Saturday, May 25
Environmental Book Club
This book club was formed out of an interest in raising not just awareness, but interest and the "environmental IQ" of our local community. Group members represent a range of interests and knowledge about environmental issues, and have set out to create and maintain a place where ideas and information can be shared in civil and welcoming ways. The community is welcome to attend, listen and discuss.
Selection this month: The Hidden Life of Trees Chapters 9-16, by PeterWohlleben
Tuesday, May 28
Mystery Book Club
Come join this group that has been meeting for over 20 years! New members always welcome; all you need is a love of mysteries and a burning desire to talk about them with a fun group of folks!
Selection this month: A Famine of Horses by P.F. Chisholm
Wednesday, May 29
Lecture and Book Signing: Svetlana Alexander
Introduction to Russia Literature
For all those curious about Russian Literature and the thorny road of its development, beginning from Peter the Great's period to Gorbachev's. Come to hear how Peter the Great, in his fiery desire to overcome Russia's backwardness and westernize the country, imposed taxes on beards of his noblemen, and how he ordered the development of the Russian language to meet the western standards. The first delicious fruits of this enterprise ripened in a century when a constellation of great masters in prose and poetry surfaced. Among them there were A. Pushkin, N. Gogol, L.Tolstoy, A. Chekhov, D. Dostoevsky, to name a few. The victorious march of masters was rudely interrupted by the Red Revolution in 1917 when the Russian literature split onto Soviet, that of emigres, and Samizdat (banned books published "underground"). Six Nobel Prizes were issued for Russian Literature, five of them went to Russian dissidents and emigres.
The speaker will also introduce Alexander Pushkin (1799-1836). His literary genius is equally appreciated by Russian and American communities in spite of difficulties in translation that may completely eliminate the original musicality and lightness of Pushkin's style.
The second part of the presentation will be dedicated to a brief overview of the speaker's own book, A IS FOR ANIMALS: True Stories about the Emotional Lives of Animals (English). These short stories for adults are tales about animals from around the world: the winged dwellers of the Arenberg Castle Park in Belgium whose lives are worthy of the grandest novels; dogs and cats in Siberia living through difficult times of unfledged capitalism; amazing cats - an explorer, a hunter, and Machiavellian feline manipulator residing on American soil; a genius parrot with a phenomenal vocabulary and a taste for Russian poetry; intelligent sushi fishes in Japan, and a dog admonishing humans, in her open letter, to treat non-human animals with due respect.
Tuesday, June 4
Beaverdale Writers Group
Join this group of lively area writers started by local author Jerry Hooten in 2008. Jerry recently "retired" from the group, but it is now in the capable hands of Maggie Rivers and Mike Wilson. New writers are always welcome! This is not a critique group; discussion centers around the publishing process and marketing your work once it's published. Come learn some of the tricks of the trade and get started on your publishing journey, or share your experience with someone just starting out.
Topic this month: 50 Tips and Tricks on Writing!
Bring your list of favorites to share.
Thursday, June 6
Meet the Author: Aaron Putze
You Are Destined for Greatness
How did the absence of a Sharpie at the finish line of a nationally televised and globally recognized triathlon held in downtown Des Moines forever influence a prominent supermarket CEO?
What lesson did a generous volunteer and mentor impart to his best friend and state legislator about living...just before dying?
What leadership principle did the introduction of a pineapple-flavored soda to central Iowa reinforce to the president and employees of a successful bottling company?
And how did trash cleanup at a spring softball game impart a lasting impression on the CEO of an Iowa foundation serving more than 200,000 Iowans?
Answers to these questions are just some of the personal empowerment lessons shared by 27 influential leaders with Iowa and Midwest roots and featured in the just-released book You Are Destined for Greatness.
Authored by Aaron Putze of Waukee, Iowa, the fast-paced narrative peppered with photos, quotes and behind-the-scenes insights was three years in the making. It showcases stories of inspiration and empowerment as shared during personal conversations Putze conducted with people who have faced adversity, overcome disappointment, learned from doing and never tired from continuously improving personally and professionally.
