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FAQ - BOOKED SOLID - Central Library Book Group

Q: What day and time does the Book Group meet?
A: The group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m.

Q: Where do you meet?
A: The group meets at the Central Library, 222 East Harvard Street in Glendale, in the Special Collections Room on the upper level.

Q: Must I register or sign up to join the Book Group?
A: No, just drop in. If you enjoy the experience, we hope you will return.

Q: Do I need to read the current book before I come to my first meeting?
A: Not required, but you will probably enjoy the meeting more if you do. To find out the current title, check the Book Groups website, call 818-548-3749 or, Click here to email a question.

Q: Do I need to read the current book before I come to my first meeting?
A: Not required, but you will probably enjoy the meeting more if you do. To find out the current title, check this website, call 818-548-3749 or Click here to email a question.

Q: What is the makeup of your group?
A: The members are adults, female and male, all ages and all backgrounds.

Q: Who leads the group discussion?
A: Two volunteer librarians - Mary Alice Wollam and Pat Zeider - lead the group. They come prepared with questions, book reviews and biographies of the authors. Everyone in the group talks and shares opinions.

Q: What kinds of books does the group read?
A: We read all kinds of fiction and non-fiction. We have read and are reading classics, best sellers, biographies, travel books, mysteries, sports books, humorous titles and even graphic novels. We have even had an author present while we discussed her book.

Q: Where do the group members get their books?
A: All the books belong to the library. In order for a book to qualify for the group there must be enough copies for all the members.

Q: How do you choose your books?
A: The two librarians who lead the group choose the books. Although the criteria are not scientific, books are chosen that:

  • are from a variety of genres
  • are classics
  • are well reviewed
  • have been recommended by Reading Group members
  • address topics in the news
  • have ideas that will spark a spirited discussion
  • have enough copies to go around
Q: What books have you already read and discussed?


  • The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar
  • Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G. Haghenbeck
  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  • Falling Leaves: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
  • The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jumpa Lahiri
  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  • The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved by Judith Freeman (May)
  • In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (January)
  • Helen of Pasadena by Lian Dolan
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante (our One Book/One Glendale 2011 selection)
  • Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden (September)
  • The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason (August)
  • Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
  • Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
  • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (April)
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (March)
  • A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (February)
  • Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls (January)
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave (December)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (November)
  • Los Angeles Noir, edited by Denise Hamilton (October)
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (September)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (August)
  • A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr (July)
  • White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (June)
  • Full-Time Eater by Frank Bruni
  • Pulitzer Prize winning novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (April)
  • Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff, by Rosemary Mahoney (March)
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (February)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows (November)
  • The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (August)
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire (July)
  • Tender At the Bone by Ruth Reichl (May)
  • Flu: the Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It by Gina Bari Kolata (March)
  • Lying Awake by Mark Salzman (December)
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London (November)
  • Ask A Mexican by Gustavo Arellano (October)
  • Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario (October)
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (May)
  • Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes (April)
  • The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr (March)
  • The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr (March)
  • The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak (February)
  • The Miracle Worker by William Gibson (January)
  • The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (December)
  • Prep by Chris Sittenfeld (November)
  • When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka (October)
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen (September)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (August)
  • Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen (July)
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (May)
  • His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis (April)
  • Angels Flight by Michael Connelly (February)
  • Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman (December)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (November)
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (October)
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman (September)
  • Close by Annie Proulx (August)
  • The Bee Season by Myla Goldberg (July)
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (June)
  • Relationships Can Be Murder by Jane Dilucchio (May)
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler (April)
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (March)
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (February)
  • Lost Horizon by James Hilton (January)
  • The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (November)
  • The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan (October)
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (September)
  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene (August)
  • 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer (July)
  • Stones For Ibarra by Harriet Doerr (June)
  • Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball (May)
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (April)
  • The Dogs Of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (March)
  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account Of The Mount Everest Disaster by John Krakauer (February)
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (January)
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (December)
  • The Things We Carried by Tim O'Brien (November)
  • Stolen Lives: Twenty Years In A Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir (October)
  • Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic, And Madness At The Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson (September)
  • The Human Comedy by William Saroyan (August)
  • The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy (July)
  • Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie Dai (June)
  • Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman (May)
  • I'm A Stranger Here, Myself by Bill Bryson (April)
  • One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus (March)
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (February)
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather (January)
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (December)
  • Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America by Carolyn See (November)
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (October)
  • The Jasmine Trade by Denise Hamilton (September)
  • The Soloist by Mark Salzman (July)
  • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (June)
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand (May)
  • Yes, Minister by Jonathan Lynn (April)
  • How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen (March)
  • The Color of Water by James McBride (February)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich (January)
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity by James M. Cain (November)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (October)

Q: What were some of your best discussions?
A: Nickel and Dimed and Fast Food Nation, both with provocative ideas, elicited strong opinions. Seabiscuit was a favorite book. One Thousand White Women was loved by the group, but disliked by the librarians. The Water is Wide brought out people's ideas about education. Surprisingly, but maybe not, the classic Ethan Frome was a discussion that could have gone on for hours. The Kite Runner and 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers gave the group the opportunity to talk about recent events in the news.

Q: Are there refreshments?
A: The librarians always bring treats.

Q: If I have questions, whom can I ask?
A: Call 818-548-3749 or, Click here to email a question.

Last modified: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 1:42:11 PM

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