Aalfs Downtown Library
529 Pierce Street
712-255-2933
Monday – Wednesday 9am – 8pm
Thursday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday (Sept. thru May) 1pm – 5pm

Morningside Branch Library
4005 Morningside Avenue
712-255-2924
Monday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday – Saturday 10am – 5pm

Perry Creek Branch Library
(Lower B, Plaza Professional Center)
2912 Hamilton Boulevard
712-255-2926
Monday – Friday 10:30am – 5:30pm

Requests or Suggestions?

Open Book Club

Join us the first Monday of the month for lively discussion with fellow reading enthusiasts! Readers gather the first Monday of the month in the morning at the Perry Creek Branch and in the evening at the Morningside Branch. Open Book Club is free and open to the public.

Perry Creek Branch Library
2912 Hamilton Blvd.
10:00 – 11:00am

Morningside Branch Library
4005 Morningside Ave.
5:00 – 6:00pm

Here are the monthly selections for 2020:

01_The-Music-Shop January 6: The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb, there is a brightly lit music shop, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the music they need. When a chance encounter with a beautiful woman leaves him reeling, can a man who is so in tune with other people’s needs find the strength to connect with the one person who just might save him?
02_Inland February 3: Inland by Téa Obreht. *February’s Morningside Branch Open Book Club will be meeting at 4 pm. An unexpected relationship between an unflinching frontierswoman riding out the Arizona Territory drought of 1893 and a former outlaw, who has the ability to see ghosts, inspires an epic and imaginatively mythic journey across the American West.
03_Conviction March 2: Conviction by Denise MinaAn upper-class Edinburgh trophy wife who enjoys listening to the sordid details of true-crime podcasts has her world turned upside down when a new podcast turns out to have connections to her own dark and secret past.
04_Midnight-in-Chernobyl April 6: Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam HigginbothamDrawing on more than a decades worth of research, recently declassified files and hours of interviews with first-person survivors, Midnight in Chernobyl is a definitive account of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the 20th Century’s greatest disasters.
05_On-Earth-We're-Briefly-Gorgeous May 4: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. A shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born—a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam—and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation.
06_Nothing-to-See-Here June 1: Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. Agreeing to help her former college roommate care for two stepchildren who possess the ability to spontaneously combust when agitated, Lillian endeavors to keep her young charges cool in the face of an astonishing revelation.
08_The-Ninth-Hour July 6: The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott. On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens a gas tap in his apartment and commits suicide. In the aftermath, an aging nun appears unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and unborn child. Early 20th century Catholic Brooklyn’s decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man’s brief existence, and yet his suicide, though never spoken of, reverberates through many generations to come.
07_Say-Nothing August 3: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe. Documents the notorious abduction and murder of I.R.A. Troubles victim Jean McConville in 1972 Belfast, exploring how the case reflected the brutal conflicts of Northern Ireland and their ongoing repercussions. Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.
08_The-Mothers August 24: The Mothers by Brit Bennett. All Iowa Reads Discussion (5:30-6:30 pm, Gleeson Room at Aalfs Downtown Library) In a contemporary black community, 17-year-old Nadia Turner mourns the suicide of her mother, leading her to take up with the local’s pastor’s son; but when she gets pregnant, the pregnancy and the subsequent cover-up will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.
09_One-Day September 14: One Day: the Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America by Gene Weingarten. On New Year’s Day 2013, two-time Pulitzer Prize–winner Gene Weingarten asked three strangers to, literally, pluck a day, month, and year from a hat. That day—chosen completely at random—turned out to be Sunday, December 28, 1986, by any conventional measure a most ordinary day. Weingarten spent the next six years proving that there is no such thing. One Day asks and answers the question of whether there is even such a thing as “ordinary” when we are talking about how we all lurch and stumble our way through the daily, daunting challenge of being human.
10_Imaginary-Friend October 5: Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, they flee her abusive relationship in the middle of the night. They find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, PA, and it seems like the perfect place to settle down. Then Christopher vanishes for six long days—until he emerges seemingly unscathed from the woods at the edge of town. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete. Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.
11_The-Night-Watchman November 2: The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather, who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.