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The FOPSL BOOK CLUB


WHO: David Kelly, Co-ordinator
email to    DavidJaxKelly@gmail.com

WHAT: Members of the club read the selected book  for the month, then join in lively discussions.

WHERE: Zoom online. The book club will continue to meet on May 15 and June 19 at 2:00 pm. To participate, please contact David Kelly by email DavidJaxKelly@gmail.com to get the Zoom meeting ID and password. People who send David an email will be added to the FOPSL Book Club email newsletter list.

WHEN:  The FOPSL Book Club meets at 2:00 p.m. (September-June) on the third Friday of each month and is open to everyone.

HOW: All Book Club selections can be found on our Library's shelves (courtesy of the Friends) and are also available as downloadable E-books through the Library's Overdrive program.

For more information:
City of Palm Springs: Book Club FOPSL

Scheduled Book Discussions
for the 2020-2021 SEASON

April 16, 2021

Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
Paperback: 432 pages; Publisher: Signet (July 1, 2002).
First published in 1884. Fiction.

Ramona is an 1884 American novel written by Helen Hunt Jackson. Set in Southern California after the Mexican–American War, it portrays the life of a mixed-race Scottish–Native American orphan girl, who suffers racial discrimination and hardship. Originally serialized in the Christian Union on a weekly basis, the novel became immensely popular.

The novel's influence on the culture and image of Southern California was considerable. Its sentimental portrayal of Mexican colonial life contributed to establishing a unique cultural identity for the region. As its publication coincided with the arrival of railroad lines in the region, countless tourists visited who wanted to see the locations of the novel.


May 21, 2021

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
Hardcover: 320 pages; Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 10, 2020). Fiction.

In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who’s headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans―a family with new money and a secretly troubled teenage daughter―raze the house and trees next door to build themselves a showplace.

With little in common except a property line, these two families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie's yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.

A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today―what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don't see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.


June 18, 2021

The Soul of America by John Meacham
Hardcover: 416 pages; Publisher: Random House
First Edition edition (May 8, 2018). Non-fiction.

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even now.

While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.

This Season We've Read

September 18, 2020 Women Talking
by Miriam Toews (reprint 2020)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.

October 16, 2020 American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (2020) 
For a summary of the discussion, click here.

November 20, 2020
Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien (2019)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.

December 18, 2020
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (2020)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.

January 15, 2021
The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (2011)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.

February 19, 2021
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (2014)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.

March 19, 2021
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
For a summary of the discussion, click here.

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