Bartlett Book Club offers diversity of titles

Kolleen Taylor
Director, Bertha Bartlett Public Library

Green is in the air, with St. Patrick's Day and grass brightening the days and our spirits.  We are beginning to see a few more of our regular patrons returning to the library which also lifts our hearts, as we are ready and waiting for the library to be a destination again in the future.

If you missed the change last week, we are able to allow our patrons in without appointments, still wearing masks and with social distancing protocols in place. We saw an immediate change and smiling eyes when this happened. With tax season in full force, we have been busy helping people copy materials for filing this year, in addition to the regular task of locating tax forms. For some reason this year we did not receive a book of most commonly used forms, so we are helping locate most forms online. We have an industrious community which often has a “can-do” attitude, and handling taxes privately is one of those tasks, so this is quite the collaborative effort.

“The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride” by Joe Siple was a recent selection for the Bartlett Book Club.

We are always on the look-out for good news and uplifting stories that will entertain and inspire. As we again met this week for the Bartlett Book Club to discuss the book “The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride” by Joe Siple, I was thrilled to discover this had a great message, some wonderful characters and an ending that kept you guessing. It’s an Independently published book that is full of heart and was truly worth the time to read and to discuss.

Our book club has met regularly during the past year, utilizing the technology offered by Zoom. This software definitely offered a better alternative than emailing, and using this has allowed us to keep connected and keep our reading diversified. We have a variety of titles scheduled in the months ahead, including “Before I go to Sleep,” a thriller by S.J. Watson to be discussed in April, “Ask Again, Yes” by Mary Beth Keane, a contemporary fiction about relationships will be discussed in May, “Little Fires Everywhere” a mystery by Celeste Ng will be featured in June and “Little Faith” by Nickolas Butler, a novel about family and community will be discussed in July.

Last week I was taking some of the continuing education classes for accreditation and I had the chance to “meet” the All Iowa Reads authors on Zoom. “Little Faith” author, Nickolas Butler, is from Wisconsin and attended the Iowa Writer’s workshop. His presentation was excellent, and he offered to come to some of our libraries in Iowa. We are hoping by July this might be possible!

Usually we intersperse some biographies and non-fiction amongst our genres, but although we have already done several non-fiction this year, we have read more books that are based on true stories. Some of our non-fiction reads like fiction, while others are difficult to get through. But the diversity of the writing style and the introduction of concepts and places we’ve never been reinforces my love of reading.

The book clubs we offer always have room for one more, so if you would like to join a book club, please let us know! Just call or email the library and give us your name and library card number and when you are available.

Kolleen Taylor is the director of the Bertha Bartlett Public Library, which is located at 503 Broad St., Story City.