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 – Wednesday 10am – 6pm
Thursday – Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday 9am – 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 Morningside Branch and in the evening at the Aalfs Downtown Library. Open Book Club is free and open to the public.

Morningside Branch Library
4005 Morningside Ave.
10:00 – 11:00am

Aalfs Downtown Library
529 Pierce St.
5:00 – 6:00pm (Free Parking)

Here are the monthly selections for 2022:

1_VelvetWastheNight January 3: Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. In 1970s Mexico City, a secretary with a penchant for romance novels searches for her missing neighbor, a beautiful art student, which leads her to an eccentric gangster who longs to escape his own life. Together, they set out to discover the dangerous truth.
2_TheReadingList February 7: The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams. Working at the local library, Aleisha reads every book on a secret list she found. These stories transport her away from the painful realities she’s facing at home, and she decides to pass the list on to a lonely widower desperate to connect with his bookworm granddaughter.
3_Cultish March 7: Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell. Through juicy storytelling and cutting original research, Montell exposes the verbal elements that make a wide spectrum of communities “cultish”, revealing how they affect groups from notorious cults to modern startups and social media feeds. Incisive and darkly funny, this enrapturing take on the curious social science of power and belief will make you hear the fanatical language of “cultish” everywhere.
4_OnceThereWereWolves April 4: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy. Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but her sister too, who has been unmade by the terrible secrets that drove them out of Alaska.
5_TheLincolnHighway May 2: The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. In June 1954, 18-year-old Emmett Watson is released after serving time for involuntary manslaughter and discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car and have a different plan for Emmett’s future.
6_NotesonanExecution June 6: Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka. Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in 12 hours. He knows what he’s done and awaits execution, the same chilling fate he forced on those girls years ago. Through a kaleidoscope of women—a mother, a sister, a homicide detective—we learn the story of Ansel’s life. As the clock ticks down, these women sift through the choices that culminate in tragedy, exploring the rippling fissures that such destruction inevitably leaves in its wake.
7_TheThousandCrimesofMingTsu July 11: The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin. A debut novel that reimagines the classic Western through the eyes of a Chinese-American assassin on a quest to rescue his kidnapped wife and exact his revenge upon her abductors.
8_Gentrifier August 1: Gentrifier by Anne Elizabeth Moore.  In 2016, a Detroit arts organization grants writer and artist Anne Elizabeth Moore a free house—a room of her own, à la Virginia Woolf. Accompanied by her cats, Moore moves to the bungalow in her new city where she gardens, befriends the neighborhood youth, and grows to intimately understand civic collapse and community solidarity.
8_AllIowa_TheButterflyEffect August 15: The Butterfly Effect by Rachel Mans McKenny. (All Iowa Reads Book Discussion: Only one discussion – 5 pm at Aalfs Downtown Library). An entomologist who uses empirical data to navigate relationships abandons her latest research assignment in the rainforest to attend to her ailing brother, before her interpersonal difficulties lead to a rehabilitative job at a butterfly conservatory.
9_MyMonticello September 12:  My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson. A young woman descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings is driven from her neighborhood by a white militia. A university professor studies racism by conducting a secret social experiment on his own son. A single mother is desperate to buy her first home even as the world hurtles toward catastrophe. Each fighting to survive in America. An irresistibly accessible yet startingly bold book of short stories and a novella, all inspired by Black lives in America
10_CryinginHMart October 3: Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. Zauner, best known as the founder of indie rock group Japanese Breakfast, expands on her popular New Yorker essay to craft a poignant memoir of a mother’s love as told through Korean food. Losing a parent is one thing, but to also lose direct ties to one’s culture in the process is its own tragedy.
11_WhenTwoFeathersFellFromtheSky November 7: When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky by Margaret Verble. Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel. Set in 1920s Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.