

“We invite everyone to take part in reading and then discussing these books,” said Sandra Aiken, library aide.

Each year, several libraries statewide are selected to participate and are provided book copies and theme and book materials for use in the program. Each library will also provide a $100 match. Funds are sometimes used through the regular budget, Friends of the Library or other grants.

The Let’s Talk About It program is made possible by the Idaho Humanities Council; the National Endowment for the Humanities 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.

Stop by the library between now and the first reading session to sign up and pick up the first book.


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