Archive for the Events Category

SCPL Director Teresa Landers Reads With Her Dog on the Solstice

My dog, Kodi and I are reading Life after Life by Jill McCorkle.

Teresa reads with Kodi
The book has an unusual setting and delivery style. Set in the Pine Haven Retirement Home, the story(ies) are told from the various perspectives of staff, residents and neighbors.The deepness of the characters is built one “chapter” at a time and the interdependent web of the lives of the characters grows. Haven’t finished it yet so can’t say how it all resolves but Kodi and I both are looking forward to finding out.
-Teresa Landers, SCPL Director

*Note: It’s not too late to join the fun of the Solstice Gala! RSVP by clicking here.

Sharon enjoys the Solstice Gala with Vegetable Literacy

Vegetable Literacy

Dear Friends,

Thanks you so much for your kind invitation to relax at home with a good book! I am looking forward to attending. Although I will not be available until after 6, you can be sure that I will enjoy every minute of this solstice event. Chef and author Deborah Madison has written Vegetable Literacy which was given to me for my birthday in June.  This earnest endeavor to educate cooks and gardeners about plant families encourages creativity and spontaneity in using just what grows in the garden. I am skipping to page 103 so that I can start with the knotweed family which includes sorrel. This short chapter includes 3 recipes for sorrel sauces so I will break from my reading to gather sorrel in the garden and then prepare a salmon filet with boiled potatoes and creamy sorrel sauce. Once finished, I will return to chapter one, the carrot family…

Again, thanks for the opportunity!  Always, Sharon Maxwell

Ladies Lit and Tea Read for the Solstice Gala

The Ladies Literary and Tea Society

meeting monthly in Santa Cruz since 1996

*Note: It’s not too late to join the fun of the Solstice Gala! RSVP by clicking here.


Ladies and Lit Reads

Title:      The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion

Author:   Fannie Flagg

All Girl Filling Station

I heard a review of this book on National Public Radio and decided to read it even though I don’t often care for the books reviewed there. It starts slowly, meaning I was wondering if I would get as far as page 10. The book quickly picks up. I read until midnight, then woke up really early thinking about it and finished it before breakfast.  The book is in two parts which are woven together to create a contrast between an unbelievably insipid present-day woman and the enchantingly and perhaps unrealistically vivid lives of a family of World War Two era sisters. The book is full of messages; some topics are a little unsavory but even so I imagine it would be an excellent discussion book for a high school class studying America during World War II.  It is well and cleverly written. And I was surprised at how much I learned. I won’t say about what exactly. Read the book and find out.


Denise Becker




Title:  A la Recherche du Temps Perdu

Author:  Marcel Proust

A La Recherche du Temps Perdu

Thanks to one of our book club members who signed up for a “Life-long Learners” course focused on Marcel Proust’s A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (in English, of course), I borrowed her copy when her class was ended. This is a 2002 publication of a translation by Lydia Davis. I am enjoying it more than I could ever have imagined. Perhaps it takes a walk into one’s eighth decade of life to accumulate the patience and understanding required for the fullest appreciation for Proust’s gifts. It stuns me when I read one sentence at least a page long describing a nearly instantaneous but emotional event. He is a masterly word-painter of the kinds of experiences that one forgets, but can be brought forth in an instant with great clarity and joy when reading such a passage that evokes a memory similar to one’s own.

I know the book must end soon: I will delay that eventuality for as long as I can.

Gwen Shupe


Title: The Garden of Heaven

Author:  Hafiz, translated by Gertrude Bell

The Garden of Heaven

Hafiz was a 14th century Persian poet, born in Shiraz. These are delicate love-songs meant to be recited or chanted.  They are wonderfully visual and sensual in the English translation; I would imagine they are even more so in the original Persian. Here is an example:


God send to thee great length of happy days!

Lo, not for his own life thy servant prays;

Love’s dart in thy bent brows the Archer lays,

Nor shoots in vain.

Carolyn Woolston


Howard's End

I read E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End every four or five years.

This novel is a deeply explored examination of the shattering changes that took place in English society during the late 19th  and early 20th century.  The primary question posed by the book is:  “Who will inherit England (Howard’s End)?  At the end, note who that is, and who his parents are.


Lorene Hall


ps:  Howard’s End is one of the great English novels; you don’t have to be

interested in English history to love it forever.


pps:   The film, with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins  captures the

book beautifully – an uncommon occurrence, unless you happen to

be Merchant & Ivory.

Friends are coming back to Discretion Brewing

Brews for Books!

Love Mondays at Discretion Brewing

We’re coming back! It was so much fun last time at Discretion, that we’re going back to brewery on January 27th, 2014 during their regular hours, 11:30am to 9pm. Come join us for a brew! Discretion Brewing will donate 20% of their beer sales (excluding kegs and growlers) to the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Last time we brought a cart of like new books and had them for sale at great deals. We will be doing this again, and have a raffle for a Discretion Brewing gift card!

So please come on out, enjoy some brews with your Friends, and support your libraries!

Discretion Brewing is located at 2703 41st Ave, Soquel CA. For more information about the brewery, click here.

Kate reads My Bookstore

I  am  reading My Bookstore, a collection of famous writers reflections on their favorite places to browse and shop. We are collecting advice on making the Friends Bookstore the best it can be. Come by and see us.

-Kate Canlis, FSCPL Board Member

Kate read My Bookstore

Ralph Reads The Java Script Ninja at the Solstice Gala

Title: Java Script Ninja
Author: Resig and Bibeault

When the programming language JavaScript was introduced, those of us who coded in what we called “powerful languages”, such as C or Fortran, sneered at this wimpy new language. Twenty years later, JavaScript has grown up: more new applications are being coded in this language than all other languages combined. It is true that C and Fortran are still the way to code supercomputers, but JavaScript has become the way to go for apps that run on devices that you put in your pocket or backpack. So here I am trying to come up to speed on the language of the day.

-Ralph Carmichael

Ralph and Ginger

Ralph reads with Ginger.

Laurie R. King explores the English Mysteries of Josephine Tey at the Solstice Gala

I have an entire bookshelf–note: not a shelf, a bookshelf unit–of books I’ve bought and will someday read. It’s my own personal library, waiting for me to run my eyes down the spines, take one or two from its neighbors, and finally choose the story that will fill the next handful of free hours. But to have the luxury of a whole day of lazy reading, knowing in advance that it’s waiting for me? That may call for a Josephine Tey marathon. Starting with Brat Ferrer, and going on to Daughter of Time, I will wend my way through a December day, walking England in the company of complex and thought-provoking companions. If I don’t run out of hours and my eyes are still happy, I will pass on to Love and Be Wise, and paddle down an English stream to a bittersweet conclusion.

-Laurie R. King

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels (all of which are waiting for you in the Santa Cruz library system) and a number of nonficition works and anthologies. She was given her first Santa Cruz library card in 1956, and still has the pin she won for completing the Summer Reading challenge.