By Chris Wichmann
Read more books is a common New Year’s resolution. However, once the novelty of a fresh new year wears off (like maybe about February!), many people struggle to make good on their admirable intentions. To keep yourself accountable all year long, and perhaps knock off a couple resolutions at once (e.g., spend more time with friends, pick up a new hobby, meet new people), the Naperville Public Library offers various book clubs for adults and children. What’s your choice? Science fiction? Culinary arts? New and popular releases? The Naperville Public Library has something for everyone.
Out of this World Book Club
A science fiction/fantasy book club that meets on the first Wednesday each month virtually; otherwise, the group met at Nichols Library pre-pandemic. The books are selected by the library leader with the input of the attendees. In February, the group will read and discuss The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson. Past titles include Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and Sabriel by Garth Nix. The leader is Mary Costello: email@example.com
A mystery, thriller, suspense, and true crime book club that meets on the second Thursday of the month virtually; otherwise, the group met at the Naper Blvd Library pre-pandemic. It is led by a library staff member, and the group votes on the titles they read. In February, the group will read and discuss Confident Women: Swindlers, Grifters, and Shapeshifters of the Feminine Persuasion by Tori Telfer. Past titles include Lightseekers by Femi Kayode and The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. The leader is in transition at this time.
Readers’ Rendezvous Daytime Book Club
Includes all genres of books, and the library leader chooses the books. This club meets on the second Thursday of the month virtually; otherwise, the group met at Nichols Library pre-pandemic. In February, the group will read and discuss A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy. Past titles include West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge and Actress by Anne Enright. The leader is Shannon McGregor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reader’s Night Out
This club met at Quigley’s Pub in downtown Naperville before the pandemic. Right now, meetings are held virtually on Zoom on the first Monday of the month. Each attendee discusses a book that he or she has read and wants to share with others. The leader of the book club takes notes and then sends the notes to the group with the titles and synopsis of the books discussed. The leader is Christi Hawn: email@example.com
Readers’ Choice Book Club
The group chooses the titles and tries to select from newer, more popular books. The club meets on the third Wednesday of the month virtually; otherwise, the group met at the 95th Street Library pre-pandemic. It is led by a library staff member. In February, the group will read and discuss The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot: A Novel by Marianne Cronin. Past titles include Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas and The Mountains Sing by Phan Nguyn. The leader is Christy Palangattil: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Table: A Culinary Book Club
This group is for home cooks who enjoy reading and talking about food. It meets six times a year (currently virtually) and each meeting covers a different theme. Participants choose any cookbook from the library, make a recipe at home that fits the theme, and then share their recipes, thoughts, and experiences with fellow cooks. The next meeting is in March where the theme is pies. Past themes have been appetizers, casseroles, and Tex-Mex. It is moderated by a library staff member from the 95th Street Library. The leader is Sarah Marshall: email@example.com
Picture Book Club
Children in preschool through 2nd grade, along with their caregivers, read and discuss books in which illustrations and words work together to tell a story. This is a new book club that meets on the first Thursday of the month at the 95th Street Library. In February, the group will read I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne, Yes & No by Elisha Cooper, and Milo Imagines the World by Matt De Aa Peña. Past titles include Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach. The leader is Natalie Roth: firstname.lastname@example.org
Book & Fun Club
Children in 3rd–6th grades, along with their caregivers, read and discuss engaging fiction books. The club meets on the third Thursday of the month at Nichols Library. In February, the group will read and discuss Pony by R. J. Palacio. Past titles include A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep & Joanne Ryder and A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. The leader is Nicole Lawton: email@example.com
Great Decisions Discussion Group
Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association and the Naperville branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The program involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book and meeting to discuss on Thursday evenings. 2022 topics include Changing Demographics, Outer Space, Climate Change, Russia & the United States, Myanmar & ASEAN, and Biden’s Agenda. The library helps administer the program to Naperville residents but does not provide staff to lead the discussion. Naperville AAUW contact is Becky Glimco: firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Books Discussion Group
A national organization that encourages people to read. Group members meet on the third or fourth Tuesday of the month at the Naper Blvd Library. In February, the group will read and discuss “The City of God” by Saint Augustine. Previous titles include “Caesar and Cleopatra” by George Bernard Shaw and “Utilitarianism” by John Stuart Mill. The library helps administer the program to Naperville residents but does not provide staff to lead this discussion. More information can be found at http://www.greatbooks.org/book-groups
Neighbors Together Book Discussion
A group of six area libraries partnering with Literacy DuPage to discuss books related to immigration in America. In February, the Naperville Library will host a virtual discussion of Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami. More information can be found at http://www.ippl.info/14-community/2172-neighbors-together
In all, the Library offers nine adult book clubs and two children’s book clubs with assorted opportunities for patrons to stretch both their minds and social circles. For the clubs led by a library staff member, prepared questions are shared at the meetings, but the discussions may also direct the flow.