Due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, some Book Clubs are meeting in person.
The Atlantic Monthly Discussion Group
The Atlantic Monthly Discussion Group meets on the second Monday of the month at 11 a.m. (except in October when it is the third Monday.)
Just read the feature article (and any other articles that interest you) of the current issue of Atlantic Monthly in print or via Flipster or on the website https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/. Then join us on Zoom and engage in lively and intellectual discussion.
January 5 – The Library Book by Susan Orlean February 2 – Less by Andrew Sean Greer March 2 – Beartown by Fredrik Backman April 6 – The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea May 4 – Ape House by Sara Gruen June 1 – Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover July 6 – The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway Aug. 3 – The Overstory by Richard Powers Sept. 7 – The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson Oct. 5 – Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah Nov. 2 – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See Dec. 7 – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Biography & Non-Fiction Book Club
The Biography and Nonfiction Book Club meets the second Sunday of each month (unless re-scheduled because of holidays/weather). We meet at the North Branch of the Peoria Public Library, 3001 West Grand Parkway, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. New members are always welcome!
For more information, please call Roberta Koscielski at 309-497-2186. Click below to see the selections of biography and non-fiction reads for 2021.
January 10 – Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin
The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative. A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.
February 14 – Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
In this extraordinary work, Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of a national drama that has unfolded over two decades. From the labs and marketing departments of big pharma to local doctor’s offices; wealthy suburbs to distressed small communities in Central Appalachia; from distant cities to once-idyllic farm towns; the spread of opioid addiction follows a tortuous trajectory that illustrates how this crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times.
March 14 – Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations. Using riveting stories, she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
April 11 – The Library Book by Susan Orlean
PEORIA READS 2021 SELECTION – In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.
May 16 – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
First published in 1970, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of American Indians during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown introduces readers to great chiefs and warrors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes, revealing in heartwrenching detail the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that methodically stripped them of freedom. A forceful narrative still discussed today as revelatory and controversial, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee permanently altered our understanding of how the American West came to be defined.
June 13 – Devils Walking: Klan Murders Along the Mississippi in the 1960s by Stanley Nelson
In Devils Walking, Pulitzer Prize finalist and journalist Stanley Nelson details his investigation―alongside renewed FBI attention―into the cold cases of several Klan murders that terrorized residents of northeast Louisiana and Mississippi, as he uncovers the names of the Klan’s key members as well as systemized corruption and coordinated deception by those charged with protecting all citizens.
July 11 – Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir by John McCain
John McCain is one of the most admired leaders in the United States government, but his deeply felt memoir of family and war is not a political one and ends before his election to Congress. With candor and ennobling power, McCain tells a story that, in the words of Newsweek, “makes the other presidential candidates look like pygmies.” Faith of My Fathers is about what McCain learned from his grandfather and father, and how their example enabled him to survive those hard years. It is a story of three imperfect men who faced adversity and emerged with their honor intact. Ultimately, Faith of My Fathers shows us, with great feeling and appreciation, what fathers give to their sons, and what endures.
August 8 – The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, the “Devil’s Highway.” Three years later, Luis Alberto Urrea wrote about what happened to them. The result was a national bestseller, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a “book of the year” in multiple newspapers, and a work proclaimed as a modern American classic.
September 12 – Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen
Ferdinand Magellan’s daring circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century was a three-year odyssey filled with sex, violence, and amazing adventure. Now in Over the Edge of the World, prize-winning biographer and journalist Laurence Bergreen entwines a variety of candid, firsthand accounts, bringing to life this groundbreaking and majestic tale of discovery that changed both the way explorers would henceforth navigate the oceans and history itself.
October 10 – The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation―that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation―the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments―that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.
November 14 – The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson
On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.
December 12 – The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency by Matthew Aid
In February 2006, while researching this book, Matthew Aid uncovered a massive and secret document reclassification program―a revelation that made the front page of the New York Times. This was only one of the discoveries Aid has made during two decades of research in formerly top-secret documents. In The Secret Sentry, Aid provides the first-ever full history of America’s largest security apparatus, the National Security Agency. Today, the NSA has become the most important source of intelligence for the U.S. government, providing 60 percent of the president’s daily intelligence briefing. The Secret Sentry contains new information about every period since World War II . It provides a shadow history of global affairs, from the creation of Israel to the War on Terror.
Chapter Chatters Book Club
The Chapter Chatters Book Club meets at Lakeview Branch at 6 p.m. one Tuesday every month. This book club is for ages 9-12 only. We are currently meeting in person.
Even though we are meeting in person, we have Zoom as a backup option for anyone who can’t make it to a meeting in person. Please e-mail for a Zoom link.
July 7 – Dog Man by Dav Pilkey August 4 – Into the Wild by Erin Hunter September 14 – Strange Birds by Celia C. Perez (6 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m.) October 6 – Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kristen Miller November 3– The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner December 1 – The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Mature Readers Book Club
The Mature Readers Book Club meets at Lakeview Branch, 1137 W. Lake Ave., at 2:15 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month.
Please call us at 497-2186 if you are interested in joining this book club.
January 27, 2021 – The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer February 24 – Afterlife by Julia Alvarez March 31 – The Library Book (Peoria Reads) by Susan Orlean April 28 – Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger May 26 – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion June 30 – Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate July 28 – I Found You by Lisa Jewell August 25 – Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins September 29 – The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict October 27 – The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett November 17 – The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg December 15 – Still Life (Inspector Gamache #1) by Louise Penny
#OwnVoices Book Club
The #OwnVoices Book Club explores diverse experiences and genres. #OwnVoices refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing from their own experiences and perspective. Meets the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch, 1137 W. Lake Ave.
