Book club news from the Peoria Public Library

Join a book club at Peoria Public Library this month.  New members are

always welcome!


Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 Lakeview Branch to discuss Hard News by Jeffery Deaver. Rune is an aspiring filmmaker with more ambition than political savvy, pays her dues as an assistant cameraperson for the local news. But she’s got her eyes on the prize, the network’s hot newsmagazine, Current Events – and she’s got the story she knows will get her there. Poking around in the video archives, Rune spots a taped interview with Randy Bogs, who’s doing hard time in Attica for a murder he claims he didn’t commit. Rune can’t say exactly whey, but she’s sure he’s innocent. If she can prove it, Current Events won’t merely report the news, it’ll make news – and Rune’s career.

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club meets on Monday, March 10 at Lakeview Branch at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. We are the minority the world does not accept,” Paige Mahoney tells us, referring to the struggles of clairvoyants, from soothsayers and mediums to her own high standing as a dreamwalker. In Shannon’s galvanic debut, the first in a series of seven novels, she brings us to Scion, a totalitarian state in England circa 2059, where “voyants” are designated “unnatural” and clairvoyance is outlawed. Torn from her beloved home in Ireland as a misfit girl, Paige, whose exceptional psychic powers are matched by nearly superhero physical prowess, found sanctuary in London’s criminal underworld, working for Jaxon Hall, a gang leader in the clairvoyant syndicate, until her arrest. Now she’s imprisoned in a penal colony, SheolI, formerly the city of Oxford, a netherworld ruled by ectoplasmic beings called the Rephaim. Will Arcturus, Paige’s Rephaite keeper, prove to be as diabolical a tyrant as she fears? Not only has Shannon dynamically and shrewdly imagined every element of this spooky yet earthy world-at-war, from its unforgiving hierarchy to vile if essential herbal concoctions, encounters with monstrous predatory creatures, and the terror of “spirit combat,” she has also tapped into the timeless wellsprings of fear and prejudice, repression and resistance. The result is a dazzlingly brainy, witty, and bewitching tale of outrageous courage, heroic compassion, transcendent love, and the quest for freedom. Call 309-497-2149 for more information .

Peoria Reads Selection: Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High by Melba Patillo Beals. In 1957, Melba Pattillo turned sixteen. That was also the year she became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Following the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, Melba was one of nine teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School.  Throughout her harrowing ordeal, Melba was taunted by her schoolmates and their parents, threatened by a lynch mob’s rope, attacked with lighted sticks of dynamite, and injured by acid sprayed in her eyes. But through it all, she acted with dignity and courage, and refused to back down. For more information about book discussions and events for Peoria Reads! Visit

The Biography and Non-Fiction Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 9, at 3:00 p.m. at North Branch to discuss  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Susan Cain, a self-proclaimed introvert who’s taken it upon herself to better understand the place of introverts in culture and society. With Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Cain explores introversion through psychological research old and new, personal experiences, and even brain chemistry, in an engaging and highly-readable fashion. By delving into introversion, Cain also seeks to find ways for introverts and extroverts to better understand one another–and for introverts to understand their own contradictions, such as the ability to act like extroverts in certain situations. For more information call 309-497-2186.

Bibliophiles will meet on Wednesday, March 4 at 1:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro. A brilliant new collection from one of the most acclaimed writers of our time. With her peerless ability to give use the essence of a life in often brief bur spacious and timeless stories, Alice Munro illumines the moment a life is shaped – the moment a person turns out of an accustomed path and into another way. For more information, call Carol May at (309) 692-1020 or email

The Read On Book Club will meet on Tuesday, March 25  at 5:30 p.m. at Lincoln Branch to discuss Bishop by RM Johnson. An ex-thug has turned most influential spiritual leader and head of the largest church in the south. This is the story of the wife who loves him but has reason to fear, and the three young men who seek vengeance for the sexual abuse they suffered at his hands. Call 497-2601 for more information.

Intercontinental Readers will continue to meet to discuss novels by American and Irish authors via Skype at Main Library LL 1 at 1:00 p.m. once every three months with readers in Ireland. The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 11, 2014 and the group will discuss Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. Once again, the author takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha’s Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, she has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of the story is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island’s glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia’s minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe’s shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb’s crossing of cultures. Call 309-497-2143 for more information.

Club Read will meet on Wednesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Wild by Cheryl Strayed. At age 26, following the death of her mother, divorce, and a run of reckless behavior, Cheryl Strayed found herself alone near the foot of the Pacific Crest Trail–inexperienced, over-equipped, and desperate to reclaim her life. Wild tracks Strayed’s personal journey on the PCT through California and Oregon, as she comes to terms with devastating loss and her unpredictable reactions to it.

YA for Adults Book Club will meet on the third Tuesday, March 18  at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys. It’s 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test. With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

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