Giving voice to You Are Destined for Greatness include: U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad; AE Dairy CEO Miriam Erickson Brown; Hy-Vee Inc. Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker; Iowa Sports Foundation CEO Chuck Long; Greater Des Moines Partnership President Gene Meyer; mentor and retired Bankers Trust CEO Suku Radia; Author and speaker Terry Rich; Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. President Kirk Tyler; and Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen.
Also tucked inside the pages are words of wisdom about Iowa values and work ethic shared during a chance encounter between Putze and Ames, Iowa, native Harrison Barnes who plays for the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings.
The first-hand accounts and perspectives provided by those who have excelled - and, at times, stumbled - in business, sports, academia, finance, retail, elected office and life, are organized into 16 leadership themes including "Sharing Success. Owning Setbacks," "Never Burn Bridges. Ever" and "Listen. Really. Listen." Questions are also posed throughout the book to stimulate additional reflection and be a catalyst for readers to implement ideas into their daily lives.
Friday, June 7
Meet the Author: Larry Lehmer
American Bandstand spotlighted well-scrubbed, properly dressed dancing teenagers on every show . They mirrored the show's perpetually youthful host, Dick Clark, who spun the music Clark often described as the "soundtrack to our lives."
These are the memories Clark carefully nurtured as he crafted the alternate teen universe of Bandstandland during the formative years of American Bandstand, from 1952 to 1964.
Clark was a relentless businessman who created rules to keep black teens off the show, promoted the teens that danced on the show when it served his purposes and banned them when it didn't and effectively turned American Bandstand into his own personal infomercial.
Bandstandland sheds light on the little-known backstory of the TV program that enjoyed a 37-year run from 1952 to 1989.
Larry Lehmer was a newspaper reporter and editor for 40 years, including 24 years at the Des Moines Register.
Lehmer is also the author of The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, which was nominated for the 1997 Gleason Music Book Award. As a result of that book's success, Lehmer worked with the E! cable television network in producing an episode of its Mysteries and Scandals series, was a contributor to a VH1 documentary on Buddy Holly and was a featured subject on the ID-Discovery Channel"s The Will: Family Secrets Revealed program on Ritchie Valens.
He lives in Urbandale, Iowa, with his wife, Linda.
Saturday, June 8
Meet the Author: B.J. Smith
North of Grand: A Detective Red Shaw Novel
A cyclist turns up dead on a muggy August morning outside the Des Moines central transit station and the heat is on. Dried blood from a head wound and a trace of white powder near Zach Costa's feet tell Detective Edward "Red" Shaw part of the story, but who stuffed the body in a storage locker? Where's the victim's vintage racing bike? Was this a simple robbery gone terribly wrong or something much worse? Within hours, Shaw and his partner, Phil Vega, find themselves probing the sometimes toxic, competitive world of amateur bicycle racing. What they find in author B.J. Smith's second Red Shaw crime novel, North of Grand, is a tangled web of cryptic social media messaging, stolen property, drug trafficking, and murder.
Des Moines native B.J. Smith writes crime fiction, essays and poetry in addition to technical documentation for supercomputer users. A University of Iowa journalism grad and U.S. Navy veteran, he covered education, police and courthouse beats at various times for daily newspapers in Iowa City, Ottumwa and Clinton. He also edited opinion, health, sewing and home-repair columns for a news syndicate in Des Moines, where proofreading syndicated crossword puzzles inspired his first crime novel, Blood Solutions. Smith and his wife, Susan, lived a few blocks north of Grand for a time, and now enjoy cycling, hiking and snowshoeing in the Rockies from their home in Longmont, Colorado.
Tuesday, June 11
Beaverdale Books Book Club
Formerly the Hunter's Picks Book Club takes its inspiration from Paul's Book Club at Prairie Lights in Iowa City, which Hunter attended while in college. This book club will read primarily literary fiction. Hunter will still be making the monthly selections and leading the discussion. Come join this group for an evening of enlightenment!
