When Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh closed its doors in mid-March 2020 in response to the global pandemic, its leaders quickly began thinking of alternative ways to serve the public, including book bundles, chat reference, and, of course, our Virtual Book Club. This new book club started in April of 2020, and its home was a Facebook Group.
Within that group, staff and participants discussed selections first in the comments of a post and then in Zoom meetings, while sharing videos, interviews, articles, and read-alikes for the titles under discussion. The Virtual Book Club also partnered with Josh Bell of the Pirates to host discussions on books related to social justice and with Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures to promote its world-class roster of speakers. All in all, we’ve had just over 60 illuminating discussions so far!
Our regulars routinely tell us how much they appreciate the virtual space where they can talk about books they never would have picked up otherwise. And as staff, we can tell you that we enjoy it just as much. Having this accessible avenue for book discussions is important to us.
In December, the Virtual Book Club is changing once more and moving from its Facebook Group home to fully be housed within our website. We will be sharing information about the authors and the books we select, along with interesting information and reviews, in a monthly blog post. And our discussion will be moved to once a month, on the 3rd Thursday at 5:30 pm, still on Zoom.
If you’ve never attended Virtual Book Club, now is a great time to join! It is a friendly and open community with participants who are passionate about books. Happy reading, and we hope to see you at the next Virtual Book Club!
Our upcoming discussions are:
- January 20, 2022 at 5:30PM
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Afro-Latinx high school senior Emoni is a young single mom being raised by her grandmother while raising her own daughter. She has a gift for cooking, and her food, like magic, conjures emotions in people she shares it with. The news of a culinary arts course with a possible trip to Spain grabs her interest, but how will she juggle school, work, and being a mother?
February 17, 2022 at 5:30PM
Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Cheryl Diamond
“By the age of nine, I will have lived in more than a dozen countries, on five continents, under six assumed identities.” In this memoir, former model Diamond offers a transfixing chronicle of her coming-of -age bouncing from city to city and country to country to outrun the authorities. Her family lived a life straight out of a thriller that was marked by false identities, financial schemes, deep mistrust, and a desperation to avoid Interpol officers, all while being on the run from a mysterious, unknown enemy.
March 17, 2022 at 5:30 PM
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Octavia E. Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young Black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the antebellum South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.
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