This book club is now meeting in person on the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch, 1137 W. Lake Ave.
Please email if you are interested in joining this book club.
January 25 – The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros February 22 – The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead March 22 – These Ghosts are Family by Maisy Card April 26 – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang May 24 – Little Gods by Meng Jin June 28 – If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan July 26 – Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson August 23 – Kindred by Octavia Butler (Novel or Graphic Novel) September 27 – The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross October 25 – The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri November 22 – There, There by Tommy Orange December 27 – The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Read On Book Club
This group focuses on fiction by Black authors. Lincoln Branch Manager Cynthia Smith leads the discussion, which meets the first Monday of every month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.. For more information, including Zoom links, call 309-497-2601. Due to COVID-19, this book club is meeting virtually.
June 7 – Across the Way by Mary Monroe July 5 – Mrs. Wiggins by Mary Monroe August 2 – The Son of Mr. Suleman by Eric J Dickey September 6 – Rebel by Beverly Jenkins October 4 – Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson November 8 – Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson December 6 – No meeting
Science Fiction | Fantasy Book Club
This group typically meets on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Lakeview Room of the Peoria Public Library Lakeview Branch (1137 W. Lake Ave. 61614-5935). This book club is meeting both in person and virtually. If you need a Zoom link, please reach out to Jamie Jones at 497-2110.
January 11 – Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke February 8 – Dragonflight (first in the Dragonriders of Pern series) by Anne McCaffery March 8 – On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony April 12 – A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine May 10 – Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton June 14 – Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott July 12 – A Hero Born by Jin Yong August 9 – Network Effect by Martha Wells September 13 – Velocity Weapon by Megan O’Keefe October 11 – Skinwalker by Faith Hunter November 8 – Salvation Day by Kali Wallace December 13 – The Last Emperox by John Scalzi
The Sherlock Holmes Story Society
This group traditionally meets in the North Branch Seminar Room at 6:30 pm on the 4th Thursday of the month (except for November and December, when we’ve switched to the 3rd Thursday to avoid holidays). New members are always welcome, whether you’re a seasoned Sherlockian or a newcomer to the canon! Please call 309-497-2110 if you have any questions.
In 2021, we will read and discuss the stories from The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.
January 28 – “The Illustrious Client” (1924) February 25 – “The Blanched Soldier” (1926) March 25 – “The Mazarin Stone” (1921) April 22 – “The Three Gables” (1926) May 27 – “The Sussex Vampire” (1924) June 24 – “The Three Garridebs” (1924) July 22 – “Thor Bridge” (1922) August 26 – “The Creeping Man” (1923) September 23 – “The Lion’s Mane” (1926) October 28 -“The Veiled Lodger” (1927) November 18* – (Third Thursday to avoid Thanksgiving) “Shoscombe Old Place” (1927) December 23 -“The Retired Colourman” (1926)
Spectrum Book Club
This LGBTQ+ group is designed to expand our reading of different LGBTQ+ materials! Together, we’ll pick a different item to reach each month. These titles can be anything from nonfiction to fiction to graphic novels and comics, but they’ll be sure to have an LGBTQ+ theme! Then, when it’s time, we’ll come together, and discuss what we’ve read.
Call Katelin at Lincoln Branch for more information at 309-497-2600 and email for a a link to join us virtually.
A New York Times Best Seller and on several lists of Best Book of the Year lists, including Good Housekeeping and Washington Post! All Adults Here is a warm and touching tale that follows one family through the cycle of life.
July 29 – The Seep by Chana Porter
Winner of the 2021 Lambda Literary Award, The Seep is said to be “a blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction” It follows a 50 year old transwoman whose life is undeniably altered when Earth is invaded by an alien race called ‘The Seep’.
September 30 – Diary of a Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen, Tom Rasmussen
In these pages, find glamour and gaffes on and off the stage, clarifying snippets of queer theory, terrifyingly selfish bosses, sex, quick sex, KFC binges, group sex, the kind of honesty that banishes shame, glimmers of hope, blazes of ambition, tender sex, mad dashes in last night’s heels plus a full face of make-up, and a rom-com love story for the ages. This is where the unspeakable becomes the celebrated. This is the diary of a drag queen — one dazzling, hilarious, true performance of a real, flawed, extraordinary life.
This book club meeting will be a hybrid. You can choose to meet at Lincoln Branch in person or online.
Are you in your 20s and 30s and enjoy reading but have no one to discuss books with? Do you secretly enjoy reading YA as much as adult books? Are you looking for a book club that doesn’t take itself too seriously?
Join us! Our club is going digital due to COVID-19. Email for a a link to join us virtually.
January 19 – The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz February 16 – Pride by Ibi Zoboi March 16 – Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehring April 20 – Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis May 18 – The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix June 15 – Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi July 20 – We Are Not Free by Traci Chee August 17 – One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus September 21– The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna October 19 – By the Book by Amanda Sellet November 16 – The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom
Intercontinental Readers meets once every three months at 1:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday at Main Library Lower Level 1, Classroom B to discuss books by American and Irish authors. We Skype with members in Clonmel, Ireland.