Selection this month: There There by Tommy Orange
Thursday, June 13
Beaverdale Book Browsers Book Club
Beaverdale Books' original book club is once again open to new members!
This book club was at capacity for a while, but as people come and go there are openings for new readers looking for a book club. The club started when the store opened in 2006 and has been going strong ever since. What began as a group of strangers has been a testament to the power of books to bring people together. Selections are eclectic and the discussion is always interesting. Food and wine are always part of the fun as well. Anyone is welcome!
Selection this month: A Gentleman in Moscow (Continued from May) by Amor Towle
Saturday, June 15
Meet the Author: John Domini
The Color Inside a Melon
A disastrous earthquake has Naples reeling. While the government scrambles to maintain appearances, poverty and anarchy rack the people on Italy's margins - the illegal immigrants out of Africa, known as the clandestini. One of whom has just been horrifically murdered.
Enter Risto, a rare success story. A refugee from Mogadishu, orphaned in his teens, he's now married the Neapolitan Paola and is the proprietor of a celebrated art gallery. The murder recalls the deaths of his loved ones years ago in Mogadishu, a trauma Risto can't outrun.
Thinking to force the hand of the white authorities, Risto begins his own investigation. But once he starts playing detective, he quickly gets in over his head. Worse, his digging seems to have brought on a strange hallucination: a golden halo only he can see, like a visionary's foretelling of death. Everyone he knows, including the woman he loves, seems to brim with secrets; every discovery Risto makes drives him toward an earthquake of his own.
A portrait of turmoil inside and out, The Color Inside a Melon explores race and class, belonging and exclusion in one of the world's ancient cities. Prolific author, critic, and essayist John Domini delivers an unforgettable portrait of humanity's endless struggle between moving on and making a home.
John Domini has three stories collections and three novels in print. Other books include selections of criticism and poetry. He's published fiction in Paris Review and Ploughshares, non-fiction in GQ and the New York Times, and won a poetry prize from Meridian. Grants include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The New York Times praised his work as "dreamlike... grabs hold of both reader and character," and Alan Cheuse, of NPR, described it as "witty and biting." He has taught at Harvard, Northwestern and elsewhere and makes his home in Des Moines.
Monday, June 17
Urbandale UCC Book Club
The Urbandale United Church of Christ Book Club is now meeting at Beaverdale Books! Membership is open to anyone, so if you like good books and a good discussion, this could be your book club!
Selection this month: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Monday, June 24
Mind-Body-Spirit Book Club
Join this discussion of books that focus on the mind, body and spirit as art of an individual's well-being. Authors will include Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Joyce Rupp and others. The club will explore the author's ideas and how they can incorporate some practical applications into our everyday lives to encourage balance and joy.
Selection this month: The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
Saturday, July 20
Meet the Author: A.C. Miller
It's been three months since the events that transpired in Nimbus. Three months in which Sam, Sean, and Elise have tried to get over the nightmare that wanted to kill them; the same nightmare that nearly broke them. Now, time is up - somewhere else is calling them; somewhere else desires to test their strength.
A new place beckons for Elise to learn its ways.
It pleads for Sam not to shy away from the horrors he may experience.
It begs Sean to show his strength when he least believes he can.
And the longer they wait, the stronger the call becomes; the more it dares to make them suffer until they find and answer it. In Halcyon, Sam, Elise, and Sean search for a new world, a new home by leaving everything they've ever known behind. With no clue what lies ahead, will they discover a new society and a new way of living, or will their haunted pasts catch up with them?
A.C. Miller is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and the author of Nimbus and Halcyon, the first two books in his debut YA trilogy: The Perfect Circle Trilogy. Currently, A.C. is working on the unnamed third and final book in the series. Outside of writing, A.C. loves to watch classic films - especially movies with Gene Tierney or Humphrey Bogart, listen to Frank Sinatra, perfect his dairy-free cooking, and spoil his Boston Terrier, Hugo.
If he's not doing any of the things mentioned above, then just like the rest of you, he's lost in a good book.
More info about A.C. can be found at www.acmillerauthor.com