Under the guidance of the CA Department of Public Health and San Diego County’s Public Health Officer, the San Diego Public Library will be closed until further notice. Online library services remain available to the public.  Items previously due in June have been extended to July 13, 2020.  Find specific information on operations.

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Join the Club: Shelter in a Good Book!

Book clubs you can do from home

Adventure and Mystery Book Club

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Project Gutenberg eBook link: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/164
Read-Aloud Book Group (Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4 p.m.): https://facebook.com/groups/SDPLadventure
 
Here’s the Deal: Tune in to Facebook Live on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm to hear chapters of a great classic adventure or mystery book read aloud. Our current selection is: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
 
Author Bio: Jules Gabriel Verne (8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a series of bestselling adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). Verne is generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism. Verne has been the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare. He has sometimes been called the "Father of Science Fiction", a title that has also been given to H. G. Wells and Hugo Gernsback.
 
Book Description: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: A World Tour Underwater is a classic science fiction adventure novel by French writer Jules Verne. The novel was originally serialized from March 1869 through June 1870 in Pierre-Jules Hetzel's fortnightly periodical, the Magasin d'éducation et de récréation. The book was widely acclaimed on its release and remains so; it's regarded as one of the premiere adventure novels and one of Verne's greatest works, along with Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Its depiction of Captain Nemo's underwater ship, the Nautilus, is regarded as ahead of its time, since it accurately describes many features of today's submarines, which in the 1860s were comparatively primitive vessels.
 
Previous Readings: Visit the Library's YouTube channel to watch previous readings by clicking on the different playlists below.

Tea with The Count of Monte Cristo

Tea with The Count of Monte Cristo
Project Gutenberg eBook Link: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1184
Read-Aloud Group (every weekday at 3 p.m.): https://facebook.com/groups/SDPLtea
 
Author Bio: Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) was one of the most popular and prolific French writers of the 19th century.  Born the grandson of a marquis and a former Haitian slave, his works have been translated into many languages and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century into nearly 200 films.  He is also known as Alexandre Dumas père (French for 'father'), because he fathered the dramatist and novelist Alexandre Dumas, called Dumas fils (French for ‘son’).
 
Book Description: The Count of Monte Cristo, a Romantic novel by French author Alexandre Dumas père, was published serially in 1844–46 and in book form in 1844–45. The work is set from 1815-1839, during the time of the Bourbon Restoration in France.  The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centers on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about exacting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. His plans have devastating consequences for both the innocent and the guilty.  Despite The Count of Monte Cristo being criticized for its wordiness, largely attributed to Dumas having been paid by the line, it is widely praised as one of the most gripping novels ever written.

 

Activities: Tune in every weekday at 3 p.m. to stream a read-aloud of chapters from The Count of Monte Cristo. The videos will be also be available for later viewing.
 
Previous Readings: Visit the Library's YouTube channel to watch previous readings by clicking on the different playlists below.

Short Classics Book Club

Welcome to the Short Classics Book Club! This is a virtual forum to discuss the shortest of the greatest books of all time.

April Selection
Title: The Call of the Wild
Author: Jack London
Project Gutenberg eBook Link: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/215
 
Author Bio: Jack London (1876-1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. At the age of 21, London embarked on a journey to Yukon as part of the Klondike Gold Rush. His experience became the setting for his best-known novels - The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906). London spent the remainder of his life in the California Bay Area and Sonoma County.
 
Book Description: The Call of the Wild is an adventure novella set in the Canadian Yukon territory during the Klondike Gold Rush. The story follows the transformation of a dog named Buck as he is stolen from his Californian ranch home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. Through Buck’s brutal and tragic experience, London offers a fierce tale about individualism and survival amid the harshest conditions.
 
Discussion Questions:
  1. Why do you think London writes the story from Buck’s perspective? How would to story be different if it were told from any of the other human character’s points of view?
  2. Throughout the story, we see anthropomorphized (humanized) animals and civilized humans behaving badly. Who is civilized and who is wild?
  3. What does it take to be a good leader? What qualities does Buck demonstrate that make him a good lead sled dog and later, the leader of a wild wolf pack? In 2020, more than 100 years after the publication of Call of the Wild, would someone with Buck’s qualities make a good leader in today’s social climate?
  4. Share a favorite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out to you?

The Bucketlist Book Club

Welcome to the Bucketlist Book Club! This is a virtual forum to discuss longer/harder books or books that many of us have wished to read, but just never got around to it!
 
Title: Dante's Inferno
Author: Dante Alighieri
Available via Gutenberg Project: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/41537

 

Author Bio: Dante Alighieri, (born c. May 21–June 20, 1265, Florence, Italy—died September 13/14, 1321, Ravenna), Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy).

 

Book Description: The Divine Comedy is a long Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the pre-eminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. In Book I, Inferno, the poet and pilgrim Dante embarks on a spiritual journey. At the poem's beginning, Dante is lost in a dark wood both literally and spiritually. He meets the soul of his poetic idol, the Roman poet Virgil, who agrees to guide him through Hell.
 
Discussion questions forthcoming! Join the Bucketlist Book Club and be a part of the conversation!

Modern Classics Book Club

Welcome to our virtual book club!  We will be discussing a wide variety of books ranging from classic selections to modern literature.

 
April/May Selection
Title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Author: Betty Smith
 
Author Bio: Betty Smith (1876-1972) was an American author best known for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943), which is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.
 
Book Description: In this American classic, Smith depicts life in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn through the eyes of Francie Nolan. This moving, coming-of-age story will inspire you as we follow Francie and her family through the first two decades of the 20th century. A landscape richly painted in this semi autobiographical tale.

The Jane Austen Book Club

Welcome to the Jane Austen Book Club! Our book club will be an open forum conversation in which group members will be discussing the literary works of Jane Austen. Many Janeite advocates consider Jane Austen England's most popular author.
 
April Selection
Title: Pride and Prejudice
Title: Jane Austen
Project Gutenberg eBook Link: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1342
 
Author bio: Jane Austen, (born December 16, 1775, Steventon, Hampshire, England—died July 18, 1817, Winchester, Hampshire), English writer who first gave the novel its distinctly modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life. She published four novels during her lifetime: Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). In these and in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey (published together posthumously, 1817), she vividly depicted English middle-class life during the early 19th century. Her novels defined the era’s novel of manners, but they also became timeless classics that remained critical and popular successes two centuries after her death.
 
Book Description: The story revolves are the Bennet girls and the search for a successful marriage contract. Primary story plot revolves around our proud aristocratic, Mr. Darcy and his evolving feelings toward Elizabeth Bennet, The couple's relationship must overcome many social and cultural challenges to find true love. Any Janeite will tell you the story is worth reading due to the wit and charm of Jane Austen's characters.
 
Discussion questions:
 
Our questions will added once per week on every Friday throughout the month of April 2020.
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