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

Morningside Branch Library
4005 Morningside Avenue
Monday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday – Saturday 10am – 5pm

Perry Creek Branch Library
(Lower B, Plaza Professional Center)
2912 Hamilton Boulevard
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  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 2019:

01_Our-Kind-of-Cruelty January 7: Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall. Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely, life before he met Verity. V taught him about love, and in return, he’s dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, and he’s sculpted himself into V’s physical ideal. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together. It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his calls or that she’s marrying Angus. It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move, he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…
02_The-Library-Book February 4: The Library Book by Susan Orlean. A riveting mix of true crime, history, biography, and immersion journalism, The Library Book investigates the fire that devastated the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 and evolves into a page-turning love letter detailing the immense impact libraries and books have had throughout time.
03_There-There March 4: There There by Tommy Orange. Orange’s commanding and award-winning debut chronicles contemporary Native Americans in Oakland as their lives collide in the days leading up to the city’s inaugural Big Oakland Powwow. Bouncing between the voices and points of view of his 12 unforgettable characters, Tommy Orange has written a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide.
04_The-Grapes-of-Wrath April 1: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. 2019 One Book One Siouxland Selection Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression that chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.
05_Eleanor-Oliphant May 6: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills, tends to say exactly what she’s thinking, and lives a carefully timetabled life. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the trio becomes the kind of friends who rescue one another from the isolated lives they’ve each been living.
06_Sex-Crime-Panic June 3: Sex-Crime Panic: A Journey to the Paranoid Heart of the 1950s by Neil Miller. A gripping story of murder and anti-gay hysteria, Sex-Crime Panic presents a dark chapter in the history of postwar America. Following the brutal slaying of two children in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1954, local police attempted to quell public hysteria by arresting 20 men whom the authorities never claimed had anything to do with the crimes. Labeled as sexual psychopaths under an Iowa law that lumped homosexuals together with child molesters and murderers, the men were sentenced to a mental institution until cured. Their shocking story is brought to light for the first time by award-winning journalist Neil Miller.
07_Whiskey-When-We're-Dry July 1: Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison. In the spring of 1885, 17-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family’s homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess’s quest lands her in the employ of the territory’s violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah—dead or alive.
08_Unsheltered August 5: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. Unsheltered is the compulsively readable story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it. With history as their tantalizing canvas, these characters paint a startlingly relevant portrait of life in precarious times when the foundations of the past have failed to prepare us for the future.
09_Kitchen-Yarns September 9: Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food by Ann Hood. In this warm collection of personal essays and recipes, bestselling author Ann Hood nourishes both our bodies and souls. Growing up, she tasted love in her grandmother’s tomato sauce and dreamed of her mother’s Fancy Lady Sandwiches. Later, the kitchen became the heart of her own home. She cooked pork roast to warm her first apartment, taught her children how to make their favorite potatoes, found hope in her daughter’s omelet after a divorce, and fell in love again―with both her husband and his foolproof chicken stock.
10-7_Little-Faith October 7: Little Faith by Nickolas Butler. Set over the course of one year and beautifully evoking the change of seasons in rural Wisconsin, Little Faith is a powerful and deeply affecting story of how one family grapples with the power and limitations of faith when one of their own falls under the influence of a radical church.
10-21_This-Blessed-Earth October 22: This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm by Ted Genoways. All Iowa Reads Discussion (5:30-6:30 pm, Gleeson Room at Aalfs Downtown Library) Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s family homestead for the last 40 years in the hopes of passing it on to their children. But as the handoff nears, their small family farm—and their entire way of life are under siege. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Genoways details how they are forced to confront encroaching pipelines, climate change, and shifting trade policies, all while trying to preserve their legacy and the life they love.
11_When-All-Is-Said November 4: When All is Said by Anne Griffin. If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said? At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual—though